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Old 08-23-2013, 12:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Mites concern

I just rescently adopted my first hedge from a certified breeder in Wisconsin. When I first brought him (Bruce) home to my apartment he seemed fine. I brought him to my parents ( so they could meet him) and there I noticed over night he has dandruff and was itching, the next day I checked his quills and noticed the mites (they are very small and a yellowish/white color) it doesn't look like he has many. I have a vet appointment tomorrow.

I called the breeder and asked if she has had a problem with her other hedgies, she said she would call me back when she checked them- still haven't heard from her... I know that when I moved in to my apartment I haven't had a problem with bugs of any sort ( I live on the ground floor) and my parents don't have a problem with them either (at least that i know of)

My question is

a) where could he have gotten them? would they have just flocked to my apartment because they "smelt" him? or would he have had to come in contact with someone/something that has mites?

b) if they are in my apartment, why haven't i had a problem before? How can I get rid of them safely and prevent them from returning? will they infest my apartment or will they just bother my Bruce? Again my room mate and i haven't had a problem until I brought Bruce home and even now it doesn't seem her and I have had any bites ourselves, they are just bothering Bruce.

I am a bit nervous and worried about the situation, I know bug infestation can get serious pretty fast, and can get pretty dangerous for animals and also humans... Thanks for your time!
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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What kind of bedding do you use? There's a chance Bruce could've gotten them from there. I think that's happened with Hazel this past week, as well. Bedding (unlike fleece) can harbor mites, sadly.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I use fleece, that i got from the breeder... and I wash it fairly often.

But the breeder gave me bedding that she hadn't used with him before..
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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To the best of my knowledge, hedgehog mites do not transfer to humans. They cannot live independently away from the hedgehog (like in the carpet), and cannot travel long distances. However, the eggs can hatch, so it's worth vacuuming & wiping everything down (like with vinegar-water to disinfect) a few times for the weeks following treatment. So, while a mite infestation will make your tiny friend miserable, it isn't a massive health epidemic problem.

I swear, sometimes mites just spontaneously show up. I've had it happen with no contact with other creatures, wood, blah blah blah. Treat your hedgehog (with Revolution; your vet will give dosage but it's usually 0.01mL per 100 g of hedgehog every few weeks for 3-4 treatments), clean everything, and re-clean everything a few times.

You've probably read it on the forums a thousand times, but sometimes you need to educate your vet about doing topical treatment instead of Ivermectin, as Ivermectin can be really easily overdosed and some hedgehogs have nasty (fatal) reactions to it.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Do you use wood shavings? Those can carry mites. Card board can carry mites too. You should bring you hedgie to the vet. Revolution should be used for treating mites. I can't remember what the deadly medication is called that some vets use for mites, it starts with an 'i'. Spray the walls and roof with vinegar and if possible if you have carpet steam clean it. That should kill mites.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:46 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh ok- I know that there are multiply types of mites, I just am unaware if these mites Bruce has are going to spread to other parts of the apartment, and then I will have an even bigger problem than just taking him to the vet.

I have read about the different drugs- I will ask my vet for revolution.
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Old 08-23-2013, 12:50 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I use fleece, and have only used fleece, his breeder used some sort of weird pellet thing that when it got wet it expanded/would turn into what looked like saw dust...
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Old 08-23-2013, 01:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just say no to Ivermectin! My vet tried to give it to Hazel yesterday, but I asked for Revolution instead and he was quite happy that he got input and personal concern from a client instead of seeing me just nod and smile. He happy gave her revolution and now she's a happy hedgie.

I have heard talk about hedgehogs naturally having mites on them but they fester in high stress situations. There's no evidence for this, but its somewhat justifies the 'Mites appearing out of nowhere' idea.

No matter where they came from, if they're there, they need to be treated or you'll end up with a grumpy hedgie.
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Old 08-23-2013, 02:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I guess my concerns are where did they come from? and how do I keep them from coming back? and also... will they fester in my house even after Bruce has been given his meds.
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Old 08-23-2013, 03:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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1. Unknown. If you didn't have any wood, wood shavings, sawdust, cardboard, etc, and did not take your hedgehog to frolic outdoors, then who knows? It happens.

2. Do the whole medication cycle (follow vet instructions). Clean everything. Don't introduce wood, shavings, sawdust, cardboard.

3. Vacuum. Wash all fleece in extra-hot water. Wipe down all plastic with pet-safe disinfectant (like vinegar-water mix). Repeat this every night you apply the treatment (which will be every few weeks for about 2 months). Any eggs that hatch into mites that can't reach your hedgehog will die without producing more eggs.
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