I purchased 2 Guinea Pigs about a month ago. One looked female and the other was definetly male. They were 3.5 weeks old so I separated their cage and put one in each side. About 1 week after they were here, I noticed a tiny bit of crusting under one eye on one of the pigs. I put a bit of Garamyacin in it but the next day I noticed the hair around the eye was missing and the crusty area was gone but the skin around the eye looked red and swollen so I took "her" to the Vet. The Vet said it was fungal (not ringworm though) he put a bit of antibiotic drops in her eyes (just in case) but he gave me an antifungal liquid to apply twice per day. I also put a solid divider between their cage to keep the other Piggie from getting it. Well the hair has grown back around the eye and it looks fine, but I had noticed a small bare spot on top of her head so I have been putting the medicine there too. However, the hair still hasn't grown there on the head but it isn't red or inflamed looking. This piggie is an Abyssinian with the coarse whorls on "her". Could it be that this type of coat has areas where there is no hair or is this too caused by the fungal infection? Any thoughts on anything I can do to make it come back or treat it with besides what the Vet gave me? (There is no name on the bottle, so I don't know exactly what it is called). Also, even though this piggie looked female, I pressed her gently on the lower abdomen and a tiny (what I think is, lol) penis came out. So I now think I have 2 males. Since they are still so young, can I put them together or do they need to have neutral introductions? They were in the same cage at the pet store and have really missed each other. And lastly, when would it be safe to put them together without risk of spreading any fungal infection? BTW, there is no possibility of mites. They are not scratching at all and the other piggie is just fine with no signs of hair loss.
Thank you and sorry I am asking so many questions, lol.
If one has a fungal infection it is not a good idea to put them together. It is a good idea to make absolutely sure of their sex, though: http://www.cavyspirit.com/sexing.htm
That being said, I think you should treat them both. Fungus usually starts with small spots of hair loss around the face. How does the vet know it isn't ringworm? Did he culture it? Did he put it under a fluorescent lamp?
I have dealt with fungus on the face before. Here is what I do:
Once a week for 3-4 weeks:
1) completely disinfect the entire cage
2) bath the pig in antifungal shampoo (Malaseb or Nizoral)
Twice a day:
1) Wipe the affected area with diluted chlorhexadine or some other cleansing/drying medication.
2) Apply Miconazole cream (yet, that's Monistat 7) to any bare spots.
Try to keep the humidity down and handle them only with gloves.
A culture would tell you what it is for sure. But I'm not bigging on scraping up the poor babies when you already know it is probably a fungus.
PS it wouldn't hurt to treat for mites at the same time.
Charybdis, can I buy those shampoos in a drug store or at a pet store? Are they made for humans? And is the Chlorhexadine over the counter (seems I've heard of that mentioned in acne medications)? Thank you so much for the advice. I had to laugh when I saw you mention the Miconazole cream. Last year one of my rabbits had to undergo a spay when she was 8 years old due to Uterine rupture. Probably due to her lowered immunity she developed a bald spot on her ear and the Vet said the same thing, "Not ringworm (No crusts) but a fungus" and he sold me a spray bottle of Miconazole. I asked him then why I just couldn't use Monistat, lol, but he said no it might have a base that could be poisonous to the rabbit. I had a feeling that it was the same darn stuff, lololol. Thank you so much for your advice. I will most definetly give it a try. BTW. Would bleach be too strong to disenfect the cages? I usually use Vinegar but do sometimes use antibacterial kitchen disenfectant or bleach for my rabbits' cages, but have only used the vinegar on the Piggies' cage. The Vet didn't culture it or use the light. I think he assumed it wasn't ringworm due to no crusting or scaling. He didn't see the slight crust below the eye that I observed first. But I really don't think it is ringworm as I have been handling "Ruby" without gloves but washing well afterward. Years ago I got ringworm from a cat and apparently am a ringworm magnet, lol. If there is any around, I'd be sure to get it, YUK! But none so far, Thank God, lol :0)
Chlorhexadine is a veterinary product. They do sell Chlorhexaderm Flush, a similar product that is made for ear cleaning (but I use it anyway) at some feed or large pet supply stores (don't even bother with PetSmart and PetCo).
Malaseb is a veterinary product. You can also buy it online but they might want to call your vet. Nizoral is a human shampoo for dandruff.