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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 20734
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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My guinea pig has patches of dry , flakey skin and hair is

Resolved Question:

My guinea pig has patches of dry , flakey skin and hair is falling out. What could be causes? This is a male guinea pig about 8 months old, shares cage with female without any of the symptoms. Looks like psoriasis or eczema. No recent diet changes. no recent bath. Flakey skin and patches of baldness all over body. Active and playful.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the questionCustomer

When a guinea pig has a skin condition and there has been hair loss then you would always have to consider mange as the primary diagnosis although fungal diseases are possible as well.

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 ten 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 this is a prescription drug my advice to you is to have your vet check your guinea pig out, as if it is mange which it almost certainly is then it can easily be treated.

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
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