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Conditions Weird Ear Scabs PLEASE HELP!


Cavy Slave
Jun 17, 2012
Hello! My guinea pig is almost 3 years old and I took a look at the bald spot behind his ear and around the top rim of it there were what looked like really skinny scabs..I'm terrified that this could be mites. It doesn't look like anything more than scabs. He's eating fine, drinking fine, and being normal! Just behind his one ear is scabby. What could it be?
Well, mites are nothing to be terrified of -- the treatment is fairly easy, and you can do it yourself if you like.

It would help to have a picture. And is he by himself, or housed with other pigs? Does he seem to scratch that ear more than the other?
He is by himself. I haven't noticed anything at all! I just noticed him today scratching his here! Here is a picture:
Skin problems are usually either mites, fungus, or bacterial infections. While it's possible to have just one spot of mites, they're usually in a wider area. Fungus and bacterial infections don't tend to itch as much as mites, although they can itch some.

One test for fungus that sometimes works (but sometimes doesn't) is to pull on a small tuft of hair and see if it comes out. If it does, it's probably fungus. But if it doesn't, that doesn't rule a fungus out. Also, if the fungus is ringworm, the initial lesion will be round in shape.

By now you're undoubtedly getting the picture that it's hard to tell what a skin problem is unless the pig has a fairly severe case of whatever. With a bad case of mites, they scratch like crazy, and tend to lose hair in a V-shape along their backs where they bite at the mites. With a bad fungus infection, there'll be hair loss, and it will spread. A bacterial infection will also spread, but may look like open sores.

Unless he weighs less than 350 grams, it wouldn't hurt to treat him for mites anyway. The topical treatment is the easiest to do, and you can get the medicine from (broken link removed) or (broken link removed), along with the syringes needed to measure it. Instructions are at www.guinealynx.info/mites.html and www.guinealynx.info/ivermectin.html.

The fungus treatment is also easy, but be aware that fungus is very contagious, and you need to use gloves when handling him and change your clothes afterward. Clean the cage thoroughly, wash everything that can be washed, and throw all the wooden stuff away.

If it's bacterial, you'll need an antibiotic cream, and you'll need to see the vet to get one that is safe for pigs. Since he can reach the area with his feet, he can get the cream on them and then lick it off his feet.
Scabs Behind My Guinea Pig's Ear! Pictures included!

My guinea pig has closed & minor scabs behind his ears. He's almost 3 years old. I noticed him scratch behind his ear the other day about once or twice. It doesn't seem to be bothering him too much to the point of trying to rip his skin off. Could it be the Carefresh bedding dust that's making him itchy? Here's a picture:
Please help, I love him so much & am terrified of what could happen, he's been fortunate all his little life! Thank you!
Re: Scabs Behind My Guinea Pig's Ear! Pictures included!

It's hard to see in the picture, but if there are scabs and he's itching I first would suspect mites or some other parasite. Check out this page: https://www.guinealynx.info/parasites.html.

It doesn't look serious right now, but "waiting and seeing" isn't a good idea either. Find an experienced exotics vet (https://www.guinealynx.info/vet.html) in your area and schedule an appointment. He probably just needs some ivermectin or revolution and he'll be fine.

Best wishes!
I merged the two threads on this topic. @mikex4 , please don't start a new thread when you've already got one going on a particular topic for a particular pig. In fact, it helps if you keep all your medical posts about a pig to one thread -- it makes it easier for anyone responding to find the needed information.

Whatever your pig's problem is, it isn't the Carefresh. We've given you several suggestions for treatment, and links to help you determine what the problem might be. Have you read any of those?
Re: Scabs Behind My Guinea Pig's Ear! Pictures included!

PS fungal causes them to lose small patches of hair and it scabs over. My pig had one on her nose. Make sure he/she is getting good nutrition too to help fight off the fungas. The best thing you can do is treat right away, and if it gets worse, go to the vet for advice.
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