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Thread: Bronny and Elroy: probable mites, and side-questions

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    Cavy Slave
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    Question Bronny and Elroy: probable mites, and side-questions

    First, my apologies for being so quiet on the forum. I have been around for three years plus, and always enjoy my visits, though I realize I don't participate much. The knowledge on this forum is always so very helpful, and I have become a much better piggy parent thanks to all of you.

    Second, I have read (and read and read) through every bit of information on the forum, as well as linked protocols, treatment charts for Ivermectin by weight, etc, and my boys are starting the recommended protocol as soon as the Ivermectin (the product most often recommended here) arrives (today or Monday, according to shipping; unfortunately it wasn't available as a Prime item).

    Background: for the past couple of weeks, my two boars (a Coronet and a Teddy) have been itching. The Coronet, Bronny, seems to be just itchy. He has no lesions or bald spots. But Elroy the Teddy, the younger of the two, is scratching himself raw in a couple of spots. He has several small sores on his back where he bit and scratched at himself. They had been doing better, but overnight he pulled one of the scabs off, and it is looking raw again (I almost cried). They are both such sweethearts, and it's breaking my heart to see them uncomfortable.

    No lice are found, no bugs can be seen, so I'm treating for mites on the itching alone. They were fine till very recently, and that is what baffles me. Nothing has changed in their lives, and in all other ways they seem perfectly fine. Happy, playing, popcorning, eating and drinking well, poop and pee all normal, no weight loss.... They just itch. Poor guys.

    My main question ... does anyone know if it's possible for guinea pigs to contract mites from either birds or squirrels/chipmunks? The only thing that has changed was that instead of putting their fleece pads (which I make myself) in the dryer, I started hanging them outside on nice days, and there are critters out there.

    They are on fleece pads, no shavings at all, so the buggies couldn't have been introduced in shavings. I use Oxbow bagged hay, so it's extremely unlikely that they came in via hay. I only have the two pigs, they live happily together (bonded besties), and there has been no chance of exposure to other pigs. I am totally baffled as to how they were absolutely fine one day and itching the next.

    My other questions have to do with cage "furniture" and bedding. They have wooden tunnels ("log bridge" toys that are bent into hideouts) and one of the fake tree-stumps in the cage. Is it safe to just keep their favorites in there, or should I replace them once the Ivermectin treatment is done (or before then)? Can the pig furniture harbor the mites and reinfect them?

    Also, I normally wash their pig pads (which basically get a full change every other day; I'm a bit fanatical about a clean cage, LOL) in cold water and dry them on cold/air-only, to make sure odors don't set in. Should I be washing and/or drying on hot to kill mites now?

    Thanks for any input you have on the subject. And thank you all again for the vast amount of knowledge on the forum.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bronny and Elroy: probable mites, and side-questions

    You should definitely be washing in hot water and drying with heat.

    As for the mites, every living thing in the world has them -- you, me, your guinea pigs, snakes, elephants, whatever. We're covered in them. They live in the hair follicles of anything that has hair, and the typical human body can have more than a million of them.

    Sometimes, maybe because of a slight dip in immune system function, or some other combination of favorable circumstances, they multiply and drive the host crazy. But you don't have to do anything except clean the cage normally.

  3. #3
    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Bronny and Elroy: probable mites, and side-questions

    Thanks, so much bpatters. I'll switch to hot wash/dry with the next batch. Just got the notice that the Ivermectin is out for delivery, too.

    I appreciate the help here so much! Elroy and Bronny do, too. :-)

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Bronny and Elroy: probable mites, and side-questions

    Bronny and Elroy have had their first dose of Ivermectin, according to the instructions given here on the forum. I'm hoping for the best, and very thankful for all the good advice here.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Bronny and Elroy: probable mites, and side-questions

    Good! They may itch a little more than usual for a day or two, but it should calm down pretty quickly.

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    Re: Bronny and Elroy: probable mites, and side-questions

    Thanks so much. :-) Still itching about the same today, maybe slightly more, but I have seen on the forum that's normal during treatment.

    Love my little guys so much.

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