View Full Version : Itchy guinea pig - mites, reaction to new bedding..?

05-27-08, 06:37 pm
Hello, all! New member and new guinea pig owner here. I got my guinea pig from a friend about a month ago because she couldn't keep him anymore (and wasn't giving him enough attention, etc.) He's been fine up until a day or two ago, when I noticed him starting to scratch with his hind legs a lot. While I was giving him vegetables the other day he'd sit halfway up on his hind legs and shake himself and sit back down again. Cute, but I think he might've been trying to shake the itch away :(

Does he have mites, or could he just be reacting to the new bedding in his cage? He's had kiln-dried pine shavings up until around the time he started itching, when I switched to aspen. Should I switch him back to pine bedding to see what happens, get him to a vet..?

Hm, he seems alright now but he was definitely itching a lot earlier.. Thank you very much for any help!

05-28-08, 11:44 am
Have you checked him for lice yet? Could just have lice if there is no apparent hair loss. You can see the lice crawling on his fur if he does have them, and don't worry, you cant get it.

05-28-08, 12:48 pm
Mine all seem to have itches here and there - it seems like a cat or dog does, just some scratches (with their hind feet) from time to time. It doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary and if your piggy isn't going crazy or losing hair, it might just be normal behavior.

Do check him for lice, though. What you are describing doesn't sound like the all-out obsessive compulsive behavior you'd see with mites, for now anyway.

As for the bedding I wouldn't expect any problem with aspen, especially if he was coming from pine bedding.

05-28-08, 01:58 pm
It won't hurt to treat for mites even if he doesn't have them. If you do a topical (on the skin) mite treatment it will even take care of lice.

Guinea Lynx :: Mange Mites (http://www.guinealynx.info/mites.html)
Guinea Lynx :: Ivermectin Topical Treatment (http://www.guinealynx.info/ivermectin_topical.html)

Guinea Lynx :: Topic - Ivermectin usage ~ links and pictures included (http://www.guinealynx.info/forums/viewtopic.php?t=30325)

05-28-08, 02:44 pm
Thanks so much for the replies! He doesn't seem to be scratching nearly as much today and I didn't see any lice when I looked him over yesterday, but I'll be sure to check again.

05-28-08, 06:56 pm
If your piggie is any color but black it may be really difficult to see lice. I have three, two that are light colored and one that's mostly black. I never saw a single lice on the light piggies, but thankfully I caught them on the black one. I hadn't even realized they had lice until 2-3 weeks after I had gotten them. I was amazed at how little they scratched after treatment, because beforehand it didn't seem "obsessive", but I now realize they were scratching quite a bit.

05-29-08, 12:35 am
So...this may be a stupid question, but the stuff that says Ivermectin thats for injection is what you actually use topically on the guinea pigs? I've been going nuts searching everywhere for topical ivermectin so hopefully that is the case. I'd appreciate a response so I can finally get the right stuff ordered.

05-29-08, 10:19 am
Yep, GuineaAddict, 'injectible' ivermectin can be given topically. Just make sure it's 100% ivermectin with nothing else in it. You can post a link of what you want to order here and we can confirm it, if you like.

I prefer the liquid injectible kind to the paste, anyway. There's no diluting to do plus the stuff doesn't expire for years.