Mitzi has been sufferering from mites for about 2 1/2 months now. I mean suffering - I can´t touch her without causing a "fit". She had her 5th Ivermectin shot last week (at a dose of 0.3 mg/kg) and has shown no improvement. She is only supposed to have one more shot. I don´t know what to do! How long is if safe to continue with the Ivermectin? Is it possible that it could take longer than 6 shots? This is costing us a fortune and of course we also have to treat Piglet as long as we are treaing Mitzi.
Is there anything else that can cause symptoms like having "fits" when touched, excesseive scratching, etc? I don´t think my vet believes she has mites because Mitzi doesn´t scratch and have fits when she´s on the examining table. (I think its because she is too freaked out.)
I am really at my wit´s end. These pigs are going to have us bankrupt before long! Ever since I got Piglet she has practically been living at the vet and now Mitzi too! Poor things.
I expect you are already cleaning out the cage thoroughly, with bleach, during the course of treatments. I know it´s widely believed that bedding, hay etc. cannot harbor mites, as they are unable to survive off the host for very long. However, is it possible the hay or bedding could be infested from another animal where it is being stored?
Have you handled any other animals that might have mites, inadvertently transferring them to your own?
I´m sure you´re very frustrated, I hope someone will think of an answer for you.
Read http://www.guinealynx.info/guinealynx/ivermectin.html I think that´s the link anyway. You might talk to your vet about doing oral or topical treatments at home. He might help you determine an accurate dose. You´d think by this time he would be sympathetic to your suffering from the costs involved.
What kind of hay are you using? What kind of bedding? Oh, and just in case it is a fungal infection which can be itchy too, you might try bathing them both in Nizoral shampoo (it is a human shampoo with a drug that is prescribed for fungal infections for humans and animals).
Is there dandruff? Are there any open lesions?
I used to clean out the cages with bleach, but I read that vinegar is safer so that is what I have been using since then (a solution of half vinegar half water). Is that not good enough? Oh dear. My vet said that it wasn´t necessary to use bleach because mites couldn´t survive off a host that long. I will start using bleach until the mites have cleared up. Does this mean they will have to go through a whole course of treatment again?!
I clean the cages once a week - is that okay while the mites are present or should I do it at a certain time (like right before or after thir shots)?
I will try bathing them with Nizoral. Hopefully my mom will help me, because I´m sure it will be a two-person job!
There´s no way my vet will discuss anything about treating at home. She did not even want to treat them in the first place. (This is the same vet from the "How to train a vet" post.) I might ask her to consult with another vet through e-mail, because she won´t discuss any ideas that come from me. I really wish there was a vet here who was knowledgeable about pigs or at least willing to learn, but it seems I pretty much have to figure everything out for myself.
Thanks for the help.
So, is there any aleviation of symptoms following the completion of a course of ivermectin? If so, do read the ivermectin page I put a link to.
I do hope the Nizoral works for you. Avoid the eyes, of course. You might try washing a second time in a week. I am guessing you would see some relief pretty quickly if it is fungal.
Mitzi was allergic to aspen bedding (so were we!) and would sneeze constantly when we used it...she seems to be fine with the Carefresh. We´ve also tried towels with her but had a unique problem. She spent all her time UNDER the towels, making burrows and tunnels and then she would go the bathroom under the towels on the bare plastic, and then sit in it (yuk)...and then when she did come out, the towel was such a crumpled mess she had no room to run around on top. How do you keep the towel in place? With Piglet it just stays. She doesn´t try to pull it up. Mitzi kept pulling it away from the sides and seemed to really hate having it there. When she moves into a bigger cage, I am going to try using a towel and weigh it down with small bricks at the corners so she can´t get under it. I´ll give her a cosy or fleece tunnel or something so she can still have something soft to "burrow" in.
I´ve read the Ivermectin page before a few times. It´s so hard to tell if she seems better after the shots. After the last one, I thought I noticed a slight improvement - I could pet her longer before she would start having a fit. It could have been a coincidence, though. Now it seems as bad as ever. There has certainly never been any dramatic improvement.
How are fungal things diagnosed? (Aside from treating to rule it out?) Would you be able to tell from looking at the skin?
Laura, I didn´t mean to imply you were doing anything wrong, just trying to rule out the possibilty of re-infestation. I use bleach and rinse really well, other people use vinegar. I honestly don´t know if one is better than the other.
- I gave what I could!
Any ideas as to what that could be?
Has Buddy seen a vet yet? You really need to bring him in for a check-up, even if you don´t suspect mites. Although I would be very surprised if he didn´t have mites, considering the conditions he came from. You might have a hard time trying to get him treated - just be insistant. And don´t bother with a tape test/skin scraping. Mange mites won´t even show up half the time, and parastites such as fur mites and lice should be able to be seen in the fur without a scraping. You´ll have to be insistant about that one, too. Just remember, you´re charged for everything they do, no matter how simple! (My vet charges something like $15 for a tape test - been there, done that!!!)
I haven´t heard from you in awhile...I assume you´ve been busy lately! Good luck with Buddy, give him a hug for me. :)
I just gave my pigs their 3rd round of ivermectin last night, and I completely change all the bedding and clean out the cage within one hour of giving them the medicine. I figure it´s better to do it that way than to clean out the cage before, because if I put down new bedding, put the pig down, and then give the medicine, that´s defeating the purpose of changing the bedding. It probably takes a little while for them to digest the ivermectin anyway, so by the time it takes full effect, they´re already in their new bedding.
Yeah, it does sound like mites.
I don´t think you understand. I don´t mean respiratory allergies to bedding. I mean skin allergies. On occasions, I´ve heard of pigs being allergic to all wood beddings (CareFresh is wood). Their entire skin became irritated to the point they would scream from the pain of simply being touched.
I think it´s worth trying towels or newspaper bedding, as well as looking into the fungus thing.
- I gave what I could!
Oh, the trials and tribulations of owning and loving a pig.
My brother (the realist) said, "Isn´t it cheaper to just get another pig than to take this one to the vet?" Needless to say, I was horrified, but I didn´t say anything to my younger sibling...I just smacked him.
Dobby, how old is your brother? My grandmother has said that to my family on numerous occasions about our cat and the pigs. Recently my cousin´s dog had to have kidney surgery that cost hundreds, and she said the same thing. I´d beat her face in if she wasn´t my 85 year old grandmother.
Don´t worry about the mites, they´re (usually) no big deal. Nearly all pet store pigs have them. Thank God for Ivermectin!
I´m going to put in a towel now and see how it goes with no bedding at all. I don´t know how I´m going to keep it down, though. The cage she is in now is too small to put bricks in the corners. She should be in her new cage within a week or two, though.