Skin problems are one of the most common reasons that guinea pigs require Veterinary treatment. Often guineas present with both fungal and parasitic problems at the same time and need treating for both. As soon as you see any signs of skin problems, don't hang about - get a diagnosis from your Vet and get them treated as soon as possible.
Guinea pigs have very sensitive skin (hence their use in cosmetic testing) and are prone to fungal and parasitic problems. Fungal skin problems are particularly common here in the UK. Guinea pigs are originally from Peru where the climate is warm and dry. Here, there is always moisture in the air - cold and damp in the winter, and hot and humid in the summer.
Skin problems frequently occur where a guinea is stressed, ill, or has a depressed immune system. Often you will find that the following types of guineas are affected:
sows that have recently given birth
guineas that have been ill or had an operation
guineas left behind after the death of a friend
guineas that have been stressed by a move (a change of home for example)
Sometimes skin problems in guineas are mis-diagnosed by Vets. Fungal skin conditions are often treated as if they were caused by Mites, despite the skin condition being presented. Guineas are then put through the pain (and expense!) of two or three Ivermectin injections, the problem isn't cured and your guinea is still in a lot of pain and discomfort.
Check out our Photo Gallery and see what some of the most common skin problems look like. The photo above shows a guinea with mange mites.
**SKIN PROBLEMS CAN KILL GUINEAS IF THEY ARE LEFT UNTREATED**