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Lice in guinea pigs

indie33

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#1
Hi,
Just wondering if anyone has had a problem with their guinea pigs having lice.

I have 2 boys who are now a year old and 3 months ago noticed that the darker pig had a couple of little white lice-like creatures in his fur. They both were scratching too. Took them to the vet who said she had never seen lice in pigs and told me to bath them which I did. Several days later I noticed that there were a large number of lice that could be seen crawling on him. I took them both back to the vets and they were started on a course of injections, which appeared to clear them up. In total they had 4 injections each. However they both had little black dots stuck to their fur above their hind legs and on their bottom area. The vet said that they looked like eggs but the injections would be strong enough to kill them. The black dots remained despite bathing and combing. Have just noticed today that the lice appear to be back again though! I use fleece cage liners for the boys rather than hay so they have hay to eat but aren't burrowing into it. The cage liners are washed at 60 degrees every time and I change them twice a week. Really don't know where they are getting the lice from as they are kept clean and combed regularly.

Has anyone else had a similar problem and is there any advice out there to help me rid them of the lice? Will likely take them to the vet again next week as I suspect another course of injections may be required but is there any way to prevent this happening again? Poor old piggies.

Hope someone can help.
 

Poppy'sMum

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#2
There are several different types of lice, the Guinea Lynx site explains them fully here : Guinea Lynx :: Fur Mites in addition there is the more serious selnick/mage mites that cause fur loss. The black dots you refer to sound like the static fur mite/lice, you can't usually see these moving unless you use a piece of sellotape on the fur then look under a microscope. Ivermectin injections will treat Mange mites & running lice but the static lice feed off the hair shaft rather than the body so the injections will probably not get rid of them. One thing they will probably be coming in on is the hay, so I suggest you bin what you have & get it from a different supplier. I used to use Alfalfa King Timothy hay or Western Timothy hay as these are imported from the US so should be sterile. Mine never got static lice in all the time I used it. You have to make sure all bedding is hot washed & thoroughly was any plastic hidies & dispose of any cardboard or wooden ones. I used Flea or Die shampoo Herbal & Health Flea Or Die Shampoo 250ml for small furries, leave on for about 10 mins then rinse carefully & repeat 2 weeks later to kill any lice hatching from eggs. Or Lice & Easy from Gorgeous Guineas :)
 
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indie33

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#4
Thanks for your advice.

Is it possible that my pigs could have both the static lice and running lice at the same time? They have the black dots on their fur around the back legs that the course of ivermectin injections didn't seem to touch so that would make sense if they are static lice. I can see white lice moving in their fur too which I'm guessing are the running lice as I can see them? I have a spot on treatment that the vet gave me after the last course of injections. Wonder if I should bath with flea or die which I've just ordered and use the spot on too? Maybe that will help?

The vets didn't seem to know anything about lice on guinea pigs which worries me slightly. They saw the black dots but didn't know what they were. The first appointment I had with her where she told me just to bath with any guinea pig shampoo she told me it's unlikely to be lice as she's never seen lice on guinea pigs!
 

sport_billy

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#5
I would advise, looking for a knowledgeable piggy vet we have a list here Recommended Guinea Pig Vets or ring around asking if any vets are experienced with piggies, that is how we found ours

it could be possible to have two types of lice at same time yes.

What spot on treatment where you given please?

@Jaycey @furryfriends (TEAS) @helen105281 would xeno 450 be prescribed by a vet to kill static lice?
 

indie33

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#6
I have the xeno 450 spot on treatment which I will give them over the weekend and see how they go.
 

indie33

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#7
Hi guys,

Took my boys to the vets and they have had 2 more ivermectin injections. The vet advised that if the ivermectin isn't working it may be worth bathing the pigs once a week. I have the flea or die shampoo as suggested by several others on here and have given 2 baths since the 2nd injection. The live lice seem to have gone but there are still a huge number of black dots near their hind legs which I assume are still the nit eggs even though they have been bathed twice in 2 weeks.

Firstly can I use flea or die shampoo on the boys every week and secondly could I trim or shave the hair where the dots are most prevalent to help get rid?

Not really sure what to do next if the shampooing doesn't work. As there are no live lice it doesn't make sense to get another injection as this doesn't seem to be getting rid of the problem.

Any advice would be fantastic,

Thanks!
 

Julie Tait

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#8
Hi. One of my boys had lice which cleared up straight away after a visit to the vets and invermectin. I put it down to a batch of horribly damp cheap straw which I stupidly bought.....since then I've only bought the good stuff and they have never reappeared. It may be that they are present in a current batch of bedding or hay?
 

indie33

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#9
Hi,
Thanks for your message. I use fleece for my boys cage liners and hides which are washed twice a week at 60 degrees which kills everything off so they don't burrow into hay, they just have a hay bag for them to eat from. I threw all my hay away after following advice and use the alfalfa king timothy hay which others suggested I use, but did this about 4 weeks ago so think it's unlikely that they're from the hay. They had 2 injections, first lot 4 weeks ago, 2nd one 2 weeks ago so no live lice but loads of eggs even though I'm using flea or die shampoo and have bathed them weekly. Just wonder if it's worth me trimming the hair the eggs are on to give them the chance to get rid of them but wasn't sure if I should be trimming their hair?!
 

Poppy'sMum

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#10
The black specks which are eggs will drop off the hair shaft naturally, so unless you are very worried about their appearance, it's safe just to leave them as they are dead :) A gentle brushing every couple of days will help loosen them.
 

indie33

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#11
I cut a litle of their hair earlier and put onto white kitchen roll. Lots of the black dots stayed attached to the hair but lots of them also fell off onto the kitchen roll. Had a closer look and the dots were all moving. Very slightly but they were definately moving around. Only gave the pigs their last bath on Friday so will give them another this coming Friday and leave the shampoo on for longer this time. Are these eggs if they're moving around? Cut out the worst affected hair to give the boys a chance but still lots of dots in their hair. Poor boys, they're putting up with so much at the moment! Very good during bath time though thankfully!
 
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