• PLEASE NOTE - the TEAS facebook page has been hacked, take extreme care when visiting the page, for further information visit here
  • Discussions taking place within this forum are intended for the purpose of assisting you in discussing options with your vet. Any other use of advice given here is done so at your risk, is solely your responsibility and not that of this forum or its owner. Before posting it is your responsibility you abide by this Statement


Not open for further replies.


New Born Pup
Jun 12, 2014
Reaction score
Hi all,

Just after some advise. I have 2 guineapigs I have had since babies. They are 3 and ½ now. The white pig, Floss has recently started Self-Barbering.

After some research I have discovered this is what she must have. She did it a while back and I took her to the vets who did all the usual, mite treatments, skin swabs etc however the Vet was at a bit of a loss as to why she had this balding patch. It seemed to improve a little bit but when she started getting worse recently I looked more into it.

Suggestions for this have Included:

Loneliness (but she lives with Meg and always has and they get on pretty well),

Boredom (they have loads of hidey holes and a 2 tier cage meant for 2 large rabbits, plus toys and chewy sticks)

Diet (they constantly have hay and food topped up twice a day, water changed daily and lettuce or other fruit/veg, morning and 2 to 3 times in the afternoon so I doubt they’d be lacking any vital vitamins)

Other more serious (she did have a lump on her leg about 4 months ago which I got removed, could it be a sign of a tumour or something more serious? If so is there an equivalent of a guineapig scan to find out? :\ )

Addiction (I did also read that pigs can sometimes just do this for no reason other than that they like it? Surely this can’t be normal? I don’t really want her doing it and at a bit of a loose end to find out how to make it stop)

I’ve also tried re-arranging their cage, buying new houses and toys and alternative fruit e.g. watermelon for a bit of a change but doesn’t seem to have helped.

Anyone got any answers? (pics below)

IMG_7103.JPG IMG_7104.JPG
I am very sorry. I have had some long-hair piggies that self-barbered. In all of them, it was clearly a nervous habit, as most piggies from that batch were either barbers or self-barbers.

As you have excluded pretty much all of the usual avenues that could cause self-barbering from discomfort, the only other cause I could see is mechanical abrasion for some reason if your piggy is regularly sneaking underneath or between something.
Agree with Wiebke. However, can I just check that the vet checked for any fungal issues and have you actually seen her barbering herself? The reason I ask is that a few years ago I thought my Millie was doing the same but it actually turned out to be a fungal condition called broken back which can be linked to an overload of Candida. Just wanted to mention it in case. Also any tests that the vet does for fungal only tend to test positive if it is Ringworm and not one of the many other types.
One other possible cause to rule out - if the incisors aren't properly aligned then the pig can't groom properly without pulling some hair out at the same time. I belive @furryfriends Excellent Adventure Sanctuary has experienced this (not personally - one of her piggies!)

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

@Wiebke It is frustrating, she was a very nervous baby, scared of her own shadow but shes come a long way and is fairly confident now, lets you reach in and stroke her etc. The only mechanical aspect i can think of is the wooden bridge they have in the cage, i may try flattening that to rule it out so thank you.

@helen105281 The vet did a skin swab which didn't come back with anything - although I'm not sure what she tested for. If itsnt isnt therefore ringworm but could be another type, how would i find out?
I have watched her doing it to herself on a regular basis, shes not secretive about it in anyway!

@Pebble This could be a factor, although as i mentioned i've watched her and it seems a deliberate act to me rather than a grooming accident.

Thank you all again.
Unfortunately it is only really possible to test for Ringworm, though Candida can show up occasionally. I used round of anti-fungal baths followed by Imaverol dips and it cleared up so that gave me my answer. Plus I had a history of fungal issues in my herd anyway. I actually had 3 pigs including Millie that had broken back at the same time.
Not open for further replies.