Last updated on August 9th, 2023 at 10:52 am
Guinea pigs, like us humans, have problems with dandruff, and their skin and fur do not look good, but there is certainly a solution to this problem, which can occur often in your pets.
The most common causes of dandruff in guinea pigs are parasites, fungal infections, dry skin, and vitamin C deficiency. Frequent scratching is a sign that your pet has dandruff, as well as dry and flaky skin around the ears, nose, and other parts of the body. The use of ointments, medicines, shampoos, and disinfection of the guinea pig’s habitat removes dandruff from its skin.
Although guinea pigs do not require special care for their hair and fur, this unsightly condition of their skin can still occur.
In today’s article, we will find out why dandruff occurs and how to remove it, as well as measures to be taken in the future.
What are the causes of dandruff in guinea pigs?
Dandruff in guinea pigs can occur for several reasons.
It can occur due to a lack of vitamin C, which guinea pigs do not produce, so it is important to eat foods that are rich in this vitamin.
Dandruff occurs as a result of a fungal infection, external parasites, dry skin, or through contact with another already infected guinea pig.
How to remove dandruff in guinea pigs?
There are several ways to remove dandruff in guinea pigs, some of which you can apply yourself such as keeping clean guinea pig bedding, cleansing the skin of parasites, and applying certain fats.
In addition to removing dandruff at home, if you take your guinea pig to a veterinarian, he will prescribe medication and injections, which will also successfully help remove dandruff in guinea pigs.
How do external parasites act to cause dandruff in guinea pigs?
External parasites are one of the main causes of dandruff in guinea pigs. There are two types of external parasites that cause dandruff in guinea pigs:
- Mange mites – are the most common parasites that cause dandruff in guinea pigs, and are very difficult to see, they usually can not be seen with the human eye.
- Fur Mite – this type of parasite appears through direct and indirect contact, as well as when using materials or bedding from another infected guinea pig with this parasite.
How to detect dandruff-causing external parasites in guinea pigs?
It is honestly very difficult to detect external parasites that are to blame for dandruff in guinea pigs.
Because they are invisible to the naked eye, you can detect these parasites through the following symptoms:
- pain when touching the skin of a guinea pig
- the guinea pig is constantly itching and scratching
- can get cramps and fall like someone attacking a guinea pig
If you take your furry pet to a vet, he will do a biopsy or scrape part of the skin to detect parasites.
Apart from dandruff, can external parasites also infect guinea pigs?
Yes, external parasites besides dandruff can cause other health problems for guinea pigs.
They can cause gradual hair loss in your pet, if not treated in time, external parasites will cause wounds on the skin.
How to prevent external parasites from creating dandruff in guinea pigs?
There are several ways to overcome this problem:
- Prevention of external parasite infections – by receiving medication prescribed by a veterinarian and using them for a period of 3 months
- Fido’s Free Itch shampoo- is used to treat dandruff in guinea pigs
- ivermectin – is a drug used against dandruff in guinea pigs for a period of 1-2 months.
- dectomax- is an injection used by veterinarians to remove parasites and dandruff.
How to prevent the spread of skin parasites in guinea pigs?
To prevent the further spread of parasites in guinea pigs, you should do regular disinfection of your pet’s habitat.
Another prevention is regular washing with hot water on all plates, bottles, and other accessories used by guinea pigs.
Wood items used for guinea pigs should be roasted over low heat to kill parasites or their eggs.
Dandruff in guinea pigs due to lack of vitamin C
We all already know that vitamin C is one of the main vitamins needed for guinea pigs, it also helps prevent dandruff, vitamin C deficiency is the cause of dandruff.
Therefore, it is necessary to give them food that contains larger amounts of this overly important vitamin for your furry pet.
In addition to food, vitamin C can be supplemented by using crushed tablets with vitamin C and added to the water they drink.
The bottle with vitamin C and water should be covered with foil, to protect it from sunlight which contributes to the decomposition of vitamin C.
How to protect a guinea pig from dandruff?
In order to successfully prevent dandruff in guinea pigs, we need to take the following measures:
- the dwelling should be wide enough
- the bedding should be washed regularly
- cleaning the cages
- use vinegar in an aqueous solution to disinfect the cage
How do fungi cause dandruff in guinea pigs?
Fungi are a very common cause of dandruff in guinea pigs.
Fungal infections, in addition to dandruff, also cause hair loss and scratches on your pet’s skin. Fungal infections usually occur in the summer and when the weather is rainy.
Older and sick guinea pigs are more susceptible to fungal infections than young and healthy guinea pigs.
What are the symptoms of fungal infection and dandruff in guinea pigs?
Unlike parasites, fungal infections, and dandruff are much easier to detect.
It is easily noticed through the skin of guinea pigs, it becomes very dry and begins to peel on the nose, ears, skin, and feet.
Guinea pigs’ hair starts to fall out during fungal infection, but do not worry, once this condition is cured it will grow back.
How to treat dandruff in guinea pigs caused by a fungal infection?
The best and fastest treatment for a fungal infection is to start early, immediately after noticing the infection, the sooner the better.
The following medications should be used to treat dandruff caused by a fungal infection in guinea pigs:
- coconut oil and betadine ointment – applied twice a day.
- shampoo malaseb- used twice a week by bathing the guinea pig with this shampoo.
- sterilization – of all materials used by guinea pigs, thus preventing the spread of fungal infection.
How does dry skin contribute to dandruff in guinea pigs?
Dry skin is the cause of dandruff in guinea pigs.
Initially, dry skin causes itching and sagging of the upper layer of skin on guinea pigs, which is a sign that your pet either has or will start to have dandruff.
In fact, also same is with people, dry skin causes dandruff.
How to treat dry skin that causes dandruff in guinea pigs?
The best solution to cure dry skin and dandruff in guinea pigs is to use ointment.
Although ointments help to cure this dry skin condition, they can sometimes help.
In that case, the next option is left, you need to take your furry pet to a veterinarian for examination and consultation, where he will prescribe the correct therapy and drugs to treat dry skin and stop the appearance of dandruff on his hair.
read more: Can Guinea Pigs eat Pickles?
How does moisture cause dandruff in guinea pigs?
Sometimes it is enough for the cage of the guinea pigs to get a lot of moisture, which together with the appearance of bacteria will cause dandruff.
We should not let guinea pigs live in a cage that has moisture, especially for a long period of time.
That’s why their cage should always be clean, without moisture and dry.
Moisture is a hidden enemy of guinea pigs that further contributes to the appearance of dandruff.
Can you use anti-dandruff shampoo on guinea pigs?
You can only use anti-dandruff shampoo on guinea pigs if your pet has dandruff.
However, you must be careful, the shampoo can be used once or twice in three weeks to treat dandruff in guinea pigs.
Otherwise, if the guinea pig has no signs of fungus then there is no need to use the anti-dandruff shampoo.
What does it mean if your guinea pig has flaky skin?
When guinea pigs have flaky skin, it can be recognized by dry skin and scaly skin on the ears, nose, and feet, and sometimes there is also dandruff on the coat. This appearance of flaky skin appears due to stress, a lot of moisture, and age and stress in guinea pigs.
Do guinea pigs need shampoo?
Guinea pigs can use shampoo but in very rare situations. They are extremely clean as they groom themselves, so bathing should only be used when is absolutely necessary.
How do I moisturize my guinea pig?
To moisturize the skin of the guinea pigs, it is best to use cold-pressed coconut oil. First, wipe the guinea pig with a soft cloth, and then apply a little oil, but do not put it around their ears and face.
Dandruff can occur in guinea pigs, but you should not panic, because there is a solution to this annoying problem, which often occurs in us humans.
The most common causes of dandruff in guinea pigs are fungal infections, parasites, vitamin C deficiency, and dry skin.
Removal of dandruff is achieved with medications given by a veterinarian, or with ointments, shampoos, and disinfection of the guinea pig cage and bedding.
Finally, pay attention to the diet, hygiene, and living conditions of your guinea pig to protect it from dandruff and other diseases and health problems.