Question by Hayley: guinea pig might have mites?
Answers from my last question regarding some abnormal amounts of itching have suggested it might be mites, could this be why my guinea pig has also been unhappy being picked up recently? He finally started to sit still on his shelf and let me pick him up but a little before I noticed the itching, he started to avoid being picked up again. He still loves floor time though so have I been irritating him? Is it another indicator of mites?
Answer by Emily
Mites could definitely explain the changes in behavior you’re describing. They burrow into a guinea pig’s skin, which makes being touched uncomfortable/painful. This could make a guinea pig avoid getting touched or even bite. Until you get him treated, don’t bathe him. This can cause the mites to burrow deeper and cause further pain.
Untreated mite infestations can get advanced enough to cause fatal seizures. Luckily mites are pretty easy to treat if you use a safe and effective medication. There are two medications used to treat mites in guinea pigs: ivermectin and Revolution (by prescription only).
Here’s some info about mites and how to treat them: http://www.guinealynx.info/mites.html
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