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Hairloss

Guinea Slave

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Hi guys

I have a mystery problem which I just wanted to see if anyone else has had experience of? I’ve been keeping Guineas for over 20 years and not come across this.

I have a little sow, Daisy, 3 years old, who has always been small when adopted (930g), I think she was probably the runt of a litter. she is one of those piggies who is always a bit anxious, runs around a lot, very athletic and has never been fat. I have had her about 18 months now.

she has a problem with a tear duct which is blocked, after xrays we found that she has elongated tooth roots which maybe causing this. So she has been on anti inflammatories, antibi eye drops and metacam..all good

however, about four weeks ago she started to lose hair on her back. The obvious answer is mites or lice but the vets can not see any trace of either and her skin is very healthy, not red and there are no scratches or sores. She itches a little but not massively. She is now losing hair off her bottom too.

on Tuesday we are scanning her ovaries in case it’s hormonal (although the vet cannot feel any cysts), taking a swab and doing a small skin biopsy as the vet is as perplexed as us. She is also losing weight, 75g in two months which is also a worry despite her eating like mad. Her bedding has not changed (megazorb with dust free hay) she has not had any change in feed (she is on grainless science selectiv) everything has stayed the same since we had her.

the vet is a very experienced exotics vet, has his own Guineas and is one of the best in UK so fortunately she is in good and trusted hands but sometimes someone just suggests something which may help!

its all very weird and very worrying but just wondering if anyone has experienced anything like this. I worry for her as she is the sweetest, friendliest little girl Who gives so much love.

thank you x
 

Sunny1

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Just a thought, it may be worth checking her adrenal gland size when she is scanned. I had a pig who was diagnosed with cushings disease who had similar symptoms. Hope you are able to get to the bottom of it soon.
 

Lady Kelly

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It's great that she's in such good hands. I don't have any suggestions but hope that Tuesday brings you some answers. Please keep us updated
 

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It sounds as though you have an excellent vet. I hope that the scan helps to provide answers on Tuesday
 

Guinea Slave

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Just a thought, it may be worth checking her adrenal gland size when she is scanned. I had a pig who was diagnosed with cushings disease who had similar symptoms. Hope you are able to get to the bottom of it soon.
actually that’s a very good idea. I have seen horses with Cushing and it does effect the hair and weight.

thanks for that!
 

Guinea Slave

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Thanks guys for your comments. I am very fortunate I do have a good vet who loves Guineas! They have so much equipment there as well CT/MRI it makes It all much less scary..plus they are insured which means we can throw everything at it.

i will let you know the outcome of Tuesday as it’s an interesting case. Any other ideas, suggestions welcome!
 

Sunny1

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actually that’s a very good idea. I have seen horses with Cushing and it does effect the hair and weight.

thanks for that!
No worries. If I can be of any further help just let me know.
 

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Hi guys

I have a mystery problem which I just wanted to see if anyone else has had experience of? I’ve been keeping Guineas for over 20 years and not come across this.

I have a little sow, Daisy, 3 years old, who has always been small when adopted (930g), I think she was probably the runt of a litter. she is one of those piggies who is always a bit anxious, runs around a lot, very athletic and has never been fat. I have had her about 18 months now.

she has a problem with a tear duct which is blocked, after xrays we found that she has elongated tooth roots which maybe causing this. So she has been on anti inflammatories, antibi eye drops and metacam..all good

however, about four weeks ago she started to lose hair on her back. The obvious answer is mites or lice but the vets can not see any trace of either and her skin is very healthy, not red and there are no scratches or sores. She itches a little but not massively. She is now losing hair off her bottom too.

on Tuesday we are scanning her ovaries in case it’s hormonal (although the vet cannot feel any cysts), taking a swab and doing a small skin biopsy as the vet is as perplexed as us. She is also losing weight, 75g in two months which is also a worry despite her eating like mad. Her bedding has not changed (megazorb with dust free hay) she has not had any change in feed (she is on grainless science selectiv) everything has stayed the same since we had her.

the vet is a very experienced exotics vet, has his own Guineas and is one of the best in UK so fortunately she is in good and trusted hands but sometimes someone just suggests something which may help!

its all very weird and very worrying but just wondering if anyone has experienced anything like this. I worry for her as she is the sweetest, friendliest little girl Who gives so much love.

thank you x
Hi

Ovarian cysts don't usually cause hair loss on the back but it is good that your vet is looking at all possibilities. I strongly guess that they have excluded self-barbering or mechanical abrasion of some sort already as that would generally leave a little stubble with hair growing back again immediately.

Especially if the hair loss is combined with weight loss, then your vet may want to take Cushings into their considerations. It is thankfully very rare in guinea pigs but it does crop up on here very occasionally more in the matter of every few years than several time every year to give you an idea just how rare it is.

Unfortunately because it is so rare, there any treatment has to be on an adhoc experimental level. :(
 

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Hi

Ovarian cysts don't usually cause hair loss on the back but it is good that your vet is looking at all possibilities. I strongly guess that they have excluded self-barbering or mechanical abrasion of some sort already as that would generally leave a little stubble with hair growing back again immediately.

Especially if the hair loss is combined with weight loss, then your vet may want to take Cushings into their considerations. It is thankfully very rare in guinea pigs but it does crop up on here very occasionally more in the matter of every few years than several time every year to give you an idea just how rare it is.

Unfortunately because it is so rare, there any treatment has to be on an adhoc experimental level. :(

thanks Wiebke. the skin is literally bald, no sign of any hair growth whatsoever ☹The skin looks wonderfully healthy and no dryness either. I have checked that the others are not barbering either and definitely not (I have a video camera which helps me monitor them!).

i am not surprised it’s rare, mine seem to do this regularly, one had yellow fat disease a few years ago (which was awful) and last year Mischief had a rectal polyp which she passed still attached (Revolting, bloody but not life threatening...other than for my blood pressure!) I live to prepare for the unexpected nowadays lol! Fortunately John (the vet) is great and never scared to try something different so she is in the best hands for exploring. Hopefully, whatever it is will provide learning for others in the future if it’s something rare.

I just would love a few months with no trips to the vets!
 

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thanks Wiebke. the skin is literally bald, no sign of any hair growth whatsoever ☹The skin looks wonderfully healthy and no dryness either. I have checked that the others are not barbering either and definitely not (I have a video camera which helps me monitor them!).

i am not surprised it’s rare, mine seem to do this regularly, one had yellow fat disease a few years ago (which was awful) and last year Mischief had a rectal polyp which she passed still attached (Revolting, bloody but not life threatening...other than for my blood pressure!) I live to prepare for the unexpected nowadays lol! Fortunately John (the vet) is great and never scared to try something different so she is in the best hands for exploring. Hopefully, whatever it is will provide learning for others in the future if it’s something rare.

I just would love a few months with no trips to the vets!
I feel for you! There are some rare things around but a lot is to do with better diagnostics.

I have my own collection of uncommon and newish problems... thankfully nothing too serious right now (although requiring daily medication with cisapride) after losing 20 piggies in the last 3 years and several of them being rather costly. I really need a break before the next large batch comes into the years and vet bills will go up steeply again!
 

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I feel for you! There are some rare things around but a lot is to do with better diagnostics.

I have my own collection of uncommon and newish problems... thankfully nothing too serious right now (although requiring daily medication with cisapride) after losing 20 piggies in the last 3 years and several of them being rather costly. I really need a break before the next large batch comes into the years and vet bills will go up steeply again!
it’s a nightmare isn’t it? I am definitely making a profit with the insurance currently, my bill for all sick Guineas this year has easily exceeded £2,000. All my miles in lockdown were to the vets!

Good luck with yours x
 

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it’s a nightmare isn’t it? I am definitely making a profit with the insurance currently, my bill for all sick Guineas this year has easily exceeded £2,000. All my miles in lockdown were to the vets!

Good luck with yours x
Fingers crossed that that your bad string stops again after this one! And all the best for getting to the bottom of this.

I have learned to appreciate the lulls in between times when everything seems to go wrong at once at the worst time possible.
We had another major emergency with two different piggies over the last Christmas which cost me quite a few pounds, one of them being Barri with his thickened crampy lower gut causing mobility problems and some severe off and on bloating events; something which is known in rabbits but rather unusual in guinea pigs...
 

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Fingers crossed that that your bad string stops again after this one! And all the best for getting to the bottom of this.

I have learned to appreciate the lulls in between times when everything seems to go wrong at once at the worst time possible.
We had another major emergency with two different piggies over the last Christmas which cost me quite a few pounds, one of them being Barri with his thickened crampy lower gut causing mobility problems and some severe off and on bloating events; something which is known in rabbits but rather unusual in guinea pigs...
gawd that sounds like a nightmare! I just thank my lucky stars that this happened when I am working from home. They had better settle when I have to start working in offices again!

i also meant to say how sorry I was that you had lost so many Guineas over that time. That’s tough. Xx
 

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Well daisy had her little op yesterday and is sporting two stitches and looks a dishevelled mess! She has been given a chorulon injection as well as she is very hormonal currently but the vet could find no signs of ovarian cysts. This is her (white) with her boyfriend Heath. He went with her for moral support. They were both exhausted when they got back. This is them in our indoor cage where they chilled for a while...will keep you posted when i get the results!
 

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Guinea Slave

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Sorry it’s been a while guys but it’s taken this long to get the results! In that time her disolvable stitches have been purposefully and carefully removed by herself!

Anyway, nothing untoward, it seems to be hormonal after all that. She had her third chorulon injection tonight..apparently she is very good and makes no fuss :love: Since her first injection she has started to put on weight and she has stopped mounting anything that moves, hopefully this will help her going forwards. Hopefully her hair will grow back over the next few months.

all in all a very good result, she is such a sweetheart (a very naughty one) I would like to enjoy her without the constant worry for a change!
 

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So glad the results have come back and nothing to worry about, hope the chorulon injections keep working for her :) and her poor humped cagemates!
Hope the gorgeous, naughty lady’s hair grows back very soon :love: x
 
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