How to Know if my Hamster has Mites and What to Do About It
Do you want to know if your hamster has mites? The answer should be yes. Like other animals, your rodent may fall victim to mites; this is a problem that can cause great discomfort to your pet. Mites can be contracted from other animals, and they can be spread from one hamster to another. Hamsters can even contract mites from an infected burrow.
Even if you are sure that your little friend has caught them, don't worry: There is a solution. This OneHowTo article explains how to tell if your hamster has mites and what to do about it.
Your hamster can easily fall victim to mites, as these parasites can be anywhere in your home and they undoubtedly be easily attracted to your pet's fur. It is even likelier for mites to attack your hamster if they have a low immune system, an illness that has weakened them or a lack of vitamin A and E, among other reasons.
You ought to take precautions as soon as possible. It's very important to treat your hamster whenever you notice symptoms of a possible mite allergy, which may include flakes and sores in their body as a result of intense scratching.
In order to know if your hamster has mites, you should be aware of the various symptoms. Usually, they may present fur loss, dandruff or white scabs in their cage, accompanied by constant scratching of their coat, especially on their back. Your hamster may even cause sores on itself from compulsive scratching.
You'll also notice that they have oilier fur due to frequent licking. These symptoms may be followed by a loss of appetite and apathetic behavior. Hamsters with mites may sleep longer than normal, have little interest in playing and generally show abnormal behavior, all of which can result from the presence of parasites.
If mites are found in time, it's quite possible that a cortisone treatment will be more than enough. If your pet is very small, the veterinarian may choose to place a few drops of ivermectin behind its neck.
However, if you can't recognize the symptoms and the mites get worse, this can result in scabies. In this case, treatment will take more time and will greatly depend on your pet. If you fail to increase your hamster's defenses, it will be very difficult for your pet to fight mites. If your pet has scabies, you must be patient. This treatment is harder and involves injections of ivermectin in small doses, to which very small animals may not respond well.
There are also some very modern pipettes which are a good alternative to injecting ivermectin into your pet's neck. Their main advantage is that they are very effective and much less aggressive. Depending on your hamster's immune system they may suffer a relapse even after the use of pipettes, so it is recommended that you stay alert to your hamster's health. If you notice any signs, treat them again as soon as possible.
In any case, your vet will assess your pet's health. They will decide on the most appropriate treatment for your hamster and the number of visits necessary to control the mites.
Now that you know how to know if your hamster has mites and what to do about it, as always, don't forget that prevention is the best solution. You should always clean your hamster's cage properly, taking extra care with their accessories and their sleeping area. If you keep their environment hygienic and disinfected, you will effectively protect your pet from mites.
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