Here we can see, “Mites in Hedgehogs”
Hedgehog mites are irritating parasites that bite and irritate the skin, spines (quills), and hair of your hedgehog. They can easily be transmitted from one hedgehog to another. Fortunately, they’re easy to prevent and treat. Mites, unlike other external parasites like ticks and fleas, are rarely bothersome to humans.
What Are Mites?
Like spiders and ticks, mites are little red or black arachnids. You may or may not be able to see the mites on your pet hedgehog, but you will almost certainly notice the damage the mites inflict.
Symptoms of Mites in Hedgehogs
When the condition is in its early stages, you may not see any evidence of mites in your hedgehog, especially since your pet is coated in quills that might conceal any problems. On the other hand, mites may be visible and racing around all over your hedgehog’s face and ears. Regardless, when the discomfort grows, you may notice the following signs and symptoms:
- Spine loss
- Excessive gnawing and scratching
- Weight loss
- Low energy
- Dandruff and red, flaky skin
Hedgehog mite infestation can cause hair and spine loss in your hedgehog. While hedgehogs do shed some of their spines, areas of apparent spine loss or hair loss are odd and should be considered signs that your hedgehog has mites.
Excessive Gnawing and Scratching
Mites irritate your hedgehog’s skin, causing it to nibble, scratch, and even lick or eat itself to relieve the discomfort. Hair and spine loss can occur as a result of these types of activities. To scratch the itch, your pet may rub up against its cage or an object in the cage.
Weight Loss and Low Energy
Your hedgehog may lose interest in eating, start to lose weight, and act tired, just like any other animal that is sick or hurt.
Dandruff and Red, Flaky Skin
Your hedgehog will acquire wounded skin that is painful and red as a result of biting and scratching at its skin to relieve the itch. In addition, the skin will become quite flaky.
Causes of Mites
Hedgehogs can be infected in a variety of ways by mites. Infestations are commonly caused by new hedgehogs brought into the house, bedding, and food. Hedgehogs are commonly plagued with mites if they have lived in a pet store near rodents or birds, for example. If you haven’t exposed your hedgehog to another hedgehog or handled another hedgehog before handling your own, the mite infection could be coming from the kibble or bedding. Small mites usually live on natural things like food and substrate. When these things get into your hedgehog’s cage, they cause an infestation.
Diagnosing Mites in Hedgehogs
Your veterinarian will diagnose mites by scraping a sample of skin and hair from you and looking for mites under a microscope. A skin scrape is not a perfect test, but if there are a lot of mites, it can usually show that they are there.
Because mites are fairly common in hedgehogs, even if the skin scrape used for diagnosis is negative, your vet may still treat for mites based on symptoms. Hedgehogs do not have anti-mite treatments specifically designed for them, but certain cat anti-mite medicines are generally harmless. Ivermectin, for example, is likely to be used by your veterinarian.
Hedgehogs do not respond well to some medications designed for cats and dogs, so consult your veterinarian before using any medication. Mite collars, permethrin sprays, and other products with permethrin should be avoided because they can kill your pet.
If these mite treatments fail and the skin scrape is negative, more testing, such as skin biopsies, may be necessary to rule out other diseases or allergies.
You’ll need to follow these procedures to treat your hedgehog’s habitat in addition to treating it for mites.
- Use a mild dish detergent to clean and wash your hedgehog’s entire cage, hide box, water bottle, any blankets or towels, toys, and the cage wheel.
- Any bedding that can’t be washed should be discarded.
- Toss out all of the kibble that has previously been placed in the cage.
- To kill any mites and stop them from coming back, freeze any bedding or food that is still in its container for 24 hours.
- Separate the infected hedgehog from other pets for a week or so until you’re certain the infestation is gone.
Prognosis for Hedgehogs with mites
Your hedgehog should respond well to the drug if given the proper medical treatment by a veterinarian. If you treat mites in the environment for a long time, you should be able to get rid of them. But if the last mites from the outbreak are not caught and start to lay eggs, there could be more outbreaks of mites.
How to Prevent Mites
Mites can be prevented in a variety of ways, but they virtually always include cleaning and preserving your pet’s habitat. To avoid mites, follow these sanitary guidelines:
- Hand-washing: Always wash your hands after handling another hedgehog at a show, pet store, or friend’s house. Also, wash your hands after handling your new hedgehog and before touching any of your other hedgehogs.
- Quarantining: If you get a second hedgehog, quarantine it for a week to look for indications of mites or other ailments before bringing it to your first hedgehog.
- Prepping bedding and food: Freeze all bedding and boxed food (excluding crickets and mealworms) for 24 hours after purchasing it before placing it in the cage with your hedgehog. When there has been no previous hedgehog exposure, these things are the most common culprits for mite infections in pet hedgehogs.
- Bathing: Consider washing your hedgehog in warm water with a few drops of olive oil once a month to keep mites at bay while also protecting the hedgehog’s skin from drying up.
Can hedgehog mites affect dogs?
Fleas and mites can be transmitted from your hedgehog to your dog, which can be both uncomfortable and unhealthy for him. If your dog has one of these conditions, check to see if he is too itchy, losing hair, has mange, has lost his appetite, has a fever, or has scabs or sores on his skin.
Can humans get mites from hedgehogs?
They have an oval form and are usually white, grey, or a light colour. They usually cause your pet hedgehog’s skin to become rough and spotty with some scabbing. Humans are not usually infected by this type of mite.
Do hedgehogs like being stroked?
Hedgehogs dislike being handled or stroked in general. Some people will allow you to do things like eat when they are enjoying their food, but after 5 to 10 minutes, they will huff and puff. If you keep trying to pet their quills, they may straighten them out and give you a lovely pinch.
Do hedgehogs need sand baths?
Hedgehogs in the wild will clean themselves with sand, which is natural and healthy for them because it does not remove their natural oils, which keep them warm and clean. Bathing with water too frequently might deplete this oil, causing it to lose its ability to regulate body temperature.
Can I put coconut oil on my hedgehog?
You can add a few drops of flax seed oil, wheat germ oil, or Vitamin E to your hedgehog’s clean rinse water if they have dry, itchy skin. Because any oil can potentially clog the pores, don’t apply it straight onto the skin. In their rinse water, we don’t recommend using olive or coconut oil.
I hope you found this helpful guide. If you have any questions or comments, don’t hesitate to use the form below.