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Mites Could this be mites?

Kieri

Well-known Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Dec 6, 2011
Messages
272
I will not be home until 10 PM tonight. I will post photos when I'm able to.

Until then, can someone help me out? My pigs were treated with a fungal infection several weeks ago- I treated it myself. The fungal infection came back a week or so after I stopped treatment. I found a new vet who seems very caring and he didn't charge me an arm and a leg for the visit and medication. He said the type of Lotrimin I used was less concentrated than other types, so that is most likely the reason it came back. (I sterilized everything and I keep the cage clean. My pigs also do not have any contact with other animals).

I was given a different cream a couple of weeks ago (I don't have the name on me right now). The fungal infection is thankfully gone.

I mention the fungal infection because I have read that mites can flare out during times of stress and illness (fungal infection).

One of my guinea pigs, Elliot, is acting fine. Her temperament is the same. She is shedding normally. But my other guinea pig, Obcy, has had some alarming behavioral changes. Obcy has been a shy pig from day one. I've worked with her a lot and she's shown vast improvement since January. She doesn't enjoy being held, but she normally puts up with it if I have food or if she's in the mood for a cuddle.

The past week and a half she has been very squirmy. She won't calm down even when I have her favorite treat (a little chunk of apple). I can put it against her mouth and she ignores it, shoving my hand away with her head and paws. She squirms and pushes and thrashes her body around until I let her go. When held, she bites repeatedly and very, very hard- but she has yet to break any skin. She will bite along any fingers that are near her (the motion is like someone eating corn on the cob, she relentlessly bites from one end of my fingers to another). Biting is something Obcy has N E V E R done. Nibbling, yes, biting, no. Never, ever. This is a huge red flag to me that something must be bothering her.

She also sheds a LOT more than Elliot. I'll post a photo later. I can always tell where Obcy has been sleeping because the spot is caked with white fur. When I hold Elliot, I get a few black hairs on me. When I hold Obcy, I have white fur all over my clothes and hands. When I put her down, they fly off. I'd say her shedding is equivalent to a dog- there's just so much fur! Obcy has always shed slightly more than Elliot, but it seems like it's getting worse.

The only bald spot I have seen is on her front paw from her toe all the way up to her elbow. It's a very clean bald spot too- no crustiness, scabs, or flakes. I put some of the fungal infection medication on it Monday night and Tuesday night. I will try to get a photo of her arm tonight as well.

I've been doing some searching on google and around these forums. Some places say all guinea pigs have mites, but they are dormant. Other places state almost all guinea pigs have them. I wouldn't be shocked if she's had dormant mites all this time, seeing as I got her from a pet store.

What can I do in the mean time to keep her as comfortable as possible (until I can get her an appointment)? Should I not touch her at all?

When I take her to the vet, what should I expect? What sort of testing will my vet possibly do? What sort of medication do you think Obcy will be given (oral, topical, shampoo, injections)?

Should I go ahead and have Elliot treated for mites as well?

Sorry for the novel. I have a million questions and concerns. I'm worried for my baby and I don't want her in pain. I can't imagine what it's like to have creepy crawlies in or under my skin.
 
[GuineaPigCages.com] Could this be mites?
This is just from running my fingers through her fur.
[GuineaPigCages.com] Could this be mites?

The bald spot is from her toe and up her arm. I know this isn't the best picture. She was biting my finger really hard and it's the best I could do.

I tried to take a photo of the fleece, but the pictures didn't come out that great. There's white fur all over the cage. After putting her down, I had fur all over me and my boyfriend agreed she was shedding more than usual.

She's eating and drinking normally and she's running around the cage with Elliot right now. I'm going to call the vet tomorrow.
 
All four of my guinea pigs have the same bald spot on the inside or their forearms. My piggies are constantly cleaning themselves and faces and noses so I assume its from the repeat wiping and cleaning. Some guinea pigs might have bigger or smaller bald spots as well as differences from each forearm (similar to us being right handed). But I don't think that alone is cause for alarm.

https://www.guinealynx.info/parasites.html

Here comes some great info on parasites.

You could dose them yourself with topical ivermectin if you wish. There are instructions on guinealynx. There are very few ways to know if they have mange mites as skin scrapings are painful and often not very accurate anyways. Most people I think treat their piggies topically if they have any inclination of being infected. Its not going to harm them to dose them.

Or it could just be bad timing. It is spring and getting warmer. I've noticed that 9-18 month old piggies really start shedding more of their adult coat than they did when they were babies. Babies hardly every shed. Also could have picked up the habit of biting because it has gotten her what she wanted (either food or put down etc...). So its a hard call. Mange mites cannot be seen by the naked eye.
 
This bald spot in new. My boyfriend and I have never seen it before. Elliot's arms have fur all on her arms and toes. Obcy's other arm also has fur down the entire limb.

I know pigs shed off their winter poof during the spring time, but it seems really excessive compared to Elliot's shedding.

Her biting is extremely odd to me and doesn't seem right at all. She's never bit me, but she now does it over and over. I'm not holding her incorrectly and I've even tried bribing her with food- she won't have it.

I wouldn't worry too much, but I'd rather treat her in case she is in pain. I also cannot clip her nails. She's typically a very easy pig when it comes to trimming. I just gotta put a carrot in front of her face and she's oblivious to the trimming process. There's no way I can do it now.

ETA - Also, as for the biting becoming a habit... I have thought of that. But I never let her get that chance. I've read to hold the pig until they stay still, then to put them down. It teaches them that squirming won't get them what they want. The biting hasn't progressed either- it started out really bad and is still bad. She was fine one day, then I picked her up and she was thrashing around and biting me.

I also tried to hold her until she was still, but she was NOT calming down. She was continuously squirming and biting. After several moments of struggling, I put her down because I did not want her too overwhelmed.
 
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They are pretty smart creatures. She could have figured out that one time you did it!

Its pretty easy to dose them yourself if you really think it is that. Or bring them in. It doesn't sound like an emergency situation.

Is she biting/scratching a lot. If its mites she might start doing that pretty soon if not before the squirming and biting?
 
She scratches and bites herself occasionally. Maybe a few times a day? It isn't constant.

I'm iffy about dosing and treating myself, since that didn't go so well with the Lotrimin. I'm going to call the vet I went to and ask about prices of the medication and all that good stuff. If it isn't too expensive, I might as well go in and have her checked out. However I think I'll turn down a skin scraping if that's what my vet offers.

Is it dangerous to treat for mites if they don't have it?
 
No, it won't harm them at all.
 
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