DANDRUFF ON GUINEA PIGS | WHAT CAUSES IT? HOW TO STOP IT?

Dandruff on guinea pigs is one of the issues they battle with during their lifetime. Perhaps, you have noticed some flaky-like whitish substance on your guinea’s coat, and you are not sure of what to make out of it.

This makes you wonder, what are the causes of dandruff on guinea? How can I treat dandruff on my guinea pig? No worries!

In this blog post, we will discuss in detail the various causes and possible treatments for dandruff on guinea pigs.

WHAT IS DANDRUFF ON A GUINEA PIG?

Dandruff is a skin issue whereby the outer layer of the skin is shredded more often than normal.

Since Guinea pigs are rodents with a lot of hairs on them, they are prone to dandruff disease. Dandruff flourishes well in dry skin, so if a Guinea lives in an area of low humidity then it’s easy to contact dandruff.

SYMPTOMS OF DANDRUFF ON GUINEA PIGS

Although dandruff is invisible, there are a few ways to dictate them on your Guinea pigs. This knowledge helps you take better care of your guinea, and dictate if it has dandruff disease.

  • Excessive Scratching
  • Pains and irritation once you touch your Guinea Cramp

CAUSES OF DANDRUFF ON GUINEA PIG

1. Dry Skin

This is among the most common causes of dandruff in Guinea pigs. As earlier mentioned, dandruff-causing bacteria thrive well in dry skin.

Therefore, if your guinea’s body is dry then it has a high chance of contracting dandruff.

2. Low Nutrient Level

Lack of enough nutrients or poor diet can cause dandruff in Guinea pigs. That’s not all. It can also lead to several health challenges.

For instance, a lack of enough calcium in a guinea’s food can lead to overgrown teeth and other tooth issues.

To avoid this occurrence, always feed your Guinea with a balanced diet. In other words, their food should include hay, vegetables, pellets, and fruits.

Feeding them with treats, snacks or sugary items is unhealthy. If continued, this might lead to excessive weight gain and other health problems.

3. Excessive Moisture

When your guinea’s cage is overly dirty and wet, it makes way for bacteria and parasites to inhabit. Before long, this will likely lead to dandruff infection.

If your Guinea has been living in a dirty or wet cage for a long time, you could start by tackling the issue from the root. In other words, keep their cage clean and dry at all times.

4. Lack of Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient in a guinea’s diet as it serves as a cofactor in the release of tissues and enzymes in the body like Collagen. Guinea pigs require about 10-50kg of Vit C to maintain a healthy diet.

Asides from pellets, Guinea pigs can also feed on fresh vegetables, broccoli, spinach, and leafy greens for Vit C.

5. External Parasites

Certain parasites could also be responsible for dandruff in Guinea pigs. A study on parasites like mites, fleas, and lice shows they are prone to cause skin infections in both humans and animals.

As a Guinea owner, it’s easier to notice whether or not your Guinea is battling with fungal infection. It develops a wet coat and may start scratching various parts of the body more than normal.

The next step would be to get it tested with anti-fungal medicine.

6. Unhygienic Habitat

As important as it is to live in a clean environment as humans, your pets should do the same. A dirty, crowded cage for your Guinea is a clear invitation for bacterial infections.

Subsequently, your Guinea develops an overgrowth of bacteria which leads to dandruff. Guinea’s best suited to clean, healthy environments.

If possible, you can develop a routine where you clean and bathe your Guinea every week.

HOW TO PROTECT A GUINEA PIG FROM DANDRUFF?

No doubt, you would not want to battle with dandruff infections on your Guinea. Here are certain precautions to protect your Guinea pig!

  • Always clean the cage and their environment
  • Keep your Guinea in a wide-spaced cage
  • Change/wash your guinea’s bedding, and line
  • Disinfect their habitat with substances like vinegar
  • Avoid keeping your Guinea in a wet cage

TREATMENT FOR GUINEA PIG DANDRUFF

If your Guinea pig has already developed dandruff, you should not fret. The best way to tackle the issue is to find a solution to completely eradicate the disease.

A few methods have proven effective in treating dandruff in Guinea. However, the nature of treatment depends on the cause of dandruff.

Here are proven ways to completely get rid of dandruff and make your Guinea flake-free;

1. Clean Up

1. Clean Up

First things first, clean up your guinea’s cage. No animal grows and develops well in a dirty and unhealthy environment and your Guinea is not an exclusion.

If your Guinea has already developed a bacteria overgrowth, it’s advisable to clean and change their Beddings. After this, go ahead to disinfect. This leaves no room for parasites and their likes.

To keep your Guinea pig bacteria-free, you could start by bathing and cleaning him up once per week.

2. Balanced Diet

2. Balanced Diet

Guinea pigs require a proper and balanced diet. If lack of enough nutrients is the main cause of dandruff in your Guinea, then you need to change your diet.

Try adding more fresh fruits, vegetables, and even pellet to your guinea diet. This way, they have enough Vit C and other nutrients to keep dandruff away.

3. Visit a veterinarian

3. Visit a veterinarian

A visit to your veterinarian can save you a whole lot of stress on how best to handle your Guinea with dandruff.

It is up to the veterinarian to prescribe an anti-parasitic medicine.

With this medication, your Guinea will be free from dandruff-causing parasites.

4. Remove Allergies

4. Remove Allergies

Your Guinea may be allergic to certain things in his habitat. As a pet owner, it’s up to you to completely get rid of them.

It could be dirt, the home decor, or his bedding. Other times, it could mean combining these with anti-parasitic medications.

Now you know how best to treat your guinea’s dandruff disease, it’s time to eradicate those flakes!

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