There are several health issues which can affect cavies. I will give a brief summary of the most common ones.
Colds/Chest Infections - Cavies can easily catch a chill, usually in winter but occasionally in the summer time too. Colds are usually not fatal if treated correctly. If a cavy has a cold it will struggle a bit with breathing and usually makes a light ticking type noise from it's chest. You may also see or hear it sneeze. The best thing to do in terms of treatment is keep the cavy warm and take it to a Vet who specialises in small animals if it appears to be getting worse. Chest Infections can be treated with several types of antibiotics depending on the cause of the infection. The Vet will give you the best advice.
Abscesses - Cavies can easily get abscesses from things such as sharp hay seeds or bites from other cavies. Basically an abscess is just the result of an infection. If your cavy has an abscess you will notice a large lump somewhere on their body. The most common place for these lumps is underneath or around the chin & neck. The lump will feel relatively soft as it is filled with pus. Abscesses can be surgically removed/drained by a Vet or you can drain them yourself. If you are planning to drain an abscess wait until the abscess bursts naturally and then use rubber gloves and squeeze out the pus. Once you get as much pus as you can out, clean out the wound with some watered down betadine. Then check the abscess each day and squeeze more pus out and clean it. Do this until all the pus has come out and it is starting to heal. Although sometimes abscesses never heal. They also have a tendency to reoccur. In some cases you can have very good results without any surgery.
Cysts - Cysts in cavies can be quite common. Most of the time they are harmless and small. If you spot one on your cavy don't stress. Cysts usually start small and can grow a bit, but not a lot. However they usually don't cause the cavy any discomfort unless they are really big. You can get them surgically removed by a Vet but it is usually not necessary and can be quite expensive. Subaetaeous cysts can burst sometimes and don't always resolve easily and may need removing by a vet.
Tumours - If you spot a lump on your cavy that seems to be growing quite rapidly and feels firm and defined, it could be a tumour. If you are concerned you can go to your vet and they can tell you by a needle sample whether it's a fatty cyst, an abscess or a tumour. If it is a malignant tumour the cavy is likely to have several of them , particularly in the Lymph nodes and then death can be quite rapid;. As soon as 1 to 2 months.
MORE INFORMATION COMING SOON!
© Jasmine Howlett 2013