70% of households in the US own a pet. Despite that, not all pet owners are created equal. Guinea for example are loved by thousands of Pet Parents. Continue reading to learn more about How Do Guinea Pigs Get Mites and can you do about them.
Many owners don’t know what to look for when it comes to potential problems or issues and although many people assume small mammals like guinea pigs are much easier than dogs and cats, this isn’t always the case! They still need love and care.
One thing you need to look for when it comes to guinea pigs is mites, as they can catch them very easily. Here’s how guinea pigs get mites — as well as everything you need to know on the subject.
How Do Guinea Pig Mites Happen?
Mites are some of the guinea pig parasites that travel between animals. That means if your guinea pig comes into contact with others that have it, they may almost certainly catch some mites themselves.
They don’t have to catch it directly from another animal, so don’t assume they’re safe if they don’t come into direct contact with other guinea pigs. Mites can live up to three weeks without a host, so they can catch them from hay and contaminated bedding.
Never introduce a new guinea pig without checking for mites and make sure you’re doing frequent checks of your own animals just in case, as guinea pigs can be prone to mite infestations.
How Do I Know if My Guinea Pig Has Mites?
There are two different types of mites your guinea pig may have: chirodiscoides caviae and trixacarus caviae (mange mites).
The first type of mite may cause no symptoms at all and are generally not a huge cause for concern, though you should still have them treated. People often ask what the difference between lice vs. mites is, and this is the type of mites that are actually lice.
Mange mites, however, can become very serious.
Although initially, you may not see any symptoms with the latter, they’ll develop very quickly. The skin can become rough to the touch and may have a yellowish tinge, and there may be hair loss along with these skin problems.
After some time passes, you’ll notice more symptoms. Your guinea pig may stop eating and become very fatigued. When this happens, it’s a sure sign they need to see a veterinarian as soon as possible, as these mites can actually kill.
In the end, your veterinarian will diagnose them which is the only fully sure way to know.
How to Get Rid of Mites
If you’re wondering how to get rid of mites in your guinea pig, the first step is to see a veterinarian. There’s not much medicine available for these small animals so chances are, your veterinarian will prescribe something off-label instead — usually an anti-parasitic medication used for other animals.
Although it can be tempting to try to do this yourself, you should never do it without getting the guidance of a veterinarian. Guinea pigs are small animals and using too much could seriously damage them, as well as using the wrong kind.
If your guinea pig has had mites for a while and is showing severe symptoms, then they may need to be hospitalized to bring their strength back up.
You’ll also have to make sure the treatment lasts long enough to get rid of all the other mites that may have fallen off on places where your guinea pig has been, such as hay and bedding.
While you may be tempted to give your guinea pig a bath to try and get rid of the mites, this can actually cause them to burrow deeper into the skin and it can be very painful for your furbaby. Make sure everything is done under the guidance of a professional to get the best result possible.
Now that you understand, How Do Guinea Pigs Get Mites, we recommend you learn more about how to prevent mites. Continue reading for prevention tips.
How to Prevent Mites
If you’re wondering how to prevent mites in the future, there are a few possible ways to do this.
Be preventative by frequently running a fine-tooth comb over your guinea pig to check for mites. You’ll be able to see them if there are any present in the skin.
You should also take your guinea pig to the veterinarian at least once a year, as you should with any other animal. It’s difficult to tell when a guinea pig is in pain or uncomfortable, so it’s always best to let the vet check them out and decide of anything is wrong rather than trying to come to a conclusion yourself.
Never ever bring a new guinea pig into their enclosure without checking them for mites first, and never let your guinea pig run around somewhere that other guinea pigs have been without doing the same. They should be kept very separate from other, unchecked animals.
Unfortunately, there’s absolutely no way to make sure your guinea pigs are 100% safe. Guinea pigs are prone to mite infestations, so you may still have trouble with it even if you do all the right things and shouldn’t blame yourself.
Making sure you take the proper precautions, however, will minimize risk.
Can Humans and Other Animals Catch Them?
Lastly, you might be wondering if humans and your other pets around guinea pigs can catch mites. Thankfully, mites are pretty species-specific, so you shouldn’t run into any issue with them jumping ship onto someone or something else.
However, you still need to be careful. Handling an animal with mites or having them come into contact with another pet can cause rashes due to sensitive skin. If this happens, you needn’t panic — it doesn’t mean the mites are now on you or your other pet, but that your skin doesn’t handle coming into contact with them very well.
If Your Guinea Pigs Have Mites, Don’t Panic
The main thing to remember is that you shouldn’t panic if your guinea pigs have mites. As long as you catch them early, even mange mites are very treatable, and you don’t need to blame yourself since guinea pigs are prone to infestations.
However, if you know how to reduce the risk, this will help prevent it from happening again. Knowing what to look for is also very helpful.
For more advice on guinea pigs and other animals, check out the rest of our blog!
Now that you have read How Do Guinea Pigs Get Mites? we recommend continue reading our blog to learn more about different pets such as dogs, cats and Pigs.