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Can A Guinea Pig Get Lice? (Causes, Treatment & Prevention)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: November 7, 2021

Common tormentors of a guinea pig are lice.

Guinea pig owners share a strong bond with their pets and want what’s best for them.

Guinea pigs are cute, chubby, and fluffy animals that can easily get lice.

Let’s see how to prevent your guinea pig from getting lice and what to do if it happens.

Can A Guinea Pig Get Lice?

Lice are contagious and create sickness in guinea pigs.

If you want to prevent guinea pig lice in your pets, you should first know how they can get them.

What Are the Causes of Lice in Guinea Pigs?

There are many ways in which guinea pigs can become infected with lice.

You have to know the cause of lice in your pet guinea pig so you can address the problem adequately.

Let’s see how a guinea pig can get infected with lice.

Animal Shelter

If you’ve gotten your pet guinea pig from a shelter, you should know that lice infestations are common there.

Some animal shelters lack cleanliness, which leaves a harmful effect on a guinea pig’s health.

In direct contact, an infested guinea pig can easily spread the parasite to another guinea pig.


Contaminated bedding is another common cause of lice infestation.

Old bedding that hasn’t been washed regularly combined with inadequate bedding materials can be responsible for a heavy infestation with parasites.

One guinea pig infected with mites and lice will spread the disease to other guinea pigs very quickly.

Pet Stores

Before you go to a pet store and buy a product for your guinea pig, make sure to research the store’s reputation.

It’s important to learn more about the hygiene in the store and the health conditions of animals for sale.

You can easily notice if animals suffer from parasites as excessive scratching will make it obvious.


Clothing also plays a crucial role in the health of guinea pigs.

For example, when you bathe your guinea pigs and soak them with a dirty cloth, it’s an alarming situation.

It may prove defective for your guinea pigs.

It can create lice in guinea pigs due to the dust in the cloth which was used to soak your guinea pigs.


Some people like to buy accessories for guinea pigs and adorn their little friends with those.

Sometimes these accessories have contaminated chemicals from which they are made.

These chemicals are very harmful to guinea pigs and create illness for them.

It may become the cause of lice in guinea pigs.

Symptoms of Lice in Guinea Pigs

After you know the causes of lice in your guinea pigs, the next step is to find symptoms that cause lice in guinea pigs.

There are many symptoms shown when your guinea pigs may infect with lice.

If you recognize any mark found in the list below, you should go to the animal hospital.

After diagnosis, either hospitalize your pet or follow the prescription of the vet.


Inflammation is the main symptom of lice in guinea pigs.

When your guinea pigs get lice, their skin starts to inflame.

It is a very adverse condition for your guinea pigs.

The yellow crust on the skin of guinea pigs appears as the result of lice.


Self-trauma is another sign of lice in your chubby guinea pigs.

They start to create self-trauma.

It is very severe for your guinea pigs.

You should consult your veterinary doctor immediately for the treatment of your guinea pigs.

Hair loss

When the hair of your guinea pigs starts to weaken and fall, it may be an indication of lice in your guinea pigs.

You should instantly go to your vet about the situation which bears your guinea pigs.


Anemia is a dangerous disease created by the decreasing of the red blood cells in guinea pigs.

It is a harsh circumstance.

It started when your guinea pigs defile with a high amount of lice in their hair or the whole body.

Weight loss

Weight loss is also a signal for the presence of lice in your guinea pigs.

The weight of guinea pigs starts to lose and they face weakness.

You should observe your guinea pigs very keenly.

If you find any unusual habit in your guinea pigs, you should examine your guinea pigs and check whether they are infected with lice or not?


At times the lice lead to the formation of scabs on the guinea pigs’ skin.

If you notice any scabs on your guinea pig, take extra care of the little creature and start proper treatment of them with the prescribed medication after diagnosing that they suffer from lice.


Seizures are diseases that are caused by lice in guinea pigs.

With the appropriate medicines, you can get rid of the sickness of your guinea pigs.

Bacterial infection

When your guinea pigs feel restlessness, itching, and irritation, it’s the sign of lice in your guinea pigs.

Your guinea pigs start scratching on their body.

After facing illness caused by the lice, guinea pigs face severe weakness.

This ailment leads to bacterial infection.

It causes a lot of inconvenience to the guinea pigs and they remain in a foul mood.

They are mostly seen in your guinea pigs when they undergo the danger of lice in themselves.

Diagnosis of Lice in Guinea Pigs

When you observe one or more of the above symptoms in your guinea pigs, there is a chance of them being infected by lice.

A proper diagnosis and treatment become essential.

Following are how the diagnosis of lice in guinea pigs can be made.


By directly taking guinea pigs to the vet, you can recognize the discovery of lice in your guinea pigs.

It is the most suitable method to diagnose lice in them.

The vet identifies the stage of the disease that got lice.

After identification, he or she suggests whether you should hospitalize your guinea pigs or give medication at your home.

You should follow the advice of the vet carefully.

Magnifying glass

Lice are difficult to see with the naked human eye, but a magnifying glass can be helpful for this purpose.

By the magnifying glass, you can see lice on your guinea pigs.

You can purchase this magnifying glass from any pet store and can detect lice in your guinea pigs.

Some kinds of lice are very small and cannot be seen even with the help of a magnifying glass.

In this case, you should get your guinea pigs checked by an animal doctor.


When you know that your guinea pigs suffer from lice, you should start proper treatment of your guinea pigs.

Firstly you should try to identify lice through a magnifying glass.

If you couldn’t detect lice on the body or hair of your guinea pigs, but you do see the symptoms, then you should go to the vet or veterinary nurse of your guinea pigs, without delay.

The medical practitioner will treat them in any of the following manners, depending on the level of sickness.


A severe infection can be treated by the use of antibiotics, which are available in the form of oral medicines and creams.

But beware, do not self-prescribe the antibiotics to the guinea pigs.

Instead, get them checked by a veterinarian, and get the antibiotics prescribed as per the need.

After taking a prescription, you can use an antibiotic.

Irresponsible use of antibiotics may lead to other diseases like diarrhea, dehydration, low temperature of the body of the guinea pigs, etc.

The cause of these diseases is the extravagant use of antibiotics for your guinea pigs.


You can use the spray prescribed by the vet of your guinea pigs.

These sprays are anti-lice.

They can demolish the lice from the guinea pigs.

If you use spray without the permission of the vet of guinea pigs, it’s dangerous for your guinea pigs.

There are chances that these sprays have poisonous chemicals in themselves and may harm your guinea pigs, instead of healing them.


The powder is a beneficial product to kill the lice in the guinea pigs.

Some powders are made up of a high amount of poisonous chemicals, and hence, they should be used very carefully.

The vet prescribes powder for the treatment of lice of the guinea pigs.

You should use it in this situation.


An injection is another way for the treatment of lice in your guinea pigs.

The vet of your guinea pigs has better knowledge.

After consultation with your vet, you can use injection for your guinea pigs.

It can prove fruitful for the treatment of lice in your guinea pigs.

Selectin or Ivermectin

Selectin or ivermectin is the best way to get rid of lice from your guinea pigs.

It can use in different forms.

It is used to treat many kinds of diseases.

Revolution and Advantage are the famous brands for the products of pets.

Anti-lice shampoo

Anti-lice shampoo can be used for the culmination of lice in your guinea pigs.

When the vet of your guinea pigs prescribes anti-lice shampoo, you should use it.

You can use it during the bathing of the guinea pigs that suffer the problem of lice.

Prevention from lice

There is a big question that lice will get back to the guinea pigs?

The answer is yes.

Lice can come back to your guinea pigs.

The next question is what to do when lice appear again on your guinea pigs?

The answer is you should follow some cautions for the complete culmination of guinea pigs.

Some precautions for guinea pigs are here.

  1. Cage cleaning

  2. Pure food

  3. Sanitizing after visiting somewhere

  4. Use disinfected accessories

  5. Reduce stress

All prevention in detail is described below.

Cage cleaning

You should clean the cage of guinea pigs daily after the recovery of your guinea pigs from lice.

All things that are present in the cage of guinea pigs should be sanitized very carefully.

The better idea is that you shouldn’t use objects that were used when the guinea pigs were infected by lice.

If you want to use those objects again, you must sanitize them before using them next time.

Pure food

Pour food is inevitable for the health of your guinea pigs.

You should follow many precautions when you go to buy food for your guinea pigs.

You should research the quality of the food.

Should you see the environment whether it is clean or not?

After confirmation of quality, you can buy food.

You should freeze food for 24 hours.

This process of freezing food will kill all infections, germs, or lice if they have.

You can use it when food comes to the typical temperature.

Sanitizing after visiting somewhere

If your guinea pigs live in isolation, you don’t need to sanitize them daily.

If guinea pigs visit other fellows that live in another shelter, you should sanitize your guinea pigs daily.

The guinea pigs which don’t live with your guinea pigs may infect with lice.

Lice can transfer from other guinea pigs to your guinea pigs.

You should check the ears and hair of your guinea pigs.

You should bathe your guinea pigs after meeting another animal.

Use disinfected accessories

Some pets lovers use accessories like artificial hairs and grooming utensils for guinea pigs.

It may infect with chemicals or dust that can become the cause of lice in your guinea pigs.

You should carefully choose accessories that do not cause any infection or have dust.

If you’ve any prior accessories worn by your guinea pigs when they feel irritation from lice, you shouldn’t use those accessories again, without sanitizing.

The best is to avoid using them altogether.

Reduce stress

Guinea pigs get infected with lice due to stress.

Stress can create lice in your guinea pigs.

It’s extremely dangerous for your guinea pigs.

By reducing stress, you can overcome the problems of lice in your guinea pigs.

What are lice, mites, and or fleas?

Lice, mites, and fleas have minor differences.

They are parasites.

Some types of them describe there.

  1. Trixacarus cavies or Mange mite

  2. Guinea pig lice

  3. Chirodiscoides or Cavie fur mite

Trixacarus Caviar

Mange mite or Sarcoptic mange is another name for Trixacarus Caviar.

They are extremely dangerous for your guinea pigs.

It causes severe pain in guinea pigs.

Guinea pigs start to scratch their skin, which creates bald patches on their skin.

They feel itching in themselves.

They are chewing mites and chewing blood from the body of guinea pigs.

They can create the disease of anemia that may become the cause of the death of guinea pigs.

Treatment for the sarcoptic lice in guinea pigs is very crucial for their healthy living.

You should instantly go to your vet or veterinary nurse for better suggestions.

Static lice

Static lice do not create a panic situation for the guinea pigs.

The treatment for static lice is also necessary, as it is very contagious.

These lice take birth from dust.

If your guinea pigs are replete with dust, they may have higher chances to get lice.

Static lice are very small.

They cannot be seen through the naked eye.

You can purchase magnifying glass from any pet store, and try to see static lice.

After diagnosis, you should go to the hospital or vet and start proper treatment.

Some other diseases

Lice are the common problem found in guinea pigs.

There are some other diseases explained here.


The deficiency of Vitamin C leads to Scurvy.

Guinea pigs cannot make it in themselves.

They take it from their food.

The guinea pigs are dependent upon you for their daily dose of vitamin C through foods.

Bladder stones

Bladder stone happens due to the excess storage of calcium.

If you give hay or vegetables which are rich in calcium daily to your guinea pigs, it creates a bladder or kidney stone in your guinea pigs.

Respiratory problems

Bordetella and Streptococcus are the names of two bacteria that become the cause of respiratory problems.

Guinea pigs having respiratory disease are sensitive.

If not treated with caution, respiratory ailments may lead guinea pigs to death.


Diarrhea is a common disease found in guinea pigs.

There are different causes of diarrhea like a weak diet, feeble digestive system.

Parasites, viruses, and bacteria spread this disease in the body of guinea pigs.

Your vet can detect the problems which are the cause of diarrhea in your guinea pigs.


Ringworm is the specific form of fungus in guinea pigs.

It spreads through contact with the contaminated guinea pigs that have this fungal disease.

It’s not very painful but can deteriorate the body of the guinea pigs.


Bloating is a disease found in guinea pigs.

You can feel it when you notice the belly of your guinea pigs very keenly.

The sign of bloating is that the belly of the guinea pigs is larger than from the normal days.

The lack of appetite, weakened body, restlessness, and difficulty in breathing are the signs of bloating too.

Final Thoughts

Lice infestations are common in guinea pigs, especially those taken home from animal shelters or pet stores.

Infested guinea pigs easily transfer the parasites to other guinea pigs when they come in direct contact.

Another common reason for the quick spread of these parasites is contaminated bedding that’s not cleaned regularly.

Lice and mites are species-specific so don’t worry about yourself and the members of your household.

Instead, take your pet to a vet who will recommend the best treatment for your guinea pig, so you can efficiently combat and defeat the enemy!

Keep your pet’s cage clean and you won’t have to worry about their poor hygiene and unsanitary conditions.


Tim Rhodes
Tim Rhodes

Hi there! My name is Tim Rhodes and I'm a guinea pig enthusiast through thick and thin. My mission is to teach others useful tips and tricks about these cute creatures. When I'm not writing, I enjoy kickboxing and work as an animal trainer.

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