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2 More Dying Piggies

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Junior Guinea Pig
Dec 24, 2014
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London, UK
Let me first thank everyone who take time out of their festive seasons to offer advice, etc.

I am going to see a vet ASAP but please just throw any ideas and suggestions at this, My nearest 2 other vets have the worst reviews and plenty of them. Money-grabbing isn't the worst of the problems. Both places reportedly have no idea what they are doing. I probably will take the bus to the next closest - best by way of having no reviews at all on Google.
Piggysus passed away 28th Dec. Vet said mites.Pictures taken just now, i.e. 2am 31/12
The first picture is Beanie, the rest Dotty.
But this is roughly what Piggysus looked like some time ago, maybe 3 weeks. What I am trying to say is Beanie seems very much a few stops behind on the same track. In particular how there is damage on the face - the more I bath their body, the more damage there is on the face. The only difference is Beanie does not have some very deep scratches. Piggysus probably did those to himself.
In fact, this picture is so bright it looks a bit better than it actually is.

Only yesterday (29/12) Beanie rested by my leg and popcorned non-stop until she fell asleep. Then I slept for 4 hours. Then I woke up and this whole day (30/12) she was preoccupied with itching and scratching. The Bob Martin's hay is one of the problems - just bringing out 2 handfuls left mite bite bumps on my hand and arm. And this is not the first bag that does this either. But I only added the hay at the end of the day, like past midnight. The only thing better is she does not wheek as hard from the problems. However, when Piggysus was still alive, handling them tends to stop to noise making. Today it does little.
Just behind Beanie's legs the skin is bald and wrinkly. I know the bladness is from the damage on skin - but it is normalto be wrinkly? Beanie's wrinkled areas are only very small, but the other piggies I already lost had much bigger wrinkly patches - looked like sick, old dogs. I always forgot to mention this bit before.
Beanie.jpg Dotty1.jpg Dotty2.jpg
You probably think Dotty's pictures show little damage and you would be right. My concern here is that as you can see, there is some damage, and they are new, Very minor, in a few places. A week ago she showed like no damage or illness at all. So considering what happened to the others, I fear she may also have the same.

They both have a tiny bit of heavy breathing - but only occasionally and only when my hand is near, like when holding them or touching them - am I the problem!? I have asthma and eczema.
However, since I started making this post (about an hour ago) they both curled into the same cave bed, which I put under my blanket and they calmed down and rested for an hour - the problem was, earlier today this same treatment had little effect. Beanie is now back out to eat. Not too affected by the hay. Now it has been another 15 or 20 minutes and it's their most comfortable 15 minutes of the day. I don't get it.


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I don't have any advice to offer but want to wish your piggies a speedy recovery and good luck at the vets.
The only thing I can think is GET RID OF THAT HAY! If you are getting mite bites from pulling it out, why are you providing it to the guinea pigs? Or am I reading that wrong? I'm not gonna lie- when we had guinea pigs as a child, all we provided them with were pellets and I kid you not, they lived into the 5-6 year old range. I know now it wasn't the healthiest thing for them, but back then, it wasn't well known that they needed hay really, at least not for the average pig owner. If the hay is affecting your pigs like that, and you can't get them hay without mites, I think they'd be better off without hay looking at the state they're in. When my rabbit got mites from her straw bedding, I had to remove it all and then wash and sanitize her entire pen to ensure there were no more mites anywhere and even then, she had a second infestation and I can only assume I didn't get all the mites. Good luck and I hope you get some help at the vets.
Hello, Chopsticus!

I have not read through your other threads. . . Therefore, I am unsure as to what has been discussed, and as to the advice you have already received. . .

However, Beanie, and Dotty appear to be suffering from mites, and/or a fungal infection.

A deep clean of the environment is necessary - I would advise that all washable items are washed on a sixty degree cycle; bedding, hay, and wooden cage accessories are thrown away immediately; and that their cage/s, and cage accessories are cleaned with a dilute bleach solution (1 Part Bleach: 50 Parts Water)!

Beanie, and Dotty's treatment should consist of an appropriate mite treatment, antifungal treatment, and, possibly, an antibiotic, if secondary bacterial infection is present etc! However, I would also advise that you discuss the use of an anti-inflammatory/painkiller with the veterinarian - For example, Metacam! Of course, Beanie and Dotty should be prevented for causing further self-trauma!

A course of Ivermectin would be recommended for the mites - Three doses 10-14 days apart! And I would recommend Imaverol (Enilconazole) dips to treat/prevent a fungal infection!

However, please discuss with the veterinarian whether it is felt that an antibiotic is necessary/ would be beneficial!

Before Beanie, and Dotty complete their treatment, I would advise that you purchase, and clean their cage/s, and cage accessories with a more suitable cleaning agent - For example, F10 Disinfectant!

Ouch, that looks sore! Use our vet locater on this forum to find yourself a guinea pig savvy vet to take them to ASAP!

Deep clean of their home is required before they go back in. Get rid of the hay and any dispoable bedding and buy fresh. Disinfect the entire cage/hutch thoroughly. Anything fabric that is washable, wash it at a high temperature with disinfectant. Clean all hideys, food bowls and water bottles to be thorough.

Tagging @helen105281 who may be able to advise more on their skin.
Oh my, that looks very sore, I need to catch up on your other threads which I will do at lunch but am I correct in thinking the previous cases of potential mange mites were only treated with spot on? if mange mites are diagnosed then a round of injections for each pig is needed as this is way more advanced than Spot on can cope with. If you suspect this is coming from your hay then you are looking at hay mites or lice. I agree with everything Guinea Pig GaGa has said. Fungal is a definite possibility either instead of or in addition to mange mites (it is possible to get a combination problem) and I second the Imaverol recommendation. You do seem to have some kind of epidemic going on if all your pigs have been affected and so please take all the pigs you have to the vets when you go. If you are in London, see if you can get into the Beaumont Sainsbury Vets in Camden. I am tagging @Abi_nurse in case.

I too think you may also be dealing with a bacterial infection on top, so antibiotics may be needed too (with probiotics aswell an hour after).

If your pigs are scratching a course of steroids should be looked into too to break the itch scratch cycle.

When pigs are run down for whatever reason they can pick up skin issues so it may be there is something underlying going on, which only a decent vet can diagnose, but the breathing problems you describe could also be the result of their immune systems being compromised from the skin issues.

I can comment more on my lunch break but I have to start work in a moment.
Having also read your other threads what your have described to date is sadly, how dangerous and deadly a condition sarcoptic mange can be if not treated properly. When I was a child (many years ago!) I had a guinea pig called Misfit who developed what I now know to be sarcoptic mange - the vet at that time didn't recognise it for what it was and we were just told to bathe him and put coconut oil on him. Needless to say Misfit passed away (thankfully without convulsions) but prior to doing so he lost much of the fur on his rump/back and became very boney/skeletal in much the same way as you described for Piggysus.

I'm very sorry you lost him.

The most important thing is firstly to treat Dotty and Beanie for the mange before it gets any worse so you need to go and see an experienced guinea pig vet today and ask for injections of either ivermectin or doramectin. Beaumont animal hospital is a good suggestion if you can get there but if you post up your rough location in London I can try and find a suitable vets for you

I would strongly recommend that you do not allow the vet to prescribe a Topical spot-on treatment as an alternative, as they are more effective against lice and hay mites that graze on the surface of the skin. You really need injections or oral administration to target mange mites which burrow into the skin and especially given the stage at which it has reached. Your girls will need a total of 3 injections/oral doses based 7-10 days apart to break the cycle as ivermectin is not effective against the eggs.

Anti-inflammatory's and pain meds should also be discussed with the vet. A word of caution though - if steroids (e.g. prednisolone) are to be given these must NOT be given together with non-steroidal anti-inflammatories such as Metacam (which is commonly given to piggies for pain relief). If steroids are to be given then an alternative pain relief would be Tramadol

The breathing is often a reaction to being poorly from a parasitic infestation but as already said the vet needs to make the call of whether to prescribe an antibiotic in case there is a respiratory infection (or there are infected sores on the skin). Vet will also need to make the call as to whether they think there is also a fungal infection present in which case they may prescribe anti-fungals but I think the suggestion of an imaverol dip as a precaution is a sensible one. You can also use sporal D shampoo.

Extra Vit C should also be given....or even something like VetArk Pro C which contains not only Vit C but chlorophyll and probioitics.

Moving on to bathing/handling - your piggies will not like being handled/bathed as it will be very painful/distressing for them. There is no need to bathe more than one a week.....preferably two days after the injection to help dislodge dead mite debris which irritates the skin. The vet may prescribe a special shampoo to help with the sore skin or alternatively you could use an appropriate small animal shampoo followed by syringing on the imaverol dip and leaving it to dry.

The most important thing after getting to see the vet is proper husbandry to get rid of all contaminated bedding/hay/clothing etc. Mange is contagious between guinea pigs and if you don;t undertake a proper decontamination of everything they have touched (including your clothes etc) then the problem will continue to persist and your piggies won't get better. You can wear a plastic disposable apron when handling your pigs and bin it afterwards so mites and their eggs aren't transferred to your clothes.

Fabrics (duvets, towels, fleeces, cosies etc) should be washed at 60degC or above with a biologcal detergent and if possible iron them afterwards.
Hard surfaces including plastic cages can be treated with eg Johnsons insecticidal cage spray (but be aware they contain permethirns - cats should be kept away and the spray should not be breathed in by any animal including yourself - best done outside). Leave for 30mins and then wash off thoroughly with a good animal disinfectant such as F10.
Carpets should be vacuumed thoroughly
Bin anything you can't clean that has been in contact with the guinea pigs.

Hopefully this should all help to break the mange mite life cycle and your piggies will make a complete recovery
I can't add much more than anyone else has said to be honest. But yes they need proper mite treatment, possibly fungal treatment, antibiotics and a change of hay and disinfection of there environment.

The Beaumont in Camden is open today but closing early. If you really can't get there try CJ Hall vets, they're exotics specialists too.

Good luck. Let us all know how you get on.

I can only second what other people have said. They need to be seen by a vet who is experienced with guinea pigs and who will treat them very aggressively by injection for mites/fungal issues. Wherever they are living needs to be aggressively decontaminated and anything that can go (hay, bedding, etc.) should go. The hay definitely has to go, if you are being bitten reaching into the bag, it is pretty obvious where a major source of infestation is coming from! Lots of luck, and I hope you can find a vet recommended here who treats guinea pigs specifically. My experience (based on losing a pig in part due to substandard vet care) is that I will only see a vet with experience specific to guinea pigs and other small exotics. It makes a huge difference in the care received. Lots of luck to you and your piggies.
If they are mite infested they may also be anaemic,as the mites will be feeding off their blood, which would also explain why they are starting to breath heavy. They will be feeling quite poorly with it all. Like everyone says, I would suggest you get rid of the hay and try to keep them in a sterile environment whilst they are getting better. Make sure you change their cage every day to remove any remaining mites whilst you are getting them better. You could keep them on Vet bed or something like it as it is easy to clean.

I had a rabbit which caught mites from a batch of hay once. I bought some padded kitchen roll and put several layers down whilst she was being treated and changed it every day on the advice from the vets. She recovered quickly with the help from the vets and her hair grew back. It was a lesson I learned early on, to be extremely careful where you get your hay from. You can buy readigrass which is heat treated and this gets rid of anything which could be harmful, whilst retaining the nutrients of the grass.

By being scrupulously clean and disinfecting everything, you can get on top of everything and they will recover, but you will need vet support and a lot of time to deal with it. Time is of the essence though as mite infestation can make them very poorly indeed and very quickly.
I meant to include everything I have to say in this thread to save my 2 survivors but I appreciate your research.

Ok Beautmont Pet Hospital is reachable, in fact, only a little further than the non-descript vet.
60 degree,got it.
Anaemic sounds much more fitting than a separate respiratory problem. They only breathe heavy when trying to get away from me.

I just bathed Beanie. Didn't like it but she's dry now and appear comforable enough to be bubbling again. Damage has taken hold of the entire face though.

Dotty very rarely display breathing difficulty but it does sometimes. Her behaviour is a little strange - she does not like being handled that much but in my bed she moves away very calmly and slowly - she really doesn't bolt. On the floor she runs away much more normally and was very hard to catch. Yet, the slowness does not appear to have anything to do with any illness like respiratory, anaemic or chronic or weight. She is plump, soft, big with extremely silky coat but does not seem obese. Unlike the late Ginny who was a proper sumo wrestler last year, almost as wide as she was long.
Duh, forgot to ask:
Do I bathe Dotty? I have never bathed Dotty. She was always clean except for what you saw. Today she seemed to have not scratched at all.
Do NOT bathe anymore until you have seen a decent vet and got the injections - which you must do on 2nd Jan if you haven;t done so today
They need treatment for potential mange mites - if any condition like this is untreated they will die. Please get them treated properly for it!

As somebody has already said, time is very much of the essence.
Bathing too often, especially with a less-than-ideal product, is likely to exasperate a mite infestation, and/or fungal condition! However, bathing strips the coat of natural oils. . . Therefore, bathing a guinea pig too often can make a guinea pig's coat/skin dry, which will cause further irritation!

However, Beanie, and Dotty will be in great discomfort/pain - The discomfort/pain experienced from being touched, could quite easily result in a fit/seizure! Therefore, not only would I advise against bathing Beanie, and Dotty, but I would advise that you keep handling Beanie, and Dotty to a minimum for the foreseeable/until treatment begins to show results!
If you are unable to provide the right vet care for these little guys for any reason please do use our rescue locator and hand them over to a nearby rescue.
Well today's bath is a huge success and my best ever. Discomfort has completely stopped and they sound very happy. They napped and are now eating. They didn't go for any extra bedding.
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