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Conditions New pig owners, lots of questions! Looks like lice already....

mommabritt

Member
Cavy Gazer
Joined
Jun 14, 2021
Messages
4
Hello, my name is Brittney and my daughter recently purchased a guinea pig last week after saving for over a year for all of the required supplies. Her name is Brownie, we believe her to be between 9-12 weeks old and she has been very sweet so far! I will add a photo when I figure out how that works. I have been reading and reading and there is SO much information here, so thank you for that! The greatest help so far has been that we discovered Mr. Brownie is in fact a MS. Brownie based on the detailed photos and descriptions of what we are looking for. Whoops. So that now has me wondering if we should be expecting a pregnancy some time based on the other posters stories of bringing home a female.... I guess we will see in a few weeks. Anyway, on with the questions...if they need to be moved to another sub-forum I can c/p and move the appropriate questions. Just LMK :)

1. While holding her today, I was rubbing the top of her head and happened to look close enough to see that there were some TINY little white moving things in her fur. I suspect lice? I read the other thread and what I am missing there is what to do with the habitat and how to handle her. Can someone break down, step by step, what I need to do to treat this, using time frames and everything? Call the vet or don't bother? We want to take care of this correctly the first time.

2. We plan to get a second piggy for her to have a buddy while we are away during the day at school and work when summer is over (I work at a school and have summers off). When should we plan to do this? I was thinking now so we can treat them at the same time but should we wait instead to treat the current situation and see if she is pregnant first? If she is already, and had a girl we could just keep her instead of get another one. Any thoughts on this? I do not want to have pig babies but that part is out of our control atm.

3. Sounds..... I anticipated a noisy girl but she makes no noises except when we rub her back or sides then she makes a chirpy/purring sound. Is this good or bad? She isn't running away from it so I am hoping she is enjoying the affection but I read somewhere that she may feel dominated or threatened by this? Is it possible she is just used to having buddies and now has no one to talk to so she doesn't?

4. Was thinking of getting an ex-pen for floor time, the kind you would normally use for a puppy, like 24' tall. She cannot free roam in our house but I would love to be able to lay out a blanket and let my daughter sit and play in there and be able to sit in and play with her. Is this safe?

Thank you again for all the support and help. You are so appreciated!
 
Welcome to the forum!

Lice: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/111160-How-to-treat-for-mites-and-lice

Second piggy: Get it now. They're herd animals, and are much happier with a buddy. Definitely get the same sex, and turn them over and compare their private parts before putting them together. If they're not the same, don't ever put them together. But be aware that no pet store cage is large enough for two adult pigs, even of the same sex. You'll need a minimum of eight square feet, and more is better.

Sounds: Some pigs are louder than others, and she may speak up later.

Pen: That's fine.

Please don't buy another pig. The breeding mill to pet store process is horrible beyond belief. There are many guinea pigs in rescues and shelters waiting on a good home.

Here's some recommended reading for new pig owners: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/113176-Information-for-new-guinea-pig-owners
 
Welcome to the forum!

Lice: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/111160-How-to-treat-for-mites-and-lice

Second piggy: Get it now. They're herd animals, and are much happier with a buddy. Definitely get the same sex, and turn them over and compare their private parts before putting them together. If they're not the same, don't ever put them together. But be aware that no pet store cage is large enough for two adult pigs, even of the same sex. You'll need a minimum of eight square feet, and more is better.

Sounds: Some pigs are louder than others, and she may speak up later.

Pen: That's fine.

Please don't buy another pig. The breeding mill to pet store process is horrible beyond belief. There are many guinea pigs in rescues and shelters waiting on a good home.

Here's some recommended reading for new pig owners: https://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/threads/113176-Information-for-new-guinea-pig-owners

Thank you for all the detailed response. Can you clarify at all about the lice treatment? I have read that thread several times now and it’s not answering my questions. Should I post my question in that thread instead?
 
No, post your questions here on the thread about your pigs. Or make a medical thread for them and confine all your medical posts to that thread.
 
The treatment for mites and lice is the same. You can use ivermectin without needing to see a vet, measure the dosage as per the information in the post bpatters linked, make sure to check the strength of the ivermectin you order it comes in several different strengths and as such you need to be careful when buying and applying the dosage. Put in on the skin behind their ears. Treat once a week for three to four weeks.
 
Definitely don't buy from a pet store again. Search for a rescue near you, or use petfinder to find a pig. I work at a vet in a pet store, and we see a lot of the store's pigs which have ringworm, respiratory issues, etc when they come from the supplier. There's a lot of already homeless pigs who would appreciate a new home.
 
The treatment for mites and lice is the same. You can use ivermectin without needing to see a vet, measure the dosage as per the information in the post bpatters linked, make sure to check the strength of the ivermectin you order it comes in several different strengths and as such you need to be careful when buying and applying the dosage. Put in on the skin behind their ears. Treat once a week for three to four weeks.

I get that part. But there aren’t instructions for what to do with the cage, bedding, etc. what to clean those things with and how often they need traded out while we treat (or is it the same) and handling. Is it okay to handle her like normal since they’re not transferable or should we keep that to a minimum for now? How long does treatment take?
 
They are not transferable to you or other animals, running lice are species specific.

You don't need to do anything special to clean out the cage beyond what you usually do, they can't survive without a host and treatment makes the host inhospitable. The repeat treatments are to make sure you get any new ones that have hatched out of eggs since the last treatment before they are old enough to lay more eggs. Three treatments is usually enough to get them all, but some people like to do four treatments just to play it safe or if they have a really bad infestation.

Running lice aren't like mites as they don't burrow under the skin, so I have never noticed any extra irritation when handling a guinea pig with lice. I personally didn't change how much I handled my guinea pigs with lice, but I typically only handle them a few times a week to begin with.
 
They are not transferable to you or other animals, running lice are species specific.

You don't need to do anything special to clean out the cage beyond what you usually do, they can't survive without a host and treatment makes the host inhospitable. The repeat treatments are to make sure you get any new ones that have hatched out of eggs since the last treatment before they are old enough to lay more eggs. Three treatments is usually enough to get them all, but some people like to do four treatments just to play it safe or if they have a really bad infestation.

Running lice aren't like mites as they don't burrow under the skin, so I have never noticed any extra irritation when handling a guinea pig with lice. I personally didn't change how much I handled my guinea pigs with lice, but I typically only handle them a few times a week to begin with.

Thank you SO much for your response. This is exactly what I needed to know. I picked up the Ivermectin from our local farm store and will stream her in the morning after I weigh her. I figured weighing tonight won’t give me the most accurate number. Thank you again.
 
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