A cheap method of treating Mange

Back in November 2017 I wrote about our little male Guinea Pig, Percy, and how he died.  At the time I didn’t know why he died, though I had some suspicions.  Since that day we have kept a close eye on our sole remaining Guinea Pig, Betty.  While she is lonely, she has been in good health.  On the weekend, I noticed that she was crying a little, and running around her cage in a state of agitation.  On examination, I could see that she had (what seemed to be) a very slight case of dandruff… this was similar to Percy’s symptoms.  After Percy’s death I researched the illness and I suspect that he had Mange.  She was obviously suffering from the illness, so much so that she had scratched several cuts into her side.

I had heard of Mange previously, and I thought it was just a condition which affects some  animals and makes them look messy.  This is not the whole story… Mange (also called Scabies) is a skin disease which can effect mammals and, if left unchecked, can lead to suffering and death.  I am fairly convinced that this is how Percy died, and now it was affecting Betty.

Most websites I checked recommended taking the Guinea Pig to the vet.  This is something I was reluctant to do… I am not a big fan of spending $80 for a vet to have a look at her, and prescribe something I could buy at a supermarket.  The product which online vets recommended is Advantage.  It is a cat medicine which is made to kill Insects, such as fleas and mites.  I could buy this from the local supermarket, yet it was $40 for a dosage… still more than I wanted to spend on Betty.  Searching for an alternative I found one in the form of Exelpet “Vet Series” Flea treatment for cats.  It contains Firponil, which is useful in killing Mites.  I found this at the supermarket for $15, which is much more affordable.  I know the container says it is for Cats only, yet I decided I would take the risk… Betty would be grateful for the treatment.

I administered the medicine to her skin and moved her to a totally new location, in a clean cage (with new bedding and shelter).  I noticed that over the next day her attitude recovered remarkably.  She stopped crying and seemed more like herself.    She has lost a little hair, which I suspect could be a side effect of the medicine… or maybe she pulled it out.  These is still a couple of dandruff like flakes on her backside, so I will keep an eye on them and treat her again if needed.

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