Mites, lice and ticks are all parasites. Mammals of all kinds are targeted by these tiny critters, including us humans.
What happens if your guinea pigs get mites? Can guinea pigs get lice and ticks as well?
How do you know if your guinea pig has mites or lice?
Guinea pigs will get very itchy if they get infected with microscopic parasites. If you notice your guinea pigs scratching furiously and continuously, mites could be a culprit. But there are definitely other possibilities, like skin conditions, which can cause itchiness. Once again, guinea pigs who are scratching should be seen by a vet to diagnose the exact cause of the irritation.
Guinea pigs who are regularly groomed can be checked over for mites and other tiny parasites. Lice eggs and ticks can also be found in the fur and on the skin.
They are not always easy to see, but the quicker you get on to the problem and treat it, the sooner comfort will return to your piggies. Excess scratching is not only distressing, but can result in skin inflammation and infection.
Ear mites are another potential parasite that guinea pigs can suffer with. Rubbing and scratching of the ears, and head shaking, will tell you something isn’t right. Your vet will need to thoroughly check your guinea pig’s ears to see if mites are present in there.
Types of Mites on Guinea Pigs
We can think of mites as just one type of tiny parasite, but there are many different types. A few of these are seen on guinea pigs. They include
- Fur mites
- Forage mites
- Harvest mites (also called mange)
All of the above mites can take up residence on your guinea pig’s skin, and they will stay there until your guinea pig is treated for the problem.
Ticks on Guinea Pigs
If you find a tick on your guinea pig, do not attempt to pull it off. The tick’s head will become embedded under your guinea pig’s skin, causing extreme irritation and possible infection. Your vet is the person to remove a tick from guinea pigs. With healthy and clean housing and environment, guinea pigs should be able to avoid the problem of ticks. Ticks are often found in long grass, and overgrown plant areas. Ensure your guinea pig isn’t foraging in places where ticks may be, and it goes without saying that guinea pigs should be kept well away from dogs, cats, wildlife and all other animals.
If your guinea pigs have been diagnosed with lice or mites, your vet will advise on the best course of safe and effective treatment.