Guinea pigs are mischievous, skittish little animals prone to occasional injuries like scratches, rashes, sores, etc.
While many minor injuries don’t necessarily require veterinary attention, they almost always require at-home treatment.
Unfortunately, finding guinea pig-safe products is often tricky, and many of the ones designed specifically for guinea pigs are expensive and hard to come by.
Perhaps you’ve considered using Sudocrem on your piggy, but is it safe for them or even worth using?
Sudocrem is safe and relatively effective for treating guinea pigs’ minor wounds. However, it is crucial to avoid getting the cream inside your guinea pig’s nose, ears, eyes, or mouth. Notably, zinc oxide is toxic to many animals if ingested in large amounts.
Read on to learn more about Sudocrem, its uses, whether or not it’s safe to use on your pet guinea pig, and what other kinds of products are useful to have on hand for your piggy first aid kit.
Is Sudocrem Safe to Use on Guinea Pigs?
While Sudocrem is not explicitly marketed to guinea pig owners, it is generally seen as a safe and effective product on guinea pigs’ minor wounds like rashes and burns.
However, getting the product directly into your guinea pig’s eyes, nose, ears, or mouth is not advised. Zinc oxide is toxic to many animals if ingested in large amounts.
In general, it’s best to consult with your veterinarian before using any kind of product not specifically designed for use on your pet, whether it’s your guinea pig, dog, cat, or any other animal.
While Sudocrem is designed for infants with sensitive skin and is widely considered safe for guinea pigs, it’s always a good idea to get a professional opinion.
Most guinea pig owners agree that Sudocrem is a useful product to keep on hand as part of their pet first-aid kits.
It effectively treats sores, irritation from mites, rashes, irritated patches of skin from hair loss, burns, and even the dreaded pododermatitis (more commonly known as bumblefoot).
What Is Sudocrem?
Sudocrem is a medicated antiseptic cream available for purchase over-the-counter.
Its main use is for treating diaper rash in babies, but it is also very useful for treating burns, sores, sunburns, and even eczema and dry, inflamed skin.
The original product was created in 1931 by a pharmacist in Dublin, Ireland, named Thomas Smith.
Originally, Sudocrem’s name was “Smith’s Cream,” later changed to “Soothing Cream.”
Interestingly, in the 1950s, the name was again changed permanently to “Sudocrem” due to most people with Irish accents pronouncing the name slightly incorrectly.
Over the next few decades, the medicated cream became very popular in the UK and Ireland.
It is currently available in three main formulations: the original, simply referred to as Sudocrem, Sudocrem Care and Protect a diaper rash preventative cream, and Sudocrem Skin Care Cream, a medicated cream meant for treating acne breakouts.
The original Sudocrem’s main active ingredients are currently:
- Zinc Oxide
- Benzyl Benzoate
- Benzyl Alcohol
- Benzyl Cinnamate
- Inactive Water-Resistant Base
It is not widely available in the United States, but it is possible to order it online.
Treating Guinea Pig Sores, Burns, Rashes, and More
When using Sudocrem to treat your guinea pig’s minor injuries and skin issues, there are a few steps you need to take to ensure everything goes smoothly and you don’t end up worsening the issue.
As we mentioned above, be sure to consult with your animal veterinarian first.
This way, you’ll be able to get a proper diagnosis for whatever health problem is currently afflicting your piggy, whether it’s a skin infection, a minor burn, a rash, a fungal infection, or something else entirely.
Proper diagnoses help you know how to treat it thoroughly and effectively rather than going in blind.
For more severe, chronic issues, like hair loss or bumblefoot, in many cases, poor husbandry and other underlying health problems are to blame.
Properly treating these more severe health problems requires more than just an ointment.
Before applying Sudocrem to a wound such as a rash or a burn, thoroughly clean and disinfect the area.
Even though Sudocrem is technically an antiseptic ointment, it’s always a good idea to clean wounds before applying it.
This will speed up the healing process and prevent further issues like infections or more severe irritation.
Additionally, keep the Sudocrem away from your piggy’s eyes, nose, mouth, anus, and the insides of their ears.
It is not safe to apply this product directly to any mucus membranes, and if your guinea pig ingests it, they risk becoming very sick.
Wear disposable gloves when applying any kind of ointment to your piggy’s irritated skin to prevent the spread of bacteria and lower the chance of infection.
After applying the cream, if possible, remove any excess product, and cover the wound with a bandage while the ointment is absorbed.
Keep your guinea pig’s cage clean and the area around the wound as clean as possible throughout the healing process to prevent any infections or further complications.
Check out our advice on cleaning guinea pig cages.
What Other Similar Products Are Safe For Guinea Pigs?
In addition to Sudocrem, there are a few other similar products, some designed for pets and some designed for humans, which are generally considered safe and effective for guinea pigs.
In particular, Vetericyn Plus, available here, is extremely useful for guinea pigs and most pets in general.
This product is an antimicrobial wound and skin treatment for cuts, burns, rashes, sores, and other skin irritations.
It is designed specifically to be used as animal medicine.
The brand also has other formulations available, such as an ophthalmic gel, an antimicrobial gel, and even eyewashes safe for guinea pigs.
For cuts and scrapes, Betadine, or povidone-iodine, is also extremely useful to have on hand.
It is safe for guinea pigs and most other common pets and animals.
As far as products designed specifically for humans go, Neosporin is a very effective topical ointment for burns, scrapes, rashes, and other minor wounds.
Most guinea pig owners have noted it works well for their piggies’ minor injuries.
Rivanol, or ethacridine lactate, is another antiseptic product used by guinea pig keepers.
It is especially effective for minor scrapes and wounds.