How do guinea pigs get mites? Well, there are many possibilities. But first, you should understand first what mites are as well as their types to better understand how they affect your furry friend.
Take note of this:
Mites are insects that can cause harm to cavies like skin diseases.
If you are wondering how your cavy can acquire mites, it is mainly due to other guinea pigs that are also infected. Contaminated bedding may also be the reason why your guinea pig has mites.
There are two most popular kinds of mites- the sarcoptic and static mites.
Sarcoptic mites are unwanted parasites that tend to burrow themselves on the skin of your cavy while static mites are infesting the hair shafts. They both cause extreme danger to your pet’s health, so be careful.
In this article, we will be discussing more the mites which harm the guinea pigs, and we will further elaborate on the solution for it.
Without any more delays, let us dive into it!
First, let us talk about the difference between mites and lice.
How To Know The Difference Between Mites And Lice?
As you can see, mites are 8-legged creatures that have a creepy appearance.
For lice, you can compare them to ants, and there are two types of lice- biting and sucking lice.
You have to keep in mind that the latter one is more dangerous since blood will surely be sucked out of your cavy’s body.
Definitely, both of these organisms are harmful to your guinea pig’s life; the probability of air-borne diseases is high, causing danger to your pet’s health.
With these organisms walking around and sucking blood, these can be painful for your pet. (Please read here Why Do Guinea pig cry)
It would be best if you had a more profound understanding that once an infestation starts, it will worsen over time, which is why you have to get rid of these creatures immediately.
The question is:
How do guinea pigs get mites?
Remember that if there is only a mild infection of mites on a guinea pig’s body, you won’t be able to notice it right away.
But if it happens to be severe, you should see something different in its body.
One time, my pet, Ginger, has been infected by these terrible parasites. Since I was very busy at work, I was not able to notice it right away (which means that I did not take immediate action).
The moment I realized there are mites in some parts of his fur, it’s already worse. That is the worst thing that ever happened to my Ginger.
So, I’m warning you!
As a pet owner, your cavy’s health should be your priority.
By doing so, you’re sure that it can extend its lifespan. To learn more read here how old do Guinea pig live
Well, I’m one of the luckiest creatures in the world; the infestation was then cured immediately by the vet and I swore to never leave my pet unattended again for a long time.
Signs Of Mite Infection
The first thing that you will probably notice is that your cavy is frequently itching, and there would be spots in its body that are hairless.
In this part of the article, we will let you know the mites’ signs in your guinea pigs.
Here are the following that you must familiarize:
#1. Excessive scratching
Scratching is one of the signs that your pet is infested with these harmful creatures called mites.
The commonplace in which cavies acquire some skin irritations is its hay or beddings.
Excessive scratching may cause your beloved pet to be very uncomfortable and be in pain.
The best thing you can do is get help from the vet because he/she can perform a procedure called skin scraping or provide you with the right kind of shampoo, capable of killing mites.
You must know that this procedure is painful, but it is an effective treatment against mites.
If you do not want your pet to be in this situation, then prevent the mild infection as soon as possible.
Please do not wait until it gets worse because, indeed, a considerable problem will surely make you regret not taking action very quickly.
Once you notice your pet scratching, examine its body for the possible cause. (Please read here Why do Guinea Pig Bite)
#2. Skin irritation
If the mite infestation becomes longer as it may be, its effect may cause your pet’s skin to inflame and become a skin irritation.
You can distinguish this issue because the skin cells will flake off, and the appearance is similar to dandruff.
Since it is visible to the naked eye, please do not take it easy and think of a solution.
The level of awareness you need to have should be high because immediate treatment is undoubtedly needed.
The veterinarian will prescribe some antibiotics to treat the illness so that the fatal infection will be avoided.
Here are more signs your pet is suffering from mites:
- The part of your cavy’s skin, which is infected, will have a thick texture, and there is a possibility that it will be yellowish.
- Some parts of the cavy’s body are hairless or will become bald due to infection. And since balding is noticeable, you should be alarmed and seek immediate help from the veterinarian.
- In the long run of the infection, your cavy can become underweight and lead it to be lethargic or depressed. This one is an indicator that mites will indeed make your pet very unhealthy.
- Another thing is that there would be an increased chance of bacterial infection to occur. In severe cases, this issue may result in terrible health for your pet, which can soon become a chronic disease that can be fatal.
How To Treat Mites In Guinea Pigs
There are several ways for you to treat mites that infest your guinea pig.
If it has a static mite, you can use a pet shampoo or spray to treat it.
Static mite infestation is more like dust, which is shed on your pet’s skin. Don’t worry, your vet will recommend the ideal product for your furry friend.
Another special shampoo is needed for the bald patches caused by excessive scratching and patching, primarily caused by sarcoptic mange and is a very unpleasant condition for your cavy.
You have to act fast and be sure to make the right steps in treating it.
The unique shampoo that I am talking about needs to have ivermectin and some oral wormer; these may be readily available in your local veterinarian, so it is suggested that you have to seek medical help for this disease.
Other pet owners want to take preventive measures because they do not want to risk their pet’s lives.
After the unfortunate event, I make sure that I give Ginger the proper cleaning kit. I use a special foaming shampoo for guinea pigs to ensure that these unwanted parasites will never harm my pet, EVER AGAIN!
How do guinea pigs get mites?
For the final thoughts, you should be genuinely aware of whatever your pet comes in contact with.
Whether it may be another guinea pig, you have to be keen and sure enough not to be infected with mites. It is because infections are not a good thing to happen to your pet. After all, it can significantly decrease its health.
Make sure that you always check its beddings for mite infestation and, of course, its body because the changes are visible to the naked eye.
If you see a mild infection, get help immediately, and don’t wait for it to become severe as a piece of advice.
Prevention is always better than cure, so please do not risk your cavy’s life due to irresponsibility.
Good luck, and thanks for reading!