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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 03:21 PM Thread Starter
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How do you stop guinea pigs scratching so much?

One of my guineas keeps scratching his sides too hard with his teeth and he always has little scars here and there as a result, but sometimes he ends up with bigger wounds that take longer to heal. My guinea pig book tells me to rinse any wounds with saline solution and apply a mild antiseptic, but does anyone know how I could prevent him from doing damage in the first place?
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 03:29 PM
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A trip to the vet to find out what is causing the itching is the best solution.





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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-22-2009, 04:47 PM
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Yes, he needs to go to the vet. That type of biting and scratching at himself is not normal. More than likely, he is infested with mange mites (which are species specific) and needs to be treated.

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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 07:13 AM Thread Starter
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I take it these mites are too small to see with the naked eye?
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 07:19 AM
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Yes, mange mites are microscopic. Inexperienced vets will often try to do "skin scrapes" to verify that mites are there. I personally would not allow a vet to do this, it is painful to your guinea pig and false negatives are common. It's advised to do treatment anyway if there is any type of itching because the treatments are not dangerous to healthy animals.

We are as gods to the beasts of the fields. We order the time o' their birth and the time o' their death. Between times, we ha' a duty. - Terry Pratchett.

"Men have forgotten this truth", said the fox, "But you must not forget it. You become responsible, forever, for what you have tamed. - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-23-2009, 07:28 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies to both - I've just got him an appointment tomorrow and it's with our favourite vet who's great with guinea pigs which is good. The last day or two is the first time that he's had these bigger scars, and now that you say that, looking at it closely it does look like he's scratched his skin this time, and not just accidentally pulled a bit of hair out and caused a little scar, like he's done in the past.
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