Skin rash on Guinea Pig | Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue

I’ve always held the belief in using other peoples’ knowledge and experience to help supplement where there are weaknesses in my own especially when it comes to the care of pets.  It’s because all the pet carers that I have met over the years including many vet nurses has exposed me to the fact that we all have our “thing”.   For some people it is elderly animals, others it is horses, others it is reptiles and for Alex from Gold Coast Guinea Pig Rescue …. it’s the piggies.

It’s for this reason that I support her rescue as well as recently met up with Noah’s Art Pet Resort too.

Thus I was doing an overnight pet sitting stay in January where I noticed one of the Guinea Pigs had lost fur as well as had flakey skin.  I’m a tactile person, thus one of the reasons I personally am suited to this line of work because I love and enjoy being hands-on ….. if I had just “looked in” and never tried to pick up this piggie I wouldn’t have noticed it.

None – the – less, I wanted to be of assistance to the piggie.  I knew there must be something I could do during my stay that would help with its condition so I email-ed Alex !

I’m creating this blog post for the benefit of other pet carers as well as Guinea Pig guardians/parents/carers….

It sounds like a fungal skin condition to me and the treatment required is a twice weekly bath in Malaseb shampoo (you can get this from vets, produce stores and pet shops). You saturate the piggy from the neck down in warm water (use a shallow dish like a kitty litter tray, or the laundry tub) then lather well with the Malaseb. While still lathered up, wrap the piggy in a towel and sit with him on your knee for ten minutes, then rinse off. This must be done every three days for at least three weeks, may be more, until the flakiness goes away and the hair begins to grow back. Then do once a week for a couple more weeks, just to be sure it’s cleared up.

I also asked Alex if there was anything that she felt was missing from their diet (as the piggies were on commercial piggie mix and carrot only).

From the sounds of their diet, there could also be some vitamin ‘c’ deficiency going on. Guinea pigs are like humans and can’t manufacture their own vit ‘c’ so need to have it included in their diet every day. While carrots have a little, those fruit and veg highest in ‘c’ are tomatoes, yellow and red capsicum, kiwi fruit, strawberries, broccoli (but only a small to medium floret every couple of days as too much can cause bloat plus it’s also high in calcium, too much of which can give gps bladder stones), parsley (same applies to parsley as to broccoli except for the bloat part). They should be fed a variety of fruit and veg, changing every day. Grapes, watermelon, rockmelon, honeydew melon (all with the rind on), banana and banana skin, corn (about a quarter of a cob per piggy once or twice a week), plus the corn husks anytime (high in fibre), cucumber, cos lettuce, gourmet lettuce, chinese and other types of cabbage, bok choy, cauliflower and leaves, (the same applies to cabbage and cauliflower as to broccoli re the bloat so only a small amount and only one type per meal). Celery and celery leaves (cut the celery into about 1 cm lengths), basil, dill, coriander, lemon grass, cherries (pitted).

The only things they shouldn’t be fed are iceberg lettuce, potatoes, mushrooms, avocados, chillies, and anything in the onion family. And they definitely should be taken off the commercial mix and put onto either my food or Oxbow pellets (or both). Plus be given a constant supply of grassy hay (Happy Paws have that too).

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