Garibaldi Rous is going to the vet tomorrow and the photo above shows why I made the appointment.
**** This post contains images that may disturb some people, please do not continue if you suspect you are one of those.*****
I am not sure when Garibaldi first developed this bump high on his left side but I know it’s been there a long time. Possibly he had it when we got him five months ago. When I took him to Texas A&M for his well-capybara checkup, he had the lump but it was very small. I wouldn’t have even called it a lump back then, it was just a rough spot on his skin. I was going to show it to Dr. Hoppes but when I probed his side with my fingers, I couldn’t find it. Well, I thought, it’s probably nothing anyway.
On June 24th I decided that the lump was looking much bigger and nastier and a vet visit was clearly called for.
Getting all the way up to A&M in College Station with Garibaldi is not trivial. Firstly, I have to rent a van, which is startlingly expensive. If Gari were Caplin, he could just go in my car, but Gari is not Caplin and he gets scared and nervous. Plus we have to bring his gigantic crate in case we need a reliable transport mechanism since he is still not good on a leash. And I need at least one person to travel with us. Someone has to drive and someone has to take care of Gari. And that person and I both have to have a day off from work. On top of all that, Dr. Hoppes has to be available to see him. Given all that, it’s pretty amazing that we got an appointment for July 1st.
As if it knew it’s time was limited, the lump started looking worse almost immediately. By June 28th it was much larger and redder. And it had a suspicious hard spot at one end. You can see that in the photo above. It looks almost like a whole in his skin with something sticking out of it. That made me think of bot flies.
Bot flies are flies whose larva live under the skin of various warm blooded animals. The made a sore with a breathing hole in it. I have never seen one that looked quite like this but there are a lot of species of bot flies. Also, capybara skin is different from the skin of any other mammal in that it is very tightly bonded to the layer of connective tissue underneath. That might cause a bot fly larva some trouble.
Bot fly larval removal from a dog
Today the lump looked even worse and now it seems to be exuding puss. I don’t think a bot fly would do that unless maybe it had died and the whole thing had become infected.
All I can say is that it looks bad and I am so glad Gari will be at the vet’s tomorrow to take care of it.
Gari has another, more sensitive, issue that we are hopefully going to take care of tomorrow. Look at his legs in the photo above. You can see that his hocks (that’s what they would be called on a horse, not sure about a capybara) are hitting each other. For some reason, Gari is too narrow through the hips. This may be due to his living mostly indoors until he was ten months old, or it may not.
Another symptom of his narrow hind end is that his testicles really don’t fit back there. They are more prominent on him than on a typical capybara and there just doesn’t seem to be enough room for both of them. At any rate, he is marking up the carpet at a prodigious rate and that is going to have to stop one way or another. I don’t think Gari would be happy as an outdoor capybara so tomorrow he is going to get neutered.
Wish us luck and a speedy recovery to little Garibara! Tomorrow will be a hard day for him.