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Ear And Snout Scabs On 2 Cage Mates (photos Included)

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McSophieChops

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I noticed one of my new piggies (Nova) had a strange crusty / scabby ear. I checked both pigs all over and noticed the small brown egg casings along the hair shafts of the common mites they get. To cover ear mites I gave both pigs Ivermectin topical treatment (the egg casings have now gone). I also tried some moisturiser on the ear and gently removed some of the scabbiness.

After no improvement of the ear I took both to a vets; they took hair and samples of the ear crusty bits and said they could not see mites but this was probably because I had just treated them with Ivermectin. I was reassured that it should all clear up. If it didn't she told me I would need to see their exotic pet specialist.

4 days later and Nova's ear is as bad as ever, she has been scratching the back of her ear which she can get to, causing some redness. I've attached a link to the photo which will hopefully work! http://1drv.ms/1EZh64f

I have also noticed a strange scab on Nebula's snout near her nose which doesn't seem to be painful or itchy for her: http://1drv.ms/1EZheAN

Both pigs are eating and drinking and seem otherwise fine. They do not fight as far as I know, and have been together since birth.

Does anyone have any experience with these kind of problems? Should I be concerned and take them back to the vets or is the ear just dry skin and unrelated to the strange scab on Nebula's nose which could have been them fighting or an injury some other way?

Any advice is much appreciated :) x
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

Please do not home treat on spec and see a specialist. What you are dealing with looks very much like fungal, possibly species jumping ringworm, and needs proper treatment and good hygiene. Ivermectin will suppress fungal to an extent, but will not necessarily eradicate it. Please see a knowledgeable vet as soon as you can and use good hygiene until you have got a clear diagnosis for something else.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/forums/caring-for-an-ill-guinea-pig.53/
http://www.guinealynx.info/fungus.html
http://www.gorgeousguineas.com/photogallery.html


As we are dealing with members from all over the world, we find it very helpful if you please added your location to your details so we can adjust any advice to what is available and possible for you where you are - including medical brands and vet access. Click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location.
We have got a piggy savvy UK vet locator on the top bar.
 

McSophieChops

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Thank-you so much for your quick reply! I have updated my location (I am near Coventry) and will be taking my pigs to the nearest vet recommended on the locator today or tomorrow. I had a feeling it might be fungal.

In terms of hygiene would you recommend washing all clothes / towels they have come into contact with now or after they are started on any treatment? And should this be done after every time they're in contact? I disinfect their cage with 'Johnson's Clean 'n' safe' once a week but since it only mentions viruses and bacteria I am guessing I should try and get hold of an anti-fungal disinfectant like the ones described on the ringworm page?
 

Wiebke

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Thank-you so much for your quick reply! I have updated my location (I am near Coventry) and will be taking my pigs to the nearest vet recommended on the locator today or tomorrow. I had a feeling it might be fungal.

In terms of hygiene would you recommend washing all clothes / towels they have come into contact with now or after they are started on any treatment? And should this be done after every time they're in contact? I disinfect their cage with 'Johnson's Clean 'n' safe' once a week but since it only mentions viruses and bacteria I am guessing I should try and get hold of an anti-fungal disinfectant like the ones described on the ringworm page?
Yes, please wash all clothing and fabrics in contact with the piggies at a high temperature and order some F10; normal disinfectants are just not enough. I use the concentrate and also the hand gel. Be on the lookout for ringworm on yourself; you can't miss it as it is not all pleasant! it is really worth being very careful, so you can avoid having to do all over again in a few weeks or months. :(

The vet I am using in Coventry are Medivet in Upper York Street, Earlsdon, they are a decent general vets that is looking after a local sanctuary, so has got experience with guinea pigs and rabbits. Prices have gone up a lot since they have been taken over by the Medivet chain, though!
I would recommend to ask for itrafungol; it is not cheap and it is prescription only, but it really does the trick without you having to bathe and handle the piggies as much as when you are creaming - and by being an oral application, it gets to all the sensitive spots in the face without causing problems.
 

Hannah Boyd

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Anything washable should be washed at 60 degrees (I think). and I usually do this after I apply treatment before they go back in to their house. Also disinfect everything else at the same time, using a strong vet strength disinfectant which is effective against fungal spores. good luck!
 

McSophieChops

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Update on my girls...

FINALLY have the lab results back from the vet (9 days later) and surprise surprise it is a fungal infection. Meanwhile Nova has a sore foot and some hair loss around her ear from it, and Nebula has lost a load of hair around her nose where she has scratched off the scabby parts. Both are very itchy and irritable! Thank goodness I don't seem to have caught it off them (yet)! It's also breaking my heart to keep them in their cage all day so I don't spread the spores :( I added some card boxes and toilet rolls to try and break their boredom!

Will be able to treat them tomorrow, but I have to go back to the vets to do so... I was expecting a prescription for either oral or topical treatment. Will also be using F10 on all surfaces and cage bits and bobs, chucking cardboard pipes etc and re-washing any towels I use with them and any of my clothes they come into contact with. It's thanks to you guys I know to do all this; the vet has not told me anything apart from bring them in tomorrow for some kind of treatment, which I find concerning!

Are there any complications to look out for? I am concerned about respiratory infections in particular and have been giving them lots of vitamin C loaded veggies! How likely is it that there will be a recurrence?

And thanks for all your help, this forum is a gold mine of information :)
 

Wiebke

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Update on my girls...

FINALLY have the lab results back from the vet (9 days later) and surprise surprise it is a fungal infection. Meanwhile Nova has a sore foot and some hair loss around her ear from it, and Nebula has lost a load of hair around her nose where she has scratched off the scabby parts. Both are very itchy and irritable! Thank goodness I don't seem to have caught it off them (yet)! It's also breaking my heart to keep them in their cage all day so I don't spread the spores :( I added some card boxes and toilet rolls to try and break their boredom!

Will be able to treat them tomorrow, but I have to go back to the vets to do so... I was expecting a prescription for either oral or topical treatment. Will also be using F10 on all surfaces and cage bits and bobs, chucking cardboard pipes etc and re-washing any towels I use with them and any of my clothes they come into contact with. It's thanks to you guys I know to do all this; the vet has not told me anything apart from bring them in tomorrow for some kind of treatment, which I find concerning!

Are there any complications to look out for? I am concerned about respiratory infections in particular and have been giving them lots of vitamin C loaded veggies! How likely is it that there will be a recurrence?

And thanks for all your help, this forum is a gold mine of information :)
If your piggies are otherwise healthy and don't have any underlying issues, they should get over it pretty quickly with an adequate treatment. Your hygiene regime is paramount in preventing a return; that is the reason why we have written our guide, as that side is usually not mentioned by vets. :(

Nor do they mention that the hair loss in fungal is getting worse before it is getting better, which can be very upsetting, especially for new owners.

Wishing you all the best for your little girls! it is a tough time, but it can be got through and you can hopefully enjoy much happier times in a few weeks.

We have got lots of information at the top of our various CAre sections, but you are always welcome to ask any questions you may have. We are here to help you.

We have got a piggy savvy locator on the top bar if you have ongoing problems or want a second opinion.
 

McSophieChops

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So its been 6 days of intrafungol once a day and imaverol on affected areas every 4 days. They are starting to look better :)

Nebula, however, has scratched off the scab which was on her face leaving quite a mess behind! I'm trying not to get too upset since I'm sure this must mean she is actually improving. The only thing I am worried about is that she has bled from the area; do I need to clean it or anything? I don't want the wound to get infected. I have attached a photo to give an idea of it but you can't really see it that well behind the blood. It doesn't seem to be bothering her too much since she is currently munching on kale!

I am also worried about something else. The only time I have really handled them since I got them a couple weeks ago is to take them off to the scary vet or squirt a syringe of anti-fungal in their mouths! Will they associate me picking them up with horrible things? :( any tips to make myself less scary?! They are more than happy to go about their business with me next to the cage, its just being picked up which they hate at the moment. I can't wait until they are fungus free and they can have cuddle time for some much needed bonding!

IMG_20150217_180929.jpg
 

sport_billy

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Awww bless them. Just keep the cut area clean, Sasspy had a scab in the same location she kept knocking off. @helen105281 what would you use on the wound?

As for associating you with bad things they soon forget I promise. Keep up the good work, you are doing great. Sending lots of healing vibes
 

Pebble

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You could bathe the wound in dilute F10 - it's antibacterial and anti-fungal. Alternatively if you have an empty spray bottle you could spray it on (shield the eyes, use warm solution) The spray technique worked well for the mite girls Dotty and Beanie (who also had fungal) when their wounds were too painful to be bathed directly..
 
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