Having recently discovered that a number of our beloved Squidgypigs had the start of a mass Mange Mite infestation I thought I would share what I’ve learnt about Mange Mites.
What are Guinea Pig Mange Mites?:
- Tiny mites that burrow into the skin of infected animals.
- Not to be confused with static lice.
- The mites causes pain and hair loss.
- The distress from this can cause dehydration, anorexia, seizures and ultimately death.
Any of the following…
- Itching / scratching.
- Hair loss (mild at first).
- A “V” shaped bald patch on back.
- Dandruff type skin flakes.
- Wheeking or crying when itching.
- Scabs and sores (can be bleeding).
- Wheeking or crying when you touch them.
Guinea Pigs can show no symptoms but be carrying mites.
- “Dirty/dusty” hay.
- Grass from areas that other animals use.
- Contact with infected animals.
- Mites can live asymptotic on pigs and only start trouble when the pig is stressed.
- Crowded environments can ease the spread.
- Washing a Guinea pig silently infected with mites can cause the mites to dig deeper into the animal’s skin.
We believe this case of mites originated from a bale of dusty farm hay I used for bedding that I now know what stored where other animals were brushing up against it.
- Ideally you should consult a vet who will likely treat with Ivermectin injections.
- Alternatively some success is reported with topical ivermectin sprays but I wouldn’t recommend this unless you are 200% sure what ailment you are dealing with. Ringworm can look similar and can occur as a result of the stress of mites.
- Good living conditions.
- Lack of stress.
- “Clean hay/bedding”.
- Precautionary treatments…
I’ve heard really good, positive things about using Beaphar Anti-Mange Spray 75 ml as a precautionary treatment and will be definitely using it in the future to prevent outbreaks.
So what happened to the Squidgypigs?:
- I was really shocked at how quickly the infestation took hold.
- 1 day I noticed a lot of scratching from some of the girls.
- The next some of them had visible bald patches.
- We sought treatment at this point for everyone (even 6 girls that showed no symptoms).
- We also separated all pigs into cages according to the severity of the symptoms.
- I’m happy to report that the majority made good progress after the first treatment .
- Unfortunately 4 of our more immunosuppressed girls didn’t respond to the initial treatment and then started showing symptoms of stress induced ringworm.
- I am now really happy to report that everyone seems to be very happily on the road to recovery.
- I will definitely be treating with the Beaphar Anti-Mange Spray in the future to guard against these awful parasites.