Small Animals Parasites & Disease

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Questions about Small Animals Parasites & Disease

How can you tell the difference between mange and ringworm in guinea pigs?

It can be difficult to tell the difference between mange and ringworm, but there are things you can look out for.

With mange, the hairs usually break off at the base, whereas in ringworm, they often break off part way down the shaft. Mange is most common in the autumn, and is often brought on by the stress caused when moving animals indoors for the winter.

Mange is usually more common than ringworm. So, if you’re unsure which your guinea pig is suffering from, the first line of defence is to treat the affected guinea pigs with Beaphar Anti-Mange Spray. If no improvement is seen after 10 days, a ringworm treatment can be applied, such as Beaphar Anti-Ringworm Spray. It is important to treat all the animals in the cage or hutch at the same time and to thoroughly clean out and disinfect their housing. We recommend using Beaphar Deep Clean Disinfectant.

If you are concerned about the health and welfare of your pet or require a diagnosis to be able to appropriately treat them, you must seek veterinary advice. Your vet will be able to determine the problem. They will take a skin scraping to examine under a microscope and/or examine affected guinea pigs under UV light (which causes ringworm to fluoresce).

Both mange and ringworm are zoonotic, meaning they can be passed from pets to people. If you suspect your pet is infected it is important to:

  • Always wear gloves when handling your pet or cleaning their house
  • Wash your hands after handling your pet, the hutch, their bedding or any objects which your pet may have been in contact with
  • Thoroughly disinfect any potentially contaminated areas

If you have young children, it may be best to avoid contact between them and your guinea pigs until they have been successfully treated.

You should also separate the affected guinea pig from their companions, completely clean and disinfect the hutch and run area, and completely change the bedding.

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