A cyst in guinea pigs is a hard lump on the surface of the skin. What sets it out from other types of lumps such as tumors and abscesses is that it doesn’t cause pain to the pig by itself or when you touch it. In fact, many guinea pigs live with cysts for a long time of their lives without even knowing it’s there. Thankfully, cysts are much less harmful than most other conditions and can be treated easily.

Before you begin to treat it, though, you will need a make a trip to the vet to confirm if it really is a cyst. This is an area where even seasoned medical professionals easily misdiagnose the situation, so it’s not a good idea to think you’re sure it’s a cyst; play it safe and let a vet ascertain what it is.

A sebaceous cyst (the most common form) will usually pop on its own in due time, releasing the liquids contained within. But if the cyst continues to grow to an abnormal size without popping, it could damage the pig’s internal organs. So if you notice that it keeps getting bigger, you should get the pig to a vet and have the cyst lanced. The vet will also drain the fluids in the cyst and advise you on further treatment.

Once a cyst has popped or been properly drained, the cavity should be properly treated to prevent infection. Treatment includes cleaning the cavity with running water as and when necessary. After cleaning, it should be treated with a topical antiseptic cream.

Although most cysts go away after they pop, a cyst could return to the same spot on the skin later, requiring repeated treatment. This is why it’s a somewhat risky approach to let a cyst pop on its own or even to have it drained.

So the best thing to do about a cyst is to have it surgically removed. This isn’t absolutely necessary but it’s the most advisable course of action as it will completely rid your pig of the problem once and for all. Costs of surgery usually include an anesthetic, some stitches on the pig’s skin, and some medication for a week or so afterwards. It could be somewhat expensive but the price is well worth the relief if you can afford it.

Source by Jake M. Jones