Guinea pigs are pretty hassle-free pets. If they are properly fed and cared for, they rarely get sick. Diseases of guinea pigs often do not pose any danger to humans. But there are exceptions to which lichen belongs.
What is lichen and why is it dangerous
"Deprive" is a popular term. In fact, this disease should be called "dermatomycosis." More precisely, this is not one disease, but a whole group of infectious pathologies of fungal origin, which affect the skin and coat of animals. Lichens are considered one of the most dangerous diseases because of their high contagiousness and virulence (in other words, they are highly contagious).
Like any other fungal pathology, lichens strongly suppress the immunity of a sick pet. There are also many cases when in healthy and young animals some varieties of lichen can pass by themselves (but it rarely happens). Dermatomycosis is dangerous for its rapid spread in the environment.
Important! Many species are dangerous not only for pigs, but also for other domestic animals, as well as for humans. Because of this, a sick pet must be isolated; it is especially important not to let children and the elderly play with it. Their immunity is too weak, and therefore the likelihood of infection is very high.
In pigs, the disease is most often caused by representatives of two genera of pathogens:
- Microsporum (cause microsporia).
- Trichophyton (causative agents of trichophytosis).
What does lichen look like in a guinea pig
The lichen in a guinea pig looks exactly the same as in another animal. It does not hurt to call a veterinarian if on the skin of the pet are noticed:
Areas of baldness are excessively regular, rounded.
- Alopecia (i.e. bald spots) can get wet and fester.
The main types of lichen in guinea pigs
Most often, animals reveal either microsporia or trichophytosis. Both types of dermatomycosis, by the way, are dangerous for people.
You can distinguish them by the following signs:
- For microsporia, the appearance of annular bald patches is characteristic. The skin in these places is peeling, in some cases, the pet experiences quite severe itching. The development of inflammation is characteristic. The coat above the lesion fades. In addition, with microsporia, the hairs break at a height of about 4-6 mm from the skin.
- Trichophytosis is characterized by hair loss. More precisely, they break off flush with the skin, leaving behind a very short “fluff”. Unlike microsporia, itching usually does not happen, the skin is also inflamed rarely. But with trichophytosis, the skin in the affected areas is often covered with multiple pustules.
Due to the fact that on the animal’s skin, for all these diseases, “stumps” of shaved hair remain, almost all dermatomycoses are called “ringworm”: in a guinea pig, in severe cases of infection, the whole body may appear to be “trimmed” with mushrooms. But it comes to such a difficult stage infrequently.
Routes of transmission depriving guinea pigs
In most cases, infection occurs through direct contact of a sick and healthy animal, but the infection can overtake a pet in other ways:
- Each hair inside is "eaten away" by fungi and is filled with their spores. Accordingly, in contact with such hair, the animal has an almost 100% chance of getting sick.
- Disputes do not remain in the fallen hairs, but fly away, seeding areas of the environment. They can turn up anywhere. Thus, infection can occur when the “pig” comes into contact with infected care items, bedding, hay, etc. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that mice are frequent carriers of dermatophyte spores. And they, in turn, often live in the hay ... which feed the pigs.
Is lichen transmitted to humans from mumps
Yes, it is transmitted. And very quickly and with very high chances of getting sick after a single contact with a pet.
Therefore, children and the elderly need to be protected from contact with sick animals. In addition, in the room you need to do wet cleaning daily, and chlorine-containing disinfecting compounds must be added to the water.
Symptoms and signs of lichen in a guinea pig
Regardless of the specific type of pathogen, the first sign of the disease will be the appearance of mycelium growth sites on the skin of the pet. In most cases, these will be areas of a rounded shape, hairless, with rough and thickened skin in the center.
These areas often become scaly, since the skin on them peels and falls off. In these places, multiple ulcers often appear. Itching does not happen in all cases, but if it is there, the mumps can lose sleep and peace, trying to scratch itself. The first lesions are found near the eyes, ears, sometimes on the stomach.
If mumps immunity is severely suppressed and cannot withstand the spread of pathogenic fungi, lichen can cover the entire body of the pet. The animal is catastrophically balding, the remnants of the wool stick together and fall into tangles, its skin is covered with numerous scabs and scales.
In addition, many abscesses appear on the skin, as well as ulcerations. In such severe cases, mumps do not live long, dying on the background of sepsis or severe intoxication.
Treatment for lichen in guinea pigs at home
Immediately warn that treatment of lichen in guinea pigs at home is possible only subject to prior consultation with a veterinarian followed by the appointment of specific therapy. We will describe the main recommendations for preparing for treatment.
The main condition for successful therapy is good access to areas of the skin of the pet affected by the fungus. To fulfill this condition, it is necessary to carefully trim the hair near the foci of inflammation.
All fur must be collected and burned. An important element of treatment is bathing with therapeutic shampoos. After each washing, the sores must be lubricated with ointments.
Pharmacy products used
Note that many pharmacy products used may be unsafe for the health of the animal (especially antifungal drugs). Therefore, it is necessary to use them only with the knowledge and approval of the veterinarian!
In the treatment of lichen, the following ointments can be used:
- Salicylic It has a double effect: it is not only an excellent antiseptic, but also an agent that accelerates the regeneration of damaged skin. The duration of treatment is at least 10 days, the drug is applied three times a day. When processing, it is necessary to apply the ointment with wide strokes, capturing the inflamed areas and areas of healthy skin around them.
- Sulfur. This simple and cheap drug has a good antifungal effect. The duration of treatment is at least three weeks, the frequency of application is three times a day. To achieve the best effect, the ointment is best used in the form of applications. To do this, gauze swab is densely saturated with the product and glued with a plaster to the most noticeable lesions. At least once every two days, the dressing is changed.
- Ichthyol. A good adjuvant with a pronounced anti-inflammatory effect. Multiplicity of treatment - twice a day during the entire period of treatment.
- Ointment Yam. It has a very specific smell and no less brand consistency. Despite the "aroma" when applied to the foci of the fungus up to three times a day for two weeks, it often helps to cure the animal without resorting to the use of more serious (and very toxic) drugs.
Shampoos with both keratolytic and antifungal effects can be used:
- The usual "Nizoral" from any pharmacy. It has an excellent antifungal effect.
- DermaBenSs Veterinary Shampoo from DermaPet. It has a disinfecting and keratolytic effect.
- "Doctor" with benzoyl peroxide. Domestic product analog from DermaPet.
For the treatment of pigs, veterinarians use the following drugs:
- Enilconazole Use with extreme caution, the compound is very toxic and can easily kill an animal (causing, for example, acute renal failure).
- Fluconazole The remedy is not so toxic, but still has a whole "bunch" of serious side effects and contraindications. Both of these compounds may only be used after consultation with an experienced veterinarian.
- Imaverol. Almost the same Enilconazole, with slightly mitigated toxicity.
- Lime Sulfur. Used in the form of a solution in which they bathe a "mushroom" animal no more than once a week.
- Terbinafine. Perhaps one of the safest drugs, which is why it is suitable for long-term use and the treatment of frequent relapses.
Important! We do not knowingly give dosage and frequency of use. All these funds are extremely toxic, only a veterinarian can prescribe them!
Some folk remedies are not called “traditional folk”, but official veterinary medicine does not use them. Despite this, some breeders with their help achieve very good results:
- Simple zelenka helps a lot. Apply to the foci of inflammation once a day. The term of treatment is up to one and a half weeks.
- The alcohol tincture of iodine acts similarly. Use it in a similar way. Remember that excess iodine can cause chemical burns!
- Tar birch. They are lubricated with "mushroom" areas no more than twice a day. The duration of treatment is up to one week.
To reduce the risk of fungal infections, veterinarians recommend the following preventative measures:
- Regular veterinary examination.
- Litter and hay should be purchased only from trusted suppliers or procured independently.
- In private homes you need to regularly conduct deratization. Mice and rats are frequent peddlers of lichens.
- Avoid contact of the pet with animals whose state of health causes the slightest doubt.