They are generally under the fur, close to the ears or shoulder area. They are reddish, but I never noticed any blood stains in his fur. It is not fighting, as there is a divider separating him from his cagemates.
He once had something like that on the eyelid, not as large though, and not reddish, just crusty.
The first time I noticed this, I went to the vet, but we didn't get to a conclusion about that. The vet told me to use an iodine solution, and it worked. Since then, he had this several times, maybe once every 4-6 weeks. It doesn't seem to bother him, I have not yet associated this to scratching, but I wonder what that is.
These are the best pictures I have from the latest occurence, which I noticed last night. The first two pictures show the actual skin condition, with fur attached:
I cut some of his fur to get clearer shots:
Any ideas on what this is?
- I GAVE, dammit!
I did not notice him scratching it, and he didn't seem in pain at all. He is eating just like a pig, and so on.
These are the latest pictures taken on Dec 30:
As you can see, it is almost healed. On the other times this came up, after treating with the iodine solution, the healing pattern was just the same. The scab would get smaller, until it was gone. No scars left on the skin, and no hair loss.
There are no flies or any other bugs that I have noticed lately. All of my pigs are in my office, which is where I spend most of my time, so I would notice anything different in their behavior or any bugs.
I am going to take other pictures of it in one or two days.
What would be the available alternatives to analyze this? Skin scrapings are the only thing I can think of, but I guess that just looking at the scrapings under a microscope would not reveal too much.
Strange answer, I know. By his ears it looks like he might be a bit up there in years (correct me if I'm wrong). Generally the immune system tends to decline and mild irritants (like scratching with a nail or a bug bite) might cause a minor infection. Possible. LuvMyGP just found fleas living on one of her guinea pigs. Just one flea bite, if scratched, could look like that.
Otherwise there could be a bacterial skin infection or other skin condition that could be contained by bathing with an appropriate shampoo. If you have a chlorhex shampoo you might try that as a preventative.
And that's all my ideas, sorry.
I believe he is not an old boar. He was abandoned about a year ago at a zoonosis control center, and a friend of mine who works there send him to me. At that time, by his weight and size, I estimated he was about 3 months old, give or take a couple of weeks. I first noticed that kind of scab while he was in quarantine, and then a trip to the vet got me the iodine solution for it.
As it keeps coming up from time to time, I thought of trying to identify it. I also think it doesn't look serious, but I guess I should not consider it is a normal condition. I'll keep on looking for more information on it.
I am inclined to see it as a skin condition, and so far not contagious, as he shares a cage with another boar for about a year now. I'll schedule a bath with the proper shampoo for the boars, and an overall, thorough cage cleaning this week.
He has developed the same thing again on his right shoulder area, as of Feb 19.
I cut some of his fur for better viewing:
This time it is larger and he is hurting himself. I noticed him scratching and once I heard him squeaking in pain. This was at the same time when I noticed Brownie's teeth problem, so both went to the vet.
The vet noticed that his ears were too dirty and waxy, and that the ears and skin conditions could be related. There was no infection or abscess, so the vet prescribed a dermatitis ointment (Panolog, Novartis) for ten days, one drop in his ears once a day and some on the skin sores, but that didn't improve his condition, as seen in the picture below, taken today March 05:
It seems to me that his fur is not growing on the skin that seems to be healed, but the sores are moving towards his head.
Another boar has also got an injury like that on his front left leg. Itamar is approximately 4 months old, the 1st picture was taken on Feb 16, and the 2nd on Mar 05:
Itamar has not been treated with Panolog, and I have not talked to the vet since then. As the sores on both boars are similar, either from scratching or biting, and they seem to be pretty much the same after two weeks, I imagine that the ointment has not had any effect at all on them.
Only the males have developed these sores. Caetano is the only one who has them routinely. I have three boars sharing the same cage - Caetano lives alone as he fights with the other boars, there are grids dividing the cage - and two girls in another cage. So far the girls have not developed any of these sores.
I have started to think mites, and I thought of giving them a round of Ivermectin. Any suggestions or comments?
- Little Jo Wheek