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What Are the Causes of Guinea Pig Hair Loss?

Updated March 23, 2017

Healthy guinea pigs have soft, full coats, so hair loss in a guinea pig is a good indication that something is wrong. Most causes of hair loss in guinea pigs are treatable, so that soft coat can return with a little intervention.

When to Call

While some causes of guinea pig hair loss are natural and not a cause for concern, others indicate a health problem is present, so guinea pig owners should contact a veterinarian at the first sign of hair loss to rule out an infection or parasite.

Barbering

Guinea pigs will sometimes chew the hair of other guinea pigs in the habitat, even when there is plenty of stimulation and room in the environment, and some guinea pigs will even self-barber. You can cure barbering by spraying bitter spray on the affected area to ward off the chewing.

Hormones

Pregnant or lactating guinea pigs may struggle with hormonal hair loss, which typically rectifies itself when the hormones return to normal levels.

Parasites

Infestations of skin parasites such as lice or mites cause most cases of guinea pig hair loss and need to be treated by a veterinarian.

Fungus

Fungal infections, like ringworm, typically start on the face, creating spots of itchy hair loss that develop crusts or scabs. Antifungal creams and shampoos will kill the fungus and stop the hair loss.

Bacterial Infections

Some bacterial skin infections, including cryptococcosis or staphylococcal dermatitis, cause hair loss on the animal's trunk and require medical intervention in the form of antibiotics.

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About the Author

Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006, specializing in real estate, finance and travel. When she's not writing, she enjoys traveling and has visited several countries, including Israel, Spain, France and Guam. Harms received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Maranatha Baptist Bible College.