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Nits and lice

Theanette

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Good day, we are new to guinea pigs.

We just got one but it seems as though he might have nits (I dont see any lice). What is the best way to treat this without heavy chemicals. Would tea tree oil work? Thanks in advance
 

Piggies&buns

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If you suspect your piggy has mites then you must take your piggy to a vet for the correct diagnosis and prescription strength treatment.

Please don’t use any home remedies for any medical issue, as they may be harmful and/or entirely ineffective. Home remedies can mask symptoms, can make it harder for your vet to diagnose, delay treatment and therefore delay healing.
Pet shop parasite treatments are also not strong enough to deal with a mite infestation.

The guide below gives detail on piggy specific parasites

New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

Piggies have a very sensitive sense of smell and narrow airways. Any strong smelling products should be kept well away from piggies as they can irritate airways – things such as essential oils, candles, sprays, air fresheners etc should never be used in the same room as guinea pigs.
 
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Theanette

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Thank you. Like I said we are new to them and brought him home today. When I was holding him I found small grey grains in his fur around his back end. Looks like we are in for a trip to the vet
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you. Like I said we are new to them and brought him home today. When I was holding him I found small grey grains in his fur around his back end. Looks like we are in for a trip to the vet
That’s possibly hay mites if you can see grains - the grains are likely egg casings

I would recommend you set up a vet fund which you can save monthly into. Piggies aren’t cheap animals to keep!
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you. Like I said we are new to them and brought him home today. When I was holding him I found small grey grains in his fur around his back end. Looks like we are in for a trip to the vet
I would also advise you double check both piggies sexes if you got them from anywhere other than a rescue centre - pet shop and breeder missexing is common.
 

Wiebke

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That’s possibly hay mites if you can see grains - the grains are likely egg casings

I would recommend you set up a vet fund which you can save monthly into. Piggies aren’t cheap animals to keep!
You should be able to reclaim any vet cost from the pet shop selling damaged ware. Please read the information in the green link above. It will help you to work out what your piggies have got and how to treat them properly. Guinea pigs do not have nits and only have got a limited number of species parasites, which are all listed in the link with the correct treatment.

Please save up for a vet fund as part of the living/feeding cost of your piggy. A pet that has to die in slowly agony or die young from a perfectly curable disease because you can't afford to see a vet is a very poor and badly failed pet indeed. You can walk away from a bad situation; your pet relies entirely on you. Guinea pigs are small prey animals, they are hard wired to hide their illness for as long as possible. A clearly ill piggy is a very ill piggy indeed that cannot wait ages to see a vet. :(

Here is our new owners information collection, which addresses specifically all the little and large issues most owners come up against and help them to learn what is normal and what not, understanding their behaviour and needs, how to care for them best, spot illness early on and know what to do in an emergency. The guides are very practical 'how to' and do not gloss over the sticky points that usually throw new owners. We have also included a little course in guinea pig whispering to help you make friends with your new piggies in their own language.
Here is the link; you may want to bookmark it and use it as a helpful resource as you go along: Getting Started - New Owners' Most Helpful Guides
 

Theanette

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Thank you very much. We got our first one from a store and he is beautiful, healthy, clean etc. We then found out that they shouldnt be single otherwise they get depressed so hence todays buy, but it is from a so called 'rescue'. I'm a bit worried about him so his trip to the vet is booked for tomorrow. Thank you for all the information and links. I will read up about everything and am sure Bubbles will now have a happy home together with his friend Dusty😊
 

Theanette

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Thank you very much. We got our first one from a store and he is beautiful, healthy, clean etc. We then found out that they shouldnt be single otherwise they get depressed so hence todays buy, but it is from a so called 'rescue'. I'm a bit worried about him so his trip to the vet is booked for tomorrow. Thank you for all the information and links. I will read up about everything and am sure Bubbles will now have a happy home together with his friend Dusty😊
We have had the first one for a week. Whistles, popcorns, purrs and cuddles
Thank you very much. We got our first one from a store and he is beautiful, healthy, clean etc. We then found out that they shouldnt be single otherwise they get depressed so hence todays buy, but it is from a so called 'rescue'. I'm a bit worried about him so his trip to the vet is booked for tomorrow. Thank you for all the information and links. I will read up about everything and am sure Bubbles will now have a happy home together with his friend Dusty😊
We have had our first one for a week (still new)
 

Piggies&buns

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Thank you very much. We got our first one from a store and he is beautiful, healthy, clean etc. We then found out that they shouldnt be single otherwise they get depressed so hence todays buy, but it is from a so called 'rescue'. I'm a bit worried about him so his trip to the vet is booked for tomorrow. Thank you for all the information and links. I will read up about everything and am sure Bubbles will now have a happy home together with his friend Dusty😊
Do still check the sexes of them both.
A vet check is always a good idea for new piggies. Illnesses and fungal infections can have up to a two week incubation period so it’s best to bear this in mind.
Have you introduced them properly on neutral territory?
Do be aware a pair of boars need more space - a 6ft x 2ft cage is necessary to give them both space. Do always have a plan b in case they aren’t character compatible when they hit their teens (assuming they are both young) and need separating. Sadly buying piggies on spec does mean character compatibility isn’t taken into account so there is always an element of risk once hormones kick in.
 

Theanette

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The cage is big enough and we took Dusty with to meet Bubbles, neutral teritory, time to relax and socialize before we brought him home with us. Will then take both to the vet to check both out and make sure of the sexes
 

Theanette

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Just to update: Bubbles has been to the vet. He is now being treated for mites and internal parasites, 24 hour stool watch and we have a chart going to monitor his weight. He is a sick boy, but will get the right care, love and attention now
 
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