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Thread: Scabs and Dry Skin

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Scabs and Dry Skin

    Around early June, I took my pigs in for a check up before I went on vacation. My vet said that Guinness has some dry skin (it was definitely not parasites) and to put some Vitamin E in his pellet food and to try rubbing some flax seed oil on the itchiest parts of his skin every 3 weeks. Well I went to put some oil on his skin a couple minutes ago and found that he had opened one of his scabs (he has 3 tiny ones on his back from scratching). I reluctantly used some salt water to clean it out, but I don't want that to dry out his skin even more. Will a little vasaline help? Is that even safe for guinea pigs?

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    The best thing to use is organic virgin coconut oil. You can find it at most health food stores, and some regular grocery stores. It's a solid at room temp but immediately melts when warmed by the skin.

    I wouldn't use vaseline.

  3. "Thank you, foggycreekcavy, for this useful post," says:

    Shinypig7 (09-18-11)

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    Would it hurt him if I used it just for the night? I don't want his skin getting worse.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    I wouldn't. Why not try some flax seed oil or open up a vitamin e gelcap and rub that on there?

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    It's still on open wound. Would that lead to infection at all if i put it on there right away?

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    If he hasn't been already, I would treat him for mites -- no question, regardless of what the vet said. Get some Ivermectin. Guinea pigs DO NOT scratch and create and open wounds because of dry skin. Get him treated. Do not hesitate. Do not wait. Just do it. I won't hurt him and will likely help.

  8. "Thank you, CavySpirit, for this useful post," says:

    Shinypig7 (09-18-11)

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    I won't be able to order it online for another month or so and I can't get him treated at the vet right now because my vet doesn't like to treat them unless absolutely necessary (like if they already have it or if I was planning to take them outside). I still don't think it's mites or lice because the scratching has been going on since May and there is no fur loss even in the slightest and my other pig is perfectly fine. Ripley has no scabs, no scratching, and a glossy coat. Only Guinness has been scratching. But it won't hurt to get them treated so I'll get the Ivermectin as soon as I can.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    You can buy Ivermectin at feed stores. Also, you can call around to any rescues near you. We always have it and are happy to share. You don't need much. Your other pig can be fine and there isn't necessarily fur loss. I'd still treat for it and treat both of them to be safe.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    I agree with CavySpirit. Even though mites are very prevalent and easy to treat, I consider it very serious because of the pain involved. Treat asap.

    In any pair of pigs, one may have more symptoms of mites than the other. Some don't even show any symptoms at all, but they still need to be treated if the other one is.

  12. "Thank you, foggycreekcavy, for this useful post," says:

    CavySpirit (09-19-11)

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    Oh of course! I agree. I was going to get them both treated once I can gather up some money.

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Scratching and Scabs are WORSE!!

    After noticing Guinness's scabs from itching were a little worse I started putting flax seed oil on his back every night for about a week now and that seemed to help. The wounds started healing and he wasn't scratching as much.
    About an hour ago he was drinking water like a maniac and wasn't letting Ripley use the water bottle at all. I heard a bunch of squeaks and thought that Guinness was just chasing Ripley around the cage again and didn't think anything of it. Then I looked over and saw Guinness trying to scratch his back and then freaking out in pain...
    I looked at his back and he has opened all of his previous scabs and has made two new wounds. The slightest breath was causing him severe pain. He almost ran off the bed from it!
    I need to take him to the vet now, but the nearest emergency vet that takes guinea pigs is about an hour and a half away and I still have to do homework and get up early for college so I have to wait until tomorrow morning around 9:00.
    Is there anything at all that I can do for him for the night? Easing the pain or itching?
    Please help! This is the saddest thing I have ever seen from my guinea pigs! He is frantically running around the cage, trying to scratch, and squealing like mad!

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Re: Scratching and Scabs are WORSE!!

    Also, I'm afraid he is going to spaz out on the ramp and get hurt so I was going to put him in the other area of the cage that does not have the ramp. But what do I do with Ripley? The side that I'm putting Guinness on is a 2x4 C&C cage, but Guinness is running around so frantically and I don't want him running over Ripley or Ripley accidentally touching his sore spots. I really don't want to separate them for the night, but I will if I should.

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    Re: Scratching and Scabs are WORSE!!

    He undoubtedly has mites, which are driving him nuts, and may even cause him to have seizures. Ordinarily, I'd say treat him with ivermectin, but it can take a week or so to work. The vet can probably treat him with something injectable that will work more quickly, so I'd get him there as quickly as I could since he's in such distress.

    The lesson here is not to treat scabs with flax seed oil. If he has scabs, he's either scratching himself or someone is biting him. If he's scratching himself, he has some sort of parasite -- fleas, lice, or mites. You can see fleas and lice. If you're not seeing anything crawling he probably has mites. They can easily and cheaply be treated without a vet visit by using ivermectin. Read www.guinealynx.info/parasites.html, including all the links.

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    Moderator foggycreekcavy's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    Yes, I thought you were going to treat both pigs for mites? He may need an injection of a steriod to help stop the intense itching. He really needs to see a vet right away. Mites can be extremely serious, causing the pig to go into seizures and even death.

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    I was going to get them treated, but I had a money issue and thought I could get away with it until later this week. Obviously that didn't work out.
    Is there anything that I can do for him tonight to ease his suffering?

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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    I don't know what you could do for an emergency treatment. You might post this over at Guinea Lynx on the Emergency and Medical forum and see what they say. There should be some West Coast people still up over there who might see the post.

  20. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:

    Shinypig7 (09-25-11)

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    Geez, I'm sorry, but what didn't you understand about "just do it, do not wait??"

    I've had what seems like a bazillion pigs come through my rescue with mites and there is NOTHING you can do for them other than TREAT WITH IVERMECTIN. NOW. I'm sorry, but it makes me angry, because I know how much pain they are in and all it's takes is a few pennies worth of a drug. But it's not overnight and it is IMPERATIVE to get them treated immediately to start the multi-day process before they get relief.

    Just DO IT. FIND $40 somewhere for a bottle of the stuff if you can't afford a vet.

  22. "Thank you, CavySpirit, for this useful post," says:

    Aertyn (09-25-11)

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    Cavy Slave Shinypig7's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    I'm borrowing money from parents and taking them to the vet tomorrow. I was in a real bind with money and was raising it up as quickly as possible and had him booked for this thursday, but I wasn't fast enough... I knew my pig was going to be irritated for a couple days until I could get money, but then he spontaneously got worse just a couple hours ago. They will get treated tomorrow. I just wanted a small miracle to get him through the night.

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    Administrator CavySpirit's Avatar
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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    Good. There are no miracle fixes. Make the vet GIVE you the extra ivermectin you will need for the rest of the treatments. No point in wasting money on subsequent vet visits. They will need 4 treatments a week apart. You can give it orally or topically on your own.

  25. "Thank you, CavySpirit, for this useful post," says:

    Shinypig7 (09-25-11)

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    Re: Scabs and Dry Skin

    Should I close him off on the other side of the cage so that he doesn't hurt himself on the ramp? If so should I also put Ripley on that side too?
    And one more question: I usually bring both pigs to the vet so they have each other for comfort. I need to bring them both in to be treated anyways, but they always topple over each other in the carrier trying to tunnel under the towels. Is there a way to minimize the contact to Guinness's back with Ripley trying to get comfy? Or does he just have to suffer for 15 minutes during the car ride?

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