Some Skin Parasites always live in the fur and/or on the skin of Guinea Pigs in a small population and there is no problem with that if its immune system of your cavy is intact and could defend an outbreak. But if one of your Guinea Pigs runs in trouble and get sick or is stressed out for some reason it may result in an outbreak of parasites because their population strongly increased which further effect the cavy and the parasites will pass from the first infected to the other. If you have a hunch that one of your cavies has such a problem you should not hesitate to got to veterinary soon to clarify and separate the affected cavy.
Common Skin Parasites
- Selnic mits who are also known as mange mites
- The Guinea Pig lice / biting lice
- Ticks (mostly common if you keep your pigs outside)
Reasons for parasite infestation
- Some parasite always live in the Guinea Pigs fur. Others come along from infected food like grass, hay or straw and jump over.
- For some other sickness or stress the population increased strongly.
- A weakened Guinea Pig is more susceptible to parasites.
- You do not only pay for your Guinea Pig, you also payed for a couple of parasites in pet store.
Treatment of parasite infestationAll parasites can easily jump over from a Guinea Pig to another so you have to separate infected Cavies immediately to avoid epidemic in your cage.
- You have to clean up the cage very thorough. A powerful steam cleaner could help a lot!
- Against Biting Lice your Guinea Pig can be treated with organic spot-on products like Amerta very gentle. The german version of this is Exner Petguard. Most of this spot-ons kill the parasites by clogging their respiratory system. This will for sure not defend their eggs so you have to repeat it after some days for three to four times. You do your best if you treat the cage also. After you sprayed your Guinea Pig its fur become greasy. This is normal and you do not need to wash it.
- Mites are more difficult (chemically) to defeat. They lay her ova inside the Guinea Pigs skin. You cavy will need some parasiticides as injections from your veterinarian or a special spot-on product like Advantage by Bayer. We always use the german version named Advocate (also by Bayer) and made the best experiences with it. You have to drip some drops on the cavies neckand the effectiveness is for weeks. You only need to use it once.
- The jackpot is having flea on the cavies fur.
- You have to clean and clean for weeks very thorough the cavies and your home.
- Put accessories in the freezer for some days. Flea will not really like it.
- Wash every textile as hot and as long as it can be.
- Use a spot-on like Zodiac Flea & Tick Spot On for all Guinea Pigs.
Note: The visible flea are only about 5% of the population and flea is a zoonotic disease! You should care about you and other animals like cats and dogs too!
- Ticks are not really a problem for Guinea Pigs but you should remove them using a special ticks remover tool.
- For a better condition of your pigs you can supply vitamin C in water.
Identify Guinea Pig Biting Lice
Read our detailed article about Biting Lice.
Outbreak of Mites on Guinea Pigs
Read our detailed article about mites.