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Thread: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

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    URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    Hi everyone,
    I am new to the forum, just to be quick- I own four male guinea pigs, made up of two pairs of bonded brothers. Two are long haired and two are much younger and short haired. They have a fairly unique living situation I believe, we have an unfinished basement with a cement floor and they live down there in a large dog run (3X5). We used to use pine shavings for bedding but it was a nightmare to clean up so we have switched to fleece and puppy pads. Yesterday I went down to feed the herd breakfast and noticed what I thought was one scabbed over scratch on Pork Chop's bum (pork chop is one of the long haired pair). I assumed it was from fighting as marshmallow (short haired pair) had a small scratch near his eye. They normally don't fight so I assumed it was over pigloos, which I remedied by adding more hideouts for them. I went down today and was alarmed to pick him up and feel small scabs all over his bottom half. He was quite agitated when I was examining them (whistling, sighing and shaking and shivering) and they look like this....Click image for larger version. 

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    I am of course very concerned but I don't have extra money to just take him into the vet sadly. What is going on?

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    There are two possibilities.

    One is that his cage mate is terrorizing him, and the other is mites. Do you notice him trying to bite/scratch at those areas at all?

    Where exactly on him are these scabs? Are they right on his backside, or more on his flanks/back?

    I'd recommend taking all the pigloos out and either throwing them away or cutting another hole in them. All hideys in guinea pig cages should have at least two doors so that a pig can never get trapped by another.

    We may be able to figure this out here, but you need to address the issue of affording vets. These guys are totally dependent on you for everything about their care, and medical care is just as much a part of responsible pet ownership as food and housing. What will you do if one gets really sick? Or develops a bladder stone, which is VERY painful, and has to have surgery? You need to start a vet fund now, and add to it regularly until you've got several hundred dollars in it. Anything less is unfair to your pigs.

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    Unhappy Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    There are two possibilities.

    One is that his cage mate is terrorizing him, and the other is mites. Do you notice him trying to bite/scratch at those areas at all?

    Where exactly on him are these scabs? Are they right on his backside, or more on his flanks/back?

    I'd recommend taking all the pigloos out and either throwing them away or cutting another hole in them. All hideys in guinea pig cages should have at least two doors so that a pig can never get trapped by another.

    We may be able to figure this out here, but you need to address the issue of affording vets. These guys are totally dependent on you for everything about their care, and medical care is just as much a part of responsible pet ownership as food and housing. What will you do if one gets really sick? Or develops a bladder stone, which is VERY painful, and has to have surgery? You need to start a vet fund now, and add to it regularly until you've got several hundred dollars in it. Anything less is unfair to your pigs.
    Hi B,
    thank you for the quick reply, I am so concerned and had no idea what to do so I am very relieved that someone can offer advice.
    The scabs are on his flanks and his back and his bottom...They start mid back and stretch all the way to his bum. Which is why I am panicking!

    I will definitely do what you recommend with the pigloos, I had never thought of that. From what I can see there is a power struggle in the herd, my younger boys have gotten as big as the older ones and they are teeth chattering and rumbling trying to decide who is boss. If that is what is causing the scabs, how do I stop it? I don't want to separate pork chop from his herd as when I have had him in a smaller cage (when I first got him, he was in one cage and his brother was in another) he sat there quiet, never moving, obviously depressed.

    I'll include a pic of their cage configuration, the pic is from when we used shavings but now we use fleece. And a picture of pork chop (when he was healthy, with long hair) with my younger boy marshmallow.

    -Maybe I should put in a temporary barrier? to separate the two pairs? Just until they calm down and figure out the dominance issue...

    -Second question is how do I treat these wounds if they are wounds and not mites? should I give him a bath and lavage the wounds with salt water? and maybe put some polysporin/antibiotic cream on? I am concerned that in the environment of a large cage with four pigs pooping and peeing on their bedding that he is going to get an infection.

    He is clearly in pain as when I pet him he whistles and shakes. Which just kills me.

    I completely agree with the vet fund as necessary. I am realizing now that they need me to be saving money in case anything like this happens and it needs antibiotics or surgery. I would never forgive myself if one of them died because of lack of money for the vet. I am going to be setting up a savings jar and making a fund for all my pigs.
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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    If the wounds are on the flanks and the butt, they're almost certainly mites. I'd treat ASAP: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...mites-and-lice. If he's really that miserable and you can scrape up the money for it, a vet could give him an ivermectin and steroid injection which would attack both the mites and the itching much quicker.

    That cage really isn't quite big enough for four boars. I'd try to figure a way to enlarge it. And dividing it in half won't work, as half is definitely too small for two pigs.

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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    Is this cage size adequate for them? I still notice pork chop going off into a corner and just sitting there so clearly he is really not feeling well. I am going to call around and see how much it might cost to get that shot for him.Click image for larger version. 

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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    Yes, that's plenty big!

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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    Yes, that's plenty big!
    Yes that is the great thing about using an expandable dog run on cement floor, you can make it anywhere from 4X4, all the way to huge! We love it and it is such a good set up.

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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    Update: I picked up Oral Ivermectin paste from a tack shop here in Edmonton and I held pork chop while Dylan forced him to eat a pea sized amount. It was horrible and pork chop was whistling and screaming louder than I have ever heard him scream before, but we got it in him. It broke my heart. Then we administered it to the rest of our herd on pieces of apple. The next morning I went downstairs to feed them and found pork chop lying on his back still under a pigloo...My heart stopped thinking he was dead but I picked him up and found him even worse for the wear. Turns out it wasn't mites, his herd is terrorizing him. SO we got him into the sink, washed him with antibacterial soap, dried him off and cut off all the fur around his bottom half. He was what looks like tooth puncture wounds everywhere...antibiotics were applied topically and we put him in quarantine to monitor him. We also found he had been feeling so ill that he had feces stuck inside his bottom, which we cleaned out with a q-tip. My poor guy rested the night in isolation with plenty of water with antibiotics inside and lots of food, plus soft bedding. This morning he looks much better from yesterday and is more bright eyed. I assume for the past week his fellow pigs have not been letting him get much rest...so that's helping. His wounds look less red and inflamed today as well. We are going to keep him in isolation for a week to ensure that his wounds heal and he gets plenty of rest, water and food. Its also much easier to keep him clean when he is alone in the cage, without the others poop. I will post a picture of his wounds when we go down to clean them today.

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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    FYI, you can rub oral ivermectin on the skin. It's much easier, and there's far less danger of giving him an overdose.

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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    Hi there
    Update: he was doing well for about a week but I went into his cage this morning to find him very sluggish and quiet. He hadn't eaten his Apple or carrot, or drank anymore water....which is very odd for him. I brought him out and he just flopped.... I found he had poop stuck on his feet and in his anus so I cleaned him up and bathed him. I notice his poops are quite soft as well...normally When I put him in the bath, he screams,but this time he just let out a weak whine. I gave him ivermectin last week and I have been treating his wounds with antibiotics, and they are healing, so I'm not sure why he seems to be doing so poorly. Help!

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    Re: URGENT! What is wrong with my poor pig?

    A pig that's not eating or drinking and that has changes in poops needs a vet.

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