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fourcavies

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Our old boar died in March and so I decided in the school holidays to get some new babies as we had lots of equipment! I now have 4 small boars, unfortunately, we came down to a bloody nose which needed antibiotics so we bought a new 2 story cage to separate out the little ones until we could reintroduce. All was going well, I noticed some dropping on the lawn which I now know to be hedgehog...possible source of infection; when I took the injured one back to the vet for a check up he said he had ringworm and so I had them all checked and now I have it, my daughter does and so do 2 of the 4 guinea pigs. I'm not well and feel I've taken on a massive project which I regret but I have to put my big girl pants on and see this through. The treatment at the vets has been expensive, what started out as £25 worth of cuddles has gone over the £400 mark, one bottle of medicine was £109 on its own as well as the topical solutions and check ups. So my questions are; should I switch to fleece so I can basically boil wash and disinfect bedding better? How long, in your experience does this disease last? I think we have suffered for 4 weeks now. I also have to consider how to reintroduce the boys as I really would like to see them happy and together. We are considering buying some bunny burrow tunnels to give them a piece of the garden. Any useful advice greatly appreciated :-)
 

sport_billy

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Hello

Welcome to the forum, sorry to hear you are going through this.

Where are you located please?What are they being treated with. Unfortunately as with all pets vets can be expensive, we put a little away each way to fund any vets visits

Have a read of our Ringworm guide here Ringworm: Hygiene And Pictures

Tagging in @Wiebke and @helen105281 they have lots of experience with skin issues
 

helen105281

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It sounds like you may have been given Itrafungol but will wait until you confirm to respond.
 

Wiebke

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Our old boar died in March and so I decided in the school holidays to get some new babies as we had lots of equipment! I now have 4 small boars, unfortunately, we came down to a bloody nose which needed antibiotics so we bought a new 2 story cage to separate out the little ones until we could reintroduce. All was going well, I noticed some dropping on the lawn which I now know to be hedgehog...possible source of infection; when I took the injured one back to the vet for a check up he said he had ringworm and so I had them all checked and now I have it, my daughter does and so do 2 of the 4 guinea pigs. I'm not well and feel I've taken on a massive project which I regret but I have to put my big girl pants on and see this through. The treatment at the vets has been expensive, what started out as £25 worth of cuddles has gone over the £400 mark, one bottle of medicine was £109 on its own as well as the topical solutions and check ups. So my questions are; should I switch to fleece so I can basically boil wash and disinfect bedding better? How long, in your experience does this disease last? I think we have suffered for 4 weeks now. I also have to consider how to reintroduce the boys as I really would like to see them happy and together. We are considering buying some bunny burrow tunnels to give them a piece of the garden. Any useful advice greatly appreciated :-)
Hi! I am very sorry about your problems. Ringworm is the single most transmittable problem between all mammals. Sadly it is not at all rare in shop guinea pigs. If the outbreak happens within 2 weeks of the sale, exposure has happened at the shop or breeder and you can usually reclaim the vet cost by presenting the bill together with the sales receipt if you do this promptly.

Here are our hygiene tips; they are very detailed, but the result of finding out the hard way just in which ways and how easily infection happens. With good hygiene and investing in a good disinfectant, you should be able to get over the acute phase of an outbreak within 2 weeks and then have another 2 weeks on probation. But this is much more difficult when things have already spread far and wide. Invisible spores are shed in their thousands and they can stay live for up to 18 months. :(
Ringworm: Hygiene And Pictures

You may need an antibiotic from your gp yourself to get rid of your own ringworm; I know of several people who needed this. Take a written ringworm diagnosis from your vet to prove that you have got it; not all gps will listen to what you are saying.
I was very lucky to just get by with a topical whole body application of nizoral shampoo every three days and 2% canesten cream several times a day from the moment I noticed the first signs the one time I caught it from a piggy of mine when scratching myself absent-mindedly during treatment. But it was certainly not a nice experience, and I had to wash my bedding, towels and clothes at high temperature every 2 days during that time as well as keeping my hands gelled whenever I caught myself fingering the ringworm patches. :(

Whether you switch to fleece or stay with loose bedding doesn't matter as long as you make sure that the cage is cleaned frequently and thoroughly so re-infection cannot happen.

I guess that the expensive medication is itrafungol? That should indeed take care of acute ringworm within about a week. The one extra expense I would really urge to make is ordering F10 disinfectant concentrate or spray and F10 hand gel for yourself and your child. It is not all that expensive, but the most effective disinfectant.

I am transferring your thread to our special monitored Health/Illness section for better support.

Since we have members from all over the world, it helps us a lot if you please added your country, state/province or UK county to your details so it appears with every post you make. The products I have cited are UK products; you will need others if you are based in another part of the world.
Please click on your username on the top bar, then go to personal details and scroll down to location. Thank you!
 

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Hello and welcome to the forum. So sorry you are having such a hard time at the moment. *hugs* x
 

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What an awful time you're having. The Guinea pig I got recently had ringworm but thankfully I've seen no signs of her passing it on to me or me daughter. Even still the vet bills and cleaning have been a pain so I can imagine the stress your under. Sending lots of healing vibes your way xx
 

fourcavies

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Thank you very much for such a swift replies. I'm taking the ringworm info on board but seem to be doing mostly the right things. We are based in Ely, Cambridgeshire, we bought them from a local-ish breeder but she said she didn't have any cases so I do not have any recourse I do not think. I have to say that I am looking at the links thank you. Last night I tried to introduce them in a new paddling pool with some food and new sawdust. I've had two separated, one a rex one a Californian, the Rex was the original injured one and had been on his own for a number of weeks. I thought I'd try him with the Californian, again on his own as he'd seemed aggressive, however, I think he just doesn't like being handled by humans. The two were happy chasing and humping until they eventually settled down so we opened up the tray door to give them more space but made sure they had a house each and all is well. However, during my experiment, I did try and introduce the rex brother and the smaller tri-coloured one. The rex brothers really did fight and I had to put a tea-towel in to stop them, the little one was panicky so we decided to remove them and now have two pairs to monitor. I'm quietly optimistic that they are happy for now and I've faced the cages and they do squeak across the gap so I think a permanent solution is to build something a little larger to accommodate two groups. Unfortunately this morning I do have to report a HUGE circle on my neck and chin...... We are off to buy more supplies. I look forward to being part of this group.
 

fourcavies

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Sorry, it has been a hectic few weeks as my husband has also been poorly and I've had my daughter back to the hospital. I must say I've been very grateful for the advice and we've had our hands full treating the fungus! The oral and topical medicines from the vet did the trick eventually. Time-consuming and costly! I'm pleased to report that I managed with the second cream, (atheletes foot cream), which did the trick for my ringworm rashes (2" circles) which have now subsided completely. We've had a paddling pool in the kitchen trying to give the boys a little bit of space and chance to run about a bit, two of them are getting on fine together now, one of the Rex brothers and the smaller male. I did try and reintroduce the brothers but they did fight, a towel on them did the trick which was a great tip rather than reach in and grab one which seemed logical! The other Rex boy and my Californian whilst tolerating each other in a two-storey cage are not getting on as well as I would like but it seems to be working now with them both getting free rein in their two storey home. There are a lot of male hormones flying around which I now see is normal so we are persevering with this. The weather has been so nice this weekend that I've had them on the lawn in two respective runs and it's been lovely to see them enjoying a change of scenery and some 'popping' and running about :-) I'm not sure I want to say this, but we seem to be on top of the disease and I've got two relatively happy colonies. What I do need to try and do next is introduce them again so that we can socialise them together but that might be pushing it! Our Californian boy is such a pretty thing but such a biter, he goes into a fireball of claws if he's picked up, I'm not sure if handling frequently is the answer, I find he's slightly calmer if I use fabric to hold him, is this a common occurrence?
 

NatalieGee

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One of my two boys has ringworm right now too, and I can relate to how expensive the vet bills are.. I'm out $1500 so far from 3 guinea appointments with meds and an appointment for my cat who caught it.. It's definitely a big endeavor. I've found that switching to fleece has made it easier for me in the process. I've been washing it in very hot water every few days, and honestly plan on throwing it all away and buying fresh fleece when the ordeal is finally over, as I'm too paranoid about remaining spores to keep it. I also had to throw away all their fabric and wooden toys, hideys, etc. and sprung for the F10 disinfectant Wiebke mentioned.

Just to clarify, you will be keeping your boars in groups of two, right?
 

Reenie

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Sorry you've been having such a stressful time. Just to say that it's much better to stick at pairs with boars. It's very rare for groups of 3 or 4 to be successful, and 4 usually ends up as a pair and two singles which it sounds like you're at now. You could try to bond the two singles, but you'd probably be setting up for a future fail if you tried any more than that. Just make sure they can speak to and see another piggy through the bars, and you can think about what to do once everything has settled from the ringworm. I hope it all works out for you.
 

Hank288

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Sorry to hear that you have had such a bad time recently. Glad to hear that you are on the mend now. Fungal is a hard one to get on top of, so well done for a swift treatment.
Just a word of advice about male californians, they are very highly strung. I have mine in with a dominant Rex and they just about tolerate each other. They regularly have arguments and the Cali ends up pulling hair from the other. It is a known fact from breeders that cali's are notoriously hard to keep paired up due to their aggressive nature.

However I think cali's are the most gorgeous pigs around. Just bear with the handling. Mine is now 8 months and is still squirmy and jumpy. I would pick him up in a hide or a tube then he can't bite you. Then just sit him on your lap for a while, just sit no stroking until he gets used to you. Then after a short while introduce some stroking. Mine tolerates a cuddle now, just not so sure on grooming or nail clipping.
Have fun with you new boys.
 

fourcavies

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Sorry to hear that you have had such a bad time recently. Glad to hear that you are on the mend now. Fungal is a hard one to get on top of, so well done for a swift treatment.
Just a word of advice about male californians, they are very highly strung. I have mine in with a dominant Rex and they just about tolerate each other. They regularly have arguments and the Cali ends up pulling hair from the other. It is a known fact from breeders that cali's are notoriously hard to keep paired up due to their aggressive nature.

However I think cali's are the most gorgeous pigs around. Just bear with the handling. Mine is now 8 months and is still squirmy and jumpy. I would pick him up in a hide or a tube then he can't bite you. Then just sit him on your lap for a while, just sit no stroking until he gets used to you. Then after a short while introduce some stroking. Mine tolerates a cuddle now, just not so sure on grooming or nail clipping.
Have fun with you new boys.

Thank you for your post, sorry for the delay I've been poorly. Your reply makes perfect sense now, I feel very guilty having jumped in and got him on an impulse. He is the most adorable thing, I had worked out that he doesn't like to be touched but I'm constantly minding my fingers, although my plasters would say otherwise lol! Last night I had to separate him and the Rex I'd paired him with as he'd done some real damage to poor Harry and I've had to get him treated at the vets. I have to get Harry out to give him some antibiotics shortly so I'll try and get Ron out to socialise him as you suggest, I sensed he was frightened as he turns into a ball of spikes. The vet told me they'll all have to be neutered but I'm not really keen on that idea, I'd rather try socialising them and see where we end up.
 

fourcavies

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Sorry you've been having such a stressful time. Just to say that it's much better to stick at pairs with boars. It's very rare for groups of 3 or 4 to be successful, and 4 usually ends up as a pair and two singles which it sounds like you're at now. You could try to bond the two singles, but you'd probably be setting up for a future fail if you tried any more than that. Just make sure they can speak to and see another piggy through the bars, and you can think about what to do once everything has settled from the ringworm. I hope it all works out for you.
I have had the two cages facing each other, initially, they were squeaking like blazers at each other but the novelty wore off. I've since had my paddling pool in the house with a towel and massive bowel of food and that seemed to be okay but I think this is a long-term project. It sounds as though I may now have my pair and two singles. Not sure the cages are the right size for singles as at present I have had to drop the hatch to stop the fighting and let harry's wounds heal. One minute they are snuggling up together the next teeth out. A steep learning curve!
 

fourcavies

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One of my two boys has ringworm right now too, and I can relate to how expensive the vet bills are.. I'm out $1500 so far from 3 guinea appointments with meds and an appointment for my cat who caught it.. It's definitely a big endeavor. I've found that switching to fleece has made it easier for me in the process. I've been washing it in very hot water every few days, and honestly plan on throwing it all away and buying fresh fleece when the ordeal is finally over, as I'm too paranoid about remaining spores to keep it. I also had to throw away all their fabric and wooden toys, hideys, etc. and sprung for the F10 disinfectant Wiebke mentioned.

Just to clarify, you will be keeping your boars in groups of two, right?
Hi good luck with the treatment of the ringworm. I think after last nights fight I have one pair and two singles, I hadn't realised that the Californians were highly strung. For info, in terms of the treatment s: Terbinafine Hydrochloride (for me!); For the piggies:- Intrafungol - £109 for a small bottle (oral)!; Imaverol (topical) and also for patches of ringworm close to the eye Isathal eye drops to protect the eye from the Imaverol...... Have to say this treatment did work, including the new cage which is pretty rubbish we've spent £450 on what should have been £15 for two Guinea Pigs. I am in the dog house!
 

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Thank you for your post, sorry for the delay I've been poorly. Your reply makes perfect sense now, I feel very guilty having jumped in and got him on an impulse. He is the most adorable thing, I had worked out that he doesn't like to be touched but I'm constantly minding my fingers, although my plasters would say otherwise lol! Last night I had to separate him and the Rex I'd paired him with as he'd done some real damage to poor Harry and I've had to get him treated at the vets. I have to get Harry out to give him some antibiotics shortly so I'll try and get Ron out to socialise him as you suggest, I sensed he was frightened as he turns into a ball of spikes. The vet told me they'll all have to be neutered but I'm not really keen on that idea, I'd rather try socialising them and see where we end up.
Why is your vet suggesting neutering them? Unlike many animals, neutering guinea pigs doesn't calm them down. If they don't get on, they still won't get on. (I feel as if I'm always giving you bad news). The only reasons for neutering boars is if they are going to be with sows, or if it was needed for some health reason that I can't think of. A lot of vets don't know this apparently, so recommend neutering to deal with dominance issues. Won't work I'm afraid.
Also meant to say - I really feel for you with all the issues your having. It's a challenging time.
 

fourcavies

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Why is your vet suggesting neutering them? Unlike many animals, neutering guinea pigs doesn't calm them down. If they don't get on, they still won't get on. (I feel as if I'm always giving you bad news). The only reasons for neutering boars is if they are going to be with sows, or if it was needed for some health reason that I can't think of. A lot of vets don't know this apparently, so recommend neutering to deal with dominance issues. Won't work I'm afraid.
Hi Reenie, he thought that their aggressive behaviour would calm down.I have two litter brothers, currently separated as they were sparring a bit and the fourth piggie was tiny and got on with everyone so I split them and that part seems to be working, but each day I see the little one growing and I think is today the day they start fighting. Does that affect whether they would get on or not or is it immaterial? I presume this is the reason the breeders always seem to sell the boys?
 

Betsy

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Hi Reenie, he thought that their aggressive behaviour would calm down.I have two litter brothers, currently separated as they were sparring a bit and the fourth piggie was tiny and got on with everyone so I split them and that part seems to be working, but each day I see the little one growing and I think is today the day they start fighting. Does that affect whether they would get on or not or is it immaterial? I presume this is the reason the breeders always seem to sell the boys?
Your vet is not that cavy savvy. Neutering doesn't calm them down as it would a cat or a dog as @Reenie has already said. They still carry on as before it only stops them being able to produce babies. I have 2 boars and 3 sows and the three sows are regularly having to put up with being humped and then the butt bath that comes after as the boar glue stinks and is very sticky.
 

Reenie

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Hi Reenie, he thought that their aggressive behaviour would calm down.I have two litter brothers, currently separated as they were sparring a bit and the fourth piggie was tiny and got on with everyone so I split them and that part seems to be working, but each day I see the little one growing and I think is today the day they start fighting. Does that affect whether they would get on or not or is it immaterial? I presume this is the reason the breeders always seem to sell the boys?
I'm not an expert, but I've currently got three young boars living (currently happily) together. Two are brothers and the other is a few weeks younger, and either a half brother or a cousin. I have read up a lot on boar groups because of this, and the general consensus is that it doesn't matter whether or not they are related, it's all about personality. The neutering thing is a strange one, in that guinea pigs seem to be fairly unique in that neutering doesn't stop the fighting. Wiekbe told me in one of my threads that it's about dominant and submissive personalities, and the mix you get is what ultimately determines whether they last together - she gave the analogy of having a bag of coloured bricks and randomly taking them out - what's the likelihood you'll get ones that all match. I've been on tenterhooks watching for my three to start fighting, and I've had a few scares, but they've settled down with no bloodshed so far. They're only 5 and 6 months, and the hormonal 'teenage months' run from about 4-14 months, and it's highly unlikely they'll get through this still together. The most likely successful pairing is an older boar and a young one, so that they're not both in the hormonal stages together, but once they've properly fought, there's no going back. I did also have a foster boar who was meant to be matched up with one of them - disaster, so I really feel your pain.
 

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Wow sorry to hear about yet more problems for you. It is possible for Californian boys to have cage mates (also it is only the males who are temperamental, the girls are fine apparently). My cali is in with a rex Himalayan boar who I also struggled to pair up as he was a bully. As they are both highly dominant I didn't think it would work but they have worked out they can live in harmony as long as they don't try to share food or a bed. My 2 boys still have disagreements and there is often a chunk of hair pulled out of my rex to tell him who is boss. My cali even drew blood from the rex when they were put in a carrier for cleaning together and they are still together now. They now go in separate boxes for cleaning and then go back in the cage together afterwards.
If you are wanting your cali to be in a pair it might be worth either trying a different combination to find one that works or even taking him to a rescue to be bonded and he can pick who he wants to be with. However I have also found that at around 6 months old he got really aggressive going though his teenage hormones but has calmed down a bit now. So may be wait until he is past his teenage hump before taking him for 'boar dating'.
I have also found that he is a very loving boy to humans and does love a cuddle, but doesn't like nail trims and being groomed. Just be patient with him and tame him on his terms. Little and often is sometimes best. Plus bribing him with food or grass is always an option.
 

Hank288

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I'm not an expert, but I've currently got three young boars living (currently happily) together. Two are brothers and the other is a few weeks younger, and either a half brother or a cousin. I have read up a lot on boar groups because of this, and the general consensus is that it doesn't matter whether or not they are related, it's all about personality. The neutering thing is a strange one, in that guinea pigs seem to be fairly unique in that neutering doesn't stop the fighting. Wiekbe told me in one of my threads that it's about dominant and submissive personalities, and the mix you get is what ultimately determines whether they last together - she gave the analogy of having a bag of coloured bricks and randomly taking them out - what's the likelihood you'll get ones that all match. I've been on tenterhooks watching for my three to start fighting, and I've had a few scares, but they've settled down with no bloodshed so far. They're only 5 and 6 months, and the hormonal 'teenage months' run from about 4-14 months, and it's highly unlikely they'll get through this still together. The most likely successful pairing is an older boar and a young one, so that they're not both in the hormonal stages together, but once they've properly fought, there's no going back. I did also have a foster boar who was meant to be matched up with one of them - disaster, so I really feel your pain.
While in most cases having a younger and an older one to pair works wonders and has done for me on many occasions it did not with my baby cali. I have never seen a boar as dominant as him before. At 7 weeks old he was humping and giving my dominant, and slightly aggressive 2 year old boar a good run for his money. The boar the baby cali was supposed to go with was put into submission by the baby and they had to be separated as the baby was going to full on attack him, all guns blazing. It would seem that Californian guinea pigs are strange but beautiful little characters after speaking to many breeders about the matter.
 
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