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New Pig and Mite/hair loss question

SugarBear

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I've had Sugar for about a month now and she's doing very well. My sister has a GP that she cannot keep for various reasons. She asked me if I knew of anyone who could take care of her, so I took her in. I made the mistake of putting the new GP's cage in with Sugar, then I read that it wasn't a good idea. I have put them back into their original cages and now I'm trying to introduce them in a neutral area where they might get along better. They were doing a lot of rumbling noises and teeth chattering, which I understand is normal. They were also lunging at each other and clawing at each other - it looked like a cat fight. Is this also normal?

The new GP (Baby) is actually older than Sugar. Sugar is about 16 weeks, and Baby is over a year old now. Baby has a LOT of dander, and she doesn't like it if I pet her hair "backwards", she makes noises and jumps as if it doesn't feel good. When I scooped her up a big chunk of hair came out at the back of the neck. I'm not sure if it was from the fight or related to the dandruff (or mites if that's what it is). After I was done holding her I had a lot of black specks on my hands and arms. Does this sound familiar to anyone?

I just got her from my sister today.

Thanks!
 

TheQueen

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Well, congrats on your new pig. =D

I'm not sure about the flakes and fur, I'm sure someone else can help you with that though! About the jumping and squeaking when being pet backwards, she doesn't like it. My pigs will do that, it's not hurting them, but they don't like to be pet that way. Would you like it if someone was petting your fur the wrong way than it was growing?! You should probably take her to the vet. Both of them actually. If either has mites, you need to treat both just to make sure. Good luck!
 

Binas Cavys

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I agree the best thing that you should is go to the vet and bring both of them like the queen said. Maybe you can ask the vet about the the jumping and squeaking.

Hope this helps!!!!!
-Bina
 

SugarBear

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I will be calling the vet. I have a very strong feeling Baby has mites of some sort, and now that I've had the two together since I'm too impatient to quarantine ;) I'm sure they will both need treatment. Maybe the vet can give me some good sound advice on pairing them up with little incident!
 

Ly&Pigs

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The black specks sound like flea droppings, but she could indeed have mites as well. Either way your pigs will need treated with ivermectin. They will both need treatment since they were together. As far as the jumping and squeaking when petting her, most pigs hate to have their fur rubbed backwards. She is just telling you that she doesn't like it and to stop.

You should have quarantined the new pig for 3 weeks when you brought her home even though she was your sister's pig. I think a vet check is definately in order.
 

twofinepigs

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How do you pet a pig that has one of those coats that goes every which way? I'm just curious. Our straight-hair pigs DO NOT like being petted backwards!
 

Ly&Pigs

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Very carefully! I have an Aby whose hair goes backwards, I pet her according to which way her hair goes. Her hair mostly goes towards her face so I pet her from her bum up. If I pet her the other way, she hates it.
 

SugarBear

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I get the impression these little guys have very sensitive skin. Maybe that's why they don't like being pet in the opposite direction of their hair growth. Sugar doesn't seem to mind it so much, but Baby sure didn't like it! Sugar has longer, thinner, softer hair and Baby has thicker hair that's not really much shorter than Sugar's but it has that slicked-back look.

Calling the vet today - I'll try to post a response later to let everyone know what happened at the Vet!
 

Piglet

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No pig should really be petted backwards - I really don't see the need! Stroke them in the same direction as their fur grows. Like ly said, it does sound like lice because of the specks. What kind of cage set up do you have?
 

SugarBear

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I know you are supposed to quarantine the new piggy for 3 wks, but I knew 1) She came from the same pet store, 2) I knew her original owner, who had her for about 3-4 months, and 3) I knew my sister had her and had not noticed any signs of mites or anything else. I know now that I still should have quarantined them anyway - definitely a mistake on my part.

Sugar (my piggy) is in a cubes and chloroplast cage (is that the same as C&C?) that is 2x4 with room to make a 2nd floor (just need more cable ties). My sister's (Baby) is in a very, very small cage that is about 1 cube deep by two wide. Their bedding is both care fresh and Sugar has been doing okay with using a litter box, but not perfect, but Baby just cuddles in the litter box and potties everywhere else. I also have a large mini-lop in the bottom portion of the cage I've made - her cage is 2x4 with 2 1/2 levels very similar to others I've seen on guineapigcages.com who have a bunny on the bottom and a cavy at the top.

Sugar LOVES play time with Cotton (my bunny). I only give them strictly supervised playtime because of the risk of Cotton's thumping harming Sugar, but they both get along great and seem very happy when they are out in their "run". Sugar popcorns all over the play area when Cotton is out with her. LOL!
 

elspeth

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You should visit the following site (broken link removed) which has a lot of information on guinea pig skin conditions, both fungal & parasitic. The site also sells shampoos etc but do not ship to the USA. Chrissie who runs the site is very helpful though and will give you advice.
 

SugarBear

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We went to the vet today! All is well, he said the specs are just flakes of skin. I challenged him about the mites to make sure he knew what he was looking at and he assured me he doesn't think she has mites. He didn't have an explaination for the hair loss. I think it's possible she lost it when battling for dominance with Sugar. Sugar is about 18 weeks and weighs 1.5 lbs. Baby is about a year old and weighs 2 lbs. Baby sure didn't like the vet! LOL!

Thank you all for your advice and help!
 

Piglet

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No problem - glad that it's not mites. Is the vet an exotics vet? Elspeth, chrissie is fabulous! She helped me loads when I had problems with Furlongs teeth.
 

rabbitsncavyluv

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I don't think a vet can tell if it is mites as they are microscopic just by looking at the pig.
 

SugarBear

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When I called the Vet I specifically asked if they took care of Guinea Pigs and they said yes, but when I got there he made it clear to me that he knows a lot about Guinea Pigs, but he's no expert. I admit I was surprised and a bit disappointed, so I asked a lot of questions, talked about how Guinea Pigs are known for Mite infestation, and I mentioned that medication ivermectin (not sure if that's spelled right). He used a flea comb to get as much of the dander as possible, then he put it under a microscope, so I would assume he would have seen if they were flea or mite eggs under the scope.

I'll still keep a close watch on her. She doesn't scratch much, so I'm hoping he's right.
 

elspeth

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SugarBear said:
We went to the vet today! All is well, he said the specs are just flakes of skin. I challenged him about the mites to make sure he knew what he was looking at and he assured me he doesn't think she has mites. He didn't have an explaination for the hair loss. I think it's possible she lost it when battling for dominance with Sugar. Sugar is about 18 weeks and weighs 1.5 lbs. Baby is about a year old and weighs 2 lbs. Baby sure didn't like the vet! LOL!

Thank you all for your advice and help!

If there are flakes of skin and hair loss it could be a fungal infection...are there patches of dry skin too?? This is what my guinea pig has & I've bathed him and am applying cream twice a day. Get your pig sorted if it is a fungal infection because it can be fatal.
 

elspeth

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Piglet said:
No problem - glad that it's not mites. Is the vet an exotics vet? Elspeth, chrissie is fabulous! She helped me loads when I had problems with Furlongs teeth.

She is fabulous! I was so worried about my boy last week that I was emailing her practically every day! She always emailed back with good advice & she really did put my mind at rest...and even better is that the lavender cream she sent me seems to be working. Everything she makes smells gorgeous as well!
 

SugarBear

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I've read about the fungal infections, and I asked the doctor about that too. Her skin doesn't seem dry. She doesn't have any patches of dry skin at all. I want to see how the one area grows the hair back and if I still think there's a problem I'll take her to a specialist.
 

Ly&Pigs

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he assured me he doesn't think she has mites.
Even with a skin scraping, you can't conclusively rule out mites. It's better to be safe than sorry and have her treated anyway. Treatment won't hurt her even if she doesn't have mites.
 

SugarBear

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I'm guessing the treatment is by perscription only. I'll call and see if he'll sell it to me.
 
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