Posted: December 5, 2014, 4:25 p.m. EST
© Gina Cioli/I-5 Studio
When you pet your guinea pig, take the opportunity to check for any strange lumps or bumps that could signal a developing health issue.
Q: What happens if a tumor in a guinea pig is left untreated?
A: That is a great question with no easy answer. First, the type of tumor must be determined. The types of tumors usually seen in guinea pigs include:
•a benign mass like a granuloma
•a malignant cancer like lymphosarcoma
•a fatty mass
•an enlarged sebaceous gland
•an infected cyst
•a large abscess with maggots
As you may have guessed, some of these may be fine if not treated. Some of these conditions may not be fatal but leaving them untreated can lead to a poorer quality of life. And some of these conditions will be fatal if they are not treated.
So, the best way to answer your question is, "it depends.” It depends on what is causing the tumor.
In general, a mass that is not growing in size and is not ulcerated might be fine to not treat. A mass that is ulcerated, bleeding, enlarging and/or has an obvious infectious component should be treated, as your guinea pig will have a lower quality of life and may live a shorter amount of time. Your veterinarian is the best one to advise you about what to do for your pet’s condition.
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