Guinea pig mites are completely normal. Some of them live in the rodents' fur without disturbing them. However, if the guinea pig's health status becomes unbalanced, the number of parasites can increase significantly. As a result, there is severe itching, hair loss, bran-like coverings, scaly-crusty inflammation, thickened skin areas and barky crusts.
Guinea pig mites: symptoms and types
While only hair loss is observed in some cases, in others the mites dig deep into the skin. The result is intense itching and skin inflammation. These often appear on the inner thighs, shoulders and neck of the guinea pig. If mites are deep in the skin, the skin under the infected fur is often dry or oily and thickened or crusted. Guinea pigs that are heavily infected may experience weight loss or appear depleted. Another symptom could be that the guinea pig excitedly runs around in the cage. Never leave the disease untreated. The animal suffers greatly and can die if not treated.
Guinea pigs are mainly affected by these types of mites:
- tomb mites
These parasites are the most common species found in guinea pigs. The mites burrow into the skin of the rodents, drill entire passages and lay their eggs in them.
- Hair follicle mites
A species of mite that lives in the hair follicles of guinea pigs. It feeds on sebum and dander.
- fur mites
Parasites found on the animal's hair. This mite species is mostly introduced with new animals or objects.
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What are the causes of guinea pig mites?
A high mite infestation is a sign that the animal's health is out of balance. The reasons for this can be:
- Contagion in other guinea pigs
- qualitative or quantitative malnutrition or malnutrition
- poor housing conditions (insufficient space, lack of hygiene)
How to fight guinea pig mites
The following applies to all mite species:
If the animals have already scratched open wounds, you should disinfect the wounds with agents such as Betaisodona, Braunol or Kodan. Then cream the areas with wound and healing ointment such as Bepanthen or Hametum. If there is severe itching, administer Fenistil for the first few days, even paw bandages on the hind paws for a few days can provide relief. If the animals do not scratch the wounds again and again, healing can start faster and the risk of further bacterial and fungal attack on the sore spots is reduced.
Treat with ivermectin (e.g. Ivomec) three times at seven to ten day intervals - in the form of an injection or spot-on solution. Alternatively with Selamectin (e.g. Stronghold) once or twice every three to four weeks as a spot-on solution. For both medications, you need a prescription from the veterinarian.
You can also apply ivermectin (e.g. Ivomec) here, three times at intervals of seven to ten days as an injection or spot-on solution. Or Selamectin (e.g. Stronghold) two to three times every two weeks as a spot-on solution. If the infection persists, you can also bathe with Amitraz (e.g. Ectodex) once a week. You need a prescription from the veterinarian for the medicines mentioned.
Treat with Propoxur (e.g. Bolfo as a flea powder or spray) twice a week. Or they use Fipronil once (e.g. Frontline), for this medication you need a prescription from the veterinarian.
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