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Mites!

Hannah P.

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I feel awful. Sometime last week I noticed a dark patch on one of my piggies fur by his bum, and I brushed it off as him being dirty and needing a bum bath soon. Tonight I decided to take a closer look at it and it looked strange so I put some fur under a microscope and they're 100%, undeniably bugs. I feel so bad for not noticing anything sooner, he hasn't been scratching and there's been no fur loss at all! I'll admit that I absolutely panicked and gave him a bath, and now he's sitting with me unhappily. I haven't even closely looked at his cagemate yet, but I'm positive he has them too.

My biggest concern is that all the pigs have them. I am currently caring for 5 pigs, three of whom live by themselves. The cages are all quite close together, but they don't interact with one another. Obviously this has been going on for a while for it to get this bad on Loki, so I'm sure there's a pretty good chance they all have them. I feel absolutely terrible, but there's been no itching or other signs besides being visible on Loki. They all have floor time in the same room, and I'm about to do a deep clean of the carpets. I have no idea where it may have come from, my only thought is the hay? Which is strange because the hay is at least a few months old and has been packed in a sealed box, but I don't have any other ideas.

Does anyone have any advice on how to tackle this? The mites seem to just be on the tips of his fur and not really on the skin. I don't know if there's different types or how exactly to get rid of them, and any input is greatly appreciated!
 

Piggies&buns

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Please take your piggies to a vet to be diagnosed and treated.
If they do have mites, then they need the correct length of course and correct strength of treatment to deal with them.
please don’t be tempted to do anything yourself like bath them or put on any treatments. The treatments you can buy from pet shops aren’t strong enough to deal with a mite problem in any event.

yes, they came come in with hay, so throwing it out and starting fresh would be a good idea if they are indeed hay mites.

if you are seeing what looks like grains of pepper on the back end, stuck to the fur, then that is most likely the egg casings from hay mites.

the guide below explains
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites
 

Hannah P.

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I am going to bring him to the vet. I did some more research last night and I'm confident that it is static mites. As for the hay, they just finished the box that the mites would've come from, but the more I think about it the less sense it makes. The box was quite large and we've been using it for months without issue, however I don't know how long it takes for an infestation to establish itself.
I've checked the other piggies and I'm not seeing what I see on Loki, which also wouldn't make sense since they all eat the same hay. And last night when I looked at the fur under a microscope it definitely wasn't egg casings that I saw, I could see the bugs crawling on the hair strands.
 

Piggies&buns

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The egg casings are visible and stuck to the fur. The mites themselves would be moving and visible under a microscope but not to the naked eye.
Its possible for one to get infested with something and for others not to but really only a vet is going to be able to help identify them further.
let us know how you get on.
 
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