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Guinea Pig Laser Neuter Surgery

December 2, 2010
Guinea Pig

Harvey the Guinea Pig

Guinea Pigs Need Surgery, Too (Sometimes)

Harvey peered at Doc Truli through the mesh in his carrier door. His
cheeks bulged back and forth as he chewed his Timothy hay. His orange
and white ruffled fur stuck out different directions on hs shoulders
and haunches.

Three children watched their 2 1/4 pound pet and nervously offered
their questions.

“The oldest Guinea Pig I’ve known was Einstein.  He lived in Maine, USA.  I didn’t believe he was nine.  But when we calculated the time since the kids met him as their kindergarten class pet and took him home at the end of that school year, well, nine years had passed!” said Doc Truli.

“Can Guinea Pigs purr?”

“Yes. It means they’re happy.”

Relieved, Harvey’s middle sister relaxed and said, “I knew it!”

The oldest daughter started to feel more comfortable in the animal hospital and with Doc Truli,”You mean we shouldn’t feed him apples? We feed him apples 3-4 times a day.”

“Apples are a treat he really doesn’t need. Kind of like donuts for us. He really should not eat apples or fruit more than once a week,” said Doc Truli.

“Will he be okay after his surgery?” said the youngest of the three.

Doc Truli said,”The most critical time is directly after surgery.  Harvey needs to eat all day long, like a little mouse-cow. We’ll let him have his hay immediately after surgery to help the fermentation vat he calls a healthy stomach.”

Harvey’s neuter surgery went smoothly. The surgical laser kept bleeding to almost nothing. After surgery, the laser helped reduce the amount of painkillers the little cavy needed.

Benefits of Laser Surgery

  • Less Bleeding
  • Less Pain
  • Faster Healing
  • Less Pain Medication after surgery

“He’s eating!” said Harvey’s nurse 5 minutes after anesthesia recovery.

May Harvey live a long, healthy life! While most Guinea Pigs live 5-6 years, Doc Truli’s oldest Guinea Pig patient, Einstein, loved to a ripe old age of nine!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 12, 2010 6:39 pm

    I love guinea pigs too! Fruity was an Abyssinian that I bought as my first pet as an independent adult. To keep her company, I adopted a guinea pig from a shelter after having Fruity for a year. Pudding lived only to be five. She started losing weight and mobility. I had x-rays taken of her, which showed she had a tumor. I called to schedule surgery, but she died before the operation could occur. Fruity lived to be almost nine, despite a year of dropping weight. One morning when picking up her food dish to fetch her breakfast, I realized that she had died in her sleep. Now I have a teddy named Bumbleebee. All three are so different!

  2. December 4, 2010 11:14 am

    Is laser surgery typically available for dogs? The spay procedure has always seemed like major surgery to me. I’ve never liked putting my dogs through it although I believe it to be mandatory as a responsible pet owner.

    I love guinea pigs! When I was in 6th grade, I had an angora guinea pig named Cynthia. She went everywhere with me, including on vacation to the cabin and in my bike bags for a ride. I planted my first garden to keep her in vegetables … and the payoff was that there were plenty of left overs for my family. She loved to graze out in the yard while I did my summertime yard chores. Wonderful animals.

    • December 4, 2010 4:05 pm

      Hi Carolyn!

      No, laser surgery is special. The laser surgical unit costs about US$50,000 (very expensive for a small family business to afford.) By comparison, a full X-ray set-up with digital and everything for a basic small animal hospital is about $50,000. A basic ultrasound unit goes for $14,000-$30,000, while the nice cool one the specialist uses is $80,000-$100,000. So, not too many hospitals can afford a laser surgery unit.

      I work with a Laser for surgery in Florida, and it is wonderful! Before I performed Laser surgery, the sales people and the university surgeons told me there is less bleeding and less pain and faster recovery. But…to see with your own eyes is amazing! The laser cuts most tissues of the body that a scalpel would cut (they can’t be wet) and there’s almost no blood lost at all.

      Then the surgery is done and the patients wake up. The 4-year-old Doberman Pinscher I neutered a few weeks ago was wagging his tail and looking for food and a walk 10 minutes after surgery. So we were able to use much less pharmaceutical painkillers than I expected. Wonderful technology.

      The little pigger did great! The laser meant no bleeding for the little guy. Plus, he was not itchy or irritated by the incision after the fact.

      I like the way you said the garden leftovers were for the humans. That’s my kind of thinking!

      Have a great weekend,
      Doc Truli

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