I have been reading posts on this website for a while but this is my first time posting. I live in Australia and have had guinea pigs for the last ten years and currently have two sisters who are about a year and a half old. I have just noticed a couple of days ago that one of my girls, Kylie, has sores on both sides of her upper body. I was very alarmed when I saw them and am not sure what is happening. I originally thought that maybe the other girl was attacking her, but after watching her closely the last couple days it is clear that she is scratching the sores herself. I always make sure her nails are trimmed but I am worried she is going to do real damage to herself. I accidentally dropped her about two months ago and kept a close eye on her afterwards to make sure she was okay. She didn't seem to have any side effects but I thought maybe this is a nervous reaction she is having since it is in the same spot on both sides, I am just not sure. Apart from the sores she acts the same as her sister, who doesn't have any sores. She eats, runs around, plays, and still is okay with being handled. I am sorry this is a long post, I am just so worried about what is wrong with her and what to do. Could somebody please help me?
- Guinea Sunshine Forever
How big is the cage? Do you weigh at least weekly?
I would trot on over to the vet to get the sores looked at. You should probably start some antibiotics and pain meds. And start weighing daily to make sure she is not losing any weight!
Read also about mites. You will have to treat all your pigs. Mites are far and away the most common reason for self-mutilation.
The injuries would need to be carefully cleaned with an antiseptic rinse. The do heal best exposed to air but you don't want her to keep scratching them. Watch closely for any signs of infection. Cavy-safe antibiotics would likely help prevent infection.
I'v noticed that senior pigs with arthritis are more likely to seizure with mites. I suspect the arthritis hampers their ability to relieve themselves by scratching.
The 2 wounds that look like punctures would make me suspect a bite wound. Don't separate because of it tho. If a war wound appears and the pigs seem as friendly as ever, they already worked out the argument.
Thanks for you replies. We have just started winter and it is beginning to get cold. I have them in a large cage outside, which has access to a closed in sheltered room to shelter them from the wind and the whole cage has a covered top. They normally have pipes and ice-cream containers to play in outside and I have just added two piggy tents with soft towels in them for comfort with the girls like to lay in. At night time I bring them inside to another smaller cage but it is still big enough for them to run around in. I do weigh them regularly and she has actually put weight on so I guess that is at least a good sign.
The marks are identical on both sides in the same spot which I thought was odd. I have noticed that her bald spot behind her ears are getting bigger. I have also been told to but Vaseline on her sores to help them heal, I have tried this and her sores are turning to scabs but she is then getting new smaller sores on top. She also does not like me doing this and squeals a lot.
I know I should definitely get ivermectin but I am not sure where to get it from. I went to a pet store to ask about it but they don't get it in. Does anyone know where I can get it in Queensland? Or an alternative?
I went to another, larger, pet store today and they were very helpful. The man knew exactly what I was talking about when I described what was happening to her. He gave me a product called 'Small animal insecticidal mite & mange spray'. It is designed for rabbits, mice and guinea pigs. I sprayed them both when I got home and neither of them tried to fight it - in fact I think they enjoyed the massage they got when I rubbed it in! I have also sprayed their house, tents and toys when they were finished with them for the day, and will spray their bed in the morning when I take them out. I just hope this works. This is a link to the product I got:
http://www.aristopet.com.au/Library/Downloads/Downloadable%2 ... ay%20INF.pdf
- I gave AGAIN, dammit!
Did you not read the link about ivermectin that Lynx posted? Ivermectin has been used hundreds, if not thousands, of times by members of this forum alone with no adverse side effects. Many vets (including my own) refuse to use pyrethrins and instead choose to treat with ivermectin.
Please don't use that spray again! Please see if you can find a source for ivermectin in your area, or try online (do a search for 'Ivomec'). You can then treat all of your guinea pigs at the same time easily and cheaply yourself. If one pig has mites, they all will. Revolution is another product that is effective. But avoid pyrethrins!
- Supporter in '15
I know that you can get Revolution from Petshed.com out there if you can't find Ivermectin easily.
They do sell Ivermectin in Australia. Check with a feed store, or call a horse stable to find out where they get theirs. A pet store is not going to have it unless they carry horse, cattle or sheep supplies.
- I GAVE, dammit!
Dosing guidelines are here:
You will need to order the pink kitten package.