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Conditions Head Tilt

mdhkitten

New Member
Cavy Slave
Joined
Jan 5, 2012
Messages
1
Hi! We got a new guinea pig about 3 weeks ago from Petco. When I initially got him I noticed that he had a couple of scabs on his ear that appeared to be bite marks to me (I worked for vets for 12 years, but we didn't deal with piggies often). Over the next week and a half one of the "scabs" seemed to be turning grey and spread to the outside of his ear. Concerned that it could be a fungus, I took him back to Petco since he was still under warranty and they took him to the vet that I worked for (there is a wonderful exotics vet there). Anyway, they thought it could be mites and as the vet started to skin scrape him, the scab fell off of the ear indicating that it was in fact a bite wound the entire time. Now he has a big notch on his ear.

Today I noticed that he is tilting his head to that side. Unfortunately I won't be able to take him to the vet for a couple of days since I'm working 11 hour days. I've looked in his ears for signs of mites and don't see anything. Again, I'm no piggie expert, but when dogs and cats have ear mites you can tell by looking. I've read about inner ear infections too. I was just wondering if it's possible that his wounded ear could be causing this. Other than the head tilt, he seems fine. Popcorning, eating well, very friendly, etc. I'm just worried about my little guy :(

BTW, the only other thing that has changed was his bedding. He came with a corncob type bedding that I mixed with the bagged newspaper bedding, but since the corncob was a little dusty I decided to try Petco's mix of aspen and paper bedding. Could the bedding have done something to him? Thanks for the help!
 
The head tilt is most likely an inner ear infection, which a vet should see him for.

You will not be able to see mites with the naked eye, and skin scrapings commonly result in false negatives. The wound on the ear could have been from a bite, or from excessive scratching, so I can't imagine a vet ruling out mites from a scab falling off. Excessive scratching is a sign of mites, and I've seen pigs with bad mite infections have wounds/scabs from all of the scratching.

I highly doubt this has anything to do with his bedding. I would get the ear checked by a vet so that you can get antibiotics.
 
Mites on guinea pigs are invisible to the naked eye. Skin scrapings may have a false negative. It is best to take your pig to a cavy savvy vet ASAP. It wouldn't hurt your pig to be treated for mites just in case since it is often the case with pet store bought guinea pigs. A head tilt is a very bad sign of an ear infection and should be treated by a vet immediately.

https://www.guinealynx.info/emergency.html#ear

I hope you will be able to get your pig to the vet as soon as you can so he can recover. The aspen and paper bedding is fine, but you should think about fleece or other alternatives that are listed in the bedding section of the forum.

EDIT
Surfingpigs beat me to it!

I also wanted to add that buying an animal from the pet store often results in you owning a sick pig. For the future you should consider adopting or rescuing a pig. There are numerous topics about Pet Stores Vs. Rescues/Adoptions throughout the forum as well. Good luck!
 
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