Posted: August 27, 2010, 5 a.m. PDT
Q: My guinea pig is about 6 years old. He is a male White Crested. I noticed he has a medium-sized scablike thing on his butt, and it keeps spreading. I cannot afford a vet, but what I heard is that you can heal this type of infection with a type of medicine used for cows or something like that. Please tell me what I should do.
A: I am sorry your guinea pig has a problem and you are not yet able to find a solution to it. A scablike lesion near the cloaca of a guinea pig may be the result of many different problems.
This could be nothing more than a scratch that is healing. If that is the case, the less you do to disrupt the scab, the quicker the healing process. We also see lesions along the back of guinea pigs, especially in males. These can be infected areas, such as follicles or skin glands. Or we can see benign skin tumors in this area.
With all of these different types of diseases, a topical medicine used for cows is likely not going to help your guinea pig. I know that veterinary care is something that not everyone can afford, especially with the recent changes in our economy, but your guinea pig might have an easily treatable problem that one visit to the veterinarian might be enough to clear up.
If you buy over-the-counter products from the farm or pet store without a definitive diagnosis, you may end up spending more money on these products than on one visit to your veterinarian — and the problem might not be cured.
The cost of a veterinary visit may not be as much as you might think, at least for the visit. With these skin lesions in guinea pigs, many times a veterinarian can at least give someone a good idea what is wrong and some suggestions to help relieve the situation in just the first visit. This could be a very unusual malignant tumor, and you want to find that out as soon as you can.
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