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Old 06-16-2019, 08:57 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2019
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Default Syrian has mites. Went to two vets that were bad

This is gonna be a long post.Hello so I’m a member of another forum but I also wanted to come here to ask for more opinions and stuff. So I have a Syrian hamster named cookie and he’s a male. He’s about 4 to 5 months old and he’s a generally very scared hamster no matter how hard I tried to tame him. So I bought this carefresh bedding and used it for my other hamster who sadly passed away due to heat(don’t worry I now learned from my mistake and keep an ac on there at all times at around 68-69 degrees Fahrenheit . Then when he passed away, I noticed so many little mites that I haven’t noticed before, I blame myself for not checking but I could have sworn there wasn’t any mites before(the mites probably came out because of the heat) anyways so I concluded that the mites were from the carefresh. I use kaytee clean and cozy overall I just sprinkled some carefresh on my late dwarf hamster’s cage. After he passed, I cleaned and disinfected everything and I took the lid and just placed it on the floor(it was a detolf diy lid). So then idk why but one day I put the lid on the wall touching my syrian’s cage. And a day or two later, I noticed a few small black bugs and one large red mite. I quickly took away the lid and threw it away then I put my Syrian in a bin cage and disinfected the cage threw away all the bedding and some stuff that I couldn’t clean and put all the other toys and stuff in the freezer. Anyways to speed the story up, I basically went to two vets and the first one gave me a tick and lice shampoo for cats and dogs and the second one gave me a vitamin drop(idk how that would help). So can anyone plz help me and tell me what to do? Can I order a medicine online or something? Plz help it’s been almost two weeks and I have other hamsters in the room(I got a dwarf hamster and didn’t know she was pregnant and now they’re 4 weeks old so I separated all of them in bin cages) that I can’t interact with as much because of fear that they might get the mites

Last edited by souffle; 06-17-2019 at 04:23 AM. Reason: please check rules
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:53 PM   #2
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Default Re: Syrian has mites. Went to two vets that were bad

Hi there, did the vet confirm that your hamster has mites? A lot of times mites are not visible to humans, and if the vet saw mites under the microscope after taking a skin scraping he might have prescribed Ivermectin, which can be administered in many ways and gets rid of mites specifically.

My advice (if he does have mites) would be to specifically ask your vet about an Ivermectin prescription. There are other medications online but mites are very tricky to handle and get rid of due to their long off-host lifespan so your best bet is to get it from a vet who will give you exact measurements for the dosage.

Source: I recently had a mites scare with my new hammy and was prescribed Ivermectin even though the vet didn't see any mites in the skin scraping, and I have been researching like crazy and I asked the vet a bunch of questions regarding mites.

Hope this info helps!
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Old 06-21-2019, 01:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Syrian has mites. Went to two vets that were bad

I am currently having a bit of a problem with bugs in food, so maybe stick the food in the freezer just in case it's not the bedding. Freeze the bedding too in case you're not doing that already.

Hamster mites are actually always present on hamsters, their immune systems tend to deal with them no problem when they're healthy and it only becomes a problem when they're otherwise poorly (could be where your second vet is going with the vit c drops). Then you'll tend to see dry flaky skin around their ears or nose, maybe hair loss from scratching etc. If your hamster doesn't have the physical symptoms of mites that might not be what it is. Humans also can't see hamster mites, that's why you need a skin scrape for diagnosis. Could just be bugs. Or fleas? Can you get a close look at one and check it's not a regular cat/ dog flea?
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:35 AM   #4
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Default Re: Syrian has mites. Went to two vets that were bad

I don't think it sounds like your hamsters has mites. It sounds like there were bugs or "mites" in the bedding - and those are not the same kind of mites. The mites a hamster would get are not really visible to the human eye.

You have done the right thing disinfecting the cage and putting new bedding in. So I would now just monitor your hamster and not use anything. The drugs to treat mites can be quite harmful to them - they're very strong - so should only be used if prescribed by a vet after a clear diagnosis from a skin scraping. So don't buy anything over the counter "just in case".

As Shannon says mites are present on a hamster all the time normally - it is only usually if they get run down and a low immune system - possibly via stress - that the mites proliferate and become a problem.

Scratching and grooming regularly is normal in a hamster. So unless your hamster scratches so much that it creates raw, sore patches, or starts to lose fur in patches, I would not suspect mites.

So it's probably all fine! Nutrition and vitamins can help keep a healthy immune system - but adding vitamin drops to water isn't a good idea or it can put them off their water so they don't drink.

Supplementing the hamster mix with some fresh food extras may help more - to give vitamins etc naturally. A hamster mix should have all the vitamins in needed anyway. Brazil nuts contain something that boosts the immune system and they're healthy anyway and with vitamins. So I give half a brazil nut (shelled first!) to our syrian once a week. And of course they love any fresh food.

Also if you get a pack of linseeds and put a pinch of those out daily they are full of vitamins and very good for their skin and fur - our syrian loves those and licks them up. So maybe put out a couple of fresh "extras" daily on a separate little dish - not actually in the food dish with the food. Also hemp seeds are supposed to contain all the vitamins and minerals there are.

Our syrian (who is getting older) gets - a tiny piece of fresh veg (usually raw broccoli, or cucumber or carrot), a pinch of linseeds and a pinch of hemp seeds every day, on a separate dish from his regular hamster mix. And half a nut every other other day - either half a brazil nut or shelled walnut or pecan nut.

He also gets a tiny piece of fruit every few days - either a blueberry or a piece of apple (no skin or pips) or a bit of banana. I cut the veg and fruit into a kind of small cube no bigger than 1cm square. He goes crazy for them all.
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Old 06-21-2019, 02:39 AM   #5
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Default Re: Syrian has mites. Went to two vets that were bad

If you have any bedding left that you think the bedding mites might have got into, then as Shannon says you can freeze it for a week and that should kill any.

Personally I would throw away any old bags of bedding and freeze any new ones in case they have been stored somewhere where they've got the bugs in (at the pet store eg).

Which can be tricky - so it may mean putting bedding into smaller bags and freezing 2 or 3 smaller bags.

But you'll probably be fine now you've got new bedding. Just keep an eye on things.

Finally the bugs can come from the hamster food sometimes - it may not be from the bedding. Hamster food is notorious for it as is all pet food. So I definitely freeze all my hamster food for a week before using it (after having moth larvae hatch out once!).

Again it's normal for moth eggs (microscopic) to be in foods and even normal flour - but they don't normally hatch out unless it gets very warm. And that sounds like the issue.

I am very sorry for the loss of your other hamster - very sad.

You are doing all the right things.
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Old 06-27-2019, 12:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Syrian has mites. Went to two vets that were bad

Hello. So I am actually so certain it’s from the carefresh bedding. And the mites I actually saw with my own eyes when my I took my hamster to the vet with the carrier. I saw a red mite climb out of the carrier(possibly because it was hotter in the car so they cane out of hiding) but I saw the mite and squished it and blood came out of it and I’ve been researching and I’m pretty sure it’s red mites. I’ve asked on hamsterhideout forum and they gave me the proper dosing of ivermectin. They said to give 0.1 ml(I think I’m not sure I’m gonna have to check up again on it) or they told me to get dimateous earth and to use a q tip to apply it on the places the mites been in but I don’t think I’m gonna get the dimateous because as I said he is very uncomfortable with being held and also I only know of one place the mite been in(the bite mark on his back) and I won’t know where to put it. I already froze everything and threw away some of his wooden toys and all of his bedding ( i didn’t bother freezing it cuz I won’t to eliminate all traces of those horrid pests). I just came to ask about this ivermectin medicine called “agri Mectin”. It has the exact same ingredients and composition as ivomec and other safe ivermectin but I was just asking to double check before I order it. Do you think it’s safe?
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Old 06-27-2019, 02:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: Syrian has mites. Went to two vets that were bad

You really should see a vet with your hamster. You must not use the earth on hamsters as it can get in their lungs and cause chest infections. The ivermectin should be in a spot on that is in a pre measured dose. There have been outbreaks of these mites in the UK and they are actually bird mites which need specific treatment. Some of them are not being killed by ivermectin and need a different treatment. You also need to treat the environment and the treatment needs repeated monthly if that is what the vets says it is as they just reproduce and they get reinfected.
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