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Scratching lice and mites

Krelean

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I know I've asked this a few times, just thought of this though.

I have treated for lice-Advantage, two doses 18 days apart. Still seeing dry flakes. Some say this is normal, but one pig is still itchy.

Can they have lice and mites at the same time? Anyone ever experience this one before? I'm thinking it may be vet time just to make sure.
 

bpatters

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Yes, they can have them both, but the Advantage should take care of it. It might take a third dose, though -- sometimes the infestation is hard to get rid of. I'd try one more treatment, and then possibly ivermectin, before going to the vet.
 

Krelean

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I've made a vet appt for Monday, I just don't want to take any chances and continue to second guess this one. I'm worried we got some sort of mite from hay, along with them coming from the rescue with lice. They got a dose of Advantage on August 1, Sept they had 2 doses that were 18 days apart. I just can't see how they could have anything!
 

Peggysu

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If you're vet is cavy savy chances are that they will just treat them with ivermectin. If they do any sort skin test for mites it happens to be inaccurate and its just safer to treat as there aren't many contraindications for giving it.

Mites can't live without a host, so you cannot get it from hay or litter. If you're using fleece after you treat them make sure they are being put back into a clean cage. Some mite infestations can be pretty bad.

How long ago was their last dose of advantage?
 

foggycreekcavy

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Advantage works great on lice, but perhaps not as great on mites. For mites I recommend ivermectin or Revolution (you can get Revolution from your vet).

It is possible for pigs to have dry skin, which can be itchy and have flakes. If ther is no hair loss and you are still seeing flakes, it's possible your pig has dry skin. Some breeds are more susceptible to dry skin than others. What breed is your itchy pig?

I would try either Revolution or three treatments of ivermectin. If the pig still itches afterwards, and fungus has been ruled out, then try treating for dry skin.
 

Krelean

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Okay, gonna try to answer the questions in one message. We adopted the pigs on August 2. The foster treated them during the 48 hours they were in her home-so the 29th or the 1st.
I noticed itching about 3.5 weeks after we got them and got on here asking questions. I followed the directions on guinealinx and purchased Advantage for kittens. The rescue suggested the same product. I did one drop behind each ear on Sept 5th and again Sept 22 (18 days apart).
I have an aby and a crested smooth. The aby allowed me to find a lice on her rump and remove it-I still have that specimin between two pieces of tape. She had dry skin on her rump and I found very few nits on her. She isn't itching that I've seen. The crested had quite a few nits on her neck area and still has a few today (probably never hatched). My crested is itching her left side-mid body. When I check her, I swear I am seeing something on her move-tiny, but it could just be paranoia setting in. If I scratch and ruff up her hair, I have lots of dry skin on me.
I have seen NO hair loss on either pig...NONE.
I'm concerned that they may have mites because my husband found several articles that state mites can live in hay indefinitely, mites do not need a host. We bought a bale from a feed store just about the same time all the itching started.
The previous owners did bathe the pigs before they went to the rescue, no clue what with...thought maybe they are still battling dry skin.
I use fleece, their mats are changed 2x a week and washed in the machine. I use kitchen mats on the fleece, those are changed every other day.
Hope this helps answer the questions and help me get answers.
 

Krelean

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I am in Arizona, so I use Dr Drigger and Dr Wright...
 

Peggysu

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I am going to say with 100% certainty that the mites guinea pigs get cannot live without a host.

The info your husband found was inaccurate. There is no way to get mites from hay or bedding. Ivermectin is the best way to rid mites and they are microscopic so they can't be seen with the naked eye.

Some pigs may not show symptoms until times of stress or illness. Three treatments, ten days apart, has always worked great for me.
 

bpatters

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Peggysu, I'm not so sure about the mite information. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know a lot about the life cycle, but the Illinois Department of Public Health has a webpage with information about mites that affect humans -- www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/pcmites.htm. That site is also specifically linked by several other sites as a good source of information. While they don't specifically mention guinea pigs, some of the information probably applies.

Apparently there are several different kinds of mites, some of which can and do live in hay, some of which can and do affect humans, and presumably, guinea pigs. Unlike lice, which are pretty much species specific, mites are not, although they may have a preferred host.

Guinea pigs most frequently get mange mites, which cannot give humans mange but which can cause welts and itching. The mites that infest guinea pigs are generally present all the time, but just cause an outbreak when the pig's immune system is compromised in some way -- stress, illness, overcrowding, etc.

I really don't think you need to worry about pigs getting mites from the hay. There are too many guinea pigs eating too much hay who never have mite problems for that to be the case.
 

Peggysu

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Straight from CavySpirit

http://www.cavyspirit.com/biting.htm

Information on how mites are aquired are under the mite section.

People getting hives from pigs with mites is usually due to an allergy.
 

bpatters

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I know that's straight from CavySpirit, but it was written quite a while ago, and some of that material needs to be updated. Teresa and I have talked about updating some of it, and I'm working on a couple of pieces, but nothing has been mentioned about mites. The IDPH site really does have a good bit of information about them.
 

Peggysu

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Although that site has great information there is no information about how guinea pigs contract Trixacarus Caviae.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1576682/

The above link specifically states that guinea pigs get mites from their mothers. Therefore, I would argue that guinea pigs cannot get mites, that cause mange, from other sources other than contact directly from an infected guinea pig.
 

SurfingPigs

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Although that site has great information there is no information about how guinea pigs contract Trixacarus Caviae.

Mange induced by Trixacarus caviae in a guinea pig.

The above link specifically states that guinea pigs get mites from their mothers. Therefore, I would argue that guinea pigs cannot get mites, that cause mange, from other sources other than contact directly from an infected guinea pig.

Pigs can get mites if their owner handles a pig with mites, doesn't completely wash their arms/hands and change clothes, and then handle another pig. I'm not sure if you are implying this is impossible when you say that it can only come from "contact directly from an infected guinea pig." If that is your implication, it is wrong.
 

SurfingPigs

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Also, that article does not state anywhere that guinea pigs only get mites from their mothers or other pigs, so that is an erroneous conclusion.

Instead, it merely mentions that mite infection symptoms can occur within 72 hours postnatally if acquired through the mother.
 

Peggysu

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Pigs can get mites if their owner handles a pig with mites, doesn't completely wash their arms/hands and change clothes, and then handle another pig.

If proper infectious precautions are not taken of course a cross contamination can occur and thus a non-infected pig becomes infected. That is why it is important to clean a cage thoroughly after each mite treatment.
 

Peggysu

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Instead, it merely mentions that mite infection symptoms can occur within 72 hours postnatally if acquired through the mother.

You are changing what it says, it does not say "if" it says "Young guinea pigs aquire T. Caviae as early as 72 hour postnatally and can show symptoms as early as 3 to 4 weeks..."

All guinea pigs are born with mites, they just don't show symptoms until under stress or ill.
 

SurfingPigs

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I am going to say with 100% certainty that the mites guinea pigs get cannot live without a host.

To clarify on this point as well: mites that guinea pigs get can, with 100% certainty, survive without a host from hours to many days.
 

SurfingPigs

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All guinea pigs are born with mites, they just don't show symptoms until under stress or ill.

Genuine question: if the mother has been treated for 3 weeks with ivermectin, which kills mites, how will a baby pig born to her at that time be infected with mites?
 

bpatters

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I don't think guinea pigs are born with mites -- there's no way for them to get inside the amniotic sac. But almost all, and maybe completely all, guinea pigs have mites on their skin, so the pups are exposed immediately after birth.

I'm guessing that pups born to a mother who had just completed a successful course of treatment for mites wouldn't get them.
 

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