Results 1 to 15 of 15

Thread: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

  1. #1
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Hi guys,

    I apologize in advance for the length and greatly appreciate your commitment.

    I lost my sweet pig Stella about two weeks ago, and it was a sudden death. Of course, I have played everything over in my head and found things to dwell on/things I feel like I should have got checked out but didn't, etc. I recognize a lot of these feelings come with grief -- and that is not why I'm here with this post today! Rather, I noticed with Stella that for several weeks leading up to her death she had very sensitive ears. She was normally a very skittish pig and was only just coming around to being petted and loved on the last 6 months of her being with me, so I wasn't certain the ear behavior was a condition, more of an annoyance and retreat into her skittish ways. She started shaking her head every time I petted her. Her appetite was wonderful and she was pretty normal otherwise than becoming a little more picky with her bell peppers and her weight fluctuated a little but did regain. I did also notice at one point she had some crusty nipples, but after bathing her everything seemed to be okay. No hair loss or other obvious signs of cysts, etc. So I just kept an eye on her. But after she passed, I looked at her ears some more and found a little bit of crust on her ears and thereafter wondered if she actually did have an ear infection that was really slow to show any signs other than the head shaking, until it was too late.

    Fast forward to now, her cagemate, Opal, is now displaying sensitive ears and is similarly shaking her head whenever I go to pet her. I've had her since she was a baby and she is very used to being pet on the head frequently, and is not a jumpy pig. I have noticed scratching around the ears too, and what I thought to be some flakiness and redness. Freaked out, I immediately took her to the vet. To my surprise, the vet said her ears are totally fine, no apparent crust, discoloration, etc. - she also could not detect any sign of parasites. Opal recently started squinting her right eye too. So the vet examined the eye found a 'very minor scratch' and prescribed an antibiotic ointment and anti-inflammatory drops. They ruled it as her eye is scratched and painful and therefore she's trying to scratch it and inadvertently scratches her ear too. Problem is - whenever I touch her left ear she shakes her head too. I told them this and they said to give the medicine a few days and see what happens.

    Obviously, I'm really concerned Opal could go down the same dramatic path that Stella did. The vet said Stella likely died from a stroke or cardiovascular complications (I woke up and saw she was all puffed up, had to tend to a work matter, and checked on her 30 minutes later, and she was all sprawled out, trying to move, but what looked like her back legs had stopped working, and passed away just moments later of me taking her out and trying to get her ready for an emergency visit. So heartbreaking).

    IN CONCLUSION: I don't trust that nothing is wrong with her ears. She said it could be dry skin, but if so, only to get some 'oatmeal-based shampoo from the pet store' and try to clean and let it be. I'm just paranoid and anxious about it and thought I would consult and see if anyone has experienced a similar situation with the ears. See pictures below - doesn't it look dandruff-y? (Sorry for unavoidable sideways-ness)

    I know a second opinion is likely to be suggested, but how many $60 visits can I afford right now? Would you call my vet out and insist on some other treatment? Just wait and see? Thank you

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-5906.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	74.8 KB 
ID:	87046Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-5915.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	79.8 KB 
ID:	87041Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-5900.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	76.7 KB 
ID:	87043Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-5896.jpg 
Views:	7 
Size:	83.5 KB 
ID:	87044Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-5894.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	67.9 KB 
ID:	87045

  2. #2
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,099
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,333 Rec'd/5,844 Posts
    Mentioned
    2051 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    I'd treat her for mites. https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum...mites-and-lice. And I'd put cold pressed coconut oil on the crusty places.

    It's extremely unlikely that an ear problem caused the loss of your piggy.

  3. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


  4. #3
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Definitely thinking something is wrong - though I really can't tell if it's fungal or mites. I contacted my vet to insist on treatment. I figure it would be easier and I would feel more secure getting the meds/info from them come Monday versus waiting for Ivermectin to ship on Amazon and trying to go at it myself guessing on mites (never have treated for either before).

    To make matters worse, I picked up a little baby today as a soon-to-be companion for my girl, given she lost her mate. I waited a week since I initially met the baby to give time to go to the vet and once I got confirmation from the vet I told the baby's owner I would go ahead and pick her up today. The baby is in quarantine right now - but is only about 5-6 ft away from my girl and in hindsight, I may have used some fleece in the baby's cage that came in contact with my girl since it was stored under the cage in a cubby. So now I'm worried the baby will have whatever it is too. :(

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-5937.jpg 
Views:	10 
Size:	64.0 KB 
ID:	87057Click image for larger version. 

Name:	IMG-5940.jpg 
Views:	9 
Size:	60.4 KB 
ID:	87058

  5. #4
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    These pictures are awful and the rotation doesn't help - but essentially some raised brownish spots and area around upper ear corner

  6. #5
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,099
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,333 Rec'd/5,844 Posts
    Mentioned
    2051 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    The baby isn't quarantined if she's in the same room and only 5 feet away. They may not exchange anything that requires direct contact, but they could certainly give each other an airborne illness.

    Just don't let the vet do a skin scraping for mites. It's painful for the pig and for your pocketbook, misses the mites half the time, and the end result is the same --treat for mites whatever the result of the scraping test.

    The crusty area on the ear is much more likely to be fungal, which is why I recommended the coconut oil. The head shaking would be possibly indicative of mites.

  7. "Thank you, bpatters, for this useful post," says:


  8. #6
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Wow, I feel like an idiot about the quarantine. It seems like they were only social distancing. XD

    Jokes aside, I moved her across the 'room'. I'm essentially in a studio. The vet said she saw nothing that looked like parasites, though she offered to do a skin scrape and I said no, remembering some fragment about what you said above there. I asked about coconut oil as well and the tech said that was more likely to cause problems and 'incubate' bacteria or other fungus. It's so annoying that what the vet says often clashes with what the tried and true guinea pig community says. I always feel torn. In this case, I'm mad at my vet for brushing it off and not even trying to treat it preemptively.

    Can they even treat a baby for fungal or mites though?

  9. #7
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,099
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,333 Rec'd/5,844 Posts
    Mentioned
    2051 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Umm, the vet doesn't know that you can't see mites? There are one or two kinds that can be seen, but most are invisible because they burrow into the skin. In fairness to the vet, ear mites are one of the varieties that are visible, but still...

    A baby can't get ivermectin until they weigh about 350 grams. Fungus, yes, as it's just applied to the skin.

    Cold pressed virgin coconut oil has both antibacterial and antifungal properties. It wouldn't work against a full-blown fungus outbreak, except to moisten and soften the skin. But it will often take care of a small spot, and can be used on a regular basis to keep the ears supple.

    Is this an exotic vet?

  10. #8
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    She said she didn't see anything to indicate parasites. Any obvious effects on the skin.

    Yeah, it's an exotic vet - they're pretty well known in the area for guinea pigs as well.

  11. #9
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Quote Originally Posted by bpatters View Post
    A baby can't get ivermectin until they weigh about 350 grams. Fungus, yes, as it's just applied to the skin.
    Hi bpatters - the vet is finally treating Opal for mites with Selamectin. They said they won't treat the baby unless they see her - another $60. I just weighed the baby and she is 423 grams. Would you use a tiny bit of the dose of the Selamectin on the baby? What are your thoughts here? Would you treat her preemptively or wait until there are obvious signs to treat?
    I would really like to avoid another vet cost, besides the fact that they have a crazy COVID policy where I can't be in the room/building with them, but will do so if absolutely necessary.

  12. #10
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,099
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,333 Rec'd/5,844 Posts
    Mentioned
    2051 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    If you've got one pig with mites, they should all be treated. But you can treat yourself. See the link in post #2 above.

  13. #11
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    I convinced the vet to fulfill the prescription for Revolution online; so Opal has had two treatments now, the baby ~1.5. They still seem to be itching, and especially itchy around the ears and eyes. Opal has also developed extreme sensitivity on her back/hips. I was looking at Gorgeous Guineas and their problem identification table and it does seem Opal has more symptoms of fungal, so I'm wondering if it's potentially fungal on the body. What would you suggest treating with as an all-over body shampoo? I see the list of treatment items on Guinea Lynx, but there's a lot and I think some are spot-application. Gorgeous Guineas also doesn't recommend their products for guineas <12 wks, though I emailed to inquire.

    This is a nightmare! And it doesn't help that the vet seems to be careless at this point.

  14. #12
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1084754.jpg 
Views:	6 
Size:	130.0 KB 
ID:	87117Click image for larger version. 

Name:	1084755.jpg 
Views:	5 
Size:	114.5 KB 
ID:	87118

  15. #13
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,099
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,333 Rec'd/5,844 Posts
    Mentioned
    2051 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Use the information on antifungal shampoos here: http://www.guinealynx.info/fungus.html

  16. #14
    Cavy Slave
    Joined
    May 13, 2020
    Posts
    9
    Thanks
    2
    Thanks
    0 Rec'd/0 Posts
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Quoted
    0 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    I picked up Nizarol. Is it okay to use on baby guinea pigs (she's 9 weeks old)? Didn't see anything on Guinealynx about this.

  17. #15
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
    Joined
    Sep 23, 2009
    Location
    Houston
    Posts
    29,099
    Thanks
    189
    Thanks
    7,333 Rec'd/5,844 Posts
    Mentioned
    2051 Post(s)
    Quoted
    3926 Post(s)

    Re: Sensitive Ears but Vet Rules no Infection/Parasite

    Yes. Just rinse very well.

User Tag List

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •