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I Think My Guinea Pig Has A Fungal Infection, Balding Scab On Head

moonstone

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hello, I am new here. I have a long story about my new little guinea pig but I will try to keep it short, I apologize in advance lol.

I got my guinea pig Leila from petco on july 3rd. (I know getting from petstores are bad, but I loved her and there are no guinea pigs anywhere near me available for adoption)
ever since I got her, it seems we've had a plethora of problems. she seemed completely healthy in the store. she had clean eyes, breathing, fur, etc. the first day I brought her home I did notice she was a bit sniffly-- but no extreme sneezing or mucus, so it seemed normal. besides a couple of days of acting scared at first, she has been eating and drinking completely normally. she's also been very active.
a few days after I got her, my boyfriend noticed her eye was crusty and squinted in the morning which made me panic. Petco paid to send me to their contracted vet. my experience with this vet was terrible beyond explanation. he didn't check her besides looking at her body, and 'diagnosed' her with a respiratory infection. he gave her a shot of baytril without a probiotic. she is a baby. he was very rough with her and had no regard for her.
however, her eye did look better the next day. I complained to petco and had them pay again for a visit to my preferred vet. I had an outstanding experience and she told me my piggy doesn't have a respiratory infection and has clear lungs, heart, everything. she thinks leila has allergies and gave me eyedrops for her to put in her eyes and nose, along with benebac since the bad vet failed to give a probiotic. she said I can give her a drop of children's benadryl up to twice a day if needed. she also said she didn't appear to have mites. after using the eyedrops, her eye mostly looks normal again.

yesterday, I noticed she had a balding patch right between her eyes. it did seem like she was losing a tiny bit of hair--maybe two days leading up to this, but being silly, i honestly thought i got some benadryl on her fur that made it sticky because it looked more parted than an actual bald spot.
she had been itching quite a bit so I assumed she had mites. I called the vet and she wasn't available to speak but got my message and prescribed me Revolution to pick up tomorrow. I can't afford it, so I researched treatment a lot and I went to a feed store to pick up 1.87% ivermectin paste. I diluted it and gave her the proper dose.
she acted fine after the dose last night and acted perfectly normal this morning. yet, I noticed the bald spot had gotten worse and she's actually visibly balding now. it is a scab that's red and appears to be painful for her. I read on these forums and on guinea lynx about this, and the first thing that came up was a fungal infection that looked exactly like her. I read about the differences between this and mites, and it's all adding up now.

apparently fungal infections affect their nerves as well, and they may often hurt and be aggressive when touched in places of the affected nerve(s), especially around the hips. this is exactly her! I got excited but also worried when I read this because it all made sense. she chatters her teeth and gets angry when you pet her back/bum almost all the time, and sometimes anywhere you pet her. my vet noticed this, and mentioned it. she was worried but was unsure of what it could be. she gave her an anti-inflammatory, and for a few hours she seemed fine when pet in the place, but it wore off.
when I went to the vet, she didn't have any hair loss or signs of fungus or mites, so I don't blame her for not knowing.
I just went to the store and picked up monistat. I applied it to the scab with a cotton swab. she struggled a lot and it seemed to hurt. I didn't clean her cage or any of her fleece because I just cleaned it this morning. I washed all her fleece and her bed and cleaned out her cage.
she is about 4 months old (as estimated by my vet) and 300 grams. she only has hair loss in the one spot, and around her head is mostly where she itches. I'm unsure of where to go from here. I cannot take her to the vet for another week until I get paid, and even then I probably won't be able to afford it immediately.
can I get some guidance and assistance on what to do?
-should i continue the monistat spot treatment?
-also, should I clean her cage with bleach or vinegar, and wash all her fleece and bedding again with bleach (or vinegar?)
-am I right in thinking this must be a fungal infection? and if so, is it ringworm?
I'm going to attach pictures of her eye before treatment, the picture of her hair loss from yesterday, and the picture of the change today. the first picture is from yesterday, the last two are from a few minutes ago :(

leila.jpg

leilaaa.jpg

tumblr_ot7s30rZab1ujaw72o5_1280.jpg

tumblr_ot7s30rZab1ujaw72o7_1280.jpg

tumblr_ot7s30rZab1ujaw72o8_1280.jpg
 

moonstone

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I'm going to go to petco tomorrow and confront them about this and do everything possible to make them pay for the vet again because it looks pretty bad. I would still appreciate a response to this though
 

Tiamolly123

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I don't know what your piggy has wrong. But you NEVER self medicate. You have no knowledge whether 2 meds will react against each other & kill your piggy. Get her to a different VET ASAP. DO NOT TAKE her to the same vet, i have no doubt you love, your piggy so she should get the best veterinary care. Unfortunately vet care is important with piggies. So many piggies have cost thousands in vet bills. I dont what your finical situation is but you have to prepared for that. Also please don't take your piggy back, as the chances are they will put them down.​
 

gizzy

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I Totally agree with Tiamolly123, explain your concerns with petco and tell them you are planning to taking your pig to a independent vet ! And that you plan to ask this inependant vet for a detailed report wich you will can present to petco!
This way they will know you are serious about the welfare of your pig and may offer more in depth treatments them selves without first thinking of PT'S
 
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Cavy Kung-Fu

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I have to agree, treating through the Internet and shop bought medicines won't help as you could misdiagnose and the medicines themselves are weak and useless. You could cause more harm than good.

I'm not a wealthy person myself so I understand the fear of vet bills, but it's so SO important that if our beloved animals need healing they need to see a cavy savvy, qualified vet. It's our duty to make sure they're happy and healthy, even if it means we have to sacrifice something ourselves.

If animals can't get proper vet treatment I can only recommend going to a rescue, either for help with vets etc or give them over so they can get better.

I'm sure this isn't what you want to hear but it's important. Hope piggy gets better soon!
 

Wiebke

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hello, I am new here. I have a long story about my new little guinea pig but I will try to keep it short, I apologize in advance lol.

I got my guinea pig Leila from petco on july 3rd. (I know getting from petstores are bad, but I loved her and there are no guinea pigs anywhere near me available for adoption)
ever since I got her, it seems we've had a plethora of problems. she seemed completely healthy in the store. she had clean eyes, breathing, fur, etc. the first day I brought her home I did notice she was a bit sniffly-- but no extreme sneezing or mucus, so it seemed normal. besides a couple of days of acting scared at first, she has been eating and drinking completely normally. she's also been very active.
a few days after I got her, my boyfriend noticed her eye was crusty and squinted in the morning which made me panic. Petco paid to send me to their contracted vet. my experience with this vet was terrible beyond explanation. he didn't check her besides looking at her body, and 'diagnosed' her with a respiratory infection. he gave her a shot of baytril without a probiotic. she is a baby. he was very rough with her and had no regard for her.
however, her eye did look better the next day. I complained to petco and had them pay again for a visit to my preferred vet. I had an outstanding experience and she told me my piggy doesn't have a respiratory infection and has clear lungs, heart, everything. she thinks leila has allergies and gave me eyedrops for her to put in her eyes and nose, along with benebac since the bad vet failed to give a probiotic. she said I can give her a drop of children's benadryl up to twice a day if needed. she also said she didn't appear to have mites. after using the eyedrops, her eye mostly looks normal again.

yesterday, I noticed she had a balding patch right between her eyes. it did seem like she was losing a tiny bit of hair--maybe two days leading up to this, but being silly, i honestly thought i got some benadryl on her fur that made it sticky because it looked more parted than an actual bald spot.
she had been itching quite a bit so I assumed she had mites. I called the vet and she wasn't available to speak but got my message and prescribed me Revolution to pick up tomorrow. I can't afford it, so I researched treatment a lot and I went to a feed store to pick up 1.87% ivermectin paste. I diluted it and gave her the proper dose.
she acted fine after the dose last night and acted perfectly normal this morning. yet, I noticed the bald spot had gotten worse and she's actually visibly balding now. it is a scab that's red and appears to be painful for her. I read on these forums and on guinea lynx about this, and the first thing that came up was a fungal infection that looked exactly like her. I read about the differences between this and mites, and it's all adding up now.

apparently fungal infections affect their nerves as well, and they may often hurt and be aggressive when touched in places of the affected nerve(s), especially around the hips. this is exactly her! I got excited but also worried when I read this because it all made sense. she chatters her teeth and gets angry when you pet her back/bum almost all the time, and sometimes anywhere you pet her. my vet noticed this, and mentioned it. she was worried but was unsure of what it could be. she gave her an anti-inflammatory, and for a few hours she seemed fine when pet in the place, but it wore off.
when I went to the vet, she didn't have any hair loss or signs of fungus or mites, so I don't blame her for not knowing.
I just went to the store and picked up monistat. I applied it to the scab with a cotton swab. she struggled a lot and it seemed to hurt. I didn't clean her cage or any of her fleece because I just cleaned it this morning. I washed all her fleece and her bed and cleaned out her cage.
she is about 4 months old (as estimated by my vet) and 300 grams. she only has hair loss in the one spot, and around her head is mostly where she itches. I'm unsure of where to go from here. I cannot take her to the vet for another week until I get paid, and even then I probably won't be able to afford it immediately.
can I get some guidance and assistance on what to do?
-should i continue the monistat spot treatment?
-also, should I clean her cage with bleach or vinegar, and wash all her fleece and bedding again with bleach (or vinegar?)
-am I right in thinking this must be a fungal infection? and if so, is it ringworm?
I'm going to attach pictures of her eye before treatment, the picture of her hair loss from yesterday, and the picture of the change today. the first picture is from yesterday, the last two are from a few minutes ago :(

View attachment 66716

View attachment 66717

View attachment 66718

View attachment 66719

View attachment 66720
Hi and welcome!

I am sorry that you are having such a difficult and expensive start!

It looks like the beginnings of ringworm, which is not uncommon in shop bought young piggies whose immune system is not fully developed yet and whose lives are upturned several times in short order when exposure to fungal spores is happening at the shop. If you present the sales receipt together with your vet bill and diagnosis, you should be able to reclaim the cost.

As to the eye crusts: It depends on the nature of the crusts - if they are caused by thick yellow or green mucus, they are invariably a sign of a respiratory infection. If they are whiteish/clear, then they are caused by an irritation or injury in the eye. Any potential eye injury or infection needs to be seen promptly as they can deteriorate very quickly.

Please be aware that probiotics are NOT a medication and that they are as such never prescribed by a vet, even more so in view of their effectiveness being questioned by many vets. But as they do not harm, we generally recommend them to support recovery, epsecially in those cases where there is an adverse reaction to any antibiotic. Thankfully the majority of cases (including baytril, which is still the only officially licensed antibiotic for guinea pigs and therefore the most used) is not affected by loss of appetite or diarrhea.

Please take the time to read our practical guide on how to get on top of ringworm (including the spores) to prevent infecting yourself and avoid a return. Key is investing in a disinfectant that works against fungal and ideally one that is proven to also kill the thousands of fungal spores that are shed during an outbreak and that are hard to get on top of otherwise. Recommended disinfectant brands for this purpose are mentioned in our guide. Your hygiene is as important as any medical treatment.

Please see your vet for a diagnosis to make sure; we do not recommend to treat on spec and especially not with cheap low dosed broad spectrum pet shop brands that do not work and only make the suffering worse. Whether it is ringworm or another variety of fungal infection (ringworm is the most aggressive and transmittable of them all) doesn't matter in the way you treat.

With good hygiene, you should be able to get on top of ringworm fairly straight forwardly and get on top of the acute phase within a week to 10 days. There is generally no permanent damage with careful and prompt treatment. In our own practical experience, it really pays to be extra careful with hygiene when dealing with fungal infections.
Ringworm: Hygiene And Pictures
Guinea Lynx :: Fungus (which lists more products available in the US)

Guinea Lynx :: GL's Vet List
Guinea Lynx :: Rescue Organizations

You also may find the guides in our new owners "starter booklet" helpful and interesting. They address the most often asked for questions and problems by new owners on a wide range of topics.
New Owners' Online Starter " Booklet" For Helpful Advice

Since we have members from all over the world, we find it very helpful if you please added your country, US state/Can province (as you are mentioning petco and not a UK or Australian chain) to your details so we can tailor any advice and recommendations straight to what is available and relevant where you are. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. This makes it appear with every post you make and saves everybody time. Thank you!
 

flowerfairy

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What a lovely guinea lig. Well done for getting her to your preferred vet. I hope the ringworm (or whatever it turns out to be) is easily treated.

Look forward to seeing more pics of your little sweetie in time.
 

moonstone

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I appreciate the comments. I have her an appointment for Friday with my good vet. I have been putting monistat on the sore and the scab has gone, so now it's just red/pink. Will it be okay to wait until Friday, or should I make an appointment asap? That's the only time she's available and she knows my pigs history and was very sweet and gentle but I don't want to wait longer if it could be harmful.
 

Wiebke

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I appreciate the comments. I have her an appointment for Friday with my good vet. I have been putting monistat on the sore and the scab has gone, so now it's just red/pink. Will it be okay to wait until Friday, or should I make an appointment asap? That's the only time she's available and she knows my pigs history and was very sweet and gentle but I don't want to wait longer if it could be harmful.
Ideally you might want to have her seen sooner. Please be aware that when you treat skin issues at home on spec you make any diagnosis much more difficult and any lab test impossible. Please be also aware that the affected area is much larger, as the pictures in the guide will show you. Once you have got an outbreak of fungal, it has to run its due course. That is why the tips in the guide are so important.

Please do not apply any cream and handle your guinea pig with bare hands and without very thorough hand washing; you can easily infect yourself if it is ringwom.
 

moonstone

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also aware that the affected area is much larger, as the pictures in the guide will show you. Once you have got an outbreak of fungal
yes I know. I have been very careful with washing my hands since I realized it's fungal. I've done a lot of research so the actual medications I've given my guinea pig have been safe and I always use guinea lynx as a reference along with the forums. Luckily I am able to get her in two days earlier :)
 

Wiebke

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yes I know. I have been very careful with washing my hands since I realized it's fungal. I've done a lot of research so the actual medications I've given my guinea pig have been safe and I always use guinea lynx as a reference along with the forums. Luckily I am able to get her in two days earlier :)
All the best!
 

moonstone

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I don't know what your piggy has wrong. But you NEVER self medicate. You have no knowledge whether 2 meds will react against each other & kill your piggy. Get her to a different VET ASAP. DO NOT TAKE her to the same vet, i have no doubt you love, your piggy so she should get the best veterinary care. Unfortunately vet care is important with piggies. So many piggies have cost thousands in vet bills. I dont what your finical situation is but you have to prepared for that. Also please don't take your piggy back, as the chances are they will put them down.​
I find this condescending because if you read, after the bad vet experience I made petco pay for my vet who is very good and I trust a lot. I would never and wasn't planning going back to the bad vet and I clearly stated they were different vets. I also knew what I was doing when I gave her the medication so I knew it couldn't seriously harm her. I agree that self medication isn't good though which is why I'm taking her to the vet asap. I also would never and never said I would even consider returning her. I know what would happen and like I said, she's not a computer or material item I can be unhappy with and return... if I sent her back I know they would most likely euthanize her. We have already bonded. I know the importance of vet care, from the start I was planning taking her as soon as I get paid which is next week for a checkup. I just didn't expect her to get sick immediately bc she seemed perfectly healthy in the store. I understand you're just concerned for piggies wellbeing though.
 

moonstone

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I have to agree, treating through the Internet and shop bought medicines won't help as you could misdiagnose and the medicines themselves are weak and useless. You could cause more harm than good.

I'm not a wealthy person myself so I understand the fear of vet bills, but it's so SO important that if our beloved animals need healing they need to see a cavy savvy, qualified vet. It's our duty to make sure they're happy and healthy, even if it means we have to sacrifice something ourselves.

If animals can't get proper vet treatment I can only recommend going to a rescue, either for help with vets etc or give them over so they can get better.

I'm sure this isn't what you want to hear but it's important. Hope piggy gets better soon!
I agree but I think a few people here are misunderstanding me. I am not afraid of taking my guinea pig to the vet because of cost, I don't know how it is in the uk but I live in america, and at every vet in my area, you have to pay at the time of treatment or you don't receive vet service, there are no bills to be stuck with. if you can't pay at the time of the visit you don't get treatment. so I'm not being greedy with money, it's that I literally don't have it yet. I'm lucky that petco is paying the bill again (even though they're required to)
 

moonstone

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Hi and welcome!

I am sorry that you are having such a difficult and expensive start!

It looks like the beginnings of ringworm, which is not uncommon in shop bought young piggies whose immune system is not fully developed yet and whose lives are upturned several times in short order when exposure to fungal spores is happening at the shop. If you present the sales receipt together with your vet bill and diagnosis, you should be able to reclaim the cost.

As to the eye crusts: It depends on the nature of the crusts - if they are caused by thick yellow or green mucus, they are invariably a sign of a respiratory infection. If they are whiteish/clear, then they are caused by an irritation or injury in the eye. Any potential eye injury or infection needs to be seen promptly as they can deteriorate very quickly.

Please be aware that probiotics are NOT a medication and that they are as such never prescribed by a vet, even more so in view of their effectiveness being questioned by many vets. But as they do not harm, we generally recommend them to support recovery, epsecially in those cases where there is an adverse reaction to any antibiotic. Thankfully the majority of cases (including baytril, which is still the only officially licensed antibiotic for guinea pigs and therefore the most used) is not affected by loss of appetite or diarrhea.

Please take the time to read our practical guide on how to get on top of ringworm (including the spores) to prevent infecting yourself and avoid a return. Key is investing in a disinfectant that works against fungal and ideally one that is proven to also kill the thousands of fungal spores that are shed during an outbreak and that are hard to get on top of otherwise. Recommended disinfectant brands for this purpose are mentioned in our guide. Your hygiene is as important as any medical treatment.

Please see your vet for a diagnosis to make sure; we do not recommend to treat on spec and especially not with cheap low dosed broad spectrum pet shop brands that do not work and only make the suffering worse. Whether it is ringworm or another variety of fungal infection (ringworm is the most aggressive and transmittable of them all) doesn't matter in the way you treat.

With good hygiene, you should be able to get on top of ringworm fairly straight forwardly and get on top of the acute phase within a week to 10 days. There is generally no permanent damage with careful and prompt treatment. In our own practical experience, it really pays to be extra careful with hygiene when dealing with fungal infections.
Ringworm: Hygiene And Pictures
Guinea Lynx :: Fungus (which lists more products available in the US)

Guinea Lynx :: GL's Vet List
Guinea Lynx :: Rescue Organizations

You also may find the guides in our new owners "starter booklet" helpful and interesting. They address the most often asked for questions and problems by new owners on a wide range of topics.
New Owners' Online Starter " Booklet" For Helpful Advice

Since we have members from all over the world, we find it very helpful if you please added your country, US state/Can province (as you are mentioning petco and not a UK or Australian chain) to your details so we can tailor any advice and recommendations straight to what is available and relevant where you are. Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. This makes it appear with every post you make and saves everybody time. Thank you!
Thanks for the guides!
 

Cavy Kung-Fu

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I agree but I think a few people here are misunderstanding me. I am not afraid of taking my guinea pig to the vet because of cost, I don't know how it is in the uk but I live in america, and at every vet in my area, you have to pay at the time of treatment or you don't receive vet service, there are no bills to be stuck with. if you can't pay at the time of the visit you don't get treatment. so I'm not being greedy with money, it's that I literally don't have it yet. I'm lucky that petco is paying the bill again (even though they're required to)
Yes it is more or less the same here, although they can be understanding and helpful if you need it. Good luck to piggy and hope all is better soon!
 

moonstone

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Hi, I took her to the vet. She has been prescribed miconazole lotion 1%. I've been applying it everyday. I've completely cleaned and disinfected her cage, her fleeces and all her things with bleach and vinegar. Her sores don't look any better- if anything it looks worse, and she's still itching. She's still eating and acting normally but I'm worried. Should I go back to the vet and ask for an oral treatment?
 

moonstone

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I also gave her a bath in a safe dandruff shampoo a couple of days ago. How often should I be doing this? I saw once a week but I saw something else that said every 3 days.
 

Pawz

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I melted when I saw her, I have a huge softspot for agouti and white combos. Sorry I don't have any advice to add that has not already been said.

Hoping she recovers well and soon, she is gorgeous and this is a terrible experience for any new owner. :(
 
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eileen

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you are a caring piggie owner,you have gone out of your way to get the best treatment.i hope your piggie gets well soon.:)
 

eileen

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i have used malaseb shampoo previously,i usually bath piggie once a week for three weeks with this,leave lather on for 15 mins and rinse,place in a cat carrier until piggie is dry.if you are concerned maybe take your piggie back to the vet to check your beautiful piggie.:hug:
 
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