Noticing bald spots on Guinea Pigs? Did you know hair loss on Guinea Pigs can be an indication of health problems? In fact, hair fall is one of the prime issues what veterinarians have to deal with Guinea Pigs. So, if you are a Guinea Pig owner, you must know right away why Guinea Pig is losing hair and what can be done about that.
So, why do Guinea Pigs shed fur? Well, Guinea Pig can lose hair naturally, mechanically, due to fungus and parasite attack or metabolic reasons. Whatever the cause is, hair loss is not an everyday phenomenon that can be overlooked. Give the article a further read to understand more about what it means when a Guinea Pig is losing hair.
Though Guinea Pigs are naturally furry animals, they lack fur or hair in some of its parts inherently.Guinea Pigs have naturally bare areas inside the front legs and around the ears of about 1 to 1.5cms. Any external reason doesn’t cause this baldness. This largeness of the empty spot, however, can differ among Guinea Pigs. Albino Guinea Pigs or Pigs with darkly pigmented
colours are more likely to have larger bald areas around the ears.
Guinea Pigs, especially those with more massive furs, do naturally shed some fur. This shedding isn’t abnormal, though. This shedding hair is essential to be replaced with new hair. If it loses excessive amounts of hair every day, that might be caused by the following reasons.
barbering- An annoyed Guinea Pig expresses his annoy or disappointment by chewing their cagemate’s fur. Sounds surprising, huh! It’s true, indeed. When a Guinea Pig is bored, hungry, jealous, or wants to show dominance on its mates, they start barbering their mate’s furs. So, when you see a Guinea Pig bald spot on the back, the probable cause might be another bully Guinea Pig.
Self barbering- Just like chewing other cage mate’s fur, some Guinea Pigs tend chewing its own fur or self-barbering. They are likely to do so if you don’t trim their hair shorter. In such cases, they’ll try to cut their furs themselves for their comfort.Such self-barbering can be triggered by any other kind of pain or discomfort in any particular area. Older Guinea Pigs are also seen to barber themselves as a reaction to arthritis or tooth problem.
Wounds and abrasion- An injured Guinea Pig can lose some furs from its injured area. The area where their scar has occurred can result in a bald patch.
Mites- Mites are microscopic, white, and spider-like parasites that live on other animals’ hair and fur. Mites are the most severe external parasite on Guinea Pigs and one of the most potential reasons for why Guinea Pig losing hair. Mites can get transmitted from one Guinea Pig or other animals (such as rabbits, cats, etc.) to other Guinea Pigs. They cause itching, wounds following severe hair fall. Check out these symptoms to understand whether your Guinea Pig has Mites or not.
● The affected skin will get thick, yellowish, and crusty.
● Weight Loss
● Skin irritation and scabs
Louse- Just like Mites, lice are another common parasite that causes itching and hair loss to Guinea Pigs. Lice live feeding off the skin debris of your pet. However, its severity is less than Mites, usually. The symptoms of lice infection are-
● Incessant itching
● Inflamed skin
Ringworm Fungi like Trichophyton mentagrophytes and Microsporum canis can also bother your pet. Like external parasites, these fungi can make Guinea Pig’s Skin dry, scaly, and itchy. Hosting such fungi causes Guinea Pigs severe hair fall and brings about hairless skin. Fungal infection usually starts from the head and face. Seeing running hair around the face area is
evidence that your Guinea Pig is suffering from Fungal Attack.
Pregnancy and Lactation– Due to pregnancy, female Guinea Pigs can face thinning hair. While pregnant, there is a change of the body’s usual hormonal flows that might directly trigger the function and growth of hair. However, such issues get resolved itself after a certain period when the hormonal flow returns to normality.
This is another hormonal effect for which your Guinea Pig is losing hair on its back. Cushing disease is an enlargement of adrenal glands that can be diagnosed only with ultrasound. Otherwise, it is not easily understandable what is causing your furry pet to thin hair. So, when you can’t relate to your Guinea Pig’s condition with any other above mentioned symptoms, do consider taking an ultrasound of your Piggie.
Ovarian Cysts– Hormonal changes that cause ovarian cysts to female Guinea Pigs can also
be responsible for falling hair to Guinea Pigs. the symptoms of such conditions are-
● bilateral hair loss
● crusty nipple
● irritated attitude.
Lack of nutrients- Lack of nutrients can reflect multiple health issues, one of which is thinning hair. Vitamin C deficiency and low protein diet can cost your Piggie a lot of furs.
So, you see, multidimensional causes are acting behind on your pet’s baldness. These are why losing hair should be a concerning matter for the owners of these pocket pets. But are these causes unavoidable? Certainly not. By ensuring a proper environment and abiding by some rules, you can lower the chances of your pet’s hair loss. So here’s what can be done to prevent hair loss.
How to prevent hair loss of Guinea Pigs
Before learning right away the prevention of Guinea Pigs hair loss, what you need to know is, if your Guinea Pig is already suffering from hair loss, the only way to treat the issue is to consult with a veterinarian. Meanwhile, what can you do to safeguard your Guinea Pig from the issues mentioned above are-
Habitat disinfection- If your Guinea Pig is already affected by parasites, you have to disinfect its whole habitat, including bedding and cage. Use a 10% solution to disinfect its cage and bedding materials.
Quarantine your Piggy– Since the parasites are contagious and so it can get transmitted from one Cavy to another. Therefore, whenever you see any sign of parasite infection on any of your Guinea Pig quarantine it from others right away.
Apply Ivermectin- If your Cavy is affected by Mites, the most effective and proven medication is to give doses of Ivermectin. You’ll have to provide two to three doses of it 14 days apart.
use shampoo– lice are lived on skin debris of Guinea Pigs scalp. So, use special shampoos and regular bathing to keep your pet's scalp clean. Keep your pet’s scalp clean will automatically solve a lot of problems.
Keep Guinea Pigs happy- Feed your Guinea Pigs healthy proper foods, and make sure they have plenty of work to do or space of playing around. Otherwise, they’ll barber their own and cage mate’s hair off.
Cut Guinea Pig’s hair short- Long hair often discomforts Guinea Pigs and provokes self- barbering. Also, long furs can get knotted and cause hair to damage and fall. So, you should keep your Guinea Pig’s hair short. These ways will solve a lot of issues. However, the ultimate solution can be nothing but taking your pet to a veterinarian expert.
frequently asked questions
1.Does old Guinea Pigs naturally shed the hair?
Answer: Well, this is a common belief. But, in reality, this is not true. Aging doesn’t cause hair fall.
2. Why is my Guinea Pig losing hair on nose?
Answer: This is an issue often seen on baby Guinea Pigs. Baby Guinea Pigs lose a lot of hair from their whole body because their hair can be replaced with a new coat during the growth process.
3. Do parasites transmit to humans from Guinea Pigs?
Answer: No. humans don’t get affected by the parasites Guinea Pigs hos. So holding or touching your parasite affected guinea Pig won’t affect you or your family.
4. Can fungus get transmitted from Guinea Pigs to humans?
Answer: Unfortunately, yes. Humans are also affected by fungus, and Guinea Pigs can carry and share fungus to humans and other animals.
5. Are female Guinea Pigs more likely to have hair fall?
Answer: Yes. Female Guinea Pigs can get into conditions exclusive to them like hormonal
pregnancy fluctuation and ovarian cyst.
The Bottom Line:
Furs to Guinea Pigs is somewhat what is hair to us. This is what makes these little dudes so fluffy and adorable. Hair fall is not just a concern for your piggies look, but also their health. So, it would be best if you never overlooked such a phenomenon. To be a good Guinea Pig parent, you must be aware of why Guinea Pig is losing hair and safeguard your pet according to that.