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BlueBadger
09-12-17, 12:54 am
I noticed tonight that what the vet noted a week ago as dry skin has become a completely crusty ear -- also with some minor cuts and scabbing. The inside is the worst, but part of the outer ear is also crusty too.

Does this look like a fungal infection, or more like mites? Both of our piggies seemed to start scratching a few days before their checkup, but the vet chalked it up to likely just dry skin from their poor diet before we got them and put them on Oxbow. For what it's worth, she did seem very conscientious and thorough in examining them for lice/mites/etc (even checking a sample under microscope) but could it have been too early to tell?

I'm currently 12 hours from home awaiting the all clear to return after hurricane Irma, so I have no idea when I could get them back to a vet. I also have limited internet access to do much research at the moment, but I'd like to help this poor girl if I can before she scratches herself up any worse. I'm concerned that the stress of this evacuation is exacerbating things.

Would something like Neosporin be okay to at least soothe her scratches for now? Or should I try to find some antifungal cream asap? I'd hate for it to spread and cause either of them more discomfort.83472

Soecara
09-12-17, 07:57 am
It looks fungal to me. Don't put Neosporin on it, antibacterial creams can make fungal infections worse and can cause them to spread faster. It would be best if you can get your hands on some anti-fungal cream (with either Miconazole or Clotrimazole as the active ingredient), which you would apply sparingly and rub it in very well (you don't want her to be able to get any on her paws then ingest it) twice a day every day.

bpatters
09-12-17, 08:50 am
Nystatin and Lotrimin are both OTC antifungals available at any pharmacy.

Just apply with a q-tip and rub in well, and wash your hands after handling her. Most fungi are not picky about what kind of creature they inhabit.

BlueBadger
09-12-17, 10:11 am
It looks fungal to me. Don't put Neosporin on it, antibacterial creams can make fungal infections worse and can cause them to spread faster. It would be best if you can get your hands on some anti-fungal cream (with either Miconazole or Clotrimazole as the active ingredient), which you would apply sparingly and rub it in very well (you don't want her to be able to get any on her paws then ingest it) twice a day every day.Yes, that's what I was concerned about with using antibacterial cream.




Is one of the OTC anti-fungal creams preferable, or would either one work about the same?

Thank you both!

bpatters
09-12-17, 10:41 am
Either, If I'd had a preference, that's the one I'd have recommended.

BlueBadger
09-14-17, 07:54 pm
Third day of applying a bit of Lotrimin twice daily, but it looks like it may be worsening or spreading. Crustiness looks about the same, she's cut and scratched her ear more than before and now it appears that she may have developed an abnormal bald spot behind that same ear. It's hard to tell or compare though because some of the skin behind her other ear is black, possibly creating an illusion of having a smaller bald spot. Also wondered if it's normal but just more noticeable because the cream applied to her outer ear made her fur a bit greasy and slicked it out of the way. But the patch does look circular and as though it has a slightly red/raised border, making me think it might be ringworm.

Is it normal to get worse before it gets better, and I should just continue with the same anti-fungal cream? Or do I need to do something differently? (If it makes a difference, I did opt for store brand as they have the same active ingredient.)83498

bpatters
09-14-17, 08:44 pm
Ringworm is a fungus, so an antifungal cream should work on it. You could give it another day or so and see if it gets better, but if you think it's no better, you might as well try something else.

If she's scratching at it, it's probably not bacterial. So I'd suggest treating her for mites. See https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/111160-How-to-treat-for-mites-and-lice

jaycriae
09-15-17, 01:20 am
The cuts are probably why it isn't getting better, if it's ringworm. Ringworm is by far most infectious when there's scrapes or cuts for it to get into. If her nails are sharp I'd try filing them down so she can't scratch as well.


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BlueBadger
09-16-17, 10:47 pm
She oddly only has scratches inside her ear. Not at all on the outside or behind it. But I'll still try filing her nails.

Her ear seems less crusty now, but she's still scratching at it a lot. The patch behind her ear seems to be getting worse though. Would the cream agitate mites, or could she possibly have both fungal and bacterial infections?

Given the general itchiness, mites do sound likely, so I've ordered some ivermectin. But her bald spot doesn't look like the pictures of mite balding I've come across. Those either look scaly or just like harmless bald spots -- but hers looks clean with a red, raised perimeter.

Would I still apply ivermectin behind her ears even though her skin is irritated behind one of them? And should I continue with the antifungal cream for now? Hard to tell if maybe the cream has just moistened the skin to make it look less flaky instead of actually healing it.

bpatters
09-16-17, 10:58 pm
She may have ear mites if she's scratching the inside of her ear. And mites don't always cause balding -- it has to be a pretty bad infestation for the pig to lose much hair.

A round spot with a raised perimeter is probably ringworm.

I'd apply the ivermectin behind the other ear. Put half of it on, fold the ear over and rub it in, and wait until it dries to apply the rest.

BlueBadger
09-17-17, 10:53 pm
She may have ear mites if she's scratching the inside of her ear. And mites don't always cause balding -- it has to be a pretty bad infestation for the pig to lose much hair.

A round spot with a raised perimeter is probably ringworm.

I'd apply the ivermectin behind the other ear. Put half of it on, fold the ear over and rub it in, and wait until it dries to apply the rest.Thank you, I'll do that. The ivermectin should arrive in another day or two.

I'm stumped about that patch that seems like ringworm. As of today it's also begun to look red and scaly right behind her ear (where her normal bald spot would be), so that area seems to be getting visibly worse even with the antifungal cream twice a day. Do I maybe need to switch to a different or stronger antifungal?

bpatters
09-17-17, 11:00 pm
If it's not improving with the antifungal cream, it may be bacterial. You've been doing this several days now with no improvement, so switch to a triple antibiotic cream, available at any pharmacy. Apply it twice a day with a q-tip, being very careful to rub it in well.

We start with antifungals because antibiotics can make a fungal infection worse, whereas an antifungal may not help a bacterial infection, but it won't cause it to get worse. Since this one hasn't improved, that suggests it's not a fungus.

Unfortunately, there's no easy way to tell the difference between a fungal lesion and a bacterial one, even with a skin scraping. It's just a matter of trying one first and hoping it works, and trying the other if it doesn't. But I'd treat for the mites anyway. It won't hurt, and may help. Four treatments, seven days apart, to hit all the life cycle of the mites.

BlueBadger
09-17-17, 11:12 pm
Is it possible that inside her ear is a fungal infection, but outside is bacterial? The inside of her ear appears to have improved greatly after using the antifungal cream and her skin looks almost normal again, but she does still have the cut there that's seeming slow to heal.

I'll certainly still treat for mites either way, though, as both pigs seem a bit itchy.

bpatters
09-17-17, 11:16 pm
Could be. It wouldnt't hurt to treat the two spots differently.

jaycriae
09-19-17, 02:02 am
I still think it's probably just stubborn ringworm. That stuff can really hard to get rid of, and your description matches. I have a patch of ringworm the size of my pinkie fingernail on the back of my head that's been there over a year. And that's with prescription-strength antifungals, showers, and my human knowledge not to scratch. The stuff is tough.


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BlueBadger
09-22-17, 08:18 am
When should I expect to see improvement after giving them ivermectin? I gave them each .05 cc of the Durvet pour-on, per the Guinea Lynx dosage chart for 500-600 grams. This was three days ago and there hasn't seemed to be any change in scratching and biting at their sides.

They're also both shaking their heads like a wet dog, so ear mites sound likely. I've also noticed debris coming from her ear when I apply antifungal cream that I first assumed was just flakes of her black skin. From what I'm reading, ivermectin is still the treatment, but would I need to actually put it in their ears too instead of just behind them?

As for the irritation behind the ear, her entire bald patch is now pretty uniformly red and just looks... raw with a bit of scaly looking buildup. Still ringworm? Even applying it sparingly and rubbing it in as best as I can, I'm wondering if the greasy antifungal cream has just been leaving her skin moist and caused it to become raw like that. :( I only applied antibacterial cream once (before I saw jaycriae's post that I might as well try the antifungal a bit longer), so I don't know if the change is coincidence or not.

bpatters
09-22-17, 10:19 am
If they're shaking their heads, ear mites are very likely, and the spot on the back of the ear is probably due to scratching.

Actually, at this point, I'd probably just take them to the vet. The ears will need to be cleaned before applying a treatment, and the vet can show you how to safely do that. Most over-the-counter treatments contain pyrethrins in a preparation that's too strong for guinea pigs, although not for cats.