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Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20398
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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I have a male guinea pig who recently has been itching a lot.

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I have a male guinea pig who recently has been itching a lot. When I got him out tonight I noticed that he has bald spots on his back. I also noticed that he has lost weight. I was wondering if there was something seriously wrong with him?

Hello and welcome.

This is not an information request but just a short message to introduce myself.

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced small animal veterinary surgeon with a lot of experience in treating rodents, I will be very pleased to work with you today and will try my best to answer your question to your satisfaction.

Please give me ten minutes or so to think through your particular problem, prepare an answer, and then type things up. I will then get back to you and we can then talk things over.



Hello again Shelley and thanks for waiting.

Sorry to hear about Zip's problem, however I have worked out an answer for you, please read it through and see what you think ...

When a guinea pig has an itchy skin condition and there has been hair loss then you would always have to consider mange as the primary 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. Then 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. Regrettably there is very little you can do to help zip on a home remedy basis.

You can reference this website for further information on the topic : 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.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

would that also cause him to loose weight? I have also been noticing that he has a weird cough....and I have another guinea pig in the cage with I need to remove the other guinea pig until he has been through treatment?

Hello again Shelley,

Glad to talk this over with you further ...

The weight loss can happen with mange so that's understandable, the cough less so, but it could be due to general debilitation. Your vet will hopefully check out the cough at the same time as the mange treatment.

It would be very wise to keep Zip separate until things are resolved.

Good luck,

Dr Scott Nimmo and 2 other Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Hello again Shelley ,

Just a short note to thank you very much for the good rating, this is very much appreciated. I will get back in touch with you in a week or so to check on Zip's progress.

Kindest regards,


If I can ever advise you at any future point then you can contact me directly via this LINK
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