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Anna, Pet Expert/Biologist
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 11544
Experience:  40 yrs.: herps, pocket pets, rabbits, poultry, dogs, horses. Biology degree. Vet assistant.
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My one year unaltered female Abyssinian guinea pig two weeks

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My one year unaltered female Abyssinian guinea pig two weeks ago lost some of her hair on her lower back. She was shedding a lot before this and I just assumed she was losing her winter coat. Then a few days later I noticed this large dark red almost bruised like on her stomach area. During that time she was very lethargic, wouldn't eat, rarely drank, and her stools were very thin and small. I tried getting her into the vet but they were too busy at the time. I am a CVT myself and tried using my knowledge to fix what is going on. I purchased some vetericyn and have been spraying that on her wound and hair loss three times a day. A few days after doing that, her energy came back, she was eating, drinking, and her stool is back to normal. I have been doing the Vetericyn treatment for a week and a half now. Her hair seems to be growing back but her dark red like bruise turned into a big giant scab. The past couple days I noticed that she was eating the scab so I bandaged her up. I use a sterile gauze and spray that with the Vetericyn and wrap her with vetwrap. Just recently the scab completely fell off. She looks miserable and doesn't do anything. I have tried to leave the bandage off once in awhile as she is more energetic with it off but she doesn't seem to leave the wound alone. Now, the same thing are happening with her feet. I was going to take her to the vet this past Friday but the vet that deals with guinea pigs in my area is out of town for two weeks. She does have a cage mate but there is a cage divider in the cage as they do not get along. Her cage mate doesn't show any signs of wounds. I clean their cage once to twice a week. Is there something I can do to make her feel better? Or do you know what is possibly going on with her? Also, I just moved two and half weeks ago. Could she be stressed?

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a biologist with a special interest in small mammals.I've been raising guinea pigs and rabbits for many years. I would like to try to help you tonight. I'm sorry to hear that Boo is having these problems. Some additional information will be useful.

When Boo won't leave the wound along, does she lick it or bite it?

Do her feet seem to itch or cause her pain as well?

What kind of litter/bedding do you use?

What does the skin look like where the scab fell off - red and bruised, normal, slightly pink, sore, etc.?

What do you feed - both basics and treats (brand names, too, if possible)? Any supplements?

Thank you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Yes she licks the wound. I believe she is also biting at it because there is a small gouge inside the wound. This could also be from the scab that is fell off. Her feet don't seem to cause her any pain or itch.They don't seem warm to the touch either. Just starting to scab over.The wound seems to be healing just fine. Looks like normal granulation tissue.The bedding I use is the natural paper bedding from kaytee. I have been using this type of bedding since I got her. I use multivitamin drops with extra vitamin c and add that into her water. I give her Timothy from kaytee and tropical blend of food. I have been feeding her that since I got her too.I also feed her baby carrots and green peppers and parsley. Mostly nothing has changed for her in the past year except me moving.
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm sorry for the delay, but I'm not a fast typist, and this is a long answer. I'm glad to hear you use paper bedding, since wood-based ones can cause skin problems (and worse). Because the sore area has now spread to her feet, this sounds like an infection. Stress can increase the chances of getting infections, so the move may have been an indirect cause. The Vetericyn would help with bacterial infections, but would have no effect on fungal infections. However, there are other possibility, too. The location of the sore areas on the belly and feet make me wonder if she might have a urinary tract infection. Such infections can cause incontinence in guinea pigs. The leaking urine often irritates the skin of the belly and feet. Female guinea pigs are very prone to such infections because they are low-slung and bacteria can easily enter the urinary tract. Scurvy can also cause such symptoms. You won't be able to get a certain diagnosis until you can see the vet. The vet can examine her and possibly do a skin scraping.

In the meantime, make sure her bedding is perfectly dry. Remove any wet sections every day. You can also gently wash the affected areas, and then apply the Vetericyn. If there's urine on her, washing it off may help make her more comfortable.. I would also give some supplemental vitamin C. Those vitamins that go in the water are not good for several reasons. They can make the water taste bad, so the guinea pig doesn't drink enough. And, of course, she also won't get enough vitamin C. Those bottles often sit in warehouses for months on end, and deteriorate. The same is true of guinea pig foods fortified with vitamin C. If not stored in a cool area, the vitamin C deteriorates quickly.It's possible Boo hasn't been getting enough. It's always a good idea to give guinea pigs with health problems additional vitamin C.If boo has a good appetite, she would probably eat a children's chewable. Cut a 100 mg. tablet in fourths. Give her 25 mgs. twice a day. You can read more about vitamin C here:

While it probably isn't directly related to the skin problem, you may want to consider a different food. The so-called gourmet mixes, which contain seeds and corn, are very bad for guinea pigs. They cannot digest these foods. Plain guinea pig pellets should be provided - hay should be the main ingredient, and no seeds, dried fruit, nuts, etc. These foods can be found in feed stores (they may have to be special ordered). Purina makes good ones. You can read more about feeding guinea pigs on this reputable site:

If Boo stops eating, that is an emergency. You can feed her from a syringe. Oxbow Critical Care is the best choice, but if you can't get it, you can grind pellets to a fine powder, then mix with enough water to make a slurry. Add the ground up vitamin C, too. Another way to provide the 25 mgs. of vitamin c twice a day is to buy a human infant's liquid C, and give it from a syringe.

There really isn't anything you can do but keep her dry, take measures to soothe the skin, provide extra vitamin C, and make sure she is eating. Other measures will have to wait until a vet can make a certain diagnosis. If you have more questions, let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope Boo will be fine.


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I'm just following up on our conversation about Boo. How is everything going?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Boo is doing great! Her scab is healing quite nicely this time :) and the scabs on her feet are looking better too. I have been putting animax on her wounds and it seems to be doing the trick. I asked the vet I work with if it was ok to use animax first and she said yes. Thanks for all of your advice! :)
You're welcome. I'm so glad to hear Boo is doing better. I hope the scabs continue to heal. Thank you for the update.