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Thread: How to treat for mites and lice?

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    Cavy Slave Nikkipig's Avatar
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    How to treat for mites and lice?

    Well, I'm almost positive my pigs have mites. They're both scratching and biting at themselves frequently. Nikki's become very sensitive to touch and either shrieks or tries to nip when I touch her. I know I need to get Ivermectin, but I'm not sure where to buy it, or if there's a certain kind I need. Can someone please provide me with a link to the right product? Also, how frequently do I need to apply it, and how much at a time?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    I'll make this a sticky about treating for mites.

    See below for how to tell if your pig has mites.

    Don't bathe a pig that you suspect has mites. The water drives the mites crazy, and the mites drive the pig crazy.

    Pigs over 350 grams can be treated with ivermectin. Pups who weigh less than that can take kitten Revolution, which requires a prescription from a vet in some countries (including the U.S.) but not others.

    This is the easiest stuff to use: http://www.amazon.com/Ivermectin-Pou...AAW/ref=sr_1_3. (In case this link breaks, it's Durvet Ivermectin Pour-On for Cattle, with 5 mg/ml of ivermectin.) It's the easiest to measure, and the hardest to overdose a pig with.

    You need to know how much the pig weighs, in grams.

    This is the dosing chart and the instructions for applying the ivermectin: http://www.guinealynx.info/topical_i...n_pour-on.html.

    More information is available at http://www.guinealynx.info/search_ivermectin.html and http://www.guinealynx.info/search_mites.html.

    How to know if your pig has mites:

    You can't see them on the pig. They're very tiny, and they burrow under the skin. There is no test that will diagnose them for certain, not even a skin scraping. Those are painful for the pig, expensive for you, miss the mites half the time, and the end result is the same as if you hadn't tested: treat for mites.

    If your pig is insistently scratching and you can't see any bugs crawling on it, and there are no lice nits stuck to the hair, it's probably mites. The GL links show some pictures of typical hair loss with mites.

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    Cavy Slave Nikkipig's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    @bpatters
    One of Callie's ears has turned bright red, and it's hot to the touch. Is that a sign of mites that should go away once she's been treated, or should I be worried it's something else? It's been like this for 2-3 days now.

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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Pigs help regulate their body temperatures through their ears, so they'll be redder at some times than others. And they can be red because of scratching.

    How long has it been this way? Does it appear painful at all? Does she scratch that ear more than the other?

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    Cavy Slave Nikkipig's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    It's only one ear, and not the other. It's been this way consistently for 2 or 3 days. I thought it would go away on its own, but it hasn't yet. It doesn't seem to be painful and I don't think she's scratching it more than the other one.
    Here is the best picture I could get of it (she's squirmy).

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    That is a little weird. Can you feel any lumps/bumps in it any where?

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    Cavy Slave Nikkipig's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    No lumps or anything on or in it. I did notice that when I first put her and Nikki together, Nikki tried nibbling on one of her ears (I don't remember which one). She squeaked like it hurt, and Nikki left her alone immediately. It was just a quick nibble and she didn't leave a mark or anything on her ear, but could that be a possible cause? That was eight days ago, though, and it just turned red recently.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    The nibble shouldn't be the problem unless there's signs of infection close to it -- swelling, heat, pus, pain. Redness can be a sign of infection, but almost always with one of the others present.

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    Cavy Slave Nikkipig's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Okay. Thanks. So should I just keep an eye on it and see if the redness goes away?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    I would. But if it gets any worse, or it goes on for more than couple of days, I'd see a vet.

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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    One of my pigs had really bad mites when I got him, most of the fur on his back fell out. I treated him with ivermectin, and it worked so well in no time at all. However, he is still sensitive to the touch till this day. (He had mites over 3 years ago). So I hope that is not the case for your pigs.

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    Cavy Slave Nikkipig's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by Comely Guineas View Post
    One of my pigs had really bad mites when I got him, most of the fur on his back fell out. I treated him with ivermectin, and it worked so well in no time at all. However, he is still sensitive to the touch till this day. (He had mites over 3 years ago). So I hope that is not the case for your pigs.
    I'm really sorry to hear that. Hopefully Callie will be fine.

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    Cavy Slave Nikkipig's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Good news! Her ear is back to normal. :)

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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    My George is exhibiting symptoms of mites.
    Unfortunately, and unknown to me until today, my trusted exotics vet has moved out of the state.
    So, I am feeling a little overwhelmed.

    I am typing this from work and do not have pics but I am thinking it is mites from the info I have read here and on GuineaLynx.

    He has several spots on his sites where he has lost hair. I was told by the person who had been taking care of the pigs while I have been out of town with my mom and a family emergency, that George had been scratching a lot and shaking his head from side to side. I found out after I got back into town that the person had given him a "bum" bath by sitting him in a shallow pan of water to his hips. From what I read above, that only made things worse.

    So, here are my questions.
    * I have an appointment with a vet on Friday. A vet with the same clinic as my previous vet and has experience with guinea pigs, but according to them, they would not refer to her as an "exotics" vet. I AM NOT HAPPY ABOUT THAT.
    They have already told me that they would be doing a skin scraping. I read above that this is painful and expensive and I am not interested in either for George or myself. But if I am not 100% sure that is what is wrong with him, should I go ahead and do it?
    * I have 4 pigs. The girls are in a cage together and George and Patch are separated as well. The boys are separated by grids and can physically touch. The girls are in a cage adjacent to George and are separated a wall of 2 layers of fleece. Should I get all of them treated? Is there harm in treating pigs that do not actually have the mites?
    *If I end up going to the vet, are there any meds that could be given that I should be on alert for because they are not safe? I have not problem telling the vet that I have been told ivermectin is the best treatment, but I don't want to end up with something that would be harmful to any of them.
    *Would it be advisable to get George checked out, get meds from vet and then treat the rest at home?
    * What all should I do to clean their cages before, during and after treatment? they are all on fleece in coroplast cages.
    * If I have washed bedding in hot water and vinegar, would that kill any infestation/eggs?

    Thanks in advance for your assistance!

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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    I wouldn't take them to the vet for mites, and I certainly wouldn't allow a skin scraping.

    There's a sticky in the Medical forum here on how to treat mites yourself: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...reat-for-mites. Treat them all. Don't do anything different with the bedding than you usually do.

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    Cavy Star Kim37040's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Ok. I have ordered the ivermectin

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    I will cancel the vet appointment. I definitely do not want to do anything to cause George any distress.

    I am more than a little nervous about administering something at home that could potentially harm my pigs if I measure incorrectly.

    I will definitely have to seek out someone to double check my work before I actually administer the treatment.

    Thanks for the input and assistance.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    It's not that hard. The ivermectin comes with a dropper, and you can actually just put a drop behind each ear of each pig and rub in well.

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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    It's not that hard. The ivermectin comes with a dropper, and you can actually just put a drop behind each ear of each pig and rub in well.
    Based on my knowledge, I would use two drops if the cavy is an adult. Literally put two drops.....no more.... behind each ear on the bald spot. Then fold the ear back and rub it in. Do three treatments, one each week for three weeks, and then evaluate after that. Occasionally a cavy needs to be treated for more than one course of treatment.

    The Ivermectin that you would need to be concerned with is the paste in a tube where the entire tube would be used to treat a horse! I found the mathematics so imprecise that in spite of a tube being just $7, I refused to use it on my cavies.

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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Update - George seems to be doing a lot better. He is more lively and does not spend as much time in his hidey.
    Not scratching like he was before and his hair is growing back in.

    Other 3 pigs are doing well too. after first treatment they were scratching like crazy, but all is well now.

    Thanks for all the input

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    Re: How to treat for mites?

    Hello i'm not sure if this is the right place to post. But I am new here and as well as new to guinea pig owning! (Well I don't own one yet but I REALLY want too) My problem is Im afraid of owning one due to all i read about is mite mites MITES! From hay from people from animals from stress etc. And lice. I don't quite understand any of that and I am trying to research and etc. It makes people who really want to adopt a piggy , NOT adopt a piggy. Is mites a common thing like it's normal and they all have it and all will get it? It makes it sound intense . But i see so many people have piggies so i'm confused. I don't want to bring lice or mites into my home. I do have other pets (healthy) and a toddler (healthy) <-- and no she won't handle the piggy it will be my fur baby not hers. please any information that can ease my mind where i can open my doors to adoption of a piggy. :)

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