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Can Anybody Help

Kristi 23

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My Guinea Pig Gabby has been scratching and biting at herself for 4 months now. She went to the vet here in town and got a shot of Ivermectin. It didn't help. So I took her to a different vet in a bigger city. He couldn't find any bald patches. He ruffled her hair up, put her on a white piece of paper, and shook her. Nothing showed up on the paper. He said for certain she didn't have fleas. But he gave her no treatment. The problem persisted. I read online that an Ivermectin shampoo might take care of the problem. So I went back to the vet here in town and asked for this. He said he wasn't a Guinea Pig expert but he would make the shampoo. Then he came back into the room and said he had something better than Ivermectin. He gave me a couple of doses of Imidaclapid. She got one dose. It didn't help. The vet here in town referred me to an exotic vet in a bigger city. So I took Gabby there. The vet looked through her hair and said she didn't have lice. The vet asked me if I was itchy. I was so I said yes. Strangely enough I got a servere case of Scabies right around the same time Gabby's problem began. My Scabies has since been eradicated. They're gone. Gabby's cage is in my bed. I sleep with her at night. Anyways, this Exotic vet suspected Sarcoptic mites or scabies on Gabby. She couldn't do a skin scrape because Gabby has no bald spots or visible sores. The doctor also said sometimes a skin scrape will make a Guinea Pig bleed. So she gave Gabby a dose of Revolution on the back of her neck. The vet gave me another dose to give her on September 8. About 3 weeks went by and I thought I saw that Gabby was not scratching although I may not have been watching her very closely. Then I started seeing Gabby biting herself and scratching again. I called the Exotic vet back and explained the situation to her nurse. The doctor said since it was close to the date the next dose was supposed to be given to go ahead and give it to Gabby. The nurse said to give that about a week and a half and if Gabby still didn't stop itching the doctor wanted to start allergy testing. I gave Gabby the last dose of Revolution yesterday. So far no change. Sometimes she will hop up like something is biting her. Sometimes she'll shake her head or body from side to side like she's trying to shake something off. Also a few times I saw white stuff like dandruff in her hair. Other than the scratching and biting herself, she is eating, drinking, and playing just like her old self. I gave her a little bit of children's Benadryl and it seemed to put her asleep for about 10 minutes and during this time she didn't scratch. But after the 10 minutes, she started scratching and biting herself again. She is scratching all over. Her body, her ears, her face. And she is biting her body and her legs. I am at my wit's end. It kills me to see her miserable like this. And I don't have too much more money to spend on this. Also the vet here in town said she looks perfectly healthy and her weight is normal too. Does anybody have any idea of what the trouble could be? Does anybody have any idea what to do? All help will be appreciated.
 

Fantasimo

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What kind of bedding is she on? Some pigs are allergic to wood shavings, and some pigs can react to dusty types of hay. If it’s fleece bedding, then is it washed naturally, or with any kind of washing product?

Have you considered rubbing something like coconut oil into the places where she scratches the most? My very itchy old dog used to get ‘hot spots’ and nibble himself raw. Coconut oil was the only thing that helped. I know it is safe for guinea pigs topically, but not as a food.

Hopefully someone else with a scratchy pig will be along to add some more insight soon. In the meantime, it sounds like you are doing all you can for your much loved pig ❤
 

Kristi 23

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She is on wood shavings but for about 2 weeks I gave her different bedding, she still scratched and bit herself. Also this is the bedding I have used her whole life. The problem only started 4 months ago. Where can you get coconut oil? She hasn't scratched or bitten herself raw anywhere but I suppose I could rub her all over with it. Thanks.
 

Fantasimo

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Sometimes allergies can come with age for no apparent reason whatsoever 🤷🏻‍♀️

I would be tempted to try a fleece bedding, or material based bedding again, but make sure that all traces of the original bedding are gone from her habitat, even from houses and toys. You could even bath her (and make sure she is nice and dry afterwards) to completely rule out wood shavings as being the cause. That way you can start to do a bit of your own detective work.

Another thing to consider would be if anything has recently changed in Gabby’s life. Has she had a change of habitat, lost a cage mate, have you taken a favourite toy or house out of the cage? If there is no pathological reason, could it be a bad habit she has developed as a stress reliever?

Again, I’m sure that others will have a better idea of what the problem might be with regards health issues.

You can buy coconut oil from Amazon in jars. Pure virgin is the best kind, but cold pressed has also worked well on my various dogs and animals in the past and is cheaper. I know that people with skinny pigs use it to keep their piggies skin healthy.
 

Kristi 23

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Sometimes allergies can come with age for no apparent reason whatsoever 🤷🏻‍♀️

I would be tempted to try a fleece bedding, or material based bedding again, but make sure that all traces of the original bedding are gone from her habitat, even from houses and toys. You could even bath her (and make sure she is nice and dry afterwards) to completely rule out wood shavings as being the cause. That way you can start to do a bit of your own detective work.

Another thing to consider would be if anything has recently changed in Gabby’s life. Has she had a change of habitat, lost a cage mate, have you taken a favourite toy or house out of the cage? If there is no pathological reason, could it be a bad habit she has developed as a stress reliever?

Again, I’m sure that others will have a better idea of what the problem might be with regards health issues.

You can buy coconut oil from Amazon in jars. Pure virgin is the best kind, but cold pressed has also worked well on my various dogs and animals in the past and is cheaper. I know that people with skinny pigs use it to keep their piggies skin healthy.
 

Kristi 23

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Thanks a lot. You've definitely given me some things to think about and try.
 

Freya1234

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I see that you said that sometimes Gabby hops up like something is biting her, could this be her popcorning? As when pigs popcorn it is quite sudden but it just means that they are happy or excited about something. I hope you can get to the bottom of Gabby’s itching and scratching❤
 

PigglePuggle

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Thanks @BossHogg for moving this to H&I!
First off, please if you have been prescribed a course of spot-on treatment from the vet please, please keep going at 2 week intervals until piggy has had 3 doses 2 weeks apart. Until then, if piggy has mange mites or scabies, things may initially look/feel worse before they start to get better.
Coconut oil will do nothing for a parasite problem, and we really dont recommend home treatments. Similarly benadryl- please do not give human medicines to guinea pigs!
Possibly if you have had scabies (which is a type of mange mite) this has infected your guinea pig, its unusual but scabies is pretty uncommon these days, and piggy skin is sufficiently like human skin that its a possibility. Piggies do not get fleas, but may get lice or mites- mites are invisible to the naked eye and cannot be seen except with a microscope.
Please complete the course of revolution treatment your vet has given you and be patient, if the itching seems worse then contact the vet again and request some metacam/loxicom which is an anti-inflammatory medicine that is very safe for piggies. You might also request that the vet does diagnostic tests for fungal and bacterial skin infections, just to rule these out too- sometimes a piggy scratching themselves can cause a secondary infection in the skin even if it wasnt the original cause.
Best of luck, glad you have found the forum and are seeking advise and also vet care, please stay away from the home treatments though and give the prescription medicines for the full course so they have enough time to take effect!
 

Kristi 23

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Thanks @BossHogg for moving this to H&I!
First off, please if you have been prescribed a course of spot-on treatment from the vet please, please keep going at 2 week intervals until piggy has had 3 doses 2 weeks apart. Until then, if piggy has mange mites or scabies, things may initially look/feel worse before they start to get better.
Coconut oil will do nothing for a parasite problem, and we really dont recommend home treatments. Similarly benadryl- please do not give human medicines to guinea pigs!
Possibly if you have had scabies (which is a type of mange mite) this has infected your guinea pig, its unusual but scabies is pretty uncommon these days, and piggy skin is sufficiently like human skin that its a possibility. Piggies do not get fleas, but may get lice or mites- mites are invisible to the naked eye and cannot be seen except with a microscope.
Please complete the course of revolution treatment your vet has given you and be patient, if the itching seems worse then contact the vet again and request some metacam/loxicom which is an anti-inflammatory medicine that is very safe for piggies. You might also request that the vet does diagnostic tests for fungal and bacterial skin infections, just to rule these out too- sometimes a piggy scratching themselves can cause a secondary infection in the skin even if it wasnt the original cause.
Best of luck, glad you have found the forum and are seeking advise and also vet care, please stay away from the home treatments though and give the prescription medicines for the full course so they have enough time to take effect!
Thanks a lot!
 

Kristi 23

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A reminder that home treatments should not be recommended on the forum without the advice of a vet
Acting it was the vet who told me to give her the Benadryl. She gave me a syringe? and told me how much to give her.
 

Kristi 23

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Please don’t apply the coconut oil, it’s not necessary. You say she scratches, is it a lot every day? They do scratch sometimes and also clean themselves by licking their fur etc.
Yes she
 
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