Haru + Lumps

The hairy vet bill.
The hairy vet bill.

My guinea pig, Haru has a weird lump on his throat right now. For those of you who don’t know, I got Haru back in July while I was vacationing at my friend’s place in Grover beach. A couple weeks back, I noticed he had a weird lump on his neck but I didn’t think much of it. It seemed to grow bigger and I panicked–but then it went down again, so I’m not sure what the heck it is. From researching the web, it seems that lumps are normal and typically not harmful but I wanted to be sure… So I took Haru into the vet.


Without getting a look at what’s inside the lump, it’s hard to tell WHAT it is. So the vet wanted to cut the lump off. However, the idea of putting him under really scares me. I’ve only had to do this once in all my years of having guinea pigs but it’s a scary procedure and it’s common enough for guinea pigs to respond badly to surgery. So to be on the safe side–especially if this lump is nothing to be worried about–I just decided to put him on an antibiotic for the week. It’s Baytril, which also worried me, since it’s awfully strong for what might just be a harmless cyst. The worrisome part being that I’ve seen Baytril kill a guinea pig’s appetite so fast–and once they stop eating, things get real shitty, real fast.


Injecting the Baytril can make it much less harder on the digestive system, so I decided to let the vet just inject him once a day for the rest of the week. The annoying part of course is getting him out there and back… I don’t like driving him around more than I have to, especially in 100 degree (F) heat in a car without air conditioning. I’m paranoid, okay? At the same time, you don’t just put a guinea pig on antibiotics and then stop, so I’m going to get him his shot once a day every day this week and see how it goes.


The antibiotic might not do a damn thing, and if nothing happens to the lump, I’m faced with two options: getting the surgery after all so we can see what the lump is. Or letting it go and just keeping a sharp eye on him to make sure nothing happens to it over time. The location, which is on his neck, is worrisome too but I don’t know if it will affect him adversely if we leave it alone or if it’s just a thing he’s going to have for the rest of his life.

Rachel Aseltine

R.A. Aseltine is an author and roleplayer living in California with her husband, guinea pig, and five cats.

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