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One Piggie Scratching But The Other Not

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Twinkle

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Hi. I've had my pigs for a little over a month. One of them (Ernie) has been increasingly scratching himself so I'm going to take him to the vet at the weekend. The thing is, his brother (Bert) doesn't scratch at all so I'm thinking it's probably not mites because surely they'd both have them? What about fungal infections?

I'm thinking maybe it's an allergy? I don't know if it's relevant but I've handled Ernie a lot more than Bert as he seems more comfortable being cuddled than Bert.
 

helen105281

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Both mange mites and fungal are possible, but so are other parasites. I have had pigs living together where one has mange mites and the others don't but it is best to treat all companions as a precaution.

You're right to take him to the vets. Please note though that any test the vet does for fungal will only work if it is Ringworm you are dealing with as the many other types of fungal don't show up on tests.

Are there any bald patches, does the hair seem to be coming out easy? can you see anything on his hair like little specks of anything? Does his hair seem greasy at all?

What are they bedded on?
 

Twinkle

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Hiya. They're bedded on fleece. He does have a slightly bald patch behind each ear but it's in exactly the same place and isn't red at all. Other than that his hair seems fine but yeah maybe a little greasy?

So ifs in fungal but vet tests come back clear how do I treat? Will they give me something anyway? There's no specs in his hair either by the way.

Thanks for your help.
 

Kerrie74

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Guinea's tend to have little bald patches behind their ears :) Some of them like to be stroked there! :D

If your vet is guinea savvy he should be able to tell if it's fungal or not and they should do a tape test to see if it's mites/lice.

Helen should be around at some point today :) She can answer you better, but don't worry about the patches behind the ears :)
 

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Mites often are not catching. There is a thought that many pigs actually have mites all the time at very low levels, and illness or stress can cause the mites to multiply and the pig in question to start scratching away.
Sunrise (one of mine) had mites after one of her cage mates fell out with her and shortly after one of the herd unexpectedly died. Sunrise was trying to comfort her as she died (heart attack). The others were fine.
 

Twinkle

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Ah now that might be it. I think they're both hitting their hormonal patch and Ernie 100% isn't going to be the dominant one so maybe he's stressed :(
 

helen105281

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Ideally if it's fungal your vet should prescribe a product to use. If not I can give you the link for Imaverol but I would rather you have a diagnosis from your vet first.
 

Twinkle

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So I've been to the vet. He said they both seem very healthy and can't see any skin problems or anything. He treated them both with a precautionary spot on lice treatment and said that if Ernie isn't better within 7 days then maybe he's got an allergy to the fleece and I should try without. I though fleece was the least likely bedding to cause allergies?
 

biscandmatt

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mites are difficult to see, even under the microscope. was it definitely a lice treatment? or a mite one? the mite one would make more sense as spot on treatments don't treat lice.

anyway, allergies to anything are very rare in piggies. sensitivities would be a better description when they do have symptoms. i wouldn't think fleece would cause it unless you're not rinsing it thoroughly or are using too harsh a laundry liquid/powder. or you are not changing it enough. but i wouldn't have thought it would be the fleece to be honest.

guinea pigs always have a certain amount of mites all the time. the immune system keeps the numbers under control. so one piggy could have them multiply when the body can't control the numbers for some reason, like during illness or when there are a large number in bad batches of hay. the other piggy is not always affected. hope this helps. :)
 

Twinkle

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Thanks. Maybe it was a mite treatment then. I change the fleece every other day so it can't be that.

I'm not sure I was that amused with him. He seemed to handle them quite roughly though I don't know if I was being over sensitive as the only time I've been to the vet before is with big dogs. Have settled them both back in their cage with treats so hopefully they're not too traumatised.
 

biscandmatt

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Thanks. Maybe it was a mite treatment then. I change the fleece every other day so it can't be that.

I'm not sure I was that amused with him. He seemed to handle them quite roughly though I don't know if I was being over sensitive as the only time I've been to the vet before is with big dogs. Have settled them both back in their cage with treats so hopefully they're not too traumatised.
there is a vet locator at the top of the home page if that would help. it will show your closest exotics/cavvy savvy vet :)
 

Twinkle

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Ha how funny. My vets actually comes up. I might try the other vet next time. He's always been our dogs' vet and I at least know he's gentle and very nice.
 
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