from CA Rescue
"Big Boy is one of the most awesome guinea pigs we've ever had come in to the rescue. He is very sociable and has gotten even more so since coming here. He absolutely loves a good chin rub. When he sees my son (the best chin-rubber) walk into the room, he immediately starts walking out to meet him, rumble-strutting and purring the whole way. He keeps up the purring as long as you want to rub his chin. He is such a happy guy and we're so lucky to have him.
"Big Boy hasn't had it too easy though. In March of this year he was dropped off in the night-drop box at a local shelter with no information about him. The vets checked him over and decided he had scurvy, urine/fecal incompetence, urine scald, impaction and and a lump on his chin they couldn't check because he was too wiggly. They recommended that if rescue could not be found that day, that he should be euthanized.
"On 3/18/09 we pulled him and took him to our vet where it was determined he had Cervical Lymphadentitis (CL). This was treated successfully with antibiotics. Our vet said he did not have scurvy. On April 7th we found some more lumps under his chin, armpits, and the inguinal region. Our vet said to bring him in immediately.
"Big Boy was found to have lymphoma, which does not have a good prognosis. Most guinea pigs die within a couple days of diagnosis. Most people opt not to try chemo, instead just keeping the piggy as comfortable as possible. Our vet thought it was worth a try, and wanted to try a higher dose of chemo than he tried on other patients. We were a little leery, but if could be treated without adverse side effects, it would be worth the effort. The protocol included L-Sparginase injected every three weeks and Prednisone twice a day (orally).
"On 4/14/09, at Big Boy's one week post-chemo check-up, we were quite excited to find Big Boy's cysts smaller! We were even more excited to find out on May 21st that his lumps were no longer palpable! And Big Boy was feeling great-at 1300 grams, we even caught him running a little and doing a couple popcorns!
"We are now more than seven months post-diagnosis and are crossing our fingers that things keep going as well. His chemo has now been drawn out to every four weeks instead of three weeks. We have seen no adverse effects, in fact, he looks happier and healther than when he first came in. His weight and appetite have held steady--he can put away a good pile of hay in no time.
"He has picked up a girlfriend, a cute red and white Peruvian named Rosie. She was depressed over losing her mate when she came to us and would not eat. We tried lots of things and finally decided to introduce her to Big Boy. He immediately perked her up and she started eating and recovering. They have been very close since then (as close as you can be with a divider down the middle of the cage). They often are nuzzling through the grid. Big Boy and Rosie even recently raised a foster pup who lost his mother at birth.
"So that's Big Boy's story to date. He's a special piggy."
Our goal is to raise $280, enough for four months of medicine. The Prednisone is $32 a month, and the chemo (L-Sparginase) is $38 a month, totalling $70.
Checks can be made to "Cavy House" and sent to Cavy House, Sue DuHamel, PO Box 324, La Honda, Ca. 94020.