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These particular lumps are caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus zooepidemicus infecting guinea pigs.

Of course guinea pigs may get swellings or lumps on any area of the body, but the condition called "lumps" usually causes swellings around the head and neck.

The bacteria, having been introduced to the cavy by a carrier animal (usually a bought in cavy), gains access to the body via small abrasions in the mouth. Vitamin C deficiency will predispose to infection as it retards wound healing. An abscess forms at the site of entry and these may swell up to golf ball size. Abscesses may form in any organ, however head and neck are most common. If the bacteria is introduced into a group of cavies which has never had contact with it before, an epidemic may occur with cavy deaths. Later on surviving cavies will show the classical "lumps" in the neck.

Prevention

 

Treatment

An ounce of prevention is worth (and is cheaper than) a ton of cure.

 

Dawn Mills
BVSc