Unfortunately, guinea pigs can get quite a lot of different parasites, such as mites, lice, fleas and ticks. They are all unpleasant for both pet and owner, but the good news is that there are many highly effective treatments available for all of these problems. Your local vet will usually sell these products, and you can administer them yourself at home. It’s a good idea to take photographs of your guinea pig’s ailment to show the vet or veterinary nurse in order to be sure that you’ve identified the right parasite and are purchasing the correct treatment.
For mites and lice, you’ll need to use a special shampoo that you can purchase from your local veterinary surgery. The products are easy to use and you can apply them at home. In order to minimise the chances of an infestation building up, some owners choose to use these shampoos as a preventative measure after their pets’ baths. For more information, have a look at the ‘How to Treat My Guinea Pig’ pages in our Guinea Pig Health section.
Guinea pigs are susceptible to parasites like mites, lice and fleas
In the case of ticks, a vet will always be best, and we don't advise trying to remove the tick yourself. They are tricky to properly extract, and there is a chance that any remaining mouthparts will cause a painful infection in your pet.
With fleas, it’s fine to use normal anti-flea products in your house as long as they don’t go anywhere near your guinea pigs. A lot of anti-flea and tick products are poisonous to guinea pigs, so we recommend asking a veterinary nurse for a guinea-pig friendly treatment if you suspect your pets are suffering from fleas.