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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I have not posted on here for a while but I have a question concerning my three year old male, Moriarty. A few months ago, Moriarty contracted mites from, what we suspect, was a bad batch of bedding. I work at a vets office and my boss is an exotic pets DR. as well. We treated him and got him back to normal. I switched bedding and things were going well. Then, three weeks ago, I was giving him his weekly bath and noticed that he had them again! I had checked him the previous week during his last bath and saw nothing, cleaned his cage, and kept up with his schedule. I had not been able to play with him as much because we are currently working on a new house to move into, so I would clean his wheel, feed him, and scoop out the soiled litter while he slept, so I had not noticed the new infestation until a week later. I was so annoyed and frustrated that I felt like a terrible owner and wanted to cry. I took him back to work and we treated him again, (this time with Revolution) and my boss said I should switch bedding again and keep him on a monthly prevention of Revolution to keep away anything. I decided to take him off of bedding completely.
Prior to the second bout of mites, I had him in a three level ferret cage and on the soft recycled newspaper bedding. Fearing that the mites had infested the cage (I bleached it out the previous time but I decided to give him a completely fresh start this time) I threw it out, which I didn't want to do because it was 112 dollars, and moved him into a one level guinnea pig cage. The old one was bigger, but it was a pain to clean and the ramps and tubes leading to the shelves were slowly breaking and getting harder to maintain. The new cage is smaller, but big enough for his wheel, toys, food dishes and his tree house. I took him off of the bedding completely and switched to puppy pads that I will switch out daily and a fluffy blanket that I will wash and switch daily as well. He doesn't seem too upset by the change so far.
My question is this, if I keep him on the Revolution, keep his cage clean (even though I did before) wash his blankets daily, and keep up with his weekly baths, could I prevent any future bouts of mites? Also, we are only a month away from moving and there is a HUGE backyard. I am currently putting in flower beds and gardens. I want to find a shady spot, fence it in, and put some fun and cute things in it. Over turned pots, wooden tunnels, and such and make it into a little habitat for him. Not to stay in, but for nice days that are not too hot or cool for him to play in when I am outside in the garden and keeping an eye on him. I figured the Revolution would help keep away any pests and he could catch up on excersize he will lose without the larger cage. And on days he can't go outside, he will be handled and have run of the kitchen like he always does.
Do you think these new changes and ideas are okay? I know he is older and the life span is only a few more years, but I want him to stay happy.
 

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Most of those changes sound fine.

I just want to try and shed some light on the mites issue you had. Usually when you treat with revolution you have to do it in two or three doses over the course of a few weeks. I may have misunderstood but it didn't seem like that's what happened. If you treat with revolution once I think it only kills the adult mites and then it wears off in time for the mites to reinfect. That is why you treat with revolution again after two weeks. Also even though you threw out the bedding that you suspected was the original cause it sounds like you put your hedgehog right back on wood/paper bedding again after the revolution treatment. Even if the bedding wasn't infected when you put it in the cage some of the mites could have survived the mite treatment your vet gave and infested the new bedding in the cage. So what I think happened is that one treatment wasn't enough to get rid of the mites, and the bedding or anything wooden in the cage harboured the mites and that's why they came back the second time.

As for switching to puppy pads. A cage liner is a good idea to use instead of a particle bedding like paper or wood shavings however puppy pads are not the best. There have been hedgehogs that have torn into them overnight and gotten in between the different layers into all the fluff. Some are also scented to make dogs attracted to them. You might not be able to smell it but I bet your hedgehog can. Most people that opt for liners use some sort of fabric liner. All you have to do is go to your local fabric store and find some fleece (I'm partial to micro-fiber fleece and I wouldn't recommend polar fleece because I find it pills and sheds a lot) once you've bought a yard/meter or two of fleece you just have to cut it to the size of the cage (or twice the size of the cage if you want to fold it over into a double layer). If you can sew you can choose a different type of fabric (flannel is popular) and sew a liner so that all the fraying fabric edges are on the inside of two layers of fabric. If you're not sewing them just make sure you only get fleece it's really dangerous to have any loose threads in the cage so you can't get a fabric that frays.

It's probably overkill to change fleece liners everyday but some people do. the benefit to them is that if you make enough liners to last you a week or two you only need to wash them all once. I kept a hedgehog laundry bin near the cage and did a full load of just pet laundry about once every two weeks. Washing them is much cheaper than continually buying disposable bedding.

Monthly revolution is a good preventative measure that some people choose, especially if they take their hedgehog outside regularly in the warmer months of the year. Taking your hedgehog outside is a great way to bond. Just a little warning make sure you don't use pesticides on your lawn and ask your neighbours what they use. Pesticides can overspray so don't let your hedgheog on the grass if you're close to neighbours who have used pesticides recently. One more little warning, hedgehogs are diggers if you're not watching him %100 of the time he may burrow. Some people us a wire grate/mesh on the bottom of the outdoor playpen since it's on the ground the ground provides the solid bottom and the mesh stops the hedgehog from digging a hole big enough to burrow into.

Good luck with everything, I hope liners work out for you as a bedding I loved them so much more than shavings and paper bedding. Enjoy your new home too. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the insight. I should mention that we originally started with ivermectin, a very low dose, and three treatments. We decided against that route again because it isn't the best treatment for hedgehogs. This is our first attempt at Revolution, and I'm doing another treatment today. I'm hoping the continual treatments will do the trick.
 
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