Hedgehog mites can be a huge pain for both you and your pet. They cause a great deal of discomfort to your hedgie and require you to spend extra time treating them.
In most cases, Hedgehog mites usually come from other infected household pets or objects. Mites in Hedgehogs can be cured with anti-parasite or antibiotic treatment, prescribed by a qualified veterinarian. Mite treatment should also include pain medication and antibiotics for any resulting infections.
The good news is that mites are easily treated in Hedgehogs with the appropriate medication.
Within a few weeks of treatment, the problem of mites in your Hedgehogs shall subside. However, you’ll also need to make sure you thoroughly clean your Hedgheog’s environment to prevent further infection.
What Do Hedgehog Mites Look Like?
Mites are tiny pests that are hardly visible to naked eyes. These mites are dark-colored (red or black) and oval-shaped, with suckers that latch onto the Hedgehog’s skin to feed and cause irritation.
You will not see them most of the time because they have a knack for hiding in the quills. However, the damage these mites cause will be visible.
How Did My Hedgehog Get Mites?
In most cases, Hedgehog mites usually come from other infected household pets or objects.
Furthermore, if you have got your Hedgehog from a pet store, there are high chances that the nights have come from there.
Your Hedgehogs might even get mites from the infested bedding or cage accessories. Such a situation will be pretty typical if you have purchased the accessories from a pet store.
Pet stores house several animals. These animals might have attracted the mites. Being near infected animals can be a problem as we all know mites crawl from host to host.
Also, if you have other pets besides Hedgehog, they might even be the potential carriers of mites.
Signs Of Mites In Hedgehogs
Some common symptoms of mites in Hedgehogs include:
- Super dry and flaky skin: Mites often causes skin irritation, due to which your pet’s skin might get dry and flacky. This is from the biting, scratching, and dryness mites are causing.
- Unusual Loss Of Quills: If your Hedgehog is losing an usually large number of quills, then there are high chances that mites are the likely culprit.
- Cranky Hedgehog: Mites can cause a great deal of discomfort to your hedgehog. Due to which, you might find that they’re in a grumpier mood than usual. They might try to nip or bite you if you touch a tender spot, or seem a little less energetic and ready to play
- Reduced appetite: You will notice a sudden fall in the weight of your Hedgehog if he is infected with mites. They will have a loss of appetite and will barely eat.
How To Get Rid Of Mites In Hedgehogs?
Mites in Hedgehogs are easily treatable, especially if you get to know about it in the early stages.
You can use the medications to kill all the live mites, with subsequent doses to kill new mites as they hatch from the eggs. In less than a month, you should be completely rid of the mites and have a healthy Hedgehog again.
Take Your Hedgehog To A Veterinarian
It is important to take your Hedgehog to a vet if you suspect that it has been infected by mites. Never skip this just to save some money.
You must get a diagnosis and proper medication and instructions from your veterinarian can help your pet Hedgehog recover more quickly and receive the care they need for other health conditions resulting from the mites.
Furthermore, if you have more than one Hedgehog, then get them all with you to your appointment. Mites are highly contagious, so if one Hedgehog has them, chances are that the other likely does as well.
If your Hedgehog has mites, then probably your veterinarian will prescribe an anti-parasite treatment.
Be sure to follow your veterinarian’s instructions based on their prescribed medication.
In some cases, you might also be instructed to apply a mineral oil salve to the crusting on the Hedgehog’s skin.
This can help to soften the crusts and help them fall off more quickly, leading to a faster healing process. Besides this, the mineral oil can also be soothing to your Hedgehog’s skin and help to reduce their itching.
Pain Medication And Antibiotic Treatment
Mite infestation can be a painful experience for your Hedgehogs. For most cases, the veterinarian prescribes the pain medication to help soothe your Hedgehog.
You will need to hand feed your Hedgehog the medicine with a syringe every day until the infestation is gone.
Clean Your Hedgehog’s Enclosure
Mites can fall off your Hedgehog’s skin and live in the surrounding environment for up to 21 days.
For this reason, you will also need to thoroughly clean your pet’s enclosure and any exercise areas they have had access to so you can prevent reinfection from the environment.
The best option is to keep your Hedgheog in a completely separate space for the month that they are receiving treatment.
A Follow-Up Appointment Is A Must
Some veterinarians will request a follow-up appointment to make sure your Hedgehog is recovering okay, especially if your pet had any severe symptoms, such as a secondary infection.
How NOT To Treat Mites In Hedgehogs?
There are a few things you need to keep in mind to make sure you are treating your Hedgehogs the correct way. Although these may be your first instinct when dealing with mites in Hedgehogs, it is important to avoid these actions.
Do Not Peel Off The Crusted Skin
Although it might be tempting for you to peel off the thick and ugly skin crusting from your Hedgehog’s skin, you should not do it.
Pulling off these crusts will peel the Hedghog’s skin with it, which is very painful for your pets and can cause cuts that are more easily infected.
Instead, you’ll want to wait for the crusty layer to fall off on its own. After your Hedgehog starts to receive treatment, the scabs should begin to fall from the skin within 1-2 weeks.
Furthermore, you can also use some mineral oil to help soften the crusting, which may help it come loose more quickly.
Do Not Over-Use The Counter Medications
The most important thing for you to take care is to limit the use of medication and treatments, especially if they are marketed for dogs or cats.
These medications can prove to be toxic to our Hedgehogs and can lead to seizures and paralysis. In severe cases, they can even cause a coma or death.
Besides this, if you find an over-the-counter medication specifically labeled for use in Hedgehogs, ask your veterinarian first to be sure it’s a safe and recommended product.
How To Prevent Mites In Hedgehogs?
Once your Hedgehog has recovered from the mite infestation, you will surely want to prevent it from recurring in the future.
Although you can treat the infestation again in the future, the experience is not pleasant for you or your Hedgehog.
Listed below are a few measures you need to take in order to prevent mite infestation in the future:
- Temporary housing for your Hedgehog for a month or so. To prevent any future infestation, the best idea is to keep your Hedgehog in a separate location to make sure that the mites in their original location have died off completely.
- Keep the environment clean. Keeping the environment clean will help you prevent infestations of any kind of pest, including mites.
- House your Hedgehogs separately. If you have more than one Hedgehog, make sure to change clothes and wash your hands before interacting with your other Hedgehogs, this will help you avoid spreading the disease between your pets.
- Bath your Hedgehogs regularly. Clean your Hedghog weekly to look for early signs of infestation. You should also watch your pet’s behavior for any signs of excess head shaking.
- Keep your Hedgehogs indoor. If you house your Hedgehogs indoors, then are much less likely to get infested with ear mites.
Can Hedgehog Mites Infect Other Household Pets?
For the most part, Hedgehog might can spread to other household pets as well. Therefore, if you have any other pet in the household, you will want to keep them separate from your Hedgehog or have them looked at by a veterinarian if they have come into contact with each other.
Can Hedgehog Mites Affect Humans?
Hedgehog mites cannot live on humans, so they are typically not a direct concern for pet owners.
However, they can cause some temporary irritation in humans that are sensitive to mites/fleas.
In some cases a sensitive individual may experience a minor dermatitis (skin inflammation) caused by mites. This is a temporary condition and rarely causes serious issues.
Speak with your family doctor if you have concerns.