Ringworm is a common infection in guinea pigs. Here’s everything you need to know about ringworm in guinea pigs.
The name ringworm refers to a fungal infection on the surface of the skin. It got its name because, long ago, people believed that the infection was due to a worm, but it is not. Ringworm is a fungal infection in the skin, usually caused by the Trichophyton mentagrophytes fungus. However, there are several common fungi that can cause ringworm – usually from a species of the genus Trichophyton or the genus Miscrosporum. The medical term for ringworm is tinea. Tinea is the Latin name for a growing worm.
The ringworm fungus is a dermatophyte, which means “skin fungi”. An infection with these fungi is sometimes known as dermatophytosis. The fungus can only live off the dead layer of keratin protein on top of the skin, so it will not usually invade and go deeper. It cannot live on mucous membranes, like in the mouth or nose.
- What Are the Symptoms?
- How Do They Get It?
- Can I Catch It?
- What Makes Ringworm Thrive?
- How Is It Diagnosed?
- How Is It Treated?
- How Can I Treat It Without Going to a Vet?
- What If I Have Multiple Guinea Pigs?
- Is There a Way to Prevent It?
If your guinea pig has ringworm, the first thing you’ll probably notice are itching/scratching and bald patches, usually starting on the face and then spreading backwards along the back. If you look closely, inside the bald patches there will be red, scaly circular patches made up of concentric rings of overlapping scales.
Ringworm can be caught from other animals or people who are infected with it, or from the soil, or from anything that touched infected soil. Bedding can become infected with it, as well, so if your guinea pig has it, change the bedding frequently until the infection is gone. Oftentimes, you cannot pinpoint exactly where it came from.