Guinea Pig Nose Scab: Cause And How To Treat?

Guinea pigs have very sensitive skin and are susceptible to a number of dermal problems, including scabs. If you notice that crusty, scab-like sores have appeared on your cavy’s nose, you’ll want to quickly determine what is causing it and find the best way to help them recover. 

By the end of this article, you’ll be able to identify what causes guinea pig nose scabs, the best way to treat them, and how to prevent them from spreading to other guinea pigs and yourself. 

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Guinea Pig Nose Scab: Cause And How To Treat?

Guinea Pig Nose Scab: Cause And How To Treat?

Hair loss accompanied by patches of flaky, red skin on your guinea pig’s nose are attributable to a variety of skin ailments, fungal infections such as ringworm being the biggest culprit.

This is common in cavies and easily treated by an antifungal cream or oral medication.  

Why Does Your Guinea Pig’s Nose Have A Scab?

Scabs appearing on a cavy’s nose indicate a variety of skin conditions including:

  • Ringworm (Trichophyton Mentagrophytes)
  • Mites
  • Lice
  • Fleas

If external parasites have been ruled out, your guinea pig likely has a fungal infection like ringworm. These infections usually start on the face and appear as scabbed patches around the nose and eyes.

Your pet can also expect some hair loss around the edges of the affected areas. 

Are Scabs On A Guinea Pig’s Nose Dangerous?

Are Scabs On A Guinea Pig’s Nose Dangerous?

Scabs and the fungal infections that cause them are not inherently dangerous to guinea pigs, but they should be dealt with quickly and carefully. 

If left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas of the body and become very itchy, which will be very uncomfortable for your guinea pig. 

Ringworm is also highly contagious and is easily spread to other animals and humans. If your guinea pig shares a cage with other cavies, be sure to keep them separated and clean their enclosure immediately.

If you’re infected piggie has been around the others for some time, you might want to consider treating them all together. 

Since this infection is zoonotic, it’s important that you use caution and wash your hands after handling an infected guinea pig. If you’re able, we recommend using gloves. 

How Do You Treat Scabs On A Guinea Pig’s Nose

How Do You Treat Scabs On A Guinea Pig’s Nose

As soon as you notice scaly scabs on your guinea pig’s nose or anywhere else on their body, you should get them to a veterinarian right away to determine if it’s a fungal infection.

If it’s due to pests such as mites or fleas, your vet will be able to help you create a treatment plan. 

Treatment for fungal infections is completed through an ointment, wash, or oral medication and lasts anywhere from several days to six weeks. Administer medicine at least once a day or as directed by your veterinarian. 

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What Happens If Scabs Are Not Treated?

Scabs will become irritated and painful if left untreated. The infection can also spread to other parts of the body, including around the ears and mouth. 

Over time, the scabs will blister and crack, making them easier to become infected by bacteria. When this happens, the situation becomes much more serious and antibiotics will need to be prescribed immediately. 

How To Prevent Fungal Infections

How To Prevent Fungal Infections

Fungal infections are easily avoided by taking steps to keep your guinea pigs and their home clean. 

Bedding should be changed every three to four days and thorough decontamination of the entire cage should be performed at least once per week depending on how many guinea pigs you have. 

If one of your guinea pigs has been infected, don’t forget to separate it from the others and wash any fabrics they may have been in contact with, including your clothes, to prevent the spread.

Bathing is also a great way to prevent fungal infections. A nice bath is recommended at least once a month, but make sure you don’t bathe them too frequently. Doing so can actually cause skin infections instead of preventing them. 

FAQs

Why is my guinea pig losing hair on his nose?

It’s most likely a fungal infection, fleas, mites, or lice. Visit your veterinarian to determine the cause. 

How do I know if my guinea pig has mange mites?

Skin affected by mange mites can become thick, yellowish, and crusty. There may also be hair loss in the affected area. 

Can guinea pigs get mites from hay?

Yes, guinea pigs can get mites from any contaminated bedding including hay, blankets, and even toys. 

Can humans get mange mites from guinea pigs?

Humans can’t contract mange mice from guinea pigs, but they may slightly irritate sensitive skin. 

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In Short

If you’ve noticed scabs appearing on your guinea pig’s nose, visit a vet right away to determine the cause and decide the best course of treatment. 

With proper care and cleaning, your precious piggie will be back to perfect health in no time. 

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