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Elderly Pig With Hair Loss And Flaky Skin

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LaylaAndSaffy

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Hello all,

Well my girl Saff is now 8 years 1 month (and 4 days... But who's counting?!). She is my world and I love her to bits. I've seen her age slowly over the years and can see the things she is now starting to struggle with (getting her legs moving after a nap, general grooming and still that gurgly belly). With a little help we get by together and keep her going.

Recently she has been losing hair, mostly down her back and on her bum. The hair can come out in clumps with dark brown skin attached to the base. She is not scratching excessively and seems quite happy in herself.

I have tried one dose of Spot On treatment and have (today) bathed her in Nizoral shampoo which I will repeat weekly for the next three or four weeks. I have also bleached her cage and her bedding (she is on towels and fleece). Is there anything anyone can think of that would help her out? Anything I haven't done which will make her life more comfortable?

Thanks in advance.
 

Adelle

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Hi there!

Firstly- what an age! No shame in counting, everyday is a blessing in these old ladies!

The hair coming out easily with skin attached sounds like a fungal issue. Please have her seen by a vet for appropriate treatment, as treating with over the counter products can complicate things and make it more difficult for your vet to diagnose.

Hopefully she is on the mend soon x
 

Freela

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Eight is a great age- congrats to her and you! I also think that hair coming out with attached skin could be a fungal issue and a vet should be able to diagnose and prescribe something. My older girl (6 years) has had the odd fungal skin problem, the vet said that they are more common with older animals, as their immune systems may not be as strong.
 

Wiebke

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Hello all,

Well my girl Saff is now 8 years 1 month (and 4 days... But who's counting?!). She is my world and I love her to bits. I've seen her age slowly over the years and can see the things she is now starting to struggle with (getting her legs moving after a nap, general grooming and still that gurgly belly). With a little help we get by together and keep her going.

Recently she has been losing hair, mostly down her back and on her bum. The hair can come out in clumps with dark brown skin attached to the base. She is not scratching excessively and seems quite happy in herself.

I have tried one dose of Spot On treatment and have (today) bathed her in Nizoral shampoo which I will repeat weekly for the next three or four weeks. I have also bleached her cage and her bedding (she is on towels and fleece). Is there anything anyone can think of that would help her out? Anything I haven't done which will make her life more comfortable? Thanks in advance.
My same aged Nerys has just been diagnosed with fungal for her hair loss and been put on a course of itrafungol oral solution. Please have Saff seen by a vet to make sure that she is getting the right diagnosis and treatment. Fungal complaints are more common in warm and humid weather, and again in guinea pigs with a weaker immune system. Shop spot-ons are not high dosed enough for dealing with an acute outbreak of mange mites. We do not recommend to home treat on spec, as you can easily make things worse instead of better.

The belly/underside hair loss is more likely due to mechanical abrasion from Saff spending more time lying on the same position all the time or to urine scald from not being able to move away from a pee puddle when bladder control becomes dodgy in older piggies. Again, please have that confirmed by a vet and make sure that it is not ovarian cysts.

Also ask your vet to check for arthritis and the front foot pads for signs of infection/bumblefoot. Both are also very common complaints in older guinea pig with impaired mobility and a frailer immune system.

Change the bedding in her sleeping area twice daily. You might consider switching to vetbed as the currently best surface to keep old and frail piggies on.
 

LaylaAndSaffy

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Oh dear... it would seem I was given some bad advice from a vet tech friend. I really thought I was doing the right thing.

I have booked an appointment at the vets for tomorrow so will get her diagnosed asap (will ask them to do a general check over as well).

Thanks for all your help (as always).
 
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