Guinea Pigs, fleas? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 07-19-2012, 03:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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We just adopted a couple of guinea pigs from a family.  One of the cavies was missing some hair on his back, and I was told it was either eczema or the other one nibbled on him.  I haven't seen either of the guinea pigs nibbling on each other, and I'm wondering if it has mites or something?  I've seen the piggies scratching, and I'm wondering if they have fleas and what can I do about it?  I think I actually saw something jumping in their cage today...about the size of a flea.  We don't have any other animals, btw.

 

Also, my almost 2 yo has on several occasions shared carrots with them (meaning let them take a bit and then taken a bit himself, even after the carrot dropped in their cage..yuck)...is there anything he can catch?

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#2 of 9 Old 07-27-2012, 03:06 PM
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No answers for you but I saw your post and wanted to push it up top to see if anyone had an advice to share. :)


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#3 of 9 Old 07-27-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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Lice is actually fairly common in guinea pigs - our vet gave us a special shampoo when the ones my family had when I was growing up had lice.


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#4 of 9 Old 07-27-2012, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ended up taking them to the vet.  The free guinea pigs just cost me $170!  Apparently, they have mites which requires 3 injections, 2 weeks apart.  And one of them needed antibiotic eye drops.  The vet mentioned that the kids could get the mites from the guinea pigs, which makes me nervous as the kids have been scratching and have little zit looking things.

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#5 of 9 Old 07-28-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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Ew! That's no fun! What kind of mite?


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#6 of 9 Old 07-30-2012, 06:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ew! That's no fun! What kind of mite?

Uhhhh, I guess there are different kinds?  I have no idea.  These guinea pigs were supposed to be very easy to take care of....they are such picky eaters too.  I'm supposed to feed them fresh veggies for them to get vit C, and they will NOT eat anything except apples and carrots.  This is worse than my kids!

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#7 of 9 Old 07-30-2012, 06:47 AM
 
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Originally Posted by lmk1 View Post

Uhhhh, I guess there are different kinds?  I have no idea.  These guinea pigs were supposed to be very easy to take care of....they are such picky eaters too.  I'm supposed to feed them fresh veggies for them to get vit C, and they will NOT eat anything except apples and carrots.  This is worse than my kids!

We adopted two piggies a year ago - we were not looking for piggies but they really needed a home.  They have been a lot of work and expense - more work than our dogs!  We will keep them but will most likely not get more.

 

This site http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/forum.php has been very helpful for me.

 

Regarding food...I believe our piggies had been given only pellets for years so when they came to our house it took them a while to get used to a proper diet.  Their main food should be hay...they should have access to hay 24/7.  They should also get fresh veggies daily - we give them twice a day.  We also provide pellets - we use Oxbow, I've read it is a quality food.  Our piggies preferred carrot, cilantro and leafy greens and we give them those items daily.  We also give them green peppers daily since they need the vitamins but they will only eat them when everything else is gone.  We have been adding other foods and some they eventually started eating. There is a great food listing of what they can eat and how often on the site I referenced above.

 

Regarding bedding...You might find the bedding costs to be quite a bit.  We started with Carefresh and switched to Cell-Sorb because it was less expensive and controlled the odor better.  I am very sensitive to smells...I think they stink.  We have males...I've read they poop more.  I cannot believe so much comes out of these little guys.  The bedding was costing us a fortune!

 

We've also had a couple of vet visits but it turned out they were fine - I was over concerned and not familiar with guinea pigs.  I've since learned how to trim their nails, watch for signs of illness, etc.  I also found out most vets, even those who say they care for exotic small animals, know little about them.  I was lucky to find someone (after first paying a clueless vet) who is knowledgeable.

 

Good luck with your piggies.   They are really cute but are a lot of work.  They are so defenseless and vulnerable...they sort of break my heart.  Most people do not care for them properly...it is a shame.

 

p.s.  Where do they get the mites?  I do not even want to think of that!

 

eta...I now purchase our hay from http://www.kmshayloft.com/hay/.  After spending way too much on small bags of dried up hay, I realized it was actually less expensive and more convenient to order in bulk from this site.  They eat a lot of hay!

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#8 of 9 Old 07-30-2012, 07:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We adopted two piggies a year ago - we were not looking for piggies but they really needed a home.  They have been a lot of work and expense - more work than our dogs!  We will keep them but will most likely not get more.

 

This site http://www.guineapigcages.com/forum/forum.php has been very helpful for me.

 

Regarding food...I believe our piggies had been given only pellets for years so when they came to our house it took them a while to get used to a proper diet.  Their main food should be hay...they should have access to hay 24/7.  They should also get fresh veggies daily - we give them twice a day.  We also provide pellets - we use Oxbow, I've read it is a quality food.  Our piggies preferred carrot, cilantro and leafy greens and we give them those items daily.  We also give them green peppers daily since they need the vitamins but they will only eat them when everything else is gone.  We have been adding other foods and some they eventually started eating. There is a great food listing of what they can eat and how often on the site I referenced above.

 

Regarding bedding...You might find the bedding costs to be quite a bit.  We started with Carefresh and switched to Cell-Sorb because it was less expensive and controlled the odor better.  I am very sensitive to smells...I think they stink.  We have males...I've read they poop more.  I cannot believe so much comes out of these little guys.  The bedding was costing us a fortune!

 

We've also had a couple of vet visits but it turned out they were fine - I was over concerned and not familiar with guinea pigs.  I've since learned how to trim their nails, watch for signs of illness, etc.  I also found out most vets, even those who say they care for exotic small animals, know little about them.  I was lucky to find someone (after first paying a clueless vet) who is knowledgeable.

 

Good luck with your piggies.   They are really cute but are a lot of work.  They are so defenseless and vulnerable...they sort of break my heart.  Most people do not care for them properly...it is a shame.

 

p.s.  Where do they get the mites?  I do not even want to think of that!

Thanks for the link!  I know everyone says to change their bedding once a week, but they do stink!  We were just talking about changing it at least partly midweek...

We have males too....I will definitely look at Cell Sorb...I was looking at ordering stuff on line to save money, but the shipping charges are horrendous.  

The vet we went to, knew right away what their hair types were, Texel and Satin, so I figured she must know piggies.  She also told me to switch them to the timothy based diet.  Where do you buy the Oxbow pellet food?  I've been looking at the contents of the guinea pig food, and it mostly seems to be all the stuff they shouldn't have plus timothy hay.  I was wondering if it'd be better to just not feed them pellet food, but I can't get them to eat fresh veggies.  It does seem like they like the loose timothy hay a lot better than the compressed cubes.  

 

I have no idea where the mites come from...the previous family had other pets, but from what I saw, they seemed in pretty good shape.  

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#9 of 9 Old 07-30-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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Thanks for the link!  I know everyone says to change their bedding once a week, but they do stink!  We were just talking about changing it at least partly midweek...

We have males too....I will definitely look at Cell Sorb...I was looking at ordering stuff on line to save money, but the shipping charges are horrendous.  

The vet we went to, knew right away what their hair types were, Texel and Satin, so I figured she must know piggies.  She also told me to switch them to the timothy based diet.  Where do you buy the Oxbow pellet food?  I've been looking at the contents of the guinea pig food, and it mostly seems to be all the stuff they shouldn't have plus timothy hay.  I was wondering if it'd be better to just not feed them pellet food, but I can't get them to eat fresh veggies.  It does seem like they like the loose timothy hay a lot better than the compressed cubes.  

 

I have no idea where the mites come from...the previous family had other pets, but from what I saw, they seemed in pretty good shape.  

I buy the Cell Sorb and the Oxbow from a locally owned feed/pet store.  When I looked online it was no less expensive and the shipping was high.  The shipping for the KMS hay is high, but still less expensive than buying quality hay in small packages in our area.  I considered getting hay from a local farmer but I was afraid of mold in the hay.  Plus my husband and son have asthma and the hay can be bothersome...luckily we haven't had a problem.

 

We sometimes change bedding 1x/week but it does smell.  Lately I have been putting less bedding in the cage, then topping off mid week.  That helps with the smell and they are not sitting on so much 'mess'.   The cell-sorb is heavier than the Carefresh and since we need to carry the cage down a flight of stairs and outside to clean the weight can be a problem (my helper is only 8).   I bought all the supplies to make a C&C cage but figured any larger and it will be even more work and more cost to change the bedding so I never made the larger cage.  Our cage is large by store bought cage standards but smaller than a C&C cage.  It is 4 foot by 2 foot.   I researched using fleece as beeding....but I do not like the idea of washing the soiled fleece in my machine.  I've also read about litter box training...but our piggies go everywhere.  I do not know how people let them run around the house!  We have a playpen like structure that we put on the tile kitchen floor.  I put old beach towels or old blankets underneath but still have to scrub the floor afterwards because they pee so much.  I sometimes put disposable chux pads underneath for convenience...not very eco-friendly but better for my grout and it saves a lot of work.  I used to bring them into the kitchen daily for floor-time, but have done it less and less over the months.  I figured the convenience of the pads might help us to get back into the habit.  As with most children, mine are not as interested in the piggies as they were in the beginning.  But, I have been volunteeering with a pet rescue for years and expected that.  (I see a lot of families giving up pets once the children loose interest.  I knew the dogs, pigs and fish w/b my responsibility...they are now asking for a bird or lizard...I said 'NO'!)

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