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possible fungal? dry flaky skin

Wizzy

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My 5.5 year old guinea pig Pepper is rossette haired and seems to have some dry flaky skin on 2 of her rosette’s on her lower back. I’ve cleaned them both and they seem to be making her uncomfortable, she kept turning her head to try to stop me from touching it. it’s lots and lots of flakes. I will book a vet appointment but i’m just wondering what this could be and what the treatment options are? my vet is a general vet so i usually advise them on what to do. she is acting normally but has lost about 45g in weight. i will add lots of pictures. it isn’t red or inflammed just very flaky. i’m hoping it isn’t ringworm. do i need to be worried about my other pig? she is smooth haired and shows no signs of it. The last photo is everything i brushed off her.
 

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Wizzy

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p.s. this is a silly comment but it’s mainly for piece of mind... they can’t die from a fungal infection, can they?
 

Wiebke

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My 5.5 year old guinea pig Pepper is rossette haired and seems to have some dry flaky skin on 2 of her rosette’s on her lower back. I’ve cleaned them both and they seem to be making her uncomfortable, she kept turning her head to try to stop me from touching it. it’s lots and lots of flakes. I will book a vet appointment but i’m just wondering what this could be and what the treatment options are? my vet is a general vet so i usually advise them on what to do. she is acting normally but has lost about 45g in weight. i will add lots of pictures. it isn’t red or inflammed just very flaky. i’m hoping it isn’t ringworm. do i need to be worried about my other pig? she is smooth haired and shows no signs of it. The last photo is everything i brushed off her.
Hi!

Unfortunately, we cannot diagnose a fungal infection without a hands-on examination, but please see a vet if the patch is getting larger quickly in the coming days. And PLEASE do not touch the patch with bare hands and always wash your hands carefully after touching/handling a pet or its bedding etc.

A fungal skin infection is not deadly. You won't come anywhere near that unless your piggy is badly neglected or has other major underlying or obvious health problems that suppress the immune system.

The problem with fungal - especially with ringworm - is its high species jumping transmission rate and the fact that invisibly tiny spores can stay live for up to 2 years which turn it into a hygiene nightmare more than anything. But we do have a very detailed practical guide that actually works for that case so you can get over it once and for all. So please do not panic. ;)
 

Wizzy

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Hi!

Unfortunately, we cannot diagnose a fungal infection without a hands-on examination, but please see a vet if the patch is getting larger quickly in the coming days. And PLEASE do not touch the patch with bare hands and always wash your hands carefully after touching/handling a pet or its bedding etc.

A fungal skin infection is not deadly. You won't come anywhere near that unless your piggy is badly neglected or has other major underlying or obvious health problems that suppress the immune system.

The problem with fungal - especially with ringworm - is its high species jumping transmission rate and the fact that invisibly tiny spores can stay live for up to 2 years which turn it into a hygiene nightmare more than anything. But we do have a very detailed practical guide that actually works for that case so you can get over it once and for all. So please do not panic. ;)
thank you so much! i’ve been brushing her constantly and it just seems as if there’s flakes falling out of her! i’m not sure whether it’s dead skin or dust or mites or what. there is tons of it, however, and she seems to be itching rather a lot. my other pig is fine. will keep an eye on her over the next few days. massive relief to know it isn’t deadly :tu:
i’ve attached more pictures of everything that falls out of her hair.
 

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Wiebke

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thank you so much! i’ve been brushing her constantly and it just seems as if there’s flakes falling out of her! i’m not sure whether it’s dead skin or dust or mites or what. there is tons of it, however, and she seems to be itching rather a lot. my other pig is fine. will keep an eye on her over the next few days. massive relief to know it isn’t deadly :tu:
i’ve attached more pictures of everything that falls out of her hair.
Have you checked the underlayer hairs especially at the back end for tiny beads fixed to it? That would be a sign of hay mites.
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

It's really impossible to say from just a picture as we cannot look out for the very subtle telltale signs ourselves.
 

Wizzy

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Have you checked the underlayer hairs especially at the back end for tiny beads fixed to it? That would be a sign of hay mites.
New guinea pigs: Sexing, vet checks&customer rights, URI, ringworm and parasites

It's really impossible to say from just a picture as we cannot look out for the very subtle telltale signs ourselves.
Yes i have, i’ve noticed it on her back two rosettes mostly where they seem sort of stuck to her skin. Both my piggies were staying with a friend last week who bought a different bag of hay from our usual haybox, so that would make sense. No scabs yet and she hasn’t lost a lot of hair, she just itches and has lost a little bit of weight. Will probably get her to the vet this week. Do i need to be worried about my other pig? What are the treatment options for this? Thank you so much for your help!
 

Wiebke

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Yes i have, i’ve noticed it on her back two rosettes mostly where they seem sort of stuck to her skin. Both my piggies were staying with a friend last week who bought a different bag of hay from our usual haybox, so that would make sense. No scabs yet and she hasn’t lost a lot of hair, she just itches and has lost a little bit of weight. Will probably get her to the vet this week. Do i need to be worried about my other pig? What are the treatment options for this? Thank you so much for your help!
You need to treat both piggies. Treatment options/tips and information on the various piggy skin parasites are in the green link in previous post.
 

Wizzy

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Hello again!
Vet appointment booked for tomorrow. Very worried about Pepper - found a moving thing on her this afternoon. Must it be running lice then? Only found the one, but she is itching more than usual and sat hiding in her hut. reluctant to be held. She has also lost about 60g in weight so am syringe feeding her. do piggy parasites (or whatever this is) cause weight loss? She is eating her hay fine now. As i usually tell my vet what i know is the best treatment, what should i ask for?
 

Wiebke

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Hello again!
Vet appointment booked for tomorrow. Very worried about Pepper - found a moving thing on her this afternoon. Must it be running lice then? Only found the one, but she is itching more than usual and sat hiding in her hut. reluctant to be held. She has also lost about 60g in weight so am syringe feeding her. do piggy parasites (or whatever this is) cause weight loss? She is eating her hay fine now. As i usually tell my vet what i know is the best treatment, what should i ask for?
If it is pale (anything from white, yellow, reddish or brownish), then it is most likely lice.

The weight loss is most likely caused by an underlying health issue. Fungal and skin parasites are opportunists that hit whenever the immune system is lowered for some reason. I would recommend that you mention the weight loss and the need for a health check to look for the possibility of something else going on tomorrow, especially if she has lost that the weight very quickly and recently. In itself, the weight loss is still not yet in the dramatic range (just the 'alert' range) but it is something that needs to be taken into consideration by your vet.

All the best!
 

Wizzy

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Also, where could she have got the lice from? Could she have picked it up from hay? There is literally only one moving black thing that i found. It looked like a tiny crawling tick type thing. She hasn’t got much of a bald spot just lots of specks on her back, and she looks rather uncomfortable and isn’t as approachable as she would usually be.
 

Wizzy

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If it is pale (anything from white, yellow, reddish or brownish), then it is most likely lice.

The weight loss is most likely caused by an underlying health issue. Fungal and skin parasites are opportunists that hit whenever the immune system is lowered for some reason. I would recommend that you mention the weight loss and the need for a health check to look for the possibility of something else going on tomorrow, especially if she has lost that the weight very quickly and recently. In itself, the weight loss is still not yet in the dramatic range (just the 'alert' range) but it is something that needs to be taken into consideration by your vet.

All the best!
Thank you!
Could the weight loss be down to stress? She was staying with a friend of mine a few weeks ago, and they have a dog who liked to watch the guinea pig cage apparently. She has lost that weight over about 10 days ish. Hoping there isn’t something more serious going on :no:
 

Wiebke

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Thank you!
Could the weight loss be down to stress? She was staying with a friend of mine a few weeks ago, and they have a dog who liked to watch the guinea pig cage apparently. She has lost that weight over about 10 days ish. Hoping there isn’t something more serious going on :no:
Sorry, that is for the vet to decide. We can only guess, based on your own guesses and without access to your piggy; which is not what you need.
 

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I hope you get some answers tomorrow and can start a treatment that helps her. All the best and keep us posted.
 
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