Mites & Ivermectin
I rushed Breckenridge to the vet a week ago after I found an abscess growing at his quill line. She removed the excess skin, cleaned out the wound, and dressed it to prevent further infection. After testing him for mites, it came back positive and I was devastated. She gave him an Ivermectin injection and we were sent on our way home with two more (oral) dosages. She took his weight and gave me two measured and ready to go syringes to give to him (one next week and the other two weeks after that). Although, I have been reading horror stories about Ivermectin and it's effect on hedgehogs. This was the first time I had ever had to take Breckenridge to the vet, and understanding that they are the professionals I had no doubts when she gave him the injection and sent me home with the other doses. Now I am beginning to worry...
He hasn't been scratching anymore and his wound is all healed up. Would it be ignorant of me to not give him the other two doses? What is the likelihood that the first dose took care of the mites? He only had one hot stop and out of all the skin she removed and examined she only found ONE mite... I am not sure what I should do. I either trust the vet and give him the dose risking his life, or I don't give him the doses and he suffers from more mites if they aren't already gone... I will never forgive myself if something goes wrong!
Also, is it normal to spend over $100 for a vet visit with a hedgie because this was a HEFTY bill...
I'm in Canada and I pay around $80-100 for just a vet visit without extras, so $100 in the US sounds like it might be pretty steep.
I wouldn't give the rest of the doses to Breckenridge, and maybe go to another vet who's more knowledgeable on hedgehogs. Ivermectin isn't the only treatment for mites, but it's known to be a deadly one. It's not worth risking the health/life of an animal when there's other viable options. Revolution is safe for them and will still get rid of the mites.
Here's a link to a previous thread with more information, specifically one that only gave the first dose of Ivermectin.
The oral & topical methods of Ivermectin are supposed to have less issues associated with them than the injected form. Still, if it were me, I would contact the vet & ask to give topical Revolution for the next couple doses. If it was the very beginning of an infestation, the one dose might take care of it, but you don't want them to get more of a foothold. So it'd still be a good idea to treat at least one more time, if not two.
And while it varies by the area, $100 for a visit that includes wound care & medication is pretty average. Visits that include tests such as fecals, skin/mucous cultures, x-rays, ultrasounds, blood tests, etc. will get even more expensive. Surgeries are often anywhere between $200-1000, depending on what's needed. I had a hedgehog who needed an ultrasound, surgery, and biopsy to diagnose hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver disease) & all of that cost well over $1000, plus the rest of the exam & medication costs.
If you're worried about vet costs, it'd be a very good idea to start considering your options now. Hedgehogs are pretty notorious for racking up vet bills & because of how quickly they can get worse, waiting for the next paycheck in a week or two weeks is not an option. An emergency fund of at least $500 is often recommended. And I would suggest looking into CareCredit (a credit card with no-interest payment plans available for amounts of $200+ in a single visit) and vet insurance. Nationwide offers an exotic plan & is the only one I know of in the US so far. It's only about $8/month for hedgehogs & while it's not as much coverage as their full plan for dogs/cats, it's still better than nothing, in my opinion.
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