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Fleas And Flea Powders

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Staff member
Mar 10, 2009
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Coventry UK
Flea powders from pet shops are a huge NO NO for guinea pigs!

Guinea pigs do not have species specific fleas. They can shortly catch fleas from another species, but these fleas cannot survive on guinea pigs and will abandon ship quickly.

Please be aware that many insecticidal sprays and powders for larger pets (especially dogs) contain substances that are harmful or even lethal to guinea pigs and other small animals. Always check with your vet for safe products to use around guinea pigs and never apply them with animals in the same room until it is well ventilated again.

Please read Nancy's story from Austin Guinea Pig Rescue (Texas, US), posted on facebook as an illustration for what incorrect home treatment on spec can do:
Austin Guinea Pig Rescue added 2 new photos.
15 October 2015 ·

Austin GPR Nancy1.jpg
Austin GPR Nancy2.jpg

Thankful Thursday:
Perhaps one of our most difficult (& successful) cases was Nancy, AKA Fancy Nancy, AKA Fancy Pants. Here is her story, told in installments:

We were called to get this tiny baby piggy from a shelter because she had something on her back. Well, turns out it was a severe chemical burn that had been left untreated for 11 days while she was in excruciating pain and scratching the wound deeper and deeper to try and get the pain to stop. Poor baby had no idea she was just making it worse. The owners put flea preventative on her like you do a dog or cat, even though she did NOT have fleas. You should NEVER put any chemicals, flea dips, dog/cat medication, or anything on your piggy without the precise dose and instruction of your vet. It was amazing Nancy did not go into convulsions and die. Perhaps her owners had never had a piggy and thought they were doing the right thing by putting dog flea chemicals on a 3wk baby piggy, and that was ignorance. What is really heart-breaking is they then chose not to get her help. They let her suffer for many days, and then STILL they did not get her help. Instead of paying the vet bill, they dumped her at the shelter. That is the worst part. That was cruelty and neglect. We do not know who they are or any of the exact details, just the little bits we were told they volunteered.

Nancy was in horrible pain and shrieked any time her wound was touched. She would scratch all the time and then cry and shriek loudly in a tone that would make you want to vomit. She was in SO MUCH PAIN. Even an hour of her suffering would leave you in tears, so no idea how someone could stand a tiny baby living like that for 11 DAYS. It was obvious the chemicals had caused serious damage to the nerves and all she could do about it was scratch.

We took her to our amazing vet at White Rock Veterinary Hospital who started her immediately on several medicines and creams to try and relieve the pain and cure the infection that had set in. An open wound for so long being scratched at has many chances to become infected, and it did. It was a long time and multiple antibiotics to get the infection all cleared up. After one night it was clear Nancy's reflex was going to be to keep scratching her wound no matter how much it hurt. Thus began the AGPR journey with wrapping piggies (Cassius, Bowie, & Bucky have Nancy to thank for the skills that were learned that in turn helped them all!).
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