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Thread: no need to clean anal sac?

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    no need to clean anal sac?

    I was at the vet with Snowball a few weeks ago and I asked the vet some questions such as how to clean anal sac and how often can I bathe him. And the vet told me that there's no need to actually clean inside the anus, just need to clean what's outside. And I can bathe my guinea pig once a week. This is a considered cavy savy vet. But what he said is sort of in conflict with what I've read in here. So I'm not sure who to listen to.

    Before I took him to the vet I've posted a question about Snowball's dirty back, a lot of people said it should be fleas or parasites. But the vet only found possible ear mites. Can the dirt left by the ear mites gotten on his lower back area?

    Also the vet said I can use sand for Snowball and he can bathe himself in it, just like the chinchillas. Is that true?

  2. "Thank you, Ena_MM, for this useful post," says:

    Vheather (08-06-14)

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    Administrator lissie's Avatar
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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    He does not sound like a cavy vet. Where did you find him?
    Have you check the vet list on Guinea Lynx?

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    I think you need another vet. Is the dirt at his rear by his grease gland?

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Ditto - you need to find a new vet.

    You shouldn't use dust bath on guinea pigs.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Not very cavy savvy.

    Bathing once a week is way too often. Some pigs never need a bath and at most you should ever only bathe once every 4 months or so.

    No dust baths. The dust could get into the respiratory system and wreak all kinds of havoc.

    What kind of dirt exactly is on the back? What does it look like? If you've posted before, forgive me as I don't have the greatest memory.

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    Cavy Slave Shauna&Kerri's Avatar
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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Ena_MM, is this similar to what your piggies backside looks like?

    This is my girl Debi. She is all white, but her lower back is covered in speckles that look sort of like dirt. It is just discolored hair, that I think is more like what a human would have with grey hair showing up in middle age. Debi is at least 3 years old and had a rough life before we got her, so for her she is in middle age.

    She doesn't have the flakes your boy had (like you described in previous posts), but her skin underneath her hair is sort of brownish purple colored. So if your boy is similar, and his skin was dry from the weekly bathings you were giving him, that might explain why the skin was flaking. Debi has been seen by the vet multiple times while at the rescue and we have taken her in as well since we got her in November. She doesn't have any parasites, and there isn't anything wrong with her skin/hair. It is just the way she is.

    I hope there is nothing wrong with your little guy. And I hope you are able to find a better vet.



    This is Debi with her friend Millie. We adopted them as a pair.

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    I wouldn't go back to that vet. We havn't given our pigs a bath since last summer, there has been no need to. Dust is for Chins not pigs. When our male was intact, we had to clean it every couple of week, since he has been fix every couple of months.

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb's4Pigs View Post
    I think you need another vet. Is the dirt at his rear by his grease gland?
    yeah I can find the same looking kind of dirt by the grease gland

    Quote Originally Posted by Ly&Pigs View Post
    Not very cavy savvy.

    Bathing once a week is way too often. Some pigs never need a bath and at most you should ever only bathe once every 4 months or so.

    What kind of dirt exactly is on the back? What does it look like? If you've posted before, forgive me as I don't have the greatest memory.
    the dirt look like dandruff but only in brownish color. my guinea pig is completely white and has longer hair so he smells and I can see more dirt on him if i dont bathe him twice a month

    Quote Originally Posted by Shauna&Kerri View Post
    Ena_MM, is this similar to what your piggies backside looks like?

    This is my girl Debi. She is all white, but her lower back is covered in speckles that look sort of like dirt. It is just discolored hair, that I think is more like what a human would have with grey hair showing up in middle age. Debi is at least 3 years old and had a rough life before we got her, so for her she is in middle age.

    She doesn't have the flakes your boy had (like you described in previous posts), but her skin underneath her hair is sort of brownish purple colored. So if your boy is similar, and his skin was dry from the weekly bathings you were giving him, that might explain why the skin was flaking. Debi has been seen by the vet multiple times while at the rescue and we have taken her in as well since we got her in November. She doesn't have any parasites, and there isn't anything wrong with her skin/hair. It is just the way she is.

    I hope there is nothing wrong with your little guy. And I hope you are able to find a better vet.



    This is Debi with her friend Millie. We adopted them as a pair.
    awww Debi and Millie are so cute! Snowball have that kind of hair too but there's still dirt on him. Can dry skin give off brownish flakes? If that's so then I can cut the bathes and...bare with it. The vet said he didnt see anything so I just thought its the ear mites and not fleas or other kinds of mites. So I just treated it with olive oil in his ear.

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Guinea pigs shouldn't smell. Long haired pigs can soak up the urine in the bedding, which is why you would want to move their houses around the cage daily so the pig isn't sitting in the same wet spot all the time. You may also need to clean out your cage more often. Keeping the long hair trimmed short helps, too.

    If your pig has ear mites olive oil will not help. It's not a good idea to put anything in your guinea pig's ear without a cavy knowledgeable vet's instructions.

    Does your pig get impacted? If not, there's really no need to clean out the anal sac. How old is he? Is he at risk for being impacted (small cage, no companion, no hay in the diet)?

    Check out the list of vets at Guinea Lynx. I know several people in your area that have good vets.

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Quote Originally Posted by foggycreekcavy View Post
    Guinea pigs shouldn't smell. Long haired pigs can soak up the urine in the bedding, which is why you would want to move their houses around the cage daily so the pig isn't sitting in the same wet spot all the time. You may also need to clean out your cage more often. Keeping the long hair trimmed short helps, too.

    If your pig has ear mites olive oil will not help. It's not a good idea to put anything in your guinea pig's ear without a cavy knowledgeable vet's instructions.

    Does your pig get impacted? If not, there's really no need to clean out the anal sac. How old is he? Is he at risk for being impacted (small cage, no companion, no hay in the diet)?

    Check out the list of vets at Guinea Lynx. I know several people in your area that have good vets.
    The urine might be the explanation but his cage gets cleaned out every 2 days. And I'm afraid I might ruin his cuteness look by cutting his hair. Also, its the vet that told me to drip in olive oil once a day for a week to kill the ear mites. And so far I don't see any impaction. Just that some people on the forum told me it's the cause of smell, not cleaning the anal sac regularly.

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    Cavy Champion, Previous Forum Moderator Ly&Pigs's Avatar
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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    The vet is wrong about the olive oil. It will not kill mites. Your pig will need to be treated with Ivermectin, Advantage or Revolution for mites.

    What kind of bedding do you use?

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ly&Pigs View Post
    The vet is wrong about the olive oil. It will not kill mites. Your pig will need to be treated with Ivermectin, Advantage or Revolution for mites.

    What kind of bedding do you use?
    but the ear mites should be in the ear. I can't just drip them in, it‘ll cause imflammation. How should I use advantage?
    I use wood shavings, but I'll be changing into fleece very soon.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    How large is the cage, and how many pigs in it? It seems odd that you need to clean it every 2 days.

    The treatment for mites that Ly&Pigs told you does not need to be dripped into the ear. It's applied topically, but gets into their system and kills any parasites.

    Please find another vet.

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Quote Originally Posted by foggycreekcavy View Post
    How large is the cage, and how many pigs in it? It seems odd that you need to clean it every 2 days.

    The treatment for mites that Ly&Pigs told you does not need to be dripped into the ear. It's applied topically, but gets into their system and kills any parasites.

    Please find another vet.
    I'm getting him a CC cage very soon. I just found the supplies around where I live a few days ago. Althought I do feel very guilty of putting him in a pet store cage for a few months.
    Can I use advantage the same way? I can only find the advantage so far and they're for cats. The vet told me to use the ones they use for cats but only apply in very small amounts. Is that true? And I apply it on that tiny spot where he can't scratch on his back?

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    On their bald patches, but you need to know what their weight is (well for advantage I'm not sure now). You would use the one for kittens.

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    Re: no need to clean anal sac?

    Quote Originally Posted by Deb's4Pigs View Post
    On their bald patches, but you need to know what their weight is (well for advantage I'm not sure now). You would use the one for kittens.
    won't Snowball scratch that bald patch behind the ears? And if he licks his paw then it'll kill him.

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