Ear mites are a parasitic infestation of the ears of guinea pigs and various other pets such as cats, dogs, and rabbits. This condition is a form of mange and can cause tremendous irritation of the ear leading to scratching, scabbing, soreness, and discharges. The standard treatment for clearing up ear mite infestation in guinea pigs involves the use of the drug Ivermectin. But preventative steps can also be taken such as keeping the guinea pig away from other infested animals and giving the guinea pig regular check-ups.
The cause of ear mites in guinea pigs is a species of mite called Psoroptes cuniculi. These parasitic invaders can be passed on to the guinea pig by contact with another infested animal. Not just other guinea pigs but also other animals such as cats as well. The mites take up residence in the ear canal of the animal’s ear where they can cause a variety of symptoms such as an immense irritation of the area.
In diagnosing a case of ear mites in your guinea pig one of the signs to look out for is a discharge from the ear. The guinea pig will also start to scratch at its infested ear a lot. There could also appear soreness around the base of the ear. A scaly crust of matter will most likely appear around the ear as the infestation progresses. Without treatment the ear mites may well spread to other areas of the guinea pig such as its neck and face.
Another type of sign to look out for is if another one of your pets has recently been diagnosed with ear mites. This highly contagious condition is very likely to have been passed on any other animal in the house. Similarly if your pet has come into contact with one belonging to a friend that has been diagnosed with ear mites then it is likely that your pet will be infested as well.
The main course of treatment for ear mites in guinea pigs is Ivermectin. This is a broad-spectrum anti-parasitic drug that can be used to treat cases of various parasitic infections such as lice and worms as well as mites. There are also preventative measures that you could implement to minimise the risk of your guinea pig picking up an ear mite infestation. If you know that an animal has infestation you should keep your healthy animal well away from it. Check ups for ear mites should also be done regularly.