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Conditions First Vet Visit?

Ashley Cobb

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So, I've had my little boy for a couple weeks now and it's already time for a vet visit, in my opinion. I've noticed over the last day or two that he's been scratching, I didn't think it was bad, but I kept a close eye on him and he's doing it frequently, which in turn worried me.

Checked him out to make sure he hadn't scratched any open sores on himself, thankfully there are none, but he does have two small bald places where he's scratched himself. After noticing that, I called my local vet and made an appointment for the soonest opening they had. After that, I came here to see what possible things it could be, just to do some homework on things. And it seems he could have mites, lice or some kind of other irritant.

What questions do I need to ask when I'm there? This is my first guinea and I want to be sure when I go that I get everything taken care of. I've made notes about how often he scratches, what I'm feeding him and how often. The kind of bedding I use, how often I clean the cage, everything I could think of so I can provide my vet with every bit of information I possibly can about his background. I got him from a really bad situation, so I'm worried something else could be wrong, given the conditions he was taken in from. (He's a rescue adoption guinea) Should I give the vet the details of where my little guy came from? Such as the state of his cage at the time and the other conditions he was in? Really looking for advice on what info to give and what I need to be asking so I can be sure I'm doing all I can for him.
 

SurfingPigs

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Provide the vet with all of the info you can regarding your guinea pig and his living conditions, both past and present. Sometimes what seems to be the most inane thing turns out to be the most important.

Great information, along with "quiz questions", can be found on the following link: http://www.guinealynx.info/vet.html

Ask the questions that are on the page, including the italicized "quiz questions". Any vet confindent in their work and ability will happily answer any questions you have, and a cavy savvy vet will nail each of the italicized questions on the head. If they don't know much about pigs, kindly ask for a recommendation for a vet who does.
 

Ashley Cobb

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Thank you for the link, I'll definitely be adding those questions to my notes and questions list when we go for our visit. I talked with the vet for a few minutes as I was explaining my concerns, and she seems to be very knowledgeable about guineas, which helped to put me at ease with my decision to go to her.

But, during the visit, if she can't nail the questions you specified, I'll definitely ask if she can refer me to a cavy savvy vet. I'm like a worried mommy right now, so I'm really trying to find the best possible care I can get for him and be assured he's well treated. Again, I can't thank you enough for the link, any and all information is so greatly appreciated.
 

pinky

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I'd make sure that your local vet treats exotics. There are a lot of wonderful vets out there that don't specialize in exotics and don't know a lot about exotics or medications. I wouldn't have him do a skin scraping because most of the time they're inconclusive and are painful for them. If mites are suspected, I'd just treat them for the mites.
 

Ashley Cobb

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[MENTION=15081]pinky[/MENTION] - She's the only local one who treats exotics, but I've never been to her before, as this is my first guinea and first time having to seek out a vet for one. And I don't know exactly how knowledgeable she is about them. I will, however, be cautious when I go and use those questions from the link that SurfingPigs gave me to make sure she's cavy savvy. If it turns out she's not, I will be going to another vet who is. I've checked in other towns for vets who treat exotics, and while the drive is a little longer, it's more than worth it for him to receive the proper care and treatment he needs.
 

SurfingPigs

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Ditto the advice on avoiding skin scrapings for mites. If your vet wants to do that because of a strong suspicion of mites, I would decline the scraping and treat with Ivermectin on my own. It is beyond simple to do, and because mite scrapings often provide false negative results, it is better to just treat your pig.

Another option, if you choose, would be to contact the Atlanta Metro GP Rescue Atlanta Metro Guinea Pig Rescue They will likely have a list of recommended vets throughout the state. I contacted our local rescues when I first got pigs and it saved me the headache of trying to figure out who is best on my own.
 

Ashley Cobb

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Thanks to both of you. =) If the vet suspects that mites is the problem, I'll pick up some Ivermectin, I'm pretty sure the feed stores in town should have some, if not there's a town over that has three or four stores I can check. Though I don't anticipate it being too hard to find, and I may just go ahead and get some to have on hand so I'm prepared in the future. But will definitely be declining a skin scrape if it's brought up.

I may actually call AMGPR first thing in the morning and see if the vet I scheduled with is one they might have on a list. If not, as you said, I'm sure they can point me to a great one and save me some time and extra worry with trying to pin down a cavy vet. You've both been super helpful though, and thank you for taking time to reply and offer the advice. =)
 
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