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Ringworm in Guinea Pig (Treatment, Causes, Symptoms & FAQs)

Tim Rhodes
Written by Tim Rhodes Last Updated: Sep 18, 2022

If you’ve noticed your guinea pig scratching more than usual, it might be because of a ringworm infection. That is a fungal infection that is not usually serious, it can be uncomfortable for your pet.

In this article, we’ll talk about what causes ringworm in guinea pigs, what the symptoms are, and how you can treat it.

What is ringworm in guinea pigs?


Ringworm, also known as dermatophytosis, is a common skin infection that can affect guinea pigs and other animals. It is caused by a fungus called dermatophyte, which thrives in warm, moist environments.

Ringworm infection can spread quickly from one guinea pig to another. If you think your guinea pig has ringworm, it is necessary to take them to the vet.

How do guinea pigs get ringworm?

While Ringworm is usually associated with cats and dogs, it can affect any animal with fur, including guinea pigs. However, this fungal infection is highly treatable and, with proper care, your Guinea pig can make a full recovery.

parasitic worm

So, how do Guinea pigs get ringworm infections? The fungus that causes ringworm can be spread through direct contact with an infected animal or with contaminated bedding, cages, or other materials.

Sometimes, the fungus can also be spread through the air. If your pet comes into contact with the fungus, it can start to develop symptoms within a few days.

What are the symptoms of ringworm in guinea pigs?

The most common symptoms of ringworm are bald patches on the fur. They may be circular or have irregular edges, and they can appear on any part of the guinea pig’s body.

highly contagious

Other symptoms include:

  • Itching
  • Redness or inflammation of the skin
  • Scaling or crusting of the skin
  • Skin lesions or sores

If you notice any of these symptoms, take your guinea pig to the vet. They will be able to diagnose ringworm and treat it effectively.

How is ringworm treated in an infected guinea pig?

Your vet will likely prescribe oral medication for your infected pig, which they will need to take for several weeks.

The vet can also prescribe an antifungal cream or shampoo to use on your guinea pig’s skin, and they will likely recommend isolating your guinea pig from other pets to prevent the infection from spreading.

skin irritation

Besides medication, you will need to clean your guinea pig’s cage and bedding regularly. All of their bedding and any contaminated materials should be washed in hot water and bleach.

You must follow all instructions carefully to ensure that the infection is properly treated. If you do not see improvement after a few weeks of treatment, make sure to follow up with your vet.

How to prevent the spread of the infection?

fungal culture

If you are a guinea pig owner and think that your pet has ringworm, you need to take them to the vet immediately. The sooner you start treatment, the better.

In the meantime, there are some things guinea pig owners can do to prevent the spread of the infection:

  • Isolate your guinea pig from other guinea pigs, or other pets
  • Clean their cage and bedding regularly
  • Avoid sharing brushes or other personal items with your guinea pig
  • Wash your hands after handling your guinea pig
  • If you have other pets, make sure they are up to date on their vaccinations

By taking these precautions, you can help keep your furry friend healthy and free from ringworm.

When will your guinea pig’s skin return to normal?

separate cage

With proper treatment, your guinea pig’s skin should start to improve within a few weeks. The bald patches will begin to fill in with new fur, and the other symptoms should start to disappear.

If you do not see improvement after a few weeks of treatment, make sure to follow up with your vet.

Can guinea pigs die from ringworm?

Although ringworm is a serious infection, it is not typically fatal in guinea pigs. With proper treatment, most guinea pigs make a full recovery and return to their normal activity level.

However, if the infection is left untreated, it can lead to other complications such as dehydration, weight loss, and secondary infections. In severe cases, untreated ringworm can be fatal.

How can you prevent ringworm in guinea pigs?

One way you can prevent ringworm in guinea pigs is by using an anti-fungal shampoo. This type of shampoo helps to kill the fungus that causes the infection. You should use the shampoo on your guinea pigs every two weeks.

You should also keep your guinea pig’s cage clean. This means cleaning the cage weekly and disinfecting it monthly. You should also remove any bedding that is soiled or wet. Your guinea pig’s environment has to be perfectly clean.

veterinary assistance

In addition to using an anti-fungal shampoo and keeping their cage clean, there are several other things you can do to prevent ringworm in guinea pigs.

For example, you can keep their nails trimmed short. This will help to prevent them from scratching themselves and spreading the fungus.

You should try to avoid letting them get too hot or too cold. Both of these extremes can make them more susceptible to developing ringworm.

Lastly, you should provide them with plenty of ventilation. This will help keep their skin dry, which will help prevent the fungus from growing.

Is guinea pig ringworm dangerous for humans?

Guinea pig ringworm is not dangerous for humans. Nevertheless, the fungus that causes it can cause infections in people with weakened immune systems.

If you have a compromised immune system, it is better to take precautions when handling an infected guinea pig.

other pigs

Wear gloves and wash your hands thoroughly after handling them. You should also avoid sharing personal items, such as brushes or combs, with your pet.

If you think you may have been exposed to the fungus, contact your doctor for treatment.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Ringworm is a common infection in guinea pigs, but it can be difficult to treat. Here are some frequently asked questions about this infection in guinea pigs.

How long does it take for the ringworm to show up?

Ringworm can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to develop symptoms.

How long does it take to treat ringworm?

Treatment for ringworm can take several weeks. It is crucial to follow the instructions from your vet carefully and to complete the full course of treatment.

Does guinea pig ringworm go away on its own?

Guinea pig ringworm will not go away on its own. If left untreated, it can cause serious health problems for your pet.

How long is guinea pig ringworm contagious?

Guinea pig ringworm is contagious as long as the fungus is present. This means that it can be spread to other guinea pigs, animals, and people.

Is Guinea Pig Ringworm curable?

Guinea pig ringworm is curable. With treatment, the infection will go away and your pet will make a full recovery.

Where does ringworm usually appear on guinea pigs?

Ringworm usually appears on the head, ears, or legs of guinea pigs. In spite of that, it can occur anywhere on their body.

How do I know if my guinea pig has ringworm?

There are several ways to tell if your guinea pig has ringworm. One way is to look for bald patches on their fur. Another way is to look for scaly or crusty patches on their skin.

These are just a few of the most frequently asked questions about this topic. If you have any other questions, be sure to contact your vet.

Final Thoughts

Guinea pig ringworm is a common infection, but it can be difficult to treat. With proper treatment, the infection will go away and your pet will make a full recovery.

Yet it’s important to take precautions to prevent the infection from spreading. If you have any questions, be sure to contact your vet.

References:

Author

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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Last update on 2022-09-27 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API