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Thread: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

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    Cavy Slave
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    Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Hello dear forum people,

    The subject of this thread is a female Guinea pig at the age of 3. She lives with her mother, almost 4 years old. Since now they have not had any medical problems. They live with us at home, but sometimes we leave them at a different house for some days when we are travelling.

    The last time we got them at home we noticed that there was quite a lot of hair lost around the eyes of the younger guinea pig, and also the eyes were watery. The mother looks completely fine.

    We went to the vet clinic for her eyes to be checked and they prescribed eye drops with corticosteroids, which to be applied 4 times a day for a week.

    4 days later the eye area looks the same, but a big patch of hair on the side of her body is lost (see attachment). At a second visit to another clinic, today, the vet gave her anti-inflammatory injection and decided to stop applying the eye drops. Tomorrow we are going to the vet again.

    It doesn't seem to be a noticeable appearance of mites or any other similar conditions. The guinea pig also seems to have normal appetite and behaviour.

    The only changes during that one week when they were at a different home are quite insignificant, apart from a crunch stick we placed at the cage, but removed immediately after noticing the eye problem.

    I would be happy for any kind of opinions and will happily answer additional questions!

    Greetings!
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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    I do have a few questions.

    What is her diet like? What is she fed, how often, how much?
    Has she been scratching?
    Is the skin underneath the patches with fur loss healthy, or is if flaky/red? When the fur comes out is there anything attached to the fur?
    Has she otherwise been behaving normally?

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    Cavy Slave
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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Hello, thanks for replying!

    They both receive one brand of musli ever since, and hay, both of which several times a day and every time when there is no food left. Also we give them different kinds of veggies, like carrots, parsley, dill and occasionally apple etc. Vegetables almost everyday, usually 1 to 3 times a day, but usually one kind of vegetable per day.

    We have not noticed her to scratch more than usual, though this may be true too.

    The skin underneath looks normal. There are short hairs there, but I don't know if they are there usually or grow back now.

    Also i cannot say if anything comes out with the fur, but more like not.

    Behaviour is normal. They have their usual teeth chattering from time to time and they get aggressive every other week, bit this has been the norm ever since.

    Next to the cage there is the couch, which is like a platform for them, which they can jump on and rest there, but for the past days they don't jump on it, which may be considered abnormal, but since they've been at another house for a week this may be the cause.

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    Cavy Slave Soecara's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    The first thing that comes to mind that I can't rule out from your responses would be a nutritional deficiency like scurvy. I can't see a good source of vitamin C listed in what you feed. Here is a page with some more information about scurvy https://www.guinealynx.info/scurvy.html

    Other options for possible causes are fungal/bacterial skin infections, but if the skin underneath looks healthy these are less likely. She could also be self barbering her sides, which can sometimes be related to pain, but that would only explain hair-loss on the body not the face.

    The aggression towards each, as it happens every other week, is likely linked with their heat cycles.

    On an unrelated side note feeding muesli type feed to guinea pigs is not good, it often contains too much fat and calcium, not enough fiber, and contain items that pose a choking hazard (like seeds). Guinea pigs should be fed a good plain pellet, good pellets will include vitamin C (a good brand available almost worldwide is Oxbow).

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    It also wouldn't hurt to bathe her with an antifungal shampoo. Do so every other day for several days and see if that makes any difference.

    See http://www.guinealynx.info/fungus.html for appropriate shampoos.

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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Appreciating the info!

    We'll try to feed them with a greater variety of vegetables. Because they've eaten this musli for so long maybe it's not a good idea to cut it off completely, but half of their meal we'll replace with pellets.

    Sadly we do not have exotic vets in our town, but this forum also helps!

    After the second visit to the vet they gave her another antibiotic injection just to be sure, which may have been very well unneeded, but I hope this wouldn't have a negative impact on the health.
    Also they adviced us to put liquid antibiotic solution, for some days, and liquid vitamin solution to their water, which they have supplied us with.

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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Thanks for replying!

    This may be a good suggestion, yes. If there is no improvement on her condition in the next days we'll do it.

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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Don't get it in her eyes. If it helps the rest of her skin, you may have to get antifungal ophthalmic drops for her eye.

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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by discoverymen View Post
    they adviced us to put liquid antibiotic solution, for some days, and liquid vitamin solution to their water, which they have supplied us with.
    Never ever add liquid vitamins to your cavy's drinking water! It often makes the water taste bad and they won't drink it.......which can lead to other problems. You can administer the recommended dose by mixing it with a little water or unflavored Pedialyte and syringe it. That way you know that she actually ingests it.

    As an aside, all my cavies have LOVED unflavored pedialyte. The generic form is perfectly fine and generally much cheaper. The flavored type is just nasty-tasting and they generally won't drink it. My boy has CHF and has to take a medication that must be ground up, mixed with a liquid, and administered. Because it is mixed with pedialyte, he loves his med time.

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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Hello. Thanks for the advice!
    Actually after seeing that they don't drink this water we just stopped putting it, because indeed they don't drink it. We'll try to find an alternative to the "Pedialyte" brand product and try!

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    Re: Guinea pig loosing hair on one side of body and around eyes; watery eyes

    Quote Originally Posted by discoverymen View Post
    We'll try to find an alternative to the "Pedialyte" brand product and try!
    Are you perhaps not in the US? Pedialyte is the brand name for an electrolyte replacement fluid generally given to infants and young children who have been experiencing diarrhea and perhaps may be dehydrated. Of course, it can be used in a similar situation with adults as well.

    As an aside, when the migrants from South America were making their way to the US border, they had to cross a desert-like area where they often became dehydrated. They began carrying pedialyte because it was more effective in keeping them functioning vs. plain water.

    I suggest that you don't even consider buying the flavored variety. I once bought it by mistake.......and neither my cavies nor I would drink it!

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