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Help Needed.. Mites Or Bite?

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WillowCL

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Hi everyone,

I'm new to this forum and I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right place..

I have two baby guinea pigs, Lucy and Coco. Me and my boyfriend got them 3 weeks ago and were told they're 9 weeks, however after checking their weight and doing some research (Lucy was 280grams - now 350, Coco was 320grams - now 380grams) it seems like they might be a little younger. We also think that Lucy might be younger than Coco.
During the first week of having them, we realised they scratch quite a lot, so we took them to the vets for a general health check up and we were told everything is fine, their fur and skin look good and healthy..

Last week we noticed blood on Lucy's cheek, it turns out she was bitten by Coco (we think). We took her to the vets the next day. He told us that he thinks it's a bite, but wasn't sure if there is any underlying reason for it. He checked their skin and fur and said that it doesn't look like they have mites. We bathed Lucy's wound with salt and water solution and gave her antibiotics for a week, the wound healed really nicely.
But... we came home today and now Coco has what it looks like a bite on her nose. The hair around it is pretty much gone, and the skin looks white, not sure if it's suppose to be like that. We're going to clean it and take her to the vets on saturday.

Now, our girls are really friendly. They like to snuggle together in one house (even though they have two wooden houses and cosies). They don't seem to be scared of each other, they eat from one bowl, and don't seem aggressive at all. Why is it that they bite each other? Could there be more to it? Maybe the vet missed the mites, and we should treat for them anyway? We're starting to think they bite because the mites irritate them...? Could it fungal? We're not sure what to do....

I appreciate your help and opinions.

Pictures of Coco's nose:


IMG_1067.JPG IMG_1072.JPG IMG_1073.JPG
 

Wiebke

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Hi and welcome!

It looks like a classic case of ringworm to me; this is not at all uncommon in new shop piggies. Ringworm often starts out looking like a scabbed over bite or scratch in the face.

Please have them seen by a good vet again; we have got a piggy savvy UK vet locator on the top bar if necessary.

Please use very good hygiene! Ringworm is the one thing that you can catch from your guinea pigs! It is highly transmittable and affects all mammals, including humans and other pets. You need to treat both piggies and be very diligent and thorough when disinfecting with the appropriate fungicidal products.
The medication we have recommended is the most effective while at the same time mildest to be suitable for delicate areas like the face; they can also be used on very young guinea pigs. Please ask your vet for itrafungol or imaverol/enilconazole.
Here are our tips: https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/threads/ringworm-hygiene-and-pictures.115402/
 

WillowCL

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Hi Wiebke, Thank you for message. We got them from a local lady.. Ringworms crossed our minds and we did research it, but we weren't sure... and the vet didn't even mention it.

I did have very unusually flaky hands for a couple of days last week, i used e45 and it seemed to have helped it. I do hope it was from detergents and not the ringworm.

The link is very helpful and I will check the vets list now.
 

Wiebke

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It depends on what you treat your guinea pigs with - itrafungol is the best and easiest because it is oral and not topical, but also the most expensive and it is presciption only. Enilconazole/imaverols dip you can get online from hyperdrug. Antifungal creams can be cheaper but are not quite as effective and they can be difficult next to sensitive areas like the eyes, ears or the mouth. F10 disinfectant you can also get cheapest online from places like ebay or amazon.

Please do not treat on spec; get a decent vet for the appropriate diagnosis. He may have his own preferred treatments.

As you have seen a vet over the itching within two weeks of purchasing your piggies (which is the incubation period and means that they have come from the shop with the infection), you can try and claim back any vet cost from the pet shop.

Please be aware that vet cost are likely going to be by far the biggest item when you have any pet and that you need to get either exotics insurance or save up privately if money is an issue.
 

WillowCL

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Thank you @Wiebke, we will be getting it from the vet, not online. They're still so small, we would be too scared to treat them ourselves. If you don't mind me asking, do you know how much, more or less, itrafungol is? And if it's a one off treatment or do we have to give it to them over a longer period of time? The cost is not a problem, I'd like to just get a general idea.
 

Wiebke

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Thank you @Wiebke, we will be getting it from the vet, not online. They're still so small, we would be too scared to treat them ourselves. If you don't mind me asking, do you know how much, more or less, itrafungol is? And if it's a one off treatment or do we have to give it to them over a longer period of time? The cost is not a problem, I'd like to just get a general idea.
A whole bottle of itrafungol costs around £40 online, it may be more if you have to pay the vet for the prescription (up to £80), so better ask! A course of itrafungol is a minimum of a week up to three weeks with an interval of a week rest in between each week of application for a full course, depending on the severity.
 

WillowCL

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A whole bottle of itrafungol costs around £40 online, it may be more if you have to pay the vet for the prescription (up to £80), so better as!. A course of itrafungol is a minimum of a week up to three weeks with an interval of a week in between for a full course, depending on the severity.
That's very helpful, thank you!
 

WillowCL

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Hello again,

We took our guinea pigs to the vets on Saturday (same vets, we wanted to give them another go, as it's very close to where we live).
The vet told us that ringworms in young guinea pigs is very uncommon and treatment too strong for young guinea pigs. She told us she's going to give them something for a different parasite and gave them Xeno. She also told us to give Baytril antibiotic to clear up the wounds (because it helped Lucy clear up hers). I googled Xeno and apparently it's used to treat mites..

Now I'm not sure if should visit an exotic pet and get them checked again, or is this diagnosis right?
(still worried it might be ringworm, and I'm getting confused to wether it's ringworms or mites)

@Wiebke, could I please have your opinion on this?

Many thanks
 

WillowCL

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They're both eating well and gaining weight, but Coco's nose is missing more hair since the last pictures was taken. Hair on her nose is pretty much gone :(
 

Wiebke

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Hello again,

We took our guinea pigs to the vets on Saturday (same vets, we wanted to give them another go, as it's very close to where we live).
The vet told us that ringworms in young guinea pigs is very uncommon and treatment too strong for young guinea pigs. She told us she's going to give them something for a different parasite and gave them Xeno. She also told us to give Baytril antibiotic to clear up the wounds (because it helped Lucy clear up hers). I googled Xeno and apparently it's used to treat mites..

Now I'm not sure if should visit an exotic pet and get them checked again, or is this diagnosis right?
(still worried it might be ringworm, and I'm getting confused to wether it's ringworms or mites)

@Wiebke, could I please have your opinion on this?

Many thanks
Ringworm in young shop guinea pigs is sadly not at all uncommon; you can find proof of that simply by looking through this section... or ask any guinea pig rescue! :(

While xeno will go somewhat towards subduing the ringworm, it will NOT cure it! I am extremely sorry that the vet you have seen is so clueless about appropriate treatment. The antibiotic won't do anything for the fungal, either! Please make use of our recommended piggy savvy vets locator for a second opinion.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-vet-locator/

In your case, you can order enilconazole from hyperdrug online; it is available prescription-free. This a very effective fungal dip in the recommended dilution. Make sure that you cover the whole body, using a syringe or a cotton bud around the sensitive areas like eyes, mouth and ears and let the dip dry on the body. Repeat every three days; at least three times, but more if the fungal is still active and you still get crusts and scales.
This dip is mild enough to be used on guinea pigs of your age and around sensitive areas. It has been used by rescues and by forum members for several years now with excellent results on guinea pigs of all ages and degrees of frailty. Ringworm is an opportunistic illness that hits especially the young, the stressed, the ill and the frail - any guinea pig with a lowered immune system. :(
 

WillowCL

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Ringworm in young shop guinea pigs is sadly not at all uncommon; you can find proof of that simply by looking through this section... or ask any guinea pig rescue! :(

While xeno will go somewhat towards subduing the ringworm, it will NOT cure it! I am extremely sorry that the vet you have seen is so clueless about appropriate treatment. The antibiotic won't do anything for the fungal, either! Please make use of our recommended piggy savvy vets locator for a second opinion.
https://www.theguineapigforum.co.uk/pages/guinea-pig-vet-locator/

In your case, you can order enilconazole from hyperdrug online; it is available prescription-free. This a very effective fungal dip in the recommended dilution. Make sure that you cover the whole body, using a syringe or a cotton bud around the sensitive areas like eyes, mouth and ears and let the dip dry on the body. Repeat every three days; at least three times, but more if the fungal is still active and you still get crusts and scales.
This dip is mild enough to be used on guinea pigs of your age and around sensitive areas. It has been used by rescues and by forum members for several years now with excellent results on guinea pigs of all ages and degrees of frailty. Ringworm is an opportunistic illness that hits especially the young, the stressed, the ill and the frail - any guinea pig with a lowered immune system. :(
Thank you for your reply. I knew it was common in young guinea pigs, that's one of the reasons I was unsure of the diagnosis. Will definitely be using one of the exotic vets from the list next time.
Is this the right medication: http://www.hyperdrug.co.uk/Enilconazole-100mgml-100ml-Imaverol/productinfo/ENILCON
From what i understand, I apply it once, then take a 3 day break (and repeat 4 times).

My last question is, do we still give Coco the antibiotic or stop that and just give both the Enilconazole?

Many thanks for your help
 

Wiebke

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You can give both the enilconazole, and yes, that is the correct link! I leave it up to you whether you think that the antibiotic may help with those open sores from the scratching.
Please never use the xeno and the dip within at least 48 hours of each other as they are both topical treatments need both time to be absorbed and to get to work. All the best for your little ones.

Please be careful about the hygiene and wash any towels at least 60 C. I would also recommend to use disposible gloves for the bathing an handling. Ringworm is by far the most infectious thing you can come across. You can get syringes and measuring bowls online or from your pharmacy; the dilution is 1:50 enilconazole to warm (not hot!) water. 1-2 ml of enilconazole should be enough to treat both your piggies in one go. Always treat the least affected first, so nothing carries across.
 

Guinea-pigGaga

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I would second Imaverol (Enilconazole) dips!

Personally, I would not recommend Itrafungol (Itraconazole) - I believe that Itrafungol should only be prescribed to treat persistent, and/or severe fungal infections, and/or when symptoms suggest a systemic fungal infection!

Baytril (Enrofloxacin) is not recommended to treat young guinea pigs, as it is believed to interfere with growth!

Personally, I would want to voice my concerns with the current veterinary practice, whilst searching for a more cavy-savvy veterinary practice!
 

WillowCL

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You can give both the enilconazole, and yes, that is the correct link! I leave it up to you whether you think that the antibiotic may help with those open sores from the scratching.
Please never use the xeno and the dip within at least 48 hours of each other as they are both topical treatments need both time to be absorbed and to get to work. All the best for your little ones.

Please be careful about the hygiene and wash any towels at least 60 C. I would also recommend to use disposible gloves for the bathing an handling. Ringworm is by far the most infectious thing you can come across. You can get syringes and measuring bowls online or from your pharmacy; the dilution is 1:50 enilconazole to warm (not hot!) water. 1-2 ml of enilconazole should be enough to treat both your piggies in one go. Always treat the least affected first, so nothing carries across.

Thanks so much, I'm so glad we found this forum. Very useful advice.

They were given the xeno on Saturday at 1pm so it should be fine. Will order the enilconazole now, hopefully it will come tomorrow or Wednesday.
We already bought the whole range of F10 products to disinfect everything and to keep things clean, we also keep their cosies and fleece (and any of our clothes they might have touched) in a separate bag so they can be washed at a high temperature. We'll use the recommended dose by you (1-2ml of enilconazole to 50-100ml of warm water).

Thank you again, fingers crossed they get better soon :)
 

WillowCL

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I would second Imaverol (Enilconazole) dips!

Personally, I would not recommend Itrafungol (Itraconazole) - I believe that Itrafungol should only be prescribed to treat persistent, and/or severe fungal infections, and/or when symptoms suggest a systemic fungal infection!

Baytril (Enrofloxacin) is not recommended to treat young guinea pigs, as it is believed to interfere with growth!

Personally, I would want to voice my concerns with the current veterinary practice, whilst searching for a more cavy-savvy veterinary practice!
Thank you, I'm purchasing the Enilconazole right now and will definitely be using a more cavy-savvy vet next time! 3 visits (& 3 vet bills) and the condition wasn't spotted or diagnosed correctly :(
 

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Please keep us updated and do not hesitate to ask any questions you may have along the way.
 

WillowCL

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Hi, just a quick update on Lucy and Coco.
Coco's nose looks better now and her hair is starting to grow back (her nose was completely bald :( and the bald patch seemed to get bigger every day). She also seems more comfortable now and let's me pet her more, which makes me think that her skin condition is improving and is less irritated.
We gave them 4 Enilconazole baths. They also recieved a second dose of Xeno 50 on Sunday. We will observe them now and see if the 3rd treatment is needed. I'm also purchasing Gorgeous Guinea's Manuka Neem Shampoo and CocoNeem Melt to finish the whole treatment off, soothe their skin and give them a final boost.
We've also been giving them extra vitamin C.


I also just wanted to share our cleaning routine. It has been quite stressful but I think it worked! It may help some people that have piggies with ringworms and are looking to disinfect their cages and rooms.

We disinfected everything every time we were giving Lucy and Coco the anti-fungal treatment - every 3 days..
We disinfected the cage with a light bleach solution, let it dry, wash it with warm water, let it dry, spray with F10 solution and let it dry.

We sprayed the F10 disinfectant on carpets, and washed the furniture around the cage (just in case).

The first time we cleaned the cage we soaked their wooden houses in f10 and then poured boiling water over (twice). But I know that ringworms can live in wood for a long time, and our guinea pigs like to chew on their houses.. so we decided to bin them and buy new ones. For the next week and a bit they only had fleece pouches and cosies to hide in (they didn't seem to mind that much). To disinfect fleece.. we soaked it in F10 solution for 20 minutes, let it dry, then 5 minutes in tea tree solution (kills fungal bacteria - i read tea tree oil is considered toxic when digested by piggies or applied directly. But i diluted one drop with one litre of water) We let the fleece dry and then we washed it at 60 degrees with Eradicil, anti fungal prewash detergent. Of course we also disinfected all their toys (binned wooden ones, and bought new ones), bowls, hay racks etc.

We did all this every time they were given medication, 4 in total.

The biggest mission was doing it for the first time, because there was so much stuff they had contact with. The next three were easier, because we limited the amount of things they had in the cage so we had less to disinfect.

On top of that, when giving the second Enilconazole treatment, we also fogged the whole room where the cage is (with f10 fogger). We brought all their items into that room. (Of course, the guinea pigs were in a different room, our bedroom, at the time and stayed there for the night.)

This may seem like over the top cleaning, but we wanted to make sure everything is clean and all the fungal spores are gone, and really it wasn’t as bad as it may sound.

We continue to use F10 to kill any potential mites every time we change the bedding for them

I will post a second update in two weeks. Hopefully, Coco will have more hair on her nose by then. And we're gonna have two healthy piggies. Fingers crossed.

:)
 
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