Fungus in guinea pigs: identify and treat infestation

You can recognize a mushroom in guinea pigs by mostly clear symptoms. However, a distinction must be made between skin and intestinal fungus. It is important that you have the fungus treated quickly in guinea pigs and do not catch your rodent. By keeping your guinea pigs in a species-appropriate and loving manner and eating well, you can reduce the risk of fungal infections - Shutterstock / Reinhold Leitner

Fungi belong to the so-called zoonoses: This means that a fungus in guinea pigs can also spread to humans. Therefore, you should always wash your hands and disinfect them thoroughly after contact with a sick fur nose, and it is best to wear disposable gloves when caring for the rodent.

Detect skin fungus in guinea pigs: symptoms

• Circular, hairless spots on the skin, mainly on the head, neck and limbs. Areas around the eyes, ears and snout are often most severely affected.
• There are also types of skin fungi that mainly cause bald spots on the abdomen or on the back.
• The edges of the bald spots can be reddish.
• Occasionally, white eschar can be seen.
• Itching and frequent scratching.

Attention: Anatomically, Meeris have a bald spot behind the ear - this is normal and not a sign of fungal infection.

Ultimately, the veterinarian must make the diagnosis. If possible, don't waste any time when you see the first signs of a fungus in your guinea pig. In the worst case, fungi can affect the organs and have life-threatening consequences there.

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Mushroom in guinea pigs: what to do?

A mushroom in guinea pigs is only treated by the veterinarian. Only he can make the correct diagnosis and adapt the therapy to the respective skin fungus type. In most cases, the doctor administers a solution adapted to the specific pathogen for dabbing the infected areas or an ointment. These are locally acting antifungals. Sprays, tablets or syringes are also conceivable.

Important points for mushroom treatment:

• Use and duration of use: Follow the veterinarian's instructions exactly!
• Do not prescribe individual care for your sick Meeri. This would only create additional stress and possibly negatively affect the healing process. Your other pigs can get infected from their sick peers, but this rarely happens when the immune system is weakened. In this case you have to treat the other rodent.
• Do not bathe your guinea pig - should a doctor suggest this method, ask others or get a second opinion from another veterinarian.

Guinea pigs: prevent fungal attack

There are several factors that may promote fungal guinea pig disease, including:

• Severe stress, for example due to an incorrect location of the cage or due to fierce rank fights.
• Inadequate hygiene and uncleanliness (especially damp areas in the cage are good breeding grounds for fungi).
• Inadequate or inferior nutrition, especially a lack of vitamins and nutrients (tips on how to avoid a lack of nutrients can be found in the guidebook "Guinea pigs: nutrition and feed for rodents").
• Other diseases that weaken the skin's immune system.

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Mushroom in guinea pigs: Detect and treat intestinal fungus

Another type of fungal infection is an infection with an intestinal fungus, which must be distinguished from a skin fungus disease. In guinea pigs, colonization of the intestine by yeasts, for example with the fungus Candida albicans, can sometimes occur. The symptoms for this are:

• diarrhea
• constipation
• flatulence
• weight loss
• Skin, tooth and fur damage as a result of an intestinal fungus attack

If you are suspected, take a faecal sample to the veterinarian, who can examine it or have it analyzed in a laboratory.

Treating an intestinal fungus in guinea pigs is usually straightforward. As a rule, after a precise diagnosis (as part of a faecal test), the veterinarian will prescribe a means that you must give to your rodent according to the instructions of the veterinarian. Do not forget to have the doctor examine your feces after six to eight weeks.

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