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Does Anyone Have Experience With This? Its Health But Also Behavior?

TheLottiediarys

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Hi all,

Just got back from taking Aurora to the vets
She has a wound on her back.

Here a little back story on this wound, in case any part of this history is important to whats happening now?

When i 'adopted' Aurora and her cage mate Anya a few weeks ago, they weren't in great condition, Both very skittish and mistrusting of humans despite being 'handled daily', The old owners were just getting rid of their guinea pigs, they were not a rescue or anything.

Upon arrival Aurora's condition was obviously worse, she had two healing wounds on her back and also an abnormally large and long back toe nail.

The two wounds were healed and it was just the fur that hadn't grown back, making them stand out.
Anyway, Fast forward to a few days after i got them, I noticed that Anya who is the more dominant of the two, will climb onto Aurora's back when they get spooked.

So i realized this might be where the wounds had come from,
And they got scratched up again recently,

So i looked into wounds, hair loss, ect and realized this might actually be Mites,
So i got her an appointment to see the vet today, which i just got back from.

And the vet had a very close look at the wound, the area around it and said he doesn't think its mites, it doesn't look like shes scratched it and made it bleed, but that there are two very distinct bite marks on her back.

So he asked a lot about their history, where i got them from, were they together when i got them or did i bond them myself,
But they were already bonded, and have been for a long time according to previous owners. (they're are both around a year old)

So what should i do?

I've been given some wound wash to help keep infection at bay, She also weighed 910g at the vets.

i don't really want to separate Anya and Aurora if i can help it, they are obviously bonded, but does this come under the category of 'drawing blood in fights'?
I've never seen any behavior from either of them that indicates they are having fights, I've not heard any crying or rumbling or anything like that?
But if they aren't fighting why is Anya biting Aurora?
or could it be that Aurora is biting herself? Why would she do that?
Is there any behavior i should look for that would indicate she is biting herself for a reason that's not Mites?

I know i could possibly split them up, if i had to.
I have the space and equipment to do it now if i had to, But id rather not if i can help it.

They currently live in a C and C cage, on fleece and towels, with two houses, and some other toys and stuff. They do tend to sit in the same hut though.

Any advice is appreciated.
 

Wiebke

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Hi! In my experience, wounds on the back are VERY rarely caused by other piggies and are in the overhelming majority of cases self-inflicted, usually by mange mites or as complications when other bugs/fungal/microbes could get into the skin via open wounds caused by severe mange mites or fungal infections.

The fact that you have not seen any behaviour between them that points to a fight or fall-out (and believe me, in those cases you cannot miss the tensions between warring sows) supports the fact, that it is caused by a skin issue of Aurora's, which needs to be checked by a piggy savvy vet and not by issues between the two sows.

My Pili Pala still has a bare patch of skin where she repeatedly bit her just healed skin open after being rescues with a severe mites infection; and she always bit with her mouth, not with her nails. With her, it turned out to be a nervous habit in the end, but I had to wait nearly 5 months before she was declared fit for adoption, and my reservation was suspended twice during that time. She's been with me for nearly 4 years now and has never suffered from mites again. She now even lets me touch her trouble patch, even if it is still rather reluctantly due to the severe pain/distress it has caused her as a baby.

As your sows are not distressed with each other, even if it is a bite from Anya (which I rather doubt), it can at the best be accidental and is seen as such by your girls. Please remove any hideys and potential flash points with only one exit and rather use children's stools etc. I would in any case, not separate until you have irrevocable proof of fights between the sows.

it is obvious that your girls do not have an issue
 

TheLottiediarys

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The fact that you have not seen any behaviour between them that points to a fight or fall-out (and believe me, in those cases you cannot miss the tensions between warring sows) supports the fact, that it is caused by a skin issue of Aurora's, which needs to be checked by a piggy savvy vet and not by issues between the two sows.
Thanks for the advice,

I'm just a little confused, Do you mean you think she DOES have Mites? because ive just been to the vet today and he said it wasnt mites? He seemed very sure,
Or do you think its a separate skin issue?
If it was a different skin issue wouldnt the vet have picked up on that?

or are you saying i should get a second opinion from a different vet?
Would it be of some help if i was to take a photo of the wound?

Sorry i got a bit confused,
Any advice is appreciated
:/ :/
 

Wiebke

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Thanks for the advice,

I'm just a little confused, Do you mean you think she DOES have Mites? because ive just been to the vet today and he said it wasnt mites? He seemed very sure,
Or do you think its a separate skin issue?
If it was a different skin issue wouldnt the vet have picked up on that?

or are you saying i should get a second opinion from a different vet?
Would it be of some help if i was to take a photo of the wound?

Sorry i got a bit confused,
Any advice is appreciated
:/ :/
Like my Pili Pala has shown, it can be a separate issue resulting from a pre-dating case of mites. It can be still mite eggs in the skin or it can be something else like microbes causing discomfort. Without any further clues, it is pretty impossible to say.

In my own experience, if there have been bites with sows (usually defence bites during bonding when a sow already very much on edge gets spooked by something), you REALLY cannot miss that in their behaviour. There will be teeth chattering for days and the sows will be extremely wary and stiff with each other, or the bitten sow is going to stay as far away from the biting sow as she can at all times.You haven't mentioned any change in behaviour whatsoever. :(

And those bites have generally been to the mouth and not to the back. I can honestly not remember a case of a sow receiving a bite to the back from her companion.

Personally, I would get a second opinion and would treat for mites again in any case.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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My Bella had this shortly after I first got my girls, vet gave me mite treatment and baytril and it cleared up quickly.

If it was the other piggy you would know about it because that kind of aggression cannot be missed. If it's the small of her back that's where Bella had it and she was doing that to herself and would try and bite me if I examined it because it was painful/irritating.

I would personally get a second opinion, I don't know if it WAS mites with Bella but because we took the precautions and treated for a few different scenarios it just cleared up in about a week or two.

Vets normally treat for mites just in case, in my experience it's unusual that your vet just said it wasn't as mites are invisible to the naked eye so he wouldn't be able to rule it out without a skin scrape sample. If he says it absolutely isn't WITHOUT actually checking then that's quite careless in my opinion as he won't be able to be certain.
 

Freela

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I would not separate them unless you are seeing actual signs of aggression/fights yourself with your own eyes. I wouldn't chalk the wounds up to a fight between them if all appears fine between them. Some skin conditions are so itchy that guinea pigs will injure themselves in scratching themselves, and they can certainly twist around and reach their backs. How exactly did the vet rule out mites? Honestly, if I had just adopted pigs who were not in the best conditions prior to coming home and they showed any wounds that could be due to biting/scratching, I would treat for mites even if they aren't visible to the naked eye just to rule it out.
 

TheLottiediarys

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When the vet looked at the wound he said it wasn't a wound which looker like it was caused by mites, it didn't have anything that indicated it might be mites except it was a wound on the back,

I guess he's seen a lot of mites wounds and this one just didn't look like they usually would do?
I'm really not sure
 

Wiebke

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In any case, please do not split two sows that are not showing any signs of aggression because you are unsure and cause them any undue stress without having visual proof that they are not getting along. There is NO indication whatsover that Anya is the cause of the wound on the back.

We have regularly seen members coming on with bite wounds in the middle of the back attributed to a companion by a general not piggy savvy vet, and it has always been wrong. When piggies fight, bites go to the face/neck or in boars to the rump; they do not go to the middle of the back. Those bite wounds are self-inflicted - ESPECIALLY as Aurora arrived at your place with healing mange mite wounds, so the likelihood that not all eggs in the skin have been killed off and are now starting to cause problems again is pretty overwhelming.

I may not be a vet, but in my time on the forum I have seen several thousand health and illness enquiries, so I think I have a good idea what is realistic and what not.

Here is a list of recommended vets if you wish a second opinion. Please mention that Aurora arrived with raw patches to her back when you got her: Guinea Pig Vet Locator
 

TheLottiediarys

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Don't worry I am definately not going to seperate the girls, I don't want to do that unless I have to.

I've already looked at the vets on the locator and since I don't drive I cannot get to any of them for Atleast 2 weeks because my parents are on holiday abroad, so I cannot get a lift from anyone till then,

I'm very upset about this whole situation because you do what you think is right by taking your pet to the vet,
And if it is mites, which seems like it might be, why has this vet I've just seen not picked up on that,
Why have I just paid for a vet appointment and they might have missed the cause of the wound?

I feel quite torn between trusting the vets diagnosis and trusting the forums advice :/

Shouldn't I trust the vets diagnosis since they are a vet and they examined Aurora in person?
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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It's always difficult to know what to do as we're not vets and we want the best for our babies.

The only thing I can suggest is maybe getting a second opinion from another vet as they're not always perfect (I've switched vets a few times til I found one that knew a lot about piggies as some are mainly dog & cat vets).

Sometimes piggies will cause a bite wound to themselves if they're itchy, which is why I thought it might be mites with your baby as I had the same situation with mine.

You can always request some mite treatment from your existing vet and just say you want to cover all bases then see what happens.

No one here is saying not to trust your vet, but just that it might be worth trying a different treatment if nothing else is helping.

All we can give is advice based on the issues brought forward on the forum, hopefully with what ever you chose your furbaby gets better soon :)
 

TheLottiediarys

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I'm sorry if it seemed like I was angry with the forum
I really am not, I appriciate all the advice I have been given.

I'm more.... at a loss for what to do?

I think I will speak to my partner, phone the vets and see if I can get something to possibly treat a mite problem

The last thing I want is for Aurora to be in pain because of a sup standard vet :)
That's my biggest worry at this point :)
 

Pound Shilling & Pig

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Hi, I'm sorry you are in this upsetting situation. Unfortunetly many vets do not have extensive guinea pig knowledge or experience, however highly skilled they maybe in other areas. You have done the right thing by taking your piggy to the vet. Damage to the skin caused by biting or scratching in response to the itching caused by mites does not always look the same

I feel that even if it is not mites, treatment for them would be best just to rule it out, especially given your piggies background. i would suggest treating them both. It is possible that the wound may have been caused by something else and that she also has mites.
 

Tiamolly123

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Hi, why don't you look at the vet locator on the green bar above. All of these vets are experienced with piggies. All I can say is one of mine had wounds when she had mites, basically she was just tearing herself apart due to mites. It would be great if all vets could be experienced with all animals, but they are not I personally think your piggy is in a lot of pain, & if you can get her to a savvy vet asap, the healing can start, & she will feel so much better. Good Luck
 

TheLottiediarys

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Hi, why don't you look at the vet locator on the green bar above. All of these vets are experienced with piggies. All I can say is one of mine had wounds when she had mites, basically she was just tearing herself apart due to mites. It would be great if all vets could be experienced with all animals, but they are not I personally think your piggy is in a lot of pain, & if you can get her to a savvy vet asap, the healing can start, & she will feel so much better. Good Luck
I have looked at the vets near me
I can't get to any of them for at least 2 weeks because I do not have access to a car and my parents, who would happily drive us to one, are abroad for two weeks, so I can't get to a recommended vet for a little while,

How do I go about getting the treatment if the vet hasn't prescribed it, do I phone the clinic and just ask for it?
Would they have to see her again?
Or would they just do it over the phone?

She's very nervous and it was hard enough on her going down yesterday, would she have to go through all that stress again?
 

Betsy

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When I take my piggies to the vets I always take another with me for moral support (I have 5). Last week I had to take Betsy and I took along Dennis too as these two have a special friendship and are much closer to each other than the others. I find it helps to keep them a bit calmer if they have a friend with them. Next time you take you Aurora try taking Anya too.
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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I think it depends on the vet, if you/they have their weight they may be able to do it over the phone and you pick it up? Seeing as they only saw your piggy recently they may be happy to do that.

If not, taking their companion always helps minimise the stress :)
 

TheLottiediarys

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You know I'm so glad I joined this forum
If I hadn't and didn't get advice on her, then I wouldn't have thought to question the vets advice and she might have ended up suffering for a long time before it gets sorted...
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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You know I'm so glad I joined this forum
If I hadn't and didn't get advice on her, then I wouldn't have thought to question the vets advice and she might have ended up suffering for a long time before it gets sorted...
Unfortunately that's the problem, we trust our vets explicitly because we have to as we don't have the knowledge ourselves.

I had the same thing with my cat for 2 years of her being sick and her hair was falling out, the vet didn't do a lot of research about this "mystery illness" and just gave her steroids.

As it happened it was the wheat in her food making her sick smh. Which I found out on my own and for free lol! Changed her to a grain free diet and hey presto she's a perfect putty cat! Wasted so much money for my old vet to do nothing XD

I think the issue is that new information isn't researched by vets as they may have passed their degrees decades ago and not kept up with it. Some vets are willing to learn though, that makes a good vet :)

Forums are such a great place to share information and help each other based on our own experiences. Which is why I love them!
 
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