NAVIGATION
SOCIAL
© Guinea Pigs Australia
Guinea Pigs can contract a number of parasites including mange mites, ringworm, lice and ear mites. It is important that owners are familiar with the signs and symptoms, opting to treat the issue early and seek Veterinary assistance if in doubt. Some parasitic infestations are transferable to humans also known as a zoonotic disease. Topical Parasites in Guinea Pigs Mange Mites: These mites are very painful causing skin lesions, itching and hair loss. They are microscopic meaning they cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is vital that treatment is offered as soon as possible, as these burrowing mites can cause severe illness and in some cases death. They can also cause seizures to guinea pig in severe cases. Mange mites cannot be transferred to humans although may cause some minor irritation to sensitive skin.  Biting Lice:  These parasites can be seen with the naked eye. Often residing near the guinea pigs ears, head, rear and neck. Skin can appear dry and scaly with the presence of scabs. These parasites are thin with no wings, and crawl over the skin, biting the guinea pig. Guinea pig can contract lice from a number of sources including direct contact with an infected guinea pig, bedding or housing. Humans can get a mild rash if you come into common contact with these parasites so gloves are advised. Fur Mites: There are two distinct fur mites that can guinea pigs can contract. One is called Static Lice (Chirodiscoides caviae). This mite is relatively harmless and can be seen moving in the guinea pigs fur. They are usually found at the rear and resemble small egg like structures. They can cause minor itchiness. The other is called walking dandruff (Cheyletiella parasitivorax). This mites are relivatley large, are pale white to yellow and can grow to 0.3mm. They dissolve skin  via digestive enzymes and consume it causing itchiness, hair loss, scabs and inflammation. Humans can also see small red itchy spots upon contact with an infected guinea pig. Ear Mites: Also known as Psoroptes cuniculi can cause scratching and shaking of the head. The ears can also have a dark excretion. Oval in shape they can be seen in some cases by the naked eye however many are covered in the excreted substances in the ear. They are usually located in the inner ear causing inflammation, skin to flake and in some severe cases bacterial infections which can lead to serious complications affecting hearing and the brain. Ringworm: This condition is caused by fungal spores which can weaken hair follicles causing hair loss. The skin underneath is then exposed appearing crusty. Often seen on the nose, eyes and facial area ringworm is also highly contagious to humans and other pets, thus you should quarantine all animals that may be suspected of ringworm, disinfect all bedding, housing and cage supplies. Always wear gloves and long sleeves when handling infected pets and do not cross contaminate between guinea pigs with handling, swapping accessories or cages.
PARASITES
Symptoms
Hair loss generally starting at the rear
Itchiness
Patchy fur
Open sores and scabs on the skin
Skin residue similar to dandruff
Seizures in severe cases
What your Vet May Do
Skin Scraping - although not always a good diagnostic tool
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for fungal infections
Topical creams for open sores
Diazepam to control itching
Common Medications
Ivermectin (Oral or Topical) over 4 weeks
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Do not use sprays, shampoos or washes it can result in the mites burrowing more
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
An old sock with the ends cut off can be used as a cover to prevent scratching
Symptoms
Hair Loss
Crusty Skin and Scabs
Excessive Shedding
What your Vet May Do
Applying sticky tape to the hair folicle can trap the parasite so it can be seen under the microscope
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for bacterial infections
Common Medications
Ivermectin Topical over 4 weeks
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Antibiotics for Secondary skin bacterial infection
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Do not use sprays, shampoos or washes it can result in another outbreak due to stress
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
Symptoms
Itchiness
Hair loss
Scabs
Reddened skin
Mites resemble dandruff
What your Vet May Do
Applying sticky tape to the hair folicle can trap the parasite so it can be seen under the microscope
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for bacterial infections
Common Medications
Ivermectin Topical over 4 weeks
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Antibiotics for Secondary skin bacterial infection
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Do not use sprays, shampoos or washes it can result in another outbreak due to stress
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
Symptoms
Shaking of the head
Scratching at the ears
Scabs
Reddened skin
What your Vet May Do
Examination of the ear with a Otoscope
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for secondary bacterial infections
Using residue from the ear may be applied to a glass slide
Examination of slides under a microscope to diagnose Ear Mites
Common Medications
Ivermectin Injectable or oral twice (once per 18 days)
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Antibiotics for Secondary skin bacterial infection i.e Baytril
Ivermectin can also be applied directly to the ear
Gentocin ear Drops/Otomite
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Clean the ears with a dry cotton ball and a gentle ear cleanser approved for small animal use
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
Symptoms
Bald patches of skin
Crusty flaky skin
Facial Scabs
What your Vet May Do
Skin scrape and culture
Prescription of anti-fungal cream and shampoo
Cleanse the area with Chlorhexadine solution
Common Medications
Malaseb Shampoo
Anti-Fungal cream such as Miconazole
Chlorhexadine Solution
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Soak all accessories in a diluted bleach solution for a minimum of 15 minutes
Wash hands regularly and wear gloves
Clean and disinfect all housing
Quarantine infected pets
VIDEOS OF PARASITES IN GUINEA PIGS
Walking Dandruff (Fur Mite) Mange Mites         Fur Mites (Harmless Version)
  Ringworm Lice
Ear Mites
SOCIAL
© Guinea Pigs Australia
Guinea Pigs can contract a number of parasites including mange mites, ringworm, lice and ear mites. It is important t hat owners are familiar with the signs and symptoms, opting to treat the issue early and seek Veterinary assistance if in doubt. Some parasitic infestations are transferable to humans also known as a zoonotic disease. Topical Parasites in Guinea Pigs Mange Mites: These mites are very painful causing skin l esions, itching and hair loss. They are microscopic meaning they cannot be seen with the naked eye. It is vital that treatment is offered as soon as possible, as these burrowing mites can cause severe illness and in some cases death. They can also cause seizures to guinea pig in severe cases. Mange mites cannot be transferred to humans although may cause some minor irritation to sensitive skin.  Biting Lice:  These parasites can be seen with the naked eye. Often residing near the guinea pigs ears, head, rear  and neck. Skin can appear dry and scaly with the presence of scabs. These parasites are thin with no wings, and crawl over the skin, biting the guinea pig. Guinea pig can contract lice from a number of sources including direct contact with an infected guinea pig, bedding or housing. Humans can get a mild rash if you come into common contact with these parasites so gloves are advised. Fur Mites: There are two distinct fur mites that can guinea pigs can contract. One is called Static Lice  (Chirodiscoides caviae). This mite is relatively harmless and can be seen moving in the guinea pigs fur. They are usually found at the rear and resemble small egg like structures. They can cause minor itchiness. The other is called walking dandruff (Cheyletiella parasitivorax). These mites are relivatley large, are pale white to yellow and can grow to 0.3mm. They dissolve skin  via digestive enzymes and consume it causing itchiness, hair loss, scabs and inflammation. Humans can also see small red itchy spots upon contact with an infected guinea pig. Ear Mites: Also known as Psoroptes cuniculi can cause scratching and shaking of the head. The ears can also have a dark excretion. Oval in shape they can be seen in some cases by the naked eye however many are covered in the excreted substances in the ear. They are usually located in the inner ear causing inflammation, skin to flake and in some severe cases bacterial infections which can lead to serious complications affecting hearing and the brain. Ringworm: This condition is caused by fungal spores which can weaken hair follicles causing hair loss. The skin underneath is then exposed appearing crusty. Often seen on the nose, eyes and facial area ringworm is also highly contagious to humans and other pets, thus you should quarantine all animals that may be suspected of ringworm, disinfect all bedding, housing and cage supplies. Always wear gloves and long sleeves when handling infected pets and do not cross contaminate between guinea pigs with handling, swapping accessories or cages.
Symptoms
Hair loss generally starting at the rear
Itchiness
Patchy fur
Open sores and scabs on the skin
Skin residue similar to dandruff
Seizures in severe cases
What your Vet May Do
Skin Scraping - although not always a good diagnostic tool
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for fungal infections
Topical creams for open sores
Diazepam to control itching
Common Medications
Ivermectin (Oral or Topical) over 4 weeks
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Do not use sprays, shampoos or washes it can result in the mites burrowing more
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
An old sock with the ends cut off can be used as a cover to prevent scratching
Symptoms
Hair Loss
Crusty Skin and Scabs
Excessive Shedding
What your Vet May Do
Applying sticky tape to the hair folicle can trap the parasite so it can be seen under the microscope
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for bacterial infections
Common Medications
Ivermectin Topical over 4 weeks
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Antibiotics for Secondary skin bacterial infection
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Do not use sprays, shampoos or washes it can result in another outbreak due to stress
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
Symptoms
Itchiness
Hair loss
Scabs
Reddened skin
Mites resemble dandruff
What your Vet May Do
Applying sticky tape to the hair folicle can trap the parasite so it can be seen under the microscope
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for bacterial infections
Common Medications
Ivermectin Topical over 4 weeks
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Antibiotics for Secondary skin bacterial infection
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Do not use sprays, shampoos or washes it can result in another outbreak due to stress
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
Symptoms
Shaking of the head
Scratching at the ears
Scabs
Reddened skin
What your Vet May Do
Examination of the ear with a Otoscope
Vets should prescribe Ivermectin
May also treat for secondary bacterial infections
Using residue from the ear may be applied to a glass slide
Examination of slides under a microscope to diagnose Ear Mites
Common Medications
Ivermectin Injectable or oral twice (once per 18 days)
Revolution for Puppies & Kittens
Antibiotics for Secondary skin bacterial infection i.e Baytril
Ivermectin can also be applied directly to the ear
Gentocin ear Drops/Otomite
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Clean the ears with a dry cotton ball and a gentle ear cleanser approved for small animal use
All guinea pigs will need treatment even if no symptoms are showing
Clean and disinfect all housing
Symptoms
Bald patches of skin
Crusty flaky skin
Facial Scabs
What your Vet May Do
Skin scrape and culture
Prescription of anti-fungal cream and shampoo
Cleanse the area with Chlorhexadine solution
Common Medications
Malaseb Shampoo
Anti-Fungal cream such as Miconazole
Chlorhexadine Solution
Home Care
Cut nails so they are short to prevent injury when scratching
Soak all accessories in a diluted bleach solution for a minimum of 15 minutes
Wash hands regularly and wear gloves
Clean and disinfect all housing
Quarantine infected pets
VIDEOS OF PARASITES IN GUINEA PIGS
Walking Dandruff (Fur Mite) Mange Mites         Fur Mites (Harmless Version)
Ear Mites
  Ringworm Lice
Parasites