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Old 08-17-2014, 03:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Post vet visit--mites and blood in urine?

So I just brought his prickly highness to the vet for a general check up (his first, and oh boy was he not happy about it), and horror of horrors, Prickles has mites. Funny thing is, I've never seen him scratch excessively, and he's never lost more than 1-2 quills a day. I watch him for the telltale moving white spots and have never seen anything. I also use fleece liners which are changed daily. Anyway the vet administered a treatment and told us to bring him back in two weeks.

So my first question is, is there anything else I can do besides washing and disinfecting his tank and playpen? Are mites contagious? I've recently been getting red dots on my skin which I had suspected were mosquito bites or dengue symptoms, but could they be from mites transferred onto me when I hold him?

Second thing--the vet did a urine analysis and said there's blood in his urine. His urine's still the same pale yellow, almost transparent color, no sign of blood in it, so I'm guessing it's a trace amount. Vet didn't know what could have been the cause either, and said it could have been the car ride down stressing him out (about an hour or so). Does anyone know what could have caused this?

ETA: Oh, vet also prescribed him a multivitamin and calcium. I'm a bit iffy about the calcium though--I've read that they could cause stones if used in excess. Should I follow the vet's instructions despite the blood in Prickles' urine?

Last edited by tomemiprozac; 08-17-2014 at 03:42 AM.
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Old 08-17-2014, 07:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Stress doesn't cause blood in urine or poop. My first guess from blood in urine would be a very minor UTI (which I'm very confused the vet didn't think of this?? it's the most common cause for blood in urine that I know of...), which would need antibiotics.

What kind of treatment did the vet give him for mites? I'm concerned because of the "bring him back in 2 weeks" order. Usually that means the hedgehog was given Ivermectin, which isn't safe. Was it an injection?

Given that he has a complete lack of mites symptoms and he was potentially given an unsafe mite treatment, I wouldn't take him back to this vet. The vet doesn't sound to me like he knows much about what he's doing with hedgehogs or has done any research to learn more. Do you have another vet you can take your hedgie to? I would try to find one and get a second opinion on the blood in urine thing in case that is a minor UTI that just needs a round of antibiotics to get rid of before it gets too miserable for him.

I would also not bother to give him the calcium, at the very least. I don't think I'd give him the multivitamin either. If he's getting a decent quality cat food, he doesn't need either thing. And you're right that calcium can cause issues if they get too much.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh god it could have been an injection. (It was on his quills, if that helps) I don't know if it was Ivermectin--I didn't think to ask. What are the effects of this and are there any symptoms I should look out for? I was also told not to bathe him until after ten days, idk if this means anything? The vet did do a skin scrape and saw some (a leg) under the microscope--Prickles wasn't really cooperating though and he only managed to get a bit.

Yeah, I didn't intend to give him to supplements either, especially with his urine thing. I'd rather not risk it worse if he's got a problem.

As for his expertise, he comes highly recommended within the hedgehog community here--one of the few who treats exotic pets, and has been attached to the zoo for years. I will set up an appointment with another vet though, this is the one who's the regular vet for the pet store where I got Prickles.

One last thing about the mites--do they get transferred onto humans? I've been getting red spots on my skin (never happened before) that I was inclined to think was mosquito bites, but now I'm not too sure...

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Old 08-17-2014, 10:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't think mites can transfer to humans. Probably what you are seeing on your skin is minor irritation from quill pokes. As they run on their wheel and peep (poop and pee) it rains down on their quills. If this is something that just started happening recently, it could be caused by something in the urine, which may have caused the blood in the urine, such as a UTI. I agree with Kelsey about trying to find another vet. This one may be "manufacturing" problems to pump up the bottom line.
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Old 08-17-2014, 08:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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No, you can't get mites from your hedgie. I'm not sure if dogs or cats can get mites from a hedgehog (and I don't know if you have either).
When my hedgies had mites, I washed down their entire cage and all their toys. I would wash the bedding daily or every other day. If you have any wood in the cage, that will need to come out.
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Old 08-17-2014, 09:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My vet used Revolution but administered it himself and is having her brought back in for the second dose, so don't panic just yet. I can't speak much about the rest though.
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Old 08-18-2014, 12:07 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Okay so I called the vet earlier, and he said it wasn't an injection, but an external application of Ivermectin. I read up on Ivermectin injections last night, and apparently one of the first signs of a deteriorating hedgie is lethargy, wobbling, etc, and stayed up observing Prickles--no sign. He woke up slightly later than usual, but I'm chalking that up to the excitement of the day and being awake way past his bed time. He wheeled normally (maybe a lot more than usual), ate normally. This morning when I cleaned up his pen, I didn't see any quills shed either.

I'm still not sure if I should bring him back for a second dose though.

Re: the mites--the red spots on my skin could have been mosquitoes then. I was just wondering since there were a lot more than usual. His bedding is changed every day anyway, I think I shall do an extra rinse cycle starting now. There's no wood in his pen or his tank, but a cardboard box I cut out a hole in as an extra hide. Would that harbor mites?

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Old 08-18-2014, 02:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would still skip the second dose, personally, and ask the vet if they have Revolution available instead. The topical and oral versions of Ivermectin are less dangerous than the injected form, but still not ideal. And it's usually the second or third application that causes problems. My theory is that for some reason, hedgehogs have the medication stay in their system longer than other small mammals or something...not all of them have issues with Ivermectin, but enough do to make it scary. Ivermectin works by paralyzing the mites/other pests. An overdose then paralyzes the animal it's being applied to.

I'm not sure if cardboard with harbor mites like wood does...it might be safest to go ahead & toss it anyway, and either just use a blanket for a bed for now, or see if you can find something plastic that can be sanitized each day.

It could be worth mentioning your visit with the vet to others in your community & see what they say about his recommendations. It's totally up to you if you're still comfortable with seeing him or not! If you're hesitant or unsure, perhaps those who recommended him will know of another vet or two that you could try out & see how that goes.
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