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Thread: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    We recently adopted a cat, and I strongly suspect she has fleas. I didn't do a close inspection, but she's scratching like mad, is missing patches of fur, and has lots of scabs. She was supposedly treated when the rescue group pulled her from a kill shelter, but I suspect she got reinfested in the adoption area at the pet store (they don't have a good set-up at all).

    Since I have a total of four cats, I'm just going to treat them all. I got Advantage but am waiting until tomorrow so the vet's open just in case anyone has an adverse reaction. In the meantime, I haven't given the girls floor time because I don't want them to get infested. From what I've read, it looks like they're probably safe if they're up in their cage and not around the cats, but the kitties do go in the pig room, even though they're not next to or on top of the cages. Will they probably avoid the itch plague or are they likely to get fleas, too? We adopted the kitty Friday night, although the first night she was mostly confined far from the pigs.

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    No one has any experience with guinea pigs and fleas? (Hopefully that's a good thing.)

    I treated the cats this morning, and nobody seems to be having any bad reactions to the Advantage. I hope it does its job, as the package says it starts working within 12 hours. I feel bad for the girls not having their floor time, but I don't want them getting creepy crawlers either. Also, Mewsette has sneezed several times, and I don't know if she could transmit anything, but I'm not taking any chances with the piggies. I'm planning to have her checked out by my vet within a few days so he can confirm the fleas are all gone and see if she still seems to have a skin problem or if it was just scratching from the fleas.

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    Cavy Slave Aleks's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    If the cats are around the piggies then yeah they could get fleas. I'm not sure exactly how likely it is though. I would just check your piggies fur every day (maybe twice a day depending on how bad the flea infestation is). If they do end up getting fleas I'm pretty sure you should be able to treat them with Revolution or Advantage (I'd ask around just to be sure that using advantage on piggies is okay though, I know revolution is supposed to be safe).

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    I'll go with Ivermectin-based if the piggies do get infested. I think that's Revolution, although it's a pain to have to get it from the vet. I might see if the mobile vet will give me some when he comes to examine Mewsette without having to get the piggies examined. I'd like to give them a precautionary mite treatment anyway. I've wanted to ever since I got them since Amy is so touchy, but neither of them really scratches excessively so I haven't done it yet.

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    Cavy Slave Iklepink's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    I would keep an eye on them but as far as I am aware fleas are host specific.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner 2198lindsey's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    I was going to start almost this exact thread.

    Got a few foster rotties in and everybody's flea meds lapsed due to back order on comfortis and my pigs have been scratching so I was wondering if I could just treat with ivermectin just to be safe.

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    From what I read about Ivermectin, you can use it either topically or orally. I plan to go topical because that's so much easier. As a horse owner, I'm familiar with Ivermeticin for equine worming purposes, but it looks like you have to be very careful with the piggy dose.

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    Cavy Star, Photo Contest Winner 2198lindsey's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    I've wormed horses as I own minis and used to own biggies and they're a pain! I wish they made topical ivermectin for horses!

    But okay, cool. I drop by the feed store sometime soon.

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    Congrats on adopting a new cat! I'm also so glad that you are doing the right thing by treating her for the fleas. I was scared this would be another one of those posts where someone adopted/bought an animal and now refuses to treat them for various reasons. What a relief! When I took my animals on vacation a couple of years ago to Florida, they ended up with a serious case of fleas. This included 3 cats and one dog. I don't know how or why, but my guinea pigs never had a single flea and never had to be treated despite spending a lot of time around the cats and dog. Last year, the same thing happened again, despite the cats and dog being on a flea preventative. You know Florida, bug ridden! Anyways, again...the guinea pigs never had a single flea. I would recommend trying to keep them separate for a little while though just in case. Maybe you can do playtime in a different area. If you have no other choice, a bathtub can work for some out-of-cage play. More than anything, I would want to make sure the new kitty is improving and be sure its fleas. Do you have carpet? The fleas are far more likely to work their way around the house if you do so thats something else to consider. However, like I said, mine never got fleas so I wouldn't treat the pigs unless it was necessary. My cats even sleep with my pigs, groom them, etc so apparently fleas favor the bigger critters.

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    Cavy Slave mamattorney's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    One time when the vet found a flea on my dog (she is highly allergic to fleas, one flea sent her into such a scratching frenzy, I took her to the vet), she explained to me that fleas have a hierarchy of hosts that they prefer. Dogs, then cats, then people. I never asked about guinea pigs since all we had were cats and a dog at the time. Basically she was saying that if the fleas were going to leave the dog and go somewhere, they would first find their way to the cats, before they would desire to infest a person. Having four cats, I would presume that any fleas on the one cat would, if they left that cat, find their way to another cat before they would try to find their way onto a guinea pig.

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skippie View Post
    Congrats on adopting a new cat! I'm also so glad that you are doing the right thing by treating her for the fleas. I was scared this would be another one of those posts where someone adopted/bought an animal and now refuses to treat them for various reasons. What a relief
    Don't worry, that will never happen in my household. I spent an obnoxious amount of money on my guinea pig Borat after adopting him (he turned out to have a genetic problem), and any animal that comes into the house is a family member and gets treated as such.

    I got in touch directly with the rescue that pulled her from the shelter. Even though the original shelter's paperwork said her skin was clear, the rescue told me she was actually loaded with scabs from a severe flea infestation back then (December). She was picked up as a stray, and it's been a very warm winter here this year, so she had to be crawling with the buggers. Now I'm sure she still had some, or got reinfected at the store, so I'm glad I treated everyone. I won't put the girls in their floor time pen till the end of the week as a precaution.

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    Cavy Slave PrincessAngel's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    You might be interested in this website ( I know I am!). It discusses the use of nontoxic things to treat flea and other buggy infestations on dogs and cats Food grade diatomaceous earth for flea and tick treatment. . If you can get access to the DE you can dust it on your carpets and vacuum it up to kill off any flea larve/eggs that may be lurking.

    My dog has had fleas 2 times in the 5 years I've had him. Neither the cat nor piggies got the fleas (thank goodness!). My dog stays in my room most of the time which is where the pigs are as well. I only use natural things to prevent fleas/ticks because my dog has really bad reactions to the topical chemicals and I don't like the thought of putting chemicals on or in my baby.

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    Cavy Slave soopermum62's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    @mufasa, Did you treat the house also? If you don't your cats could reinfest rather quickly. You should treat the house at least 2 times, each about 10 days apart (flea eggs hatch in 7-14 day intervals I think). I have had several flea infestations with my dogs, and treating them, the house and the yard this way was the only way I got rid of the nasty Fleas. You should also treat the cats for Tapeworms and other intestinal worms. Fleas carry Tapeworms and if the cat ingests a flea that has tapeworms the cat will get tapeworms. Also with the missing hair I would put the new kitty under an ultraviolet light and look for patches that glow green. (Ringworm).

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    Cavy Star mufasa's Avatar
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    Re: How Easily do Guinea Pigs Get Fleas?

    That's good advice about the house. We don't have a lot of carpet, but I know they can take over any carpeting. When we brought our last cat into our home, he had fleas but we treated everyone quickly enough to prevent a house infestation. I 'm hoping that's the case here, but it might not hurt to use some Borax (worked for me before) or DE, which I've seen at the big home improvement stores.

    I checked for signs of ringworm, but I didn't even think about tapeworms. I'm glad you brought that up. I've had two cats with those in the past. Both must have gotten them from fleas, as they both had the worms when I adopted them. There's no indication the poor girl was wormed at all, so I'll have the vet check her when I have him out next week.

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