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Old 08-20-2009, 09:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Angry Carefresh & Mites

This is just my experience with Carefresh.

We started with one rat who got a case of mites after using Carefresh for a few months. After he got a second round of mites I read on a rat forum to always FREEZE it for 48 hours to kill off any mites/eggs. I stopped using it and switched to Soft-Sorbent. I liked it a lot and had no problems with it. We got Herisson and another rat, a hairless one after all this. Mites are very hard to get rid of and today the same rat was diagnosed again so now I had to treat my other rat & Herisson. The vet thinks that even though they are in separate cages in different rooms with no symptoms, they could be carriers. It's spread by the hairs and my kids hold each others rats. The animals are never exposed to each other directly because one is a fighter. Reveloution for all 3 and a repeat dose in 3 weeks. Disinfecting all cages and accessories . Thankfully I switched my rats to liners a month ago. Everything washed in hot water/dryer. I know some of you love Carefresh so I felt I should share this lovely story.

Another reason liners are the best!
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Old 08-20-2009, 10:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Carefresh & Mites

I do love carefresh. I use it for my mice, not my hedgehog but they are in the same room so this concerns me somewhat. I know that lots of people use it without issue but I had never heard of the freezing thing before. My freezer is definitely not big enough to fit the carefresh bag.

I wonder if anyone else has had a problem with carefresh and mites. My vet told me that Mites are dormant in most hogs. He had cases with people where the hedgehog was the only pet, it was on liners and they were super clean, hedgie gets sick or stressed and the immune system can't keep the mites dormant anymore so they pop up, even though the hedgehog could have come into contact years before. Owners are usually perplexed about where they came from.

Are you sure care fresh was the cause for your rats. I'm not sure if mites stay dormant in rats but if they do it could have been any number of things that the rats came into contact with over their lives. I'm just speculating of course and will care fully consider switching off the care fresh anyway.
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Old 08-21-2009, 07:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Angry Re: Carefresh & Mites

The afflicted rat was the only one on Carefresh.

The second round I searched for why this was happening. I found many people on the rat forums had the same problem with Carefresh. Herisson and the hairless rat only used SoftSorbent until they were all switched to liners and never any problems.

It's a rat specific mite that the vet said most likely would not affect Herisson or the hairless rat because it lives on the rat hairs. The vet said they can be carriers even if they have no symptoms. This is why they were all treated, to break the cycle. Each round of this runs about $100 and agony for the affected rat.

You can google it for yourself and see.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Carefresh & Mites

I feel like I'm the only person who doesn't get liners, lol. My hedgie seems to prefer shavings.

That being said, I used CareFresh for upwards of 2 years when I had rats, and never had a problem with mites. I think a lot of it depends on how that particular pet store stores their bags before putting them on the shelf. I'm sorry you had a bad experience, though - it's awful when you know your pets are suffering.
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Old 08-21-2009, 11:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Carefresh & Mites

I use carefresh as well. I have my hammy in it, and I use it my hedgies poop pan (because it is white so I get a good view of his messes ). I've never had a problem, but I don't know if hamsters get mites? It is concerning though.

Just so I understand - did your rates get a rat-specific mite from the carefresh, and now they are carriers of it? And it won't affect hedgehogs?
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Carefresh & Mites

If you buy your Carefresh from a store that carries live animals or a store that warehouses in unsanitary conditions, you run the risk of mites.

I buy my Carefresh from Quality Lab Supply. It comes in 50 litre paper bags, not the compressed bales like you get from the pet store. In the 14 to 16 years I've been using it, I've had one case of mites on a rat and he was a rescue that I had less than three days. I've never had mites on a hedgehog that was in my care for more than a month. I've had them bloom when they first come into rescue but never after 30 days.
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Old 08-21-2009, 12:27 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Carefresh & Mites

This is good to know. I order my carefresh through work, directly from the supplier so it hasn't been around any other animals.

Your poor rats Herisson, I would feel terrible putting a pet through mite treatment and all that even though it is to make them better in the long run.
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Old 08-21-2009, 04:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Angry Re: Carefresh & Mites

Quote:
Originally Posted by HedgeMom
If you buy your Carefresh from a store that carries live animals or a store that warehouses in unsanitary conditions, you run the risk of mites.

.
I did buy it from both PetSmart and PetSupermarket & both sell animals.

The hairless rat has no mites and neither does Herisson. They both just got a drop of Revolution in case they are carriers and all will have another drop in 3 weeks. The disinfection of all 3 cages, accessories and bedding was very time consuming. I also threw away some items that could not be cleaned properly. Well worth it to end this cycle!

I called the vet for the name of the nasty critters.

Here it is: Radfordia ensifera

http://jarvm.com/articles/Vol5Iss3/Beck%2087-96.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12456180
http://ratguide.com/health/integumentar ... asites.php

Thank you for the well wishes to Mr. Cheesy! We all appreciate it.
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