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Twitching, Irritated Gp

Fiona H

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I’m a bit concerned about one of my boys. He seems to be very irritated and sensitive when stroked. Usually when I handle him he is ok for a little while but after 15 minutes or so if I try to touch him he really flinches and twitches. He is behaving like they do if they have mites but with no obvious signs of them (no excessive hair loss, no real scratching or obvious irritation like that, can’t see any on him but hard to tell when he’s so twitchy). I can’t figure out what it is, has anyone else come across this before? I’m a bit wary of giving him a mite treatment if he doesn’t need it in case it’s down to very sensitive skin or something along those lines, I don’t want to cause him more irritation. I can see a few skin flakes where he has been sat but again nothing hugely concerning. To give a little background he isn’t a particularly healthy pig, he’s a rescue pig from a bad case of neglect and most likely the product of inbreeding (300 pigs rescued from 1 garden, not being separated young enough so breeding a lot and pretty neglected). We have had him since February and he has never gained a huge amount of weight despite his brother and cage mate doubling in size. We are currently doing tests for kidney issues due to weight loss and excessive drinking. I don’t know if this could be related at all? Any advice would be gratefully received! Thank you
 

Wiebke

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I’m a bit concerned about one of my boys. He seems to be very irritated and sensitive when stroked. Usually when I handle him he is ok for a little while but after 15 minutes or so if I try to touch him he really flinches and twitches. He is behaving like they do if they have mites but with no obvious signs of them (no excessive hair loss, no real scratching or obvious irritation like that, can’t see any on him but hard to tell when he’s so twitchy). I can’t figure out what it is, has anyone else come across this before? I’m a bit wary of giving him a mite treatment if he doesn’t need it in case it’s down to very sensitive skin or something along those lines, I don’t want to cause him more irritation. I can see a few skin flakes where he has been sat but again nothing hugely concerning. To give a little background he isn’t a particularly healthy pig, he’s a rescue pig from a bad case of neglect and most likely the product of inbreeding (300 pigs rescued from 1 garden, not being separated young enough so breeding a lot and pretty neglected). We have had him since February and he has never gained a huge amount of weight despite his brother and cage mate doubling in size. We are currently doing tests for kidney issues due to weight loss and excessive drinking. I don’t know if this could be related at all? Any advice would be gratefully received! Thank you
Hi and welcome!

Irritated skin and a reluctance to be touched can signal the onset of a bout of mange mites. Any other symptoms may manifest in the next days. Many guinea pigs have got dormant mange mite eggs in their skin (they are immune to ivermectin). They are normally kept under control by fully working immune system, which may not be or not be fully the case with your boy if the has got major underlying issues. :(
I would recommend to speak to your vet. He is likely to recommend mites treatment as it does not affect any other medication to my knowledge unless it is also topical (on the skin); it is usually better to nip anything like this in bud or prevent it from breaking out fully.

Sadly problems can turn up several generations in if there has been a faulty gene in the original piggies. I have adopted a number of rescue piggies from similar backgrounds. They can come with hidden time bombs in their genes. :(
All you can do is to give them your love and a happy life for as long as they have got. It is not about the quantity, but the quality of it. It sounds like you are doing that!
 
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