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Thread: Causes of Self- Barbering

  1. #21
    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    Neither mites nor fungus are deadly unless it's a terrible infestation and the pig has compromised health to begin with. And then you'd be seeing a lot more symptoms than just hair loss.

    It's possible that it's bacterial, but fungus is still more likely. If you didn't completely eradicate the last time, it could come back.

    You could do a test of your own, which is what I'd probably do in your situation. Get a small tube of antibiotic cream and a small tube of antifungal cream. Pick a spot that the pig can't possibly lick, and put a dab of the antibiotic cream on it and rub it in well. Pick another spot an inch or so away and do the same thing with the antifungal -- it's not as crucial about the possibility of licking with that as antifungals don't have the same terrible effects on guinea pig GI tracts that antibiotics do. Treat each spot twice a day for a week, and compare them. If it's fungal, it should improve with the antifungal treatment and stay the same or get worse with the antibiotic. Vice versa if it's bacterial.

    The other possiblity is ovarian cysts, but that so very unlikely in a pig that young that it's almost not even on the radar. However, if neither the antibiotic nor the antifungal medicine does any good, you could ask for an ultrasound to see if it's maybe cysts.

    Without reading back, has this pig been treated for mites? Is it scratching at all?

  2. #22
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    Question Should I wait and see, or treat for fungus now?

    Questions: 1) After letting Spunky and Mr. Pacman play together - how long would it take for Mr. Pacman to show symptoms of fungus? (although with fungus, he might not even show symptoms, he could just become a carrier ... I think 2) I thought fungus started on the nose, or facial area ... that isn't where Spunky has his bald spots. 2) Should I wait and see or treat for fungus? 3) How long would you suggest I wait before I take him back to the vet? Why can't this just be simple? :-)
    Last edited by CanadianComforts; 05-18-13 at 02:05 pm.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    Fungus can show up immediately or much later -- a lot depends on the pig's own system and how well it fights it off, as well as on how aggressive the fungus is. It can also start anywhere on the pig.

    Are the spots bald, or does the hair look chewed off? I'm talking about the regular hair, not the very fine fuzzy stuff that's underneath.

    What did the vet say about the hair loss the second time you took him in?

    If he were mine, I'd try the experiment first unless the pig gets worse or is in some discomfort. But if you're not comfortable with that, you can always go back for another vet visit.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    I don't think I can put cream where he can't reach. And my guinea pig is a male so ovarian cysts are not possible, right? My vet only saw the bald spots once. I didn't take him to the vet the first time because, well it didn't seem urgent and I figured I would wait to see what happened. And the fur did grow back. To answer your question, Spunky has bald spots and shorter fur - I see both. Is that unusual? I think some of the fur is just falling out, but I have seen him scratch/pull his fur ... but I'm not sure if he is doing that more often than what one would consider normal. Spunky was not treated for mites because my vet took him to the back, and brought him back and said it was not mites. I'm guessing my vet did a scraping ... I admit I have heard those are not very reliable. I assumed if it was mites he would be scratching much more. Not sure if this helps but Spunky hates it when I comb his fur. But he doesn't mind when I touch his bald spots. He isn't going crazy scratching - for sure.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    You can't put it where he can't reach it with his mouth? That's all you really need to worry about -- you don't want him licking it. If you rub it in well, he won't get enough on his feet to bother him when he cleans them.

    Sorry, I wasn't thinking about the gender of your pig, just where the hair loss seemed to be occurring.

    Did you put anything on it the first time, or did the hair just grow back on its own?

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    Question Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    The fur just grew back all on it's own!! I was so happy and relieved. Ahh, the good old days. Here is a video of Mr. Pacman's breathing. I have heard Spunky make the same sound!! It isn't a great video but so far it is the best I can get. Everytime I catch one them breathing in a way that doesn't sound quite right to me - the other one decides to wake up, move, eat or make some noise which makes recording sound impossible. Anyhow, today is a real improvement - it used to sound worse. But you can hear the sound around 4-5 times ... but only if you put volume way up and listen real carefully. And no, he isn't chattering his teeth!! Is that sound worrisome or nothing? It's really hard to hear ... I'm gonna try and get a better video. Although, I'm hoping it just goes away!! So here is my video attachment.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    I believe the immune system would have something to do with the fungal infection appearing to go away, then returning. Did you treat him the first time he lost fur?

    In cases like this it may be beneficial for the vet to do a skin biopsy. It could be something bacterial or even yeast.

  8. "Thank you, foggycreekcavy, for this useful post," says:


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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    Thanks so much Foggycreek for your input - very interesting comments. To answer your question, no I did not treat him the first time he lost fur but I did try and give him vegetables high in vitamin C (which maybe helped his immune system???). I was hoping you could give me a little more information. I've never heard of yeast being an issue for guinea pigs. If it is a yeast problem, how is that treated? Also, what would a skin biopsy test for - infections, skin cancer? I finally bought a scale so I have been weighing him. His weight is holding steady - actually he was 723g on the 13th, and today he is at 737g which is a tiny increase of 15 g. There aren't really any other symptoms to help me out ... which is a good thing, right?

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    Question Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    I found this website on skin problems in guinea pigs. Here is the link: Skin Problems in Guinea Pigs. And this is a direct quote from the website: "Although not directly caused by stress or an immune system which is not working to full capacity, it is certainly true that if the guinea pig is suffering from stress – which can be caused by the loss of a cage mate, guinea pigs are very bonded animals in their group – or is immune suppressed, the skin is the first place you will see this . It is their weak spot, as it were." I mention this because my vet mentioned taking an x-ray. Initially, I thought this was because I mentioned crackly breathing but maybe it was just due to fur loss. My vet listened to Spunky's lungs and did not hear anything. Since she heard nothing, I'm afraid nothing will show up on the x-ray. Right now, I'm debating between asking for a skin biopsy (or the very least a test for ringworm or any other fungus, bacteria) and doing a chest x-ray. Actually, How do vets usually test for bacterial infections of the skin? Is a biopsy really necessary at this point? Sounds so invasive!! Besides, the fur loss Spunky seems great. He is such a friendly, cheerful, curious guy. Is it possible sometimes it actually is best to just wait and see what happens? Maybe he will improve all on his own again??? Should I wait and see?
    Last edited by CanadianComforts; 05-18-13 at 02:04 pm.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    @Helena29 , please stop with the overuse of font colors and backgrounds for emphasis. Using smaller paragraphs will make your posts that much easier to read and occasional bold font will work to help you emphasize what you want. If this continues, we will have to REMOVE all font formatting for everyone. It's quite frankly, highly annoying and is NOT helping you get any messages across. This message is from the entire moderator/administration team. We're making this public so that others do NOT attempt to imitate this style. Thank you.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    There are other far more polite ways to get your message across without embarrassing me. What you just did was just plain rude and disrespectful. Shame on you!!! You could have and should of sent me just one private message asking me to stop. And I would have. And then you could have posted a thread asking everyone to use fonts/bold with caution. There was no need for this. None.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    And threatening to remove fonts for everyone is ridiculous. You should not threaten anyone who posts here. This forum is suppose to help people and inform them, and make them feel better. You should know better than to LASH out at me the way you just did .... Try taking a bath or drinking tea or something. Please.

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    Administrator bpatters's Avatar
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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    It was a joint decision, Helena29, from the whole moderation team. And it's obvious that you're pretty much the only one with the dramatic formatting. If you'll just follow the suggestion, we can all move on.

    EDIT, BY TERESA:

    ANY additional comments about formatting will be removed. This is NOT up for debate. The reason this was made public and not privately was clearly stated.
    Last edited by CavySpirit; 05-18-13 at 12:08 am.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    I'm just wondering if you could treat maybe both piggies with Revolution: it contains Ivermectin & is used to treat mites, parasites etc. It can also treat skin allergies.
    Now your piggies may not have mites or whatever, but it could be worth trying in the interim as it won't cause harm even if it's not the right treatment for your piggys balding.
    At any rate it would make sure any parasites will be eradicated. You can buy in tubes from petstore or vet, get the smallest tubes for kittens. You can check with the vet about this.
    It wouldn't hurt to try out what bypatters suggested - it could be a fungal condition, just don't try both (Revolution & fungal treatment) at the same time.

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    Moderator CavyMama's Avatar
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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    Quote Originally Posted by oldnewie View Post
    I'm just wondering if you could treat maybe both piggies with Revolution: it contains Ivermectin & is used to treat mites, parasites
    Revolution does not contain Ivermectin. They are two separate parasite treatments.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    Also in the original post there was mention of the vet not seeing any mites but you can't actually see mites can you? Or that was my understanding. I apologize if I'm way off base but it was my understanding that you can't see mites with the naked eye.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    You are correct. In general mites are microscopic and burrow under the skin. They cannot be seen with the naked eye. The exception to that is if it's ear mites.

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    Re: Causes of Self- Barbering

    Quote Originally Posted by CavyMama View Post
    Revolution does not contain Ivermectin. They are two separate parasite treatments.
    Sorry, my mistake. Revolution contains SELAMECTIN which is related to Ivermectin. Revolution can be safely used on rabbits & guinea pigs. Sorry about the wrong infirmation.

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    Unhappy There is an appropriate, polite, respectful and NICE way ... and a MEAN way ...

    Why do you have to be so mean? Why? Many of the posts by two members of the moderating team have had an angry tone to them. It is not necessary to say, "This is NOT up for debate." Capital letters mean yelling ... was that really necessary? And I quote pbatter, "If you'll just follow the suggestion, we can all move on." That comment has an extremely snarky tone to it which is completely unnecessary.
    Please go and try and find me just one quote of mine that debates the use of bold/fonts/color/underline. You can't find one because I never debated using fonts. I didn't know it would bother you so much. The moment I was informed that using fonts/bold is frowned upon - I stopped. Thus bpatters, I am following your suggestion. Please do not talk to me like I am a seven year old idiot. Please note that in this very passage I have used bold three times and highlight once- hopefully in an useful way and not in an annoying way. I feel in this passage, I have used it in a way that will please the moderators because they are clearly a very sensitive group that get upset over next to nothing. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!!! Really, making such a big deal out of bold/color?? Really? But there is a nice and polite way of asking someone to do something and a mean way. Your way was just not necessary. And bpatters, since once again you mentioned that it is clearly only me who has been using, "dramatic formatting" then why threaten to take it away from everyone? Why is it necessary to make that message public ? If it is only me, it is more polite to just send me a private message. Again, making the message public is just hurtful. Is that what you were trying to accomplish? Did you want to hurt and embarrass me? Because you have. You have hurt me, to the point that I had trouble falling asleep last night and was in tears. All I have been trying to do, is help my guinea pig. And now the moderating team is ganging up on me? What is your problem with me? To conclude, I do have a learning disability. I use bold and color and underline because it helps me write. I do it for me, I never meant to annoy anyone. And I'm truly sorry for that. I also have trouble writing in an concise manner. As a university graduate, I can tell you that my grades suffered consistently because I could never stick to the assigned page limit. But I overcame my obstacles and I became a teacher. The best students are those that ask lots of questions. Asking questions is exactly how one learns. I have been asking lots of questions in this forum to determine what is normal and what is not, what is worrisome, what is not ... I would expect the moderating team to support that type of behaviour. But clearly I was mistaken. So, I apologize. From now on, I will trust my vet - someone who is actually qualified to answer my questions. I won't post anything more here, because I fear being ganged up on again. I won't be bullied in real life or on the Internet in a forum. And yes, the moderating team did cross a line and did gang up on me. Saying it was a team decision, well that is intimidation, which falls under the category of bullying. I am using the term bullying extremely loosely, but still I'm really hurt. And my feelings should matter ...


    Note from Section Moderator Canadian Comforts: Please stop highlighting/text coloring constantly.
    Last edited by CanadianComforts; 05-18-13 at 12:23 pm. Reason: Highlighting/text color.

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    Re: There is an appropriate, polite, respectful and NICE way ... and a MEAN way ...

    Quote Originally Posted by Helena29 View Post
    Why do you have to be so mean? Why? Many of the posts by two members of the moderating team have had an angry tone to them. It is not necessary to say, "This is NOT up for debate." Capital letters mean yelling ... was that really necessary? And I quote pbatter, "If you'll just follow the suggestion, we can all move on." That comment has an extremely snarky tone to it which is completely unnecessary.
    Please go and try and find me just one quote of mine that debates the use of bold/fonts/color/underline. You can't find one because I never debated using fonts. I didn't know it would bother you so much. The moment I was informed that using fonts/bold is frowned upon - I stopped. Thus bpatters, I am following your suggestion. Please do not talk to me like I am a seven year old idiot. Please note that in this very passage I have used bold three times and highlight once- hopefully in an useful way and not in an annoying way. I feel in this passage, I have used it in a way that will please the moderators because they are clearly a very sensitive group that get upset over next to nothing. Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!!! Really, making such a big deal out of bold/color?? Really? But there is a nice and polite way of asking someone to do something and a mean way. Your way was just not necessary. And bpatters, since once again you mentioned that it is clearly only me who has been using, "dramatic formatting" then why threaten to take it away from everyone? Why is it necessary to make that message public ? If it is only me, it is more polite to just send me a private message. Again, making the message public is just hurtful. Is that what you were trying to accomplish? Did you want to hurt and embarrass me? Because you have. You have hurt me, to the point that I had trouble falling asleep last night and was in tears. All I have been trying to do, is help my guinea pig. And now the moderating team is ganging up on me? What is your problem with me? To conclude, I do have a learning disability. I use bold and color and underline because it helps me write. I do it for me, I never meant to annoy anyone. And I'm truly sorry for that. I also have trouble writing in an concise manner. As a university graduate, I can tell you that my grades suffered consistently because I could never stick to the assigned page limit. But I overcame my obstacles and I became a teacher. The best students are those that ask lots of questions. Asking questions is exactly how one learns. I have been asking lots of questions in this forum to determine what is normal and what is not, what is worrisome, what is not ... I would expect the moderating team to support that type of behaviour. But clearly I was mistaken. So, I apologize. From now on, I will trust my vet - someone who is actually qualified to answer my questions. I won't post anything more here, because I fear being ganged up on again. I won't be bullied in real life or on the Internet in a forum. And yes, the moderating team did cross a line and did gang up on me. Saying it was a team decision, well that is intimidation, which falls under the category of bullying. I am using the term bullying extremely loosely, but still I'm really hurt. And my feelings should matter ...

    You can't tell tone from a post on the Internet. I think that you should calm down and reread the posts, no one was being intentionally mean to you. It was clearly explained why the message was made public, NO ONE wants to hurt/embarrass you.

    Of course the moderators support asking questions, it's the whole point of having a discussion forum. I hope you'll reconsider stopping posting on here. I also think 'bullying' is a little too far. You were simply told not to do something....

    I'm sorry that you were upset. :)

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