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Guinea Pigs/guinea pig scratching


my guinea pig has been scratching alot like 6-7 times but its not like a the usual scratching she bites anyways i checked her fur and skin to look for parasites but ididnt see anything i even used a flashlight but she is a long haired guinea pig so i cant tell she also dont bleed skin or have thin spots but do scratches like mad and sometimes shake her fur like a dog
could she have parasites are there any home remedies cause we really cant afford a vet right now and we dont know where we can find an exotic vet in our place

Adams dip
Adams dip  
Excessive scratching is the first sign of mites or lice. Mites are something that every pig gets regardless of how well maintained they are. They just happen. They are completely invisible to the naked eye and many times even the vet can't see them when they scraped the skin and look under a microscope. But they are there. However, it is an easy and inexpensive fix. You don't need a vet.

Go to any pet store or feed store and purchase some Adams dip. I've attached a picture for you so you know what to look for. We have used this for many many years and it always does the trick. Don't waste your time on a different product as there truly is a difference.

The best way to dip her is in the bathroom sink. You can also use any plastic shoe box type container that is large enough for you to sit her in. If you have any cuts on your hands use rubber gloves. The danger of it causing problems is extremely low but it's always better to be safe.

Fill the container or sink with about three inches of warm water.  Mix the dip according to the directions. It doesn't usually take more than a tablespoon or so and you don't have to be exactly accurate on how much you put in.

Put her in the water and keep your hand on her back to keep her from jumping out. Most pigs like the warm water and don't fuss too much. Using either your hands or a paper cup, pour the solution all over her. Be careful not to get it into her eyes and ears. You want her completely saturated and her coat dripping with the solution.

After you've finished, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

Now here is the absolute must: Do not dry her off with a towel or a hair dryer. Put her either in a box with a towel on the bottom or back in her cage. Let her drip dry. That is the secret to this solution working. If you put her in her cage to drip dry be sure to remove all the bedding and put clean bedding back in.

The Adams dip also comes in a spray but with a long haired pig it's difficult to get every inch of their hair and skin wet. For that reason I recommend the dip. Adams has a very pleasant odor and will not smell like bug spray.

Do not try to save any of the water you used. It will lose it's potency if mixed and not used right away. Just as a precautionary treatment you should do this about every two or three months.

If she's still scratching a week after you've dipped her, repeat the treatment. If you have any other guinea pigs you will need to do all of them.  If one pig has mites or lice, they all do.

Guinea pig mites and lice are species specific. That means they will NOT get on anything but a guinea pig. They won't get on your dog or cat, nor will they get on you. So don't worry about cross contamination. It won't happen.

As I said, mites and lice just happen. Fortunately lice are not as common, but the treatment is the same for lice as it is for mites.  Usually one treatment does the trick. But because we don't know where they keep getting these parasites we treat routinely to keep them away.

If you have any other questions please feel free to ask. That's what I'm here for.

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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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