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Washing little guinea pigs- a bit worried

(18 Posts)
ArtVandelay Wed 25-Jul-12 20:37:21

Hello, I've had my guinea pigs (2 boars) for 3 weeks now and they are 10 weeks old. My rosetted guin has shown signs of fungal infection within the last 4 days and in that time he's lost hair on 2 paws and has sore looking, flaky area around penis/anus and around his nipples. There were also some pretty hefty white crusts starting to form at the base of his spine. Because he deteriorated so fast and I have no car this week and live in the back of beyond I decided to try the Peter Gurney aromatherapy recipe and treatment. I cycled to the nearest village and got the oils at the chemist. I used sunflower oil as the carrier and made sure it was well brushed and massaged in. This loosened off several crusts and he really enjoyed it. I also did the other guinea as a just-in-case measure and also so they would smell the same.

Now I don't know what the heck to wash them with tomorrow. I was going to use baby shampoo but its got laureth sulphate in it which I've just read is not good. What should I use? I can't get to a pet supply until the weekend but the chemist can order stuff in which I can pick up. Also I am in Germany so I can probably get things, just not in the same brand names.

I'm quite stressed and embarrassed as I had guins for years when I was younger and thought I was looking after the new ones really well. BTW They are house guins in a warm climate so I'm not too worried about them getting a chill.

Sorry for the garbled essay sad and thanks in advance.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 25-Jul-12 20:54:43

Can you get hold of Gorgeous Guinea Shampoo?
Their website has some pictures of different skin conditions and recommendations of what you can use.
Their 'melts' are good for loosening scaley,flakey skin.

Lots of people do use baby shampoo. Provided you rinse him well, it's not going to do him any harm .
There's the risk of irritating the skin and your GP ingesting it if there's residue (when they groom). Some are quite 'scented' too aren't they smile Nice on babies though!

The GG website recommends diluting shampoo in a jug of warm water for even application.
I bought a selection of treatment shampoos for my guinea-pig first aid box (Sample bottles about £2 ).

Check though, some aren't suitable for mini-pigs (That's under 12 weeks. But you might as well buy a few, you'll need them in the future no doubt. )
They do a Just for Boars (smells of sandlewoody, musky )

BTW what does Peter Gurney suggest in his treatment?

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 25-Jul-12 20:59:04

What are your little guys bedding on?

ArtVandelay Wed 25-Jul-12 21:16:36

Thanks 70. I will order the Gorgeous stuff but it won't get here till next week or later. The Peter Gurney recipe was patchouli, lemon grass, tea tree and lavender in a 1/10 solution. I checked some sites about animal aromatherapy and none of those were listed as dangerous or irritant. They smell amazing bless them smile . In general I would say their condition is good, they are already very cuddly and seem to get along with each other.

I was wondering about bedding... they are on pet safe wood shavings with small animal recommended hay. The pet shop here said no newspaper so I lay the shavings quite deep and change them every other day. They are indoors. At the weekend I will have my car back and so more scope to go to pet shops or horse supply shops if you have bedding suggestions.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 25-Jul-12 21:38:06

Hi, I had a look on the PG website. You are started the actual treatment with the oils and the carrying agent, so you're on your way already. It makes the pigs a bit slippery to grab and I'd imagine 2 little 10 weekers are a handful at the best of times.
When you wash them, have everything you need right beside you. I wash my adult boars in the bath, and even with my DD helping we manage to get more on us than on them. When they want out they mean it grin

Shavings and sawdust dry the guinea-pigs skin and feet as well as being a potential irritant (their faces are right in their)

I give mine cardboard and newspaper (no sellotape or staples) topped with hay, changed daily. Luckily mine aren't chewers.

Horse bedding suplliers will have Megazorb or equivilant that is a very fine paper based bedding or a Hemp Based bedding , but be careful with 'scented' ones, some have Citronella.- potential irritant.

There's Pet bedding like Carefresh , but the Equine bags are better value in bulk.

Though I bought a huge bag of Equine Readigrass - it's recommended for rodents, to replace grazing in winter. Not a bedding really, short and sharp.
My GP2 sneezes when he has it hmm.

Most websites don't recommend straw either (can be sharp and cause eye injuries, especially with babies)

Try getting them off the shavings, and combined with your PG treatment, bath, then Gorgeous Guinea, things should improve.
Good Luck wink

ArtVandelay Wed 25-Jul-12 22:01:14

Thankyou smile I'll go for some paper based bedding as we never get newspapers (can't read them haha...) If anyone else is thinking of trying the oil its not too messy, I massaged and brushed them for ages so they aren't sticky or slippy just very fluffy and fragrant.

I love them so much even though I didn't want them really but DH wanted them on the pretext that they were for DS's birthday. DH worships them, they are probably so tame because he cuddles them constantly. I had completely forgotten how special they are and what good companion animals they are.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 25-Jul-12 22:31:02

I don't buy newspapers either.
I "lift" them on the Underground (free papers) when I go into London once a month.
And the free ones in supermarkets. "Oh, I'll just get some papers for your Gran and all her neighbours in the Warden Control Block for the Elderly"

My boars are currently voiding their bladders on the Thurrock Enquirer.

ArtVandelay Thu 26-Jul-12 08:32:54

Haha smile Maybe I can tap a neighbour up for some old Das Bild or MittlerBayerischer but they probably use them all for their dog runs and chickens and what have you.

This morning the guins are looking very lively and happy and the house smells lovely.

ArtVandelay Tue 31-Jul-12 17:33:45

Guins went to the Vet this morning and they actually have mites - under the skin ones. They got an injection and I've been told to up their vitamin C intake with apples and tomatoes. Vet was super-nice and obviously a small animal lover as he had various hutches and baby tortoises in his garden.

Since I last wrote I've been bedding them on cotton towel with straw pellet on top. I've been told to clean them less so that they can reingest poo to add to their vitamin intake.

I feel like I read and hear so much conflicting information about guinea pig care, its quite mind boggling to find the course of optimal care!

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 31-Jul-12 21:39:10

The re-ingested pooh is taken straight out of their bottoms and into their mouths.

The long, solid poohs that you see in their bed are the 2nd passing.

They normally pooh eat in the evening when they are resting- in the wild they'd scoff as much as possible then hide away to digest it.

My little boar often has a soft pooh in his bottom when we lift him up, and very occasionally there will be a few in his side of the bed. But mainly 'normal' ones.
I use their pooh output to check on their guts. If they have grass, they get hay and pellets (and some naice hay).
I can't leave mine 2 days because they are manky little animals !

Mites are very common in GPs. Alot of them have a non symptomatic mite infestation, but if they are stressed they can flare up.
Trouble is they can have several problems over lapping (like mange mites -and there are different types- fungal, ringworm, lice) so you can get different symptoms presenting.

Scurvy can gives hair loss so YY to Vit C rich food. Some people give Vit C supplements (but it's not adviced in drinking water as it can taint it, the Vit C loses its potency and you can never tell how much they drink)
Red pepper, yellow pepper, brochilli, limited amounts of parsley are all Vit C rich.

Females can have hair loss with hormone problems (cysts/cancers- ovarian or uterine).

They are complex little critters.

ArtVandelay Tue 31-Jul-12 22:39:19

WRT poo - i thought the same! Christ, I wanted to get an aquarium, bloody DH.... Thanks for replying anyway smile Think I'm just going to have to do my best and keep an eye on them.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Tue 31-Jul-12 23:01:22

They are really cute in a envy <--vom face sort of way, when they go up on tip-toe and hunch their backs up. Then they quickly dive their heads under and come back up chomping away.
My GP1 doesn't tend to do Public Displays but GP2 gives me a shifty look like I'm going to steal his squidgy pooh from him (as if grin ).
GP2 is jet black except 2-3 white hairs on his forehead.And a fatty eye (white membrane at the rim of the eye) .So he gives really good shifty looks.

ArtVandelay Tue 31-Jul-12 23:14:57

Hairy one was kind of doing a few pelvic thrusts and then coyly snuffling into himself tonight. He's not shy though and will do it happily on someone's lap. Smooth one is more secretive and must only do it in their house as we never see him at it. Hairy one is strange though, he did a wee on the tiled floor yesterday, and then just sat in it and looked unconcerned. He was soaked and I had to dry him with tissues.

70isaLimitNotaTarget Wed 01-Aug-12 00:28:30

My boars will happily lie in their own pee (eurgh) especially if they are out in a plastic house in the garden (they've got wooden, cardboard and plastic.I vary them to keep them busy. And they've got one of those plastic tunnels)

GP2 once ran through a puddle of his brother's fresh puddle of pee. And still expects me to find him as delightful and cuddly as ever (he's a fluffy part Abyssynian. He's my DS guinea IRL but I cuddle him most).

ArtVandelay Wed 01-Aug-12 08:36:26

smile bless

Cydonia Wed 01-Aug-12 22:01:32

Awww I miss my pigs! Lovely to read about yours and how loved they all are. I used to give mine kiwi fruit, that's high in vitamin c too.

ArtVandelay Thu 02-Aug-12 11:05:46

Kiwis! Good idea, although I'll just start them off with a little and see how they react to it. I do love them! I bought them a platform with a ramp/ladder the other day and I'm simpering on about how cute they look, climbing the ladder or hiding underneath, it to anyone who will listen <sad>

chelle4germany Thu 14-Feb-13 13:11:38

I am so happy to hear about someone elseis having Guinea pig problems in germany. My piggies are also around 10 weeks old,also have a fungal infection around the eyes and back and my german vet said that i should'nt try Peters wash because of the tea tree oil.I have been using Econazolnitrate for 2weeks now and my one piggie looks horrible(from the 2 out of the 4 thatI have it). I will also pick up the oils at the pharmacy and try peters wash anyways. Thanks for the info.Wish me luck!

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