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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 19138
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My Guinea pig has loss of hair and skin irritation above the

Customer Question

My Guinea pig has loss of hair and skin irritation above the right eye, it's progressively getting worse. The skin is scabby and grey. What should be done?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome,

This is just a quick note to let you know that I am locked on to your question and am working on it now.

My name is***** and I am a small animal vet with many years experience and rest assured I will do my best to answer your question to your satisfaction today. You can expect a written reply sometime within the next fifteen minutes or so.

We also have the option to talk things over by telephone or via an internet service such as Skype. Please get back to me if this is more convenient for you. { There is a small extra charge for phone calls }

Regards,

Dr Scott

Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 1 year ago.

Hello again Dennis

Sorry to hear Dinico has a problem, but hopefully this is something very minor, however I have worked out an answer for you below ...

1. When a guinea pig has this sort of condition where there has been hair loss then you would always have to consider mange as the primary diagnosis, although fungal infections such as ringworm or non specific dermatitis are also possible. Unfortunately there is often nothing much you can do on a home treatment basis to tackle these diseases but your vet should be able to very easily sort out Dinico's problem.

2. Lets cover mange as this is by far the most likely diagnosis. Guinea pig mange is caused by a mite called sarcoptes, the guinea pig form is related to the mite which affects dogs and people [ scabies ] but luckily it is specific to guinea pigs and will not affect other animals including humans. When I first qualified twenty eight years ago there was no effective treatment for this condition, we used to give affected animals baths in products designed to treat human head lice, sometimes it helped a bit, at other times is was of no use and affected guinea pigs deteriorated and some eventually died. About twenty five years ago we had a breakthrough in the treatment of this disease with the introduction of the drug ivermectin, this is given as a low dose injection once a week for three consecutive weeks, the success rate is close on 100%.

As ivermectin is a prescription drug you may have to take Dinico to your local vet, but this is a good thing as you will get the diagnosis confirmed and other prescription drugs should rapidly clear up the other conditions I mentioned.

3. Here is a link to an accurate article which covers the topic of guinea pig mange in more detail. { It sounds like your one may be an early case at present } LINK

I hope I have covered your question fully enough but if you would like further clarification or to talk things over a bit more then I will be on-line for the next hour or so and I will be more than pleased to continue working with you.

Regards,

Dr Scott

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