Guinea Pig Parasites
Guinea Pig Parasites can be an annoying pest not just for your guinea pig but for you the owner. Guinea Pigs will occasionally scratch themselves. But Repeated scratching may indicate your pet has either a Mite or Lice infestation, Even more so if they also suffer from Hair Loss and/or Dandruff. The most common of these parasites will only be found on Guinea Pigs and are Species Specific, meaning that they can not be transmitted to people or other species of Animal.
The most common type of Parasite is the Mange Mite. This Microscopic Mite causes excruciating pain. Treat promptly with Ivermectin!
There are currently only three Parasites that successfully live and breed on Guinea Pigs and they are as follows :-
|Trixacarus Caviae |
(Also known as Mange Mites)
|Chirodiscoides Caviae a relatively harmless Fur Mite|
|Psoroptes Cuniculi, Known as the Rabbit Ear Mite|
|Cheyletiella Parasitivorax, An extremeley irritating Fur Mites that can infest Dogs, Cats and other animals and cause dermatitis in humans.|
Apart from a few rare cases of infestation by Cheyletiella Parasitivorax “Itchy Red Bump Disease” none of the other mites can live on humans, However the digestive juices from these parasites can irritate the human skin.
All parasites can of course be passed from one Guinea Pig to another very easily. If one of your Guinea Pigs has a Mites or Lice infestation it is important to treat them all as if they were infected, it is also important to clean there living quarters as well. Another important note to remember is that because some of these parasites can live of the host for a few days it is vital that regular cleaning is maintained.
Parasites sometimes even appear out of nowhere. Some infestations are sometimes so minor that they are not noticed. The Immune system in a healthy Guinea Pig reportedly keeps the population down, especially in the case of the Selnic Mite.
Mites and Lice generally only passed through direct contact with a carrier or contact from Bedding, Clothing or Utensils that has been contaminated by the insect or the eggs. Wood Chips and Bedding which has not been in contact with a carrier will not harbour Mites or Lice.
Don’t Forget that a Guinea Pig could be suffering from one or more problems. He/She may have Lice, Mite, Fungal Infection and Vitamin C deficiency all at the same time. Although generally you can see Lice and the Larger Mites in the fur, Microscopic Mange Mites can be difficult to find even by a vet after repeated Skin Scrapings. A good vet will help you sort out what treatments are appropriate for your Guinea Pig and also try New Medications if your Guinea Pig shows no Signs of Improvement.
Fur Mites and Lice Try a topical Ivermectin Or Advantage (Be aware that Advantage works very well on Lice but does not treat Mange Mites).
Selnic Mites are usually treated With a precise dose of Ivermectin given Orally, Topically, or by Injection.
Ear Mites with a Topical Ivermectin.
Fleas and Ticks Information on Ticks And Fleas is available from many sources. Neither Insect is Host Specific. Removing Ticks Manually with your fingers can prove very difficult. You can buy specially designed Tweezers in most pet stores which will do the job a lot easier. If the mouth part of the Ticks are left in the body you must monitor you Guinea Pig for a few days for possible infection. Fleas usually require treating the Animal, the Home and the Yard.
Beware Flea and Tick Powders and Shampoos May Contain Pesticides which are Dangerous for Cavies and should not be used!
Ivermectin treatment if used properly can rid your Guinea Pig of an Infestation.
Treatments of Ivermectin should done on Day 1, Day 7 and Day 14 as it does not kill eggs.
Overdosing your pet with Ivermectin could cause complications and even lead to death.