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Ringworm returned advice please!

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Carolinemm

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Hello,
I'm after a bit more advice please. I have now had my new piggies for about 2 months. I think the ringworm (which I noticed a month ago now), from one piggy (Ginger) has now transferred to the other (Jasmine). Its a bit frustrating as I treated Ginger with canestan for 2 weeks, then both of them with mycozole spray for 7 days and of course sprayed the hutch with anti-fungal spray liberally many times, and disinfected bowl and water bottle daily, washed any fleece, vetbed etc lots of times throughout and since treatment (they are cleaned out fairly thoroughly daily as in large hutch in an outhouse so need to keep them nice and dry and they go to the toilet a lot!)...I bought some Nizoral shampoo and thought I should try that now as I have already spent £150 at the vets and tried everything I have read on here apart from that...but my worry is that they are semi-outside. Is it ok to bring them in, bathe them and wait for them to thoroughly dry (I gather needs to be natural, not hairdrier, if you are bathing for fungal infection?) then put them back in their hutch? They have snuggle safes day and night when its cold, plus lots bedding, ples hay, fleeces etc.. Thanks very much :)
 
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Did the vets diagnose it as ringworm? There are plenty of things that it could be otherwise, fungal.

When I had a large lot of rescue piggies in with ringworm I bathed them all in Malaseb every 3 days, I did use a hair dryer but they were kept indoors. I don't think it would be safe to bath them and put them outside at this time of year.

Other ringworm treatments include Imaverol dip but this is prescription only (it's used for sheep etc) and would need to be discussed with your vet. Malaseb shampoo is from the vets too.

Chrissie at Gorgeous Guineas does a Neem based shampoo for ringworm which does work and is completely natural - might be worth looking on her website (there is a good bit on it about identifying fungal problems and treatment).

Canasten cream / Daktarin gold are ok for localised patches but it sounds like it needs something stronger.

Did you do the cage with antifungal, such as Virkon?

Also did you wear gloves and overalls, as it is very easy to catch ringworm or transfer it to other pets.

Sophie
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Carolinemm

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Thanks very much for your replies Sophie, yes it was diagnosed properly I had the pluck and scrape test (hence the big vet bill I think), and did, once I knew what it was, wear gloves and specific clothes only for seeing to the piggies and washed them regularly. The disinfectant I bought is from pets at home but it specifically says on the back its for fungal infections - cant remember the name of it. I'm really glad you have advised not to bathe, I really was consdiering it although the vet said not to. Thats why I feel I'm struggling with it really...and...despite me being almost OCD type personality with cleanliness I have caught the damn ringworm! Bizzarly on my back?! but I can tell you that it is itchy :) its no big deal, like altheletes foot on your body after all (can hear people saying errrr as I type :)). I may well have touched ginger and then scratched my back I guess before I knew what it was...its all a big learning curve!
 

Carolinemm

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PS luckily none of the other pets have caught it, I have been very careful - 4 raabits and 2 cats so I was worrying.....
 

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If the normal topical treatments and disinfection regime are not getting rid of it then you need an oral anti-fungal - griseofulvin or itrafungol ..(provided you have tried surolan precribed by the vet first as a topical treatment and ti has been unsuccessful) . I have experience of both griseofulvin and surolan.....griseofulvin worked a treat on all my piggies a couple of years ago.....when there were several that caught it and it could have spread. Surolan worked well last year with one piggie who had one patch.......obviously in both cases the disinfection/extra hygiene/preventing secondary spread routines were all in operation both times..

I've not had experience of intrafungol but did discuss the possibility of prescribing it with my new exotics vet recently for one piggie who loooked liked she had fungal skin infection.....I got the feeling that he felt itrafungol has too many side effects in piggies/small furries for his liking so is reluctant to prescribe and would rather go with griseofuvin in extreme cases......



HTH
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Carolinemm

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Thanks loads for that advice, I shall be returning to the vet, I really think they need something else, its just so frustrating when you have been so careful I still feel its my fault all the time that I must have overlooked something....I even took all the shelves out of the hutch so no hiding places for nastiness, drenched it in antifungal spray, threw away all the toys etc, still didnt work. Thanks again for everyones advice :)
 

Carolinemm

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I assume my topical application of mycozole was equivalent of surolan? Cant think what the active ingredient in mycozole is? might just be a different anti-fungal I guess.
 

Carolinemm

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Sorry also, with the disinfectant regime, how often would you spray antifungal spray on a hutch say? and do a complete clean out? I spray antifungal in a litter tray daily, as all mess is cleaned out twice a day, but only really have time at the weekends to remove them completely from the hutch, spray the wood and let it dry in the sunlight?
 

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To answer your qeustions
Surolan contains the anti-fungal miconazole but also contains the antibacterial polymyxin B and prednisolone steroid to reduce itchiness/inflammation

You have certainly tried hard to eradicate this and done all the right things........unfortunately you have not been very lucky. You;re not doing anything wrong per se - it;s just that you obviously have a stubborn infection


What disinfectant are you spraying with?

Johnsons Clean and Safe is not active against fungi. I'm assuming therefore that you are using Beaphar deep clean, which is active against ringworm according to the Beaphar web site and doesn;t need to be rinsed off. However for wooden cages it might not be powerful enough as some of these disinfectants are not necessarily effective on porous surfaces like wood and are mainly intended for plastics/glass etc. With wooden hutches it is much more difficut to eliminate the fungal spores and I guess this is why your infection is proving stubborn to shift.

The most important thing is to get the right type of regime so you don;t keep reintroducing contamination into a clean area. Here's what I would do in your position given that the weather is a lot colder now:


DAY 1
First if there are not open wounds, wash the piggies with an antifungal shampoo (nizoral or sporal d or maloseb) and keep them somewhere indoors overnight (eg cardboard box) on newspaper with clean towels/fleece to snuggle in and hay to eat. Do not let them get too cold - but equally as they are outside piggies you need to keep them somewhere relatively cool (ie not next to the central heating) so that when they go outside it will not be too much of an acclimatisation shock. The box should be big enough that they can remain there for a couple of days if necessary. Wear a disposable apron and bin it once you have washed and dried the piggies. Wash your hands thoroughly and wash all used towels at 95deg with either Vanish oxy action extra hygiene or a suitable disinfectant such as Trigene in the wash.

Then put on a new disposable apron and clean out the cages - first with a hoover to get rid of all dust/hay/loose spores/etc etc and then clean with a strong antifungal - (virkon spray, trigene disinfectant or 2% bleach made up in a plant spray bottle). You might want to wear gloves and a mask for this. You need to spray it into every nook and cranny, soak/scrub everything (I find a small washing up brush is good) and leave for a minimum contact time of 15 minutes. Then rinse the cages with water (no need to soak them - just wipe down with a wet cloth and then paper towels) and allow to dry naturally (although in this cold weather it might be advisable to apply heat with eg a hairdryer to dry them out more quickly)

If the cages are in a shed or outhouse - try and hoover up as much dust from the area as possible.

DAY 2 or 3
Once the cages are clean and absolutely dry, line with some type of absorbent material such as megasorb, put newspaper over the top and re-introduce the piggies with clean, disinfected bowls/bottles etc. Destroy/bin the cardboard box they have been in, together with the newspaper etc. Wash the plastics/bottles in 2% bleach or disinfectant with contact time for 15 minutes and rinse throughly.

Give topical or oral treatment daily as directed by a vet.
Also Each day change the newspaper in the cage.

Day 4: Remove piggies, Hoover and clean the cage, food bowls etc again (use Beaphar this time as rinsing not required).


DAY 8: Repeat the above from Day 1. However if the pigs have open wounds and/or the weather is very cold then omit the shampoo/bath....provided they are on oral antifungals.

DAY 15
Repeat again but use Beaphar both times for cleaning the cages.

DAY 22
Hopefully by now your piggeis will also have had medication for 3 weeks and provided that their lesions are now fully healed then you should now be able to stop the routine. There will still be spores present - they can remain active for over a year and could initate another infeciotn when the piggie is stressed or humid conidtions develop. However the number of spores should now be dramatically reduced and the anti-fungal will have stopped the piggie becoming reinfected while you are reducing the spore numbers.

This is a draconian regime and some may consider it a bit OCD - but ringworm can be an absolute burger to get rid of in wooden cages and desperate measures sometimes need to be employed. Ultimately you might have to consider binning the wooden cage and getting a new one....even if you do you will still have to throughly disinfect on a twice weekly basis until your piggeis have the all clear. Better still if you can bring them indoors for the winter in a plastic cage it really makes cleaning and disnfection much easier.....and less risk that piggies will pick up a respiratory infection from all the baths/temperature changes.

I have had a similar issue with ear mites and adopted the above procedures but using Johnsons insecticidal cage spray and ivermectin inections. However I have elected to keep all the pigs in indoor cages over the winter and let the wooden cages get thoroughly disinfected etc ready for occupation in the spring.

Good luck -
x
 

Carolinemm

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Pebble, thank you so so much for your time on this I cant tell you how much its appreciated. I have been away with work for a couple of days and on closer inspection I think Ginger is also getting it back, she has a very flakey back end....arrgg! They dont have lesions thankfully, poor ginger did have the first time though. Her patch was under a roll of fat on her leg, she had given birth when I got her from the rescue centre (abandoned her young), so whilst they were settling, I left them to it and didnt handle them much for the first couple of weeks, then went away for a week (meant to get them after hol but when I visited rescue centre ended up bringing them home!) then noticed it when I got back, I felt really awful.

It is proving to be a nightmare, they have a brand new 3 storey, 6ft wide wooden hutch in an outhouse which they love, it has insulation in it etc and bringing them in would be so much less space and my other half said I could only have more animals if they were outside. I would worry about using my hoover as would the spores not get into the hoover and then potentially all around my house affected the cats and us? Maybe I need to buy a special piggy hoover!

Anyway sorry I'm waffling I just feel I'm really in a pickle with this, feel I need to sort how I'm going to deal with it before I go back to the vets and I'm applying cream (Canestan) to both whilst I think about it so it doesnt get sore or anything. Also I have never bathed a guinea pig and wouldnt want them to get stressed as that wouldnt help at all...worried about the bringing them in and putting them out again thing...also only having the evening to disinfect the hutch and in the dark as as work full time so out of the house when its light now...right need to go and think some more and will probably be back for advice although I am thinking I will probably completely follow your advice :) just need to purchase some sort of temp indoor cage and possibly a new outdoor one?....
 

Carolinemm

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Hello, for anyone who might be interested and those who helped me very much indeed reach a decision about what on earth to do here is an update...

Went to the vets, she will not prescribe oral anti-fungal at this stage, she says it just is too damaging to the liver so we are trying topical treatments again along with cream and baths but this time with a much more strict distinfecting regime. AND we realised the last batch of topical stuff I used was out of date! can you believe rolleyes

So I decided I would purchase an indoor cage (I couldnt have put them in a box! :)), I cannot keep them in all winter but have decided I will do for a month whilst I get them clear. By inside I mean in the house where its warm after baths for 24 hours but still in a coolish room, then in the porch which has no heating so feels just like outside along with snuggle safes, fleeces, and a big sleeping bag over it at night.

I am always wearing an apron, I washed all the towels and apron at 90degrees after the baths last week (but forgot the damn extra stuff in the wash) so that will be after this weeks baths now. I am completely cleaning them out daily - they have newspaper with fleece on top, a litter tray stuffed with hay and an igloo thing. It all gets thrown out and sprayed with the antifungal spray, bowls and water bottle, igloo everything...each day. I wear gloves to handle them. They have a new fleece everyday.

This is how I plan to continue for at least a month so I can be absolutely sure its gone hopefully.

Does this all sound ok to those with much experience? I am putting them in a childs paddling pool whilst I clean them out which I must admit is the only thing I will only be able to disinfect fully at the weekend but with daily fresh paper in.

Is it ok to reuse the fleeces as long as I wash them appropriately? does it absolutely have to be 90 odd degrees?

Thank you :)

PS I may also throw the hutch...I'm still debating what to do! seems so wasteful...
 

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hi i had 10 guineas in last year with ringworm and 6 mths later it came back in new guineas...

what you need to do is flame the surface of the hutch as ringworm lives in wood for 15yrs...i burnt £600 worth of hutches and turned to plastic cages..

secondly i used imaverol dip can be brought from the Internet its used to treat sheep and cows with ringworm.

do a dip every 3 days for 3-4 treatments let them air dry in a cardboard box with loads of hay and throw away the box..

get a small make up brush and paint the dip in the ears eyes toes not the nose holes..

i draw up 20ml of the dip and dilute into 400ml warm water and tip the water into a small washing up bowl and sponge it over them so they are dripping wet, leave them to dry some where warm in the box with hay before putting them back into there cage..

cages and bowls etc need be soaked in virkon which kills 99.9% of fungal spores..

last of all ringworm is air born and it takes 1 mth before showing signs of it, the first 7-14 days are highly contagious to animals and humans, and until the scabs have come off..

by the 3rd dip the ringworm will be gone x

you will need to flame burn the hutch to get rid of the spores as ive found know matter how much cleaning is done it isnt alway enough!
 

Carolinemm

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Flipping heck!...what a nightmare for you, I am finding it stressful just with my new 2. That is great advice thank you Claire (you are only up the road from me, I'm in Audlem, Cheshire :))

They hated their baths but I tried my best on my first attempt, I now see the box is a must do part of the process, thank you. I am going to get some Virkon this weekend and I will def get some dip, jasmine is very scaly still and ginger has signs of flakiness on her ears despite them both now being on cream for 7 days, had a bath (2 washes) last Saturday with Nizoral (well the boots version same stuff) and I left the 2nd lot on for 5 mins and the topical treatment stuff arrived today from the vets (in date!), so have only just started that again....it sounds like I need to bin the hutch, thank you.

So cream, topical stuff, dip and baths? xx
 

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what cream are you using not red the whole thread?

i used canerstan 1% but it takes 5 wks of treatment with the cream until it clear x

ps virkon is brought from agricultural shops
 

Carolinemm

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Yes canestan also - the first time around it all seemed to be working nicely on Ginger, she healed up lovely, I did cream for 2wks then topical stuff (Mycozole) on both of them for 7 days (max you can use it for), so 3 weeks in total. Vet said to stop with the cream after 2 wks and just use topical. Maybe it did work it was the hutch which was the problem? Vet is absolutely adamant the topical stuff should work...she didnt really want me to bath them, that was from advice on here. She said she would ask their specialist dermatologist who has a special interest in guinea pigs if there was anything else I could do? She seems very good but I feel I get more from here :) x
 

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Sound like a well-thought-out regime to me.

It does seem like your cage may be the source/reservoir for the infection but it is a relatively new cage and I have managed to clean out my old wooden cages with bleach and had no recurrences. So before you flame or bin it as Claire has suggested, you might want to try spraying it with Virkon (after vaccuming out all the dust particles) in view of it's sporicidal activity.

Don't forget also to bin all open bags of hay/straw and use fresh.

Other options to treat the hutch could be steam cleaning or else maybe using a greenhouse sulphur candle as they are meant to be active against fungal spores - care isneeded with this however and leave several days before you put the piggies back in.
http://www.selections.com/GF2550/sulphur-candle/

Is the hutch in a shed - if it is you may find that the wood from the shed is the reservoir that needs treating not just the hutch....in which case i would suggest clearing the whole area out, vacuuming and spraying everywhere with virkon and leaving to dry for 24-48 hours.

Good luck
x
 

Carolinemm

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Hi Pebble, thanks for this, I am still looking at my hutch each day I was going to do the deed this weekend, but its was last years xmas present from the boyfriend (was in a box until august as we moved house), I had recently fitted a new little banister and ramp guard and the girls have been loving it, whipping up and down so I was feeling so sad that I would have to throw it! They look so cramped in their indoor cage.

Maybe I really will try drowning the area and hutch in virkon first. The hutch is in a breeze block outhouse, actually I may have a pic somewhere...(just tried to attach no idea how!) and I just have loose bales of hay in there as I have 4 rabbits too and they eat a lot! I go through a bale a week. I have had new hay since I moved the girls out of there though so hopefully that should be ok, I did spray all the table and wall etc with the fungal spray (which really should work and as far as I can tell is just a different version of having say virkon in a spray bottle?), but when I do the hutch properly (realise the wood needs more than a spray) Ill move it all out of there.

Ive ordered the dip so I'm assuming use that rather than the nizoral bath? but still with cream and topical stuff? Altho that **** wont come in time for this weekend so I may do another bath anyway whilst I'm waiting.

Thanks loads for this dont know what Id do without everyone! so many dilemas! :) xx
 

clairelove

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no you wont need the nizoral shampoo while you are doing the dip, but 2 days ater the 4th treatment give them a nice bath in either baby shampoo or GG shampoo as the dips are quiet harsh, but the sucsess of using them is good... around 2 days after the first dip you will see a big improvement you will need spray the hutches, indoor cage, bottle, every thing, the same day you do their dips, x
 
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