Less than a week ago, Frost decided he was tired of his fur and has barbered his entire tummy, front and back legs, and now is working on his back haunches. Other than this weird new activity, he's eating, drinking, and acting normal. He and Milo both lost some weight within a couple of weeks of us moving, but they seem to have leveled out.
If it wasn't for the fact that he's NEVER done this before, I wouldn't be as concerned, but we adopted frost when he was about three months old and have had him for five years and four months and this is the first time he's done this.
The skin doesn't look particularly irritated. It's just naked.
I'll take a picture tonight when I get home from work. We will pick up some ivermectin when we're in Emporia this evening (their farm & ranch supply has it) in case it's mites, but is there anything else we should be concerned about?
We had also concerned the possibility that he's developed some allergies being in a new environment. We're surrounded by heavily pollinating trees right now, and he's been sneezing once in a while, though he doesn't appear to have a URI.
Sorry about that, I didn't realize TWP_2 was at work posting at the exact same time about this. Can you close one of these threads, mods?
TWP_2's post is here:
Frost: Self-barbering. Mites? Similar to Linus' hair loss?
"Diana and I have been monitoring Frost due to some apparent hair loss on his abdomen. The hair loss has been spreading, and we're fairly sure he's barbering the hair (rather than it falling out).
We just moved a month ago, and during the move both of the pigs lost a little weight. We are concerned, because Linus (Frost's uncle) displayed weight loss and hair loss before his decline and death in February.
We're monitoring weight (still down about 100 grams, to about 850g, from pre-move). We're also going to pick up a new bottle of Ivermectin to do a topical dose in case this is mites. AND we're monitoring ear margins and other health signs that showed up in Linus with his heart issues.
Is there anything else we should be looking at? We have seriously considered the possibility that, after having lived in the same house and location for five years, that Frost is exhibiting behavior as a result of stress. Is that possible?"
Sending good thoughts for Linus, and I hope you get some answers soon.
I asked a good friend about this, since she has dealt with barbering twice, with two different girls.
Girl #1 had a tumor; she was actually barbering the spot where the tumor was located internally.
Girl #2 had a series of x-rays to rule out the possibility of any tumors (none found, thank goodness). She also had fecal tests to locate parasites (also none found). The vet feels that the cause of her barbering seems to be boredom. As long as Girl #2 has something to do, she doesn't seem to chew on her fur as often.
Sometimes a piggy will barber another piggy when that pig is sick. Like a way of comforting. I hope this is not the case and your piggy is just bored and taking up hairstyling!
Frost is definitely barbering himself.
We had one rare case of a hairball (I forget the name for it - starts with a t).If he is ingesting lots of hair, it may be possible to develop this.
I would have him x-rayed to check for gas and/or tumors. My Edgar had a bout with mild bloat and was chewing holes in his bedding. Since he has no hair to barber, he tried to eat my hair! It sounds like it may be pain related. Since he's chewing the insides of his legs, I would screen for arthritis as well.
I have also had an experience like Tracis' friend who had a barber chew their hair in the area where an internal tumor was located.
p.s. I added this to the hair loss page under barbering:
Barbering can also be triggered by pain or discomfort (gas, bloat, or other discomfort). Tumors have occasionally been found internally in the barbered location.
We picked up some ivermectin to make sure it's not mites. With the stress of losing Tom and Linus and the move, we wanted to rule that out.
I will start calling tomorrow to identify an exotics vet in Lawrence. If I can't find anyone I feel good about there, we'll have to take the boys to K-State.
He is comfortable being petted. Can bloat be otherwise unnoticeable? When we've had troubles with other guys, they didn't like to be touched or handled and you could usually see bulges.
"Can bloat be otherwise unnoticeable?"
Generally not. Stasis can be unnoticeable at first physiologically, but they'll still (usually, anyway) show signs of discomfort, lethargy, puffing up etc.
A photo would really be helpful.
We'll get a photo up soon, we took a couple of good ones this evening in the sunlight.
We dosed them this evening with the standard dose of Ivermectin (by weight). We'll follow up at 7 and 14 days, and continue monitoring. If it's mites I expect we'll see improvement within a day or two.
He does seem to be going after only areas that are regularly in contact with bedding (abdomen, legs, sides). But then he can most easily reach those areas, too.
This is Frost.
This is Frost's handiwork on his belly. He's done most of this since the weekend.
The skin itself looks healthy and not especially irritated. There are no urine stains or signs of a contact problem.
He has such an adorable face. :)
I am hoping that the ivermectin treatments are the solution.
Frost is FIVE? Wow. I hope this clears up or you find a solution/reason he's doing it.
That doesn't look particularly like gas/bloat. Fluid retention maybe?
What a cutie! And he certainly has done a number on his abdominal hair!
We started the ivermectin last night. We'll see pretty quickly, I think, if the mites were a problem. I'm afraid I'll come home to find him naked everywhere except his nose. He's industrious when he puts his mind to something, that's for sure.
Another GLer posted on my facebook page that I might need to try an antifungal and children's liquid Benedryl. Thoughts?