Mites, Fungal, or Just Dry Skin?

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Post   » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:27 pm

So I'm a first time guinea pig owner and I've had my young boar for not quite a week. When we brought him home I noticed a scab on his rump. I assumed he got nipped by another pig and didn't think much of it. Now that he's less afraid and exploring/letting us handle him, I've noticed while petting him that there have been a handful of other scabby things on his skin...the one on his rump is definitely dried blood, a typical red-colored scab. It's not inflamed or anything, and it does appear to be healing. But these others (all found where his skin is naturally black) are all black, perhaps some kind of growth or scaling? They feel just like scabs to the touch and seem similar in visually, but are jet black like his skin. I've done a good deal of googling/research and learned about mites and fungal infections, and thought perhaps with the stress of a new home/coming from a pet store that might be it, but I'm not entirely convinced it's either of those. There's no significant hair loss (just regular shedding), no bald patches, no loose dandruff or flaking, no scaley sections to his skin (other than these few scabby things), his eyes, ears, and nose are clean and clear, and the rest of his skin is soft/smooth/clear. He is active, responsive, perky, has a good appetite and drinks water. I do notice him itching now and then, and twice a day or so he has these itching fits which last a few minutes...but other than that, I honestly itch more often than he does. Honestly other than these weird scabby things on his skin, he appears to be perfectly healthy. He doesn't have many. 4 or 5 of them were loose and came out with a few hairs attached. There's only about 3ish left, I think.

So, I guess I'm not really sure how to proceed. Going to a vet right now isn't financially possible unless we take advantage of the pet store's warranty, but that requires leaving him in their custody until treatment is over, and I don't want him sitting in a room of sick animals for weeks on end receiving bare minimum of care from non-medically trained staff. I'm not even sure it's worth a vet trip, or if he just has dry skin or is reacting to the bedding (care fresh) or something else that could be home remedied or solved by a change to his environment/diet.

If you need any other info, just ask. I'm pretty experienced caring for/medicating animals and am comfortable doing pretty much anything other than injections. So far all I've done is apply VCO coconut oil, figuring it will at least help with itching and maybe help treat something fungal. If I can get pictures of the scabby things later I will but he is squirrelly and uncooperative, lol. Any opinions or suggestions are appreciated.

And got the T-shirt

Post   » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:04 pm

I'd treat him for mites. If he weighs more than 350 grams, you can treat him yourself with ivermectin. If he's younger than that, you'll need to see a vet for kitten revolution.

You've unfortunately found out the hard way that pet store pigs are often sold sick, with parasites, mis-sexed, and the baby sows are pregnant. Under no circumstances would I take him back to a pet store for treatment. They don't usually use exotic vets, and guinea pigs need exotic vets. Small animal vets means dogs and cats, and they don't get much, if any, training in the care of pocket pets.

But just as a warning. If you can't afford a vet visit for mites, what are you going to do if/when he needs expensive treatment? Guinea pigs are prone to bladder stones, and the surgeries are expensive.


Post   » Sat Aug 05, 2017 8:24 pm

I will weigh him this evening and see. He is pretty young, I think about 3 months.

Normally we could bring him to the vet, but our spare money for the month went towards getting him and his supplies/cage, and then our Midwest cage didn't work out (too flimsy/not as catproof as we thought it would be), so we had the unexpected expense of $100+ for C&C on top of all the normal set up costs. And beginning of the month meant rent was due. Our bank account is tapped.

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Post   » Sat Aug 05, 2017 9:56 pm

Read over the fungus page too. Mites and fungal infections sometimes show up at the same time.

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