Guinea Pig Ringworm

Guinea Pig Ringworm

Guinea Pig Ringworm is a Fungal Infection which often starts on the face as areas of patchy, itchy hair loss. This is not always limited to the face and can start anywhere on the body. There may even be multiple sites on the body. Other common areas are the back and limbs. Dermatophytes (Also known as Ringworm) which also includes Trichophyton Mentagrophytes and its variants. While an active infection is not common, many animals can be carriers.

Common Causes of Ringworm

  • Stress
  • Environment
  • Diet
  • Heat and Humidity
  • Concurrent infections by external Parasites
  • Age (the old, young and pregnant)
  • Genetics and over crowding all may predispose animals to an infection.

Prevention

Which would also include prompt treatment of external parasites, Good Husbandry and lowering humidity levels. Humid Climates may be especially problematic for Guinea Pigs. The incubation period is reportedly 7 to 14 days for Ringworm. This Fungus releases a great number of spores in to the Environment which can be inactive for years so disinfecting the area is important.

Diagnosis

A culture can be used for positive diagnosis. It is recommended that a cultivating aerobically for at least 10 days at room temperature onto a Agar Culture medium suitable for growth. Scrapings from the infected area examined under a microscope may also aid in diagnosis.

Remember that Ringworm is contagious to Humans & Other Animals
• Isolate infected Cavies immediately.
• Wear PPE (Protective Clothing) when handling infected animals. This includes Rubber Gloves, Aprons, Face Mask. And Dispose of them immediately after use.
• Soak All Equipment and Wash Cages in a Fungicide like LD Disinfectant or dilute and soak in Bleach (Let sit for 15 minutes then rinse thoroughly)
• Wood Containing products need to be disposed of as it can prove difficult to remove the spores from wood.

Treatment

Both the lesions and the ringworm itself must be treated and the living quarters disinfected.

Your Veterinarian may prescribe a soothing shampoo to loosen the debris and to make your Guinea Pig more comfortable.

Itrafungol Oral Solution may also be given. Treatment should be measured at 0.5ml/kg body weight and treatment should consist of Medicate for 7 days. No Medication for 7 days. Re-Treat for 7 days. This is due to the Incubation period. Increasing Vitamin C during illness can help the immune system fight of the fungal infection.

When using any treatment it is recommended that the infected area is to be cleaned and dried thoroughly then treatment applied as directed by your Veterinarian. Remember if sores are on the face/trunk to apply carefully avoiding the Eyes and Ears. Treatment is generally continued until a culture shows that the fungus has gone.

Using Personal Protective Equipment

If your infected guinea pig has a cage mate speak to your Veterinarian with regards to treating his/her mate as preventative measure. Your Vet may decide not treat but recommend monitoring the cage mate for any symptoms. He/She may even recommend separating them both until your ill guinea pig has been given the all clear.


 

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Hand Feeding

Whilst you have a guinea pig that is sick. I recommend keeping a close eye on it’s weight and hand feed if you notice a gradual decline in body weight. See our Hand Feeding page for more detailed information.