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Guinea Pigs/guniea pig has deep wound on side.


hello there i have 20 female guinea pigs and they are all housed together in a really big cage. i noticed today that one of my female girls have the very deep wound and i mean deep and she has some hair loss around the wound and very worried that she could have a flesh eating bug as her wound in very deep but it looks as if it has a scab on it, please help is to what to do as very very very worried

It's unlikely she has a flesh eating bacteria. She may have an abscess that has ruptured, leaving the large hole you see now.

Abscesses are not uncommon in guinea pigs and are often hidden until you either see a huge lump or it ruptures and begins to drain. Is it possible you could take a picture and send to me so I can get a better idea of whether this truly is an abscess?

They are most frequently started by a bite from a room mate. We (including animals) all carry staph on our skin. It's not a problem unless there is a break in the skin and the bacteria starts growing inside. It will form a pocket that will fill with pus. When the pocket gets large enough the pressure will cause it to burst.

Once the wound is open it will start to heal, but with an abscess it's important that it heals from the inside out. If it closes over the pus will continue to form and the problem starts all over again. With our human patients we put a drain into the wound so that the pus will 'wick' out (i.e. be absorbed by the gauze strip and will follow that strip outside the wound) thus allowing the wound to heal from the inside out.  

Having said that I have to make it clear that I'm just guessing at what this wound is based solely on your description. That's why a picture is so valuable and important. If this is not an abscess we have to consider the possibility of a malignancy of some kind. If that's the case treating it like an abscess would not be appropriate.

When you have a large herd housed together bite or scratch wounds just happen now and then. Those will usually take care of themselves with minimal treatment or intervention. If you are able to get a picture of the wound it would be an invaluable tool in trying to figure out what this thing is.  

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Pat VanAllen


As is sometimes the case, people in urgent need of information have a higher degree of expectation than those of us as experts are able to give. The experts on this site do their best to give the most accurate and responsible answers possible. We ask that you remember that it is not our intention nor place to criticize the professional advice given by your veterinarian, nor is it appropriate for us to comment on the correctness of a diagnosis made by a licensed physician. Our knowledge is experience based. Although many years of breeding and showing cavies gives me a wealth of experience it cannot change the fact that we as experts are not veterinarians and therefore may occasionally have to reject questions that appear to be asking us to criticize advice given by the licensed professional. Having raised and exhibited cavies for many years I have extensive experience in cavy care and husbandry. I currently have an active breeding program for pedigreed show animals but do not encourage backyard breeding for inexperienced owners. Although I don't encourage breeding for fun I'm always happy to answer any questions from an owner who is in sincere need of help. Pet owners wanting to breed should understand that even experienced breeders have litter losses. The mortality rate is high in cavies. The chance for losing both sow and pups is always present, even with experience. Although this is a site for experts to assist owners, there is no expert in any field who has all the answers. The wisest thing a good expert can know is their limitations. Not having an answer does not diminish one's ability or knowledge. It simply shows that we recognize our limitations and operate within them.


Raised and shown cavies for many years, having aquired my first cavies in the early 1970's as pets. My caviary currently handles 65 + animals in two different breeds and several varieties. Having been in the health care industry as a licensed nurse for 35 years I have hands on experience with care and needs in both humans and cavies. Member of American Rabbit Breeders Association and American Cavy Breeders Association.

Awarded Lifetime Membership in of one of the oldest cavy clubs in the United States, on whose Board I served as Sec/Treas for six years and currently serving as President. Also editor/publisher of the club's quarterly newsletter. We are strong supporters of our youth exhibitors, most of whom are 4H members who are working on cavy projects. Through these projects they become good responsible citizens. We deal with all aspects of showing, breeding, caring for and sharing experiences in the fancy. The cavy fancy is not a new one but in some areas is still relatively unknown. Our goal is to inspire interest in high quality, responsible breeding to improve the species, not just the reproduction of guinea pigs. Our job is to educate owners to help them make the right decisions and choices in the care of their cavies.

Graduate in nursing. Certified in emergency medicine.

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