Guinea Pig Ringworm

Guinea Pig Ringworm

Caring for your guinea pigs includes watching out for illnesses that can affect them. Guinea pigs don't tend to make much of a fuss if they're feeling unwell, so you need to keep an eye out for signs that they're ill.

One problem that might affect guinea pigs is ringworm, a fungal infection that affects the guinea pig's skin and hair. Knowing the signs and symptoms of ringworm in a guinea pig and how to treat it will help you to keep your guinea pig healthy.

Use these tips to look out for the signs of ringworm and get the right treatment for your guinea pig if necessary.

What Is Ringworm?

Ringworm is a fungal infection, otherwise known as dermatophytosis. It affects the surface layers of the skin and hair, and it's usually diagnosed in young guinea pigs.

Some guinea pigs have a higher risk for ringworm, including guinea pigs with immune suppression or inadequate levels of vitamin C. Pregnant guinea pigs are also more likely to have it, and high temperatures and humidity can also lead to ringworm.

Exposure to another infected guinea pig can also cause ringworm, so it's important to keep them separated if you have one guinea pig that has been diagnosed.

The Symptoms of Ringworm in Guinea Pigs

When guinea pigs have ringworm, they will have circular areas of hair loss that are itchy and have crusty, scabbed skin. These patches usually appear on the headfirst and then on the body and legs of the guinea pig. Guinea pigs can also carry ringworm without any symptoms and pass it on to other guinea pigs.

Other Possible Diagnoses

There are some other illnesses and conditions that might share similar symptoms with ringworm. These include stress, nutritional deficiency, diabetes, low thyroid hormone levels, allergies, parasites such as mites and lice, and more.

To differentiate between these health problems and ringworm, you should take your guinea pig to see your vet. They can diagnose your guinea pig and make sure they get the right treatment.  

How to Treat Guinea Pig Ringworm

If a guinea pig is diagnosed with ringworm, he or she should be isolated from other guinea pigs until they have recovered. If the guinea pig has any dietary deficiencies, they should be corrected to help them recover.

Some topical products such as medicated lotions and wipes can be helpful to treat ringworm. If the guinea pig has more than one or two lesions, they might need to have oral antifungal medication to help treat the ringworm faster. Treatment and isolation from other guinea pigs should continue for at least four weeks.

Preventing Ringworm

To prevent ringworm in guinea pigs, clean and sanitise their cage/hutch often. If you have one guinea pig with ringworm, make sure you isolate them from any other guinea pigs or pets. Keeping your guinea pig in generally good health will also help to prevent ringworm.

If you suspect that your guinea pig has ringworm, make an appointment with your vet to get a diagnosis and treatment right away.

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