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Mites

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Mites

One of the most common problems that pet hedgehogs suffer from are mites. They can get them from bedding or other hedgehogs. Symptoms include excessive scratching and dandruff, and a loss of quills. You may notice movement of little white dots on the hedgehogs skin, these dots are are the actual mites. As suggested by the Hedgehog FAQ, another check you can make is to inspect a lost quill. If the quill has been a "normal" shed, the quill will have a little ball at one end (this is where it fit into the follicle). If they quill has been lost due to mites, the ball shaped piece will be missing.

Please keep in mind that losing an occasional quill is normal. Loss of a lot of quills by an 8 or 12 week old hedgehog is also normal. This is called quilling, the time when your baby starts losing their baby quills. Also please keep in mind the only definite way to determine if your hedgehog has mites is to take it to a vet to have a skin scraping done.

Below are some methods which have been used to treat mites and fleas, before attempting any of these consult your veterinarian.

Methods of treatment:

  1. Revolution mite treatment - Non-toxic, and in small amounts when applied correctly will cure a hedgehog of mites
  2. A mild Cat Flea/Tick Spray w/Pyrethrin - a natural insect repellent (avoid the head/face)
  3. Bathing in Kitten Safe Flea Shampoo (avoid the head/face)
  4. Vegetable oil bath. I have seen lots of people say they have done this and it seems to be effective on mild cases. Add a little oil to your hedgehog's bath water. Be sure not to get it in their eyes or nose. After the bath, wipe down your hedgehog. Leave the oil on for a day then give your hedgehog another bath with shampoo. You may need to repeat this a couple of times.
The following treatment is not recommended as it has caused many deaths in the hedgehog community. Please use treatment with extreme caution. See Hedgehog Central Forums - View topic - Ivermectin injection goes bad (external link).

* A series of shots (from the Vet) to poison them when they bite. This series can range from 2 or 3 shots depending on how bad your hedgehog had mites. (This method is also the most effective, as the mites will still reside on the hedgehog's face with flea spray and shampoo)

With any of these methods you will need to thoroughly clean the hedgehog's cage. I have always cleaned out their cage of any shavings, and washed the cage and all toys down with soap and bleach. (Make sure you rinse everything really well though.)

Fleas

Fleas may be a problem if you have other pets, especially if they are indoor/outdoor pets. If you find fleas on your hedgehog, you can use a kitten safe flea shampoo (with Pyrethrin). If you do not take your hedgehog outdoors, and do not have any outdoor pets, the chances of getting fleas is greatly reduced.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind I am not a vet. All information on these pages are from personal experience and experiences of others. For more information on the above topics please see the Hedgehog FAQ maintained by Brian MacNamara?.



References

  1. Hedgehog Central - Mites & Fleas (external link)

Forum Topics

  1. Hedgehog Central Forums - View topic - Ivermectin injection goes bad (external link)

Created by: admin Last Modification: Wednesday 04 of March, 2009 09:37:51 EST by admin


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