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Mouth Scabs around mouth - advice please - lots of info in post


Cavy Slave
Mar 13, 2012
[GuineaPigCages.com] Scabs around mouth - advice please - lots of info in post

We have a piggy called Ernie, he is adorable and very much loved. He’s almost three now and was rescued by our local vets and re-homed with us when he was still very young. He was riddled with mites and under-nourished but over time has made a full recovery with a thick glossy coat and an amazing loving, laid back temperament. His only lasting vice from the early months of his life is that he is a little picky with which greens he likes and doesn’t like but we’ve worked out his favourites and he enjoys these along with dried guinea pig food and a plentiful supply of good quality Timothy hay.

Unfortunately, around six months ago Ernie developed a problem around his mouth . He forms hard crusty scabs around his lips and septum. Other than these scabs his is in good health and there is no evidence of the scabs anywhere else on his body. They don’t seem to affect him much and thankfully they don’t affect his appetite or ability to eat and chew. He doesn’t like fruit so the scabs aren’t a reaction to the acid in fruit. When removed the skin underneath is pink and healthy although it does bleed a little so we try and keep removing the scabs to a minimum, more for Ernie’s comfort than anything else.

As soon as the problem occurred we sought veterinary advice. We had his teeth checked by the vet and they assured us that they are well trimmed and even. The vet prescribed a course of Baytril antibiotic so try and alleviate the problem. This was unsuccessful so our vet then took cultures which were positive for significant levels of yeast and staphylococcus aureus. The vets have now tried several courses of treatment all to no avail. We have outlined the treatments below for more information.
We have followed advice and instructions to the letter on each of the treatments and have given each treatment sufficient time to make a difference before moving on to the next. Since the scabs started we have also been giving Ernie vitamin supplements on the vets advice and we sterilise his cage, bowls and water bottle with Milton fluid regularly. During the 6 weeks of Baytril treatment we sterilised his bowls and bottle daily but this didn’t make a difference.

Course of Baytril antibiotics – no difference
Course of Flamazine Cream – mild improvement initially but then no better
Cleaning with Hibiscrub – delayed scab growth marginally
Course of Septrin antibiotic – no difference
Daktarin Cream – no difference

We desperately want to make Ernie’s mouth better for him. We would be really grateful for any advice or shared experiences of similar problems. We will try anything to resolve this problem.

Many thanks for taking the time to read our story, we really hope you can help.
Hi. That looks really painful. Sorry that your piggie is not well. I found this https://www.guinealynx.info/cheilitis.html which the 1st pic looks like your guy. Hope this helps a little.

Edit: (broken link removed) beat me 2 it lol
Aww, poor piggie. Let usknow how it goes...
The infection could be fungal, which could explain why it didn't react much to any of the antibiotics you tried. I would try Nystatin cream next, gently applied to the scabs.

What is his diet like? Highly acidic foods (apple, tomato) can predispose pigs to cheilitis.
Poor baby! I hope you find the answer soon.
Thanks everyone for your replies, we really appreciate you taking the time to look into it. We have asked our vet for some nystatin topical ointment to apply to the area.... finger's crossed, we'll keep you posted.

Thanks again.

Sarah, Craig and Ernie x
Good luck! Hope you have some success with this new treatment.
Yes, please keep us posted!

What is his diet like?
Re: Scabs around mouth - UPDATE!

[GuineaPigCages.com] Scabs around mouth - advice please - lots of info in post[GuineaPigCages.com] Scabs around mouth - advice please - lots of info in post[GuineaPigCages.com] Scabs around mouth - advice please - lots of info in post

Hello all, many thanks once again for all your responses and advice. Just a quick update to let you know that following advice from a rodentologist, we have now changed Ernie’s dry food to Burgess by Excel which has no colourants (she recommended that no food with colourants should be given). We have also changed his bedding to recycled paper pellets which he is taking to well.

We have spoken to Simon Maddock, a guinea pig expert and again, following his advice we have sourced a topical cream called Nizoral (ketoconazole) from our local vet. We are applying this twice daily after removing scabs and started treatment yesterday.

We’ll keep you posted as things progress however, in the meantime here are some photos of Ernie x
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