View Full Version : Mites Yikes... My pigs have mites!!

12-15-14, 11:47 pm
Not too long ago I took 1 of my 5 pigs to the vet for a bad fungal infection. I was sure that 3 of the others had it too, but I took the one that had more visible skin issues. Anyways, the vet was great, she gave me enough meds to treat all of them and a special shampoo to bathe them in. She even told me to treat the 1 that I was sure didn't have it because he was in a completely different cage just to be on the safe side.

So after finally getting the fungus under control and gone they were good for like 4-5 weeks. Then all of a sudden they started itching like crazy and I thought "oh God, the fungus is back", but when I gave each of them a thorough inspection 4 of them had no signs of fungus or anything else other than their itching. Upon inspecting my 5th pig Opie he had lots of hair loss on his right back leg and on his side along with several spots that had began to scab over due to his severe itching. I also notice that he wasn't eating his pellets and hay as much as he used to and he was acting kinda spaced out, poor little fella. I noticed all of this over a few days and immediately contacted my vet to make an appointment, but due to this busy time of the year I couldn't get one right away I had to wait like 2 or 3 days. This really put me in a panic mode because of how fast Opie went from being this happy, active, popcorning, hay loving nut to this lethargic, spaced out, itchy piggy. I was so scared something would happen to him before he could be seen, but luckily my vet called me and said she had an opening for the next day because someone canceled.

So I took him in and she confirmed he did have mites and gave me ivermectin to treat him along with enough to treat my other 4 pigs. Just in case I bought my own bottle of ivermectin to use if I needed mor and for future use. She said in the next days I will notice them getting itchier and to watch them to make sure they don't cause self mutilation from sever scratching, if I do notice that or think they need something for the itching to bring him back in and she will give him something to control it. I was wondering if I could just give my pigs Benadryl for the itching, and if so how would I calculate the dose for that. If I can give them that I think it would be better than taking him back in, not to mention the difficulty of getting an appointment for him in a reasonable time.

12-16-14, 03:39 am
Mites can be treated at home. No need for a vet visit. I hope she didn't do a skin scraping. Those are painful for the pig and often inconclusive.

The ivermectin should work on the mites and in turn reduce the itching. No need to take them to another needless vet appointment.

12-16-14, 09:31 am
Some guinea pigs do need additional meds to stop the itching, especially those that keep mutilating themselves over and over again. I don't believe that benedryl will help in this case, but steroids work.

Sometimes the scabbed areas will itch when healing, so I've had luck softening the area with cold pressed coconut oil. Some pigs need to be bandaged to stop them from wounding themselves. Keeping their nails trimmed helps.

12-16-14, 04:00 pm
Thanks for the information. I have been keeping a close eye on them to make sure they don't self mutilate, and so far they are doing great. I was just wondering if there was something I could give them at home to releave the itching, I know it has to be miserable and if I were them I'd want some relief. I will try the coconut oil to soften their scabs to help them out with that.

The vet didn't do a skin scraping, she looked at him and could immediately tell he had mites. The hair loss and scratching were of course big indicators and upon further examining him and his scabby spots she knew. I would have just treated all of them at home myself rather than take them to the vet, but my pig Opie looked the worst and he wasn't eating as much and was very lethargic and it really worried me, especially how fast he went downhill. I just wanted to make sure that he didn't have anything else going on besides the mites. I was worried that maybe he had some kind of infection or something, so that's why I took him.

Thanks is for the advice and help, I'm not gonna give them anything for the itching unless it gets worse, then I'll call my vet, she said I could call her and she would give me something to give to them for the itching without having to bring them back in.