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Old 05-20-2016, 01:27 PM   #1
josiemv09
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Default Hamster has Mites or Fleas???

One of my newest dwarf campbells that I got last weekend has either mites or fleas(I believe flea because it was easy to see)....What do I do! How do I get rid of them??? I saw him in his critter sand bath scratching and biting away like a dog...Help please! bedding change?? medicine on him??? I got him from petco. I saw online I can apply a solution of listerine, witch hazel and water to the fur..not soaking it. But..How often would I have to completely change the bedding until the mites are gone??? What should I do? People tell me to return him...but I don't have the heart, especially with Petco corporations probably sending them back to die. We don't have any exotic vets here where I am from. So...home will have to do!

Last edited by josiemv09; 05-20-2016 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:10 PM   #2
Nancy's Hamsters
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Default Re: Hamster has Mites or Fleas???

A vet is really your best choice. Revolution dosed by a Vet works very well for Mites, but a Vet would know the dosage to not harm the hamster. As for the cage any wooden items will need sprayed as well and a change of bedding is best done weekly or even every three days. Be sure to dump the bedding into the bin can outside or if mites they could get into flooring or carpets where extra work will be needed to evict them from your pets and home.

May attempt to ask the Petco if they would refer you to a vet and them pay the visit cost as another member had their Petco reimburse them for their ill Dwarf.

I myself used Fiproguard by Sentry sold at Petsmart in their Kitten and Cat section as it was refered to me when I dealt with Mites over a year ago now when I brought in new hamsters who were loaded with Rodent mites. My Hamstery now is Mite free and just as a precaution I spray all cages, shelves, walls, and floors once every 6 months. I like the spray because you don't need to measure anything or dilute anything and you can use a soft cloth to spray those hamsters which feel uncomfortable with the sound of the spray can. The main thing is to stay vigilant and clean cages frequently while mites are seen and at least 2 weeks after mites have gone as eggs hatch every 2 weeks give or take a day. You have to break their breeding cycle in order to completely eliminate them for good.
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:08 PM   #3
josiemv09
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Default Re: Hamster has Mites or Fleas???

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Originally Posted by Nancy's Hamsters View Post
A vet is really your best choice. Revolution dosed by a Vet works very well for Mites, but a Vet would know the dosage to not harm the hamster. As for the cage any wooden items will need sprayed as well and a change of bedding is best done weekly or even every three days. Be sure to dump the bedding into the bin can outside or if mites they could get into flooring or carpets where extra work will be needed to evict them from your pets and home.

May attempt to ask the Petco if they would refer you to a vet and them pay the visit cost as another member had their Petco reimburse them for their ill Dwarf.

I myself used Fiproguard by Sentry sold at Petsmart in their Kitten and Cat section as it was refered to me when I dealt with Mites over a year ago now when I brought in new hamsters who were loaded with Rodent mites. My Hamstery now is Mite free and just as a precaution I spray all cages, shelves, walls, and floors once every 6 months. I like the spray because you don't need to measure anything or dilute anything and you can use a soft cloth to spray those hamsters which feel uncomfortable with the sound of the spray can. The main thing is to stay vigilant and clean cages frequently while mites are seen and at least 2 weeks after mites have gone as eggs hatch every 2 weeks give or take a day. You have to break their breeding cycle in order to completely eliminate them for good.
Thank you so much!!! I'm not even sure if he has mites...its just the scratching and biting like a dog...all the time. Right now i'm using a home remedy of diluted listerine and witch hazel and I will be applying that everyday by running my fingers through his , not soaking him. What did you mean by using a soft cloth to spray? How? Also he is on carefresh bedding at the moment...but when I do the beddimg changes once or twice a week I will be using aspen since it is cheaper..and when I know the "mites" are gone I will go back to carefresh. Is that okay? What do you think?? How can I really tell if there are mites. For sure it wasn't from my bedding. I feel so bad for him...I also think he can't see well at all.....compared to my other hamsters, oh and when you sprayed your hamsters with the petsmart solution how much did you spray? And did you do it under the belly too? And head?
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:14 PM   #4
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Hamster has Mites or Fleas???

Hi. Don't use a home remedy - it could be toxic and too strong for your hammy - you need to see a vet really. Listerine is quite strong smelling.

Try not to panic. Wait to do the full cage clean until you've had him seen by a vet. Do you have a good sized pet carrier, or a large plastic bin or a spare cage? You'll need something to pop him into for a couple of hours when you clean the cage. If you can set up a pet carrier or similar with some new bedding and a little house and scatter some food in he can just sleep in there while you sort out his cage.

But you need a vet diagnosis as to what it is and the correct treatment for it. Home remedies will be too strong for a hammy.

Or the thing that Nancy suggested. But try to think in order - if you do the hammy before the cage he could get them back again. Toys and cage items can be washed, and wood items put in the freezer for a few days.

Although it's unpleasant, your hammy's health is the priority. So better to wait a bit and get safe treatment.
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Old 05-21-2016, 12:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Hamster has Mites or Fleas???

I totally agree it's not a good idea to use home remedies, listerine & witch hazel, even diluted is far to strong for any ham let alone a dwarf, you need to be very careful even with hamster mite treatments you can buy yourself as these can be toxic if not used properly or used when they aren't the correct treatment.
It sounds as though you don't actually know for sure what the problem is, if it was mites you wouldn't see them, it sounds more like something has got into the cage & is having a good nibble on him or just aggravating him.
I would just clean the cage out & stop treating him for now, if it continues take him to your vet for a correct diagnosis before doing anything more.
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Old 05-21-2016, 07:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hamster has Mites or Fleas???

Quote:
Originally Posted by josiemv09 View Post
Thank you so much!!! I'm not even sure if he has mites...its just the scratching and biting like a dog...all the time. Right now i'm using a home remedy of diluted listerine and witch hazel and I will be applying that everyday by running my fingers through his , not soaking him. What did you mean by using a soft cloth to spray? How? Also he is on carefresh bedding at the moment...but when I do the beddimg changes once or twice a week I will be using aspen since it is cheaper..and when I know the "mites" are gone I will go back to carefresh. Is that okay? What do you think?? How can I really tell if there are mites. For sure it wasn't from my bedding. I feel so bad for him...I also think he can't see well at all.....compared to my other hamsters, oh and when you sprayed your hamsters with the petsmart solution how much did you spray? And did you do it under the belly too? And head?
The only way to be sure it is mites or fleas is a Vet appointment. It is very important to know if there is a mite/flea problem as treatment is rather stressful and is applying a chemical which some will react to. Has your Hamster been on Carefresh before the scratching and biting started?

Home remedies some times work and other times don't. I've read of that mix your using on line and never tried it myself. I would say if it turns out mites that just lightly applying the home mix won't be very effective. However once again the scratching and biting could be from an allergic reaction to the Carefresh.

The Fiproguard is a spray can and hisses when sprayed which often startles a hamster so I saturated a soft cloth(I used a micro fiber cloth like used for dusting) You spray the cloth until it is quite damp then place it around the hamster just from the neck down of the hamster and gently rub it with the cloth until the coat is coated with the spray to the skin. NEVER cover the head or face and on the belly NEVER spray or rub the genital area.

You simply scruff the Hamster and hold the can about 6 inches away from the hamster and pushed the nozzle and completely cover the hamster with the spray from the shoulders back to the hips and then use the towel method on the Hamsters tail area on top. Then I sprayed my finger to apply a small amount between the ears being very careful to not touch the face area. On the underside only spray the chest to even with the hips and again use the cloth to get a light coating from the tummy to the upper part of the inside of the hide legs.

The hamsters didn't like the taste so I simply placed the hamster back in it's carrier to air dry. The fiproguard has a residual effect which when the mite/flea crawls through the treated fur it dies. The first hamster I did had mites falling off dead in seconds of the spray applied. After just 10 minutes or so the coat was completely dry and the Hamster was fine.

Erin R's Vet is who told us about the spray. The Vet said it was safe even on dwarf hamsters but I only have used it on Syrians( I Think Erin used it on a few dwarf hamsters too but you'd need to ask her). The Vet also told her it was very very important to Only use the spray for Kittens, and Cats and NEVER for Dogs. They also said it was Very important to remove all wood objects, and spray all plastic items as mites thrive on wooden things, and lay eggs on the plastic items so I'm not sure if Aspen would be a wise bedding. I used shredded Toilet paper while doing the initial treatments and changed the bedding in the first week every 2 or 3 days(Note: this may stress some hamsters). I also sprayed the cage both inside and outside and the shelf units the cages sat on every clean out the first two weeks, I bought a Horse fly spray for the walls and floors which My Vet suggested to save cost. They suggested a fly spray called Equisect as it is organic and has no harmful chemicals to my Cats.

Within a week I couldn't see any mites on any hamsters, but as par the Vets instructions I retreated all 2 weeks later and swear by the FiproGuard spray.
The vet was a Banfield Vet in Dayton which Erin R. uses confidently.

As in any chemical substance it can cause reactions with some hamsters so I would still seek a Vet's advice before using this yourself. The Vet who tended Erins hamsters was very gentle with the hamsters and very good at showing Her how to show me how to treat all my hamstery.
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Old 05-22-2016, 10:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: Hamster has Mites or Fleas???

Is there anything other than substrate in the base of the cage? Someone recently had some scented granules that were causing her hammy to itch? Any kind of scented thing - like scented Carefresh could cause it. Also there are still some old batches of Carefresh around I think, that have baking soda in. They stopped putting it in - the batches that have it say "odour stop formula" or something like that.

I wouldn't switch substrates back and forth as that could be stressful for your hammy. If you switch to aspen I would stick with it for a bit. Hamsters can have an allergy to any kind of wood bedding - I've not heard of an allergy to Carefresh before - but you could try Boxo or Oxbow paper bedding just to rule out allergy.
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