I'm after a bit of advice... Annie's still been behaving as normal and keeping a healthy, consistent weight. I have noticed, though, thanks to the shorter fur what appears to be two small bumps underneath the surgery wound. They're hard and don't move with the skin, which is consistent to what the lump I had removed was like, but because they're so small, I'm not 100% sure whether it's more tumours developing, or if they're bones I'm noticing more because her fur hasn't grown back completely yet (when I took her to the vet's for her first consultation, I actually thought there was another tumour starting to grow further down her body, but I was actually feeling her pelvis bone!).
My family have suggested that I wait and see if they get any bigger before taking her back to the vet, but would this be wasting precious time?
Here's a picture of the bumps, although it's hard to see them. Most of her surgery wound has healed, but there is a little section that's scabby, because the other degus nibble on it now and again.
I would get her back to the vet as soon as possible. You'll only be worrying and wondering if you wait. There is a chance they might be abscesses which could be easily treated. I'm going to be honest and tell you that the chances of a lump regrowing after surgery is quite high, so it's best to be prepared for that. I think it's best to know, the vet may have some suggestions for keeping her more comfortable if it is regrowth, something like an oral steroid might be worth a try. Good luck, let us know how you get on.
Thanks moletteuk and deguconvert. That was exactly the push I needed!
I took her to the vet's this morning, and he went out the room with Annie for ages to get one of the exotic nurses to hold her, while he investigated. They don't know what the lumps are. The vet is fairly sure they aren't to do with incision, but he also feels it's unlikely (although there's still a low possibility) that it's the tumour spreading, because of their placement to the ribs (I can't remember his exact wording). He wonders if she's had a knock to the area? He advised just to keep an eye on them and take her back in a few weeks.
I think that could be quite positive, a less worrying option anyway, fingers crossed. I'm guessing they mean a blood clot/ bruise type thing called a haematoma. A regular member (savvy) recently had a large haematoma removed from the leg of her degu. That's the only other case I can remember in many years on the forum.
Fingers crossed it’s something like that then, moletteuk! It wouldn’t surprise me if Annie had banged herself, because she’s always been the most fearless and reckless out of the three degus when it comes to jumping and climbing. They seem to have a good grasp of common sense and judgement, whereas she has none.
I’m glad to hear Bumblebee is okay! I saw the picture of the lump in your thread. It looks huge! Do you remember how it felt? Was it hard? Or more squishy?
Thanks, although he still hasn't learned his lesson and regularly falls head first into a pile of hay when asleep! He likes to sleep in the most silly places.
Initially it felt and looked like a bruise. The vet had a good look at it and said she could get her fingers around it and it was smooth edged, but it was in an awkward place to get a really good look at it. Sort of in the fleshy part between his thigh and ribcage area, so we couldn't tell how big it really was until it had settled down. It felt like a jelly cube before you melt it if that makes sense. Hard squishy, then it got harder as the blood congealed.
Thanks, savvycat, for the description. He sounds sweet.
The bottom bump seems like it may've possibly got bigger, but not by a huge amount. By touch, it's noticeably larger than the one that's nearest the incision site. I'm not sure that one has changed at all. Annie is still her happy, hyper self, which is a comfort.
She did... And just had the follow-up appointment this morning. It's bad news.
The bump that was nearest the incision went away and seems to have been replaced by a dry, crusty scab, so we reckon it may've been a small abscess after all. The lump further away is definitely bigger. The vet did a fine needle aspiration, but is mostly certain that it's another tumour. She crossed out surgery as an option, because it would be too invasive/the lump is more invasive than the first one because of where it's located. She also thinks another might pop up if it were to be taken out. She hesitantly offered steroids as an option, but fears that they would cause Annie more problems. She seemed to favour leaving Annie as she is and keeping an eye on her behaviour for now; she's still her normal self.
My degu, Alice, is currently on oral steroids for a brain lesion and tumour and is tolerating them really well. (She is on dexamethasone in the form of a one in 5 dilution of colvasone and she takes 0.1ml once a day. She weighs 250g).
The only side effect I noticed was that she put about 10g of weight on over the first 2 or 3 weeks, but the vet felt over her body and didn't feel she was bloated with fluid, so it didn't seem to be a problem, her condition has remained good. I also know that the steroid did work as it stopped her from having seizures. I have also had a degu that had steroid injections which were also effective and tolerated well. I think it's worth a phonecall with the vet to discuss, I think it is fairly standard treatment for inoperable tumours for cats and dogs, vets sometimes just need a push from degu owners to attempt the same treatment, it wasn't a treatment my vet had provided for a degu before. Do bear in mind it limits your painkiller options because they can't have metacam while they are on steroids, but there are alternatives if things get serious in the form of vetergesic or tramadol.
For your sake and encouragement, I'm really glad that you can talk openly with Moletteuk about the steroid option and how it is working in Alice. Although the tumors are probably different, it is nice to have the understanding of another in such a strongly similar position.
Sending you both hugs and love!
1 Bichon/Shi-t-zu Ollie (b'gollie), 1 Standard poodle, Indie
Thanks for the kind messages, savvycat and deguconvert!
How's Alice doing, moletteuk?
I spoke to the vet about steroids, who seemed cautiously enthusiastic about trying them. She's used them before to treat small animals, warning that they sometimes work and sometimes don't, and can potentially be unkind on organs. Annie is still behaving as normal, but the tumour is just getting bigger and bigger. Annie's due to start her steroids tomorrow, so here's hoping they have a positive impact on her and keep her comfortable!