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Concerned about piggy fur

Posie&Coco

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Hello 👋
I’m a new Guinea Pig owner so I’m not sure if I’m worrying unnecessarily but today I spotted black specks on my Dutch piggy, Coco’s white fur. They brushed off easily and I checked the rest of her fur and found what looked like nits attached to the black hairs of her hind legs (these wouldn’t brush off). She molting but isn’t showing any signs of itching or distress or any areas of hair loss.

I’ve got lost in the world of google and was hoping someone more experienced could give me an answer about whether these could be lice, mites or fleas?

Thank you for any help,
Samantha 7BBE4343-E5DD-45A8-A724-6C558BB2BDF5.jpeg7C779C94-0CE3-477C-AA3C-8D6184060281.png
 

Adelle

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Skin and bugs really aren't my forte as luckily not had any issues - I'm sure someone will be along soon to advise you x
 

Posie&Coco

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Thank you - I felt like they fit the static lice description best but wanted someone to help me rule out other options.

The eggs are so tiny, microscopic!
 

Abi_nurse

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Hard to say with certainty because you can just get simple dandruff. If she's not itching or bothered then maybe leave her be and if your concerned then give her an ivermectin spot on treatment or bathe her in lice and easy shampoo by gorgeous guineas (available online).

x
 

Wiebke

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Hello 👋
I’m a new Guinea Pig owner so I’m not sure if I’m worrying unnecessarily but today I spotted black specks on my Dutch piggy, Coco’s white fur. They brushed off easily and I checked the rest of her fur and found what looked like nits attached to the black hairs of her hind legs (these wouldn’t brush off). She molting but isn’t showing any signs of itching or distress or any areas of hair loss.

I’ve got lost in the world of google and was hoping someone more experienced could give me an answer about whether these could be lice, mites or fleas?

Thank you for any help,
Samantha View attachment 120043View attachment 120044
Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry for your lumpy start!

Please have your guinea pigs vet checked for hay mites (chirodiscoides caviae); we can give it a good guess but we cannot replace a hands-on examination. Hay mites are also used to be known as static lice in the UK, but what you actually see are the egg cases that are fixed to the hairs initially at the bum end. The mites themselves are pretty much invisible and live off the debris on the skin. They are the mildest of the skin parasites. I prefer to call them hay mites rather than fur mites as there is an occasionally species jumping variety of fur mites called cheyletellia parasitivorax, which is much more irritating and aggressive than you are reporting.

Sadly hay mites have become a lot more common in recent years with changed industrial harvesting methods that churn up much more soil (and therefore bugs) for internationally sold large hay brands. Unfortunately, some of the new strands can also be difficult to get rid of. Please do not waste any money on cheap low dosed broad spectrum shop products that at the best can only temporarily suppress the problem. Better go and do it right from the start!
Here is more information on hay mites and whether you can reclaim any treatment cost from your pet shop or not: What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)

Please throw away your hay, which is where they are coming with.
Here is our hay guide with hay providers in several countries: A Comprehensive Hay Guide for Guinea Pigs (incl. providers in several countries)

Both guides are part of our new owners guide collection, which specifically addresses all the areas we get the most questions and worries about from new owners in as practical and precise a way as possible. You may find it very helpful: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Posie&Coco

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Hi and welcome!

I am very sorry for your lumpy start!

Please have your guinea pigs vet checked for hay mites (chirodiscoides caviae); we can give it a good guess but we cannot replace a hands-on examination. Hay mites are also used to be known as static lice in the UK, but what you actually see are the egg cases that are fixed to the hairs initially at the bum end. The mites themselves are pretty much invisible and live off the debris on the skin. They are the mildest of the skin parasites. I prefer to call them hay mites rather than fur mites as there is an occasionally species jumping variety of fur mites called cheyletellia parasitivorax, which is much more irritating and aggressive than you are reporting.

Sadly hay mites have become a lot more common in recent years with changed industrial harvesting methods that churn up much more soil (and therefore bugs) for internationally sold large hay brands. Unfortunately, some of the new strands can also be difficult to get rid of. Please do not waste any money on cheap low dosed broad spectrum shop products that at the best can only temporarily suppress the problem. Better go and do it right from the start!
Here is more information on hay mites and whether you can reclaim any treatment cost from your pet shop or not: What to check and look out for in new guinea pigs (vet checks, sexing, parasites&illness)

Please throw away your hay, which is where they are coming with.
Here is our hay guide with hay providers in several countries: A Comprehensive Hay Guide for Guinea Pigs (incl. providers in several countries)

Both guides are part of our new owners guide collection, which specifically addresses all the areas we get the most questions and worries about from new owners in as practical and precise a way as possible. You may find it very helpful: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides

Thank you so much for your thorough and detailed response. I appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me, Sam
 

Posie&Coco

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Hard to say with certainty because you can just get simple dandruff. If she's not itching or bothered then maybe leave her be and if your concerned then give her an ivermectin spot on treatment or bathe her in lice and easy shampoo by gorgeous guineas (available online).

x
Thank you for the advice - a Vet friend of mine just replied and advised the same.
 

Posie&Coco

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Hi all,
I just wanted to say thank you for your advice.
I’m monitoring Coco and she seems well and happy. I’ve not administered any shampoos or spot ons as yet but the mites seemed severely reduced today (hard to spot any in the same places) so I’m assuming she has groomed herself/the hay is of better quality.

Thanks again,
Sam
 
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