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Vet Possible mites, not sure what to do.

JustAround

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We currently have a five-year-old male guinea pig we think is suffering from mites. Usually, we would take him to the vet to see what is wrong, but this would be the third time we take him there for the same reason and thought posting here first might give us some ideas of what to do.

In September, we went out of town and a friend watched our guinea pigs (one has since passed away due to old age/digestive issues our vet could never figure out). When we got back, the older guinea pig was losing weight, though still eating well, and we took him to the vet. Turns out he had mites, though the infestation seemed to have occurred more recently. Got medication for both pigs to take every 10 days. During that time, we made sure to clean out their cage - one of the pig cages recommended on this website - with three treatments: 1st wash was with bleach/water mixture, second wash was with white vinegar, third wash was just warm water to make sure everything was safe. Put their new and clean bedding back after the washing. Went through two oral treatments, everything seemed fine. A few weeks later, we noticed the older pig was losing his hair. Took both pigs back, still had mites. Got the medication again, this time with three treatments. Cleaned out the cage again. The older pig passed away during this time :( The younger pig (still not a spring chicken at 5) went through the entire treatment, seemed fine. Fast-forward to tonight, noticed he had mites in his hair again.

We honestly don't know what to do anymore. We make sure to keep his cage (and our own place!) clean. We vacuum regularly around the cage and clean the cage regularly. We don't use any wood/cedar/etc chips in his bedding, just towels and carefresh bedding. We make sure we give him proper amounts of food/hay/fresh vegetables to keep him healthy. We want to take him to the vet, but I just don't know if the oral treatments will work, since they've failed twice. I read on a few different pig websites about topical treatments for mites and was thinking to maybe ask the vet about that. The vet recommended that we don't bath the pig because it would stress him out too much. Should we ask if that is a possibility, since the oral treatments haven't worked?

Sorry for the wall o' text, but we really want to help our pig out. He is itching more than usual, and I did find a scab on his skin. He is not really losing hair, he is still active (for him), and he's still happily eating everything. Is there anything we can do to help him out?
 

foggycreekcavy

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Are you actually seeing bugs? Or did you mean that you see the signs of mites?

Sometimes ivermectin just doesn't work on a certain pig. Or, it works if applied a different way. I am assuming that he was treated with ivermectin. He was treated orally? Ivermectin can also be used topically or by injection.

Revolution also works on mites. You can order it yourself online, or can get it from a vet. It's a once a month treatment, but usually you only need to use it once.

You don't really need to clean the environment when treating for mites. Mites will not live off of the body.
 

JustAround

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Actually seeing the mites (the vet pointed them out last time so we can recognize them now). Tiny little tan moving things in his fur.

He was treated orally with Ivomec, so maybe I'll see if we can try it some other way. I'll look up the Revolution as well, see if that helps. Thakn you!
 

bpatters

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Welcome, JustAround. I'm very sorry tell you that you've got an incompetent vet. You can't see mites moving around on a pig -- they burrow under the skin. What your pig has is no doubt lice. Read www.guinealynx.info/parasites.html -- there are several linked articles in there, and you'll get a good overview of what you need to do to treat your pig.

Dog and cat vets get almost no training in caring for exotic animals. You should look around for a good exotic vet -- there are vet lists at www.guineapigzone and www.guinealynx.info. Even though many exotic vets charge more, you'll save money in the long run because you won't be wasting dollars on ineffective (and possibly dangerous) treatments.
 

JustAround

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That is what we were afraid of. There were a few things our vet recommended that sounded a little questionable, which is why we came here to look for some alternate information. That and when I looked up on mites when this second treatment did not work, I found information that did not seem to fit with what the vet was telling us.

Sadly enough, the vet IS an exotic vet. We have had a ton of trouble finding vets around here - there weren't any on that first list even in our state - so I guess we'll just keep looking around and hope we find one. Thanks for your help!
 

bpatters

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It's easy to treat for mites and lice yourself. Read those articles at Guinea Lynx, and post back here if there's something you don't understand.

And if you'll post the city you're closest to, we may be able to help you find a vet.
 

foggycreekcavy

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Just a note that Revolution treats both mites and lice.
 

bpatters

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And to add to FoggyCreekCavy's post, you do have to get Revolution from a vet in the U.S.
 
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