Follicular Cysts in Guinea Pigs
Ovarian cysts are most common in female guinea pigs that are between the ages of eighteen months and five years of age. This condition occurs when the ovarian follicles do not rupture to release the ova (eggs), resulting in the formation of cysts on the ovaries. The cysts usually occur in both ovaries, but on some occasions only the right ovary is affected.
Ovarian cysts can be felt by gently pressing over the guinea pig’s ovaries. If left untreated, the ovarian cysts may continue to grow and could potentially burst, placing the guinea pig's life in danger. The only effective treatment for ovarian cysts is spaying, in which the ovaries and uterus are both removed from the body.
Symptoms and Types
- Loss of appetite and subsequent loss in body weight
- Abdominal pain and discomfort
- Avoidance of touch due to pain
- Hair loss on or around the abdomen
- Disturbance in the levels of reproductive hormones
- Ovarian follicles fail to burst and release the eggs, resulting in the formation of cysts
Ovarian cysts are one of the conditions that need to be ruled out when diagnosing the cause for abdominal pain or discomfort. The cysts can often be felt in the abdomen by abdominal palpation, but an abdominal ultrasonography or X-ray will be needed to confirm the diagnosis of ovarian cysts.