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Old 07-02-2021, 03:39 AM   #1
Willowknows
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Default How to cage clean after mites

Hey,
My hamster is suspected to have mites has his first batch treatment of ivermectin about 2/3 months ago and that seemed to have done the trick all the hair at his neck grew back and he was doing great! Buy last month it came back I caught it early and we’ve been doing treatment and his hair is all grown back ! His last treatment might be next week! Now I did add hemp last month so maybe that caused it. I do freeze all bedding for 48 hours. As fair as cleaning the cages and the wooden wheel can I have all the advice you have as i want this time to be the last time he gets it. My whole rooms been scrubbed hovered and clean all clean bedding, pet safe disinfectant etc
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Old 07-02-2021, 06:35 AM   #2
Ria P
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

Do you know what kind of mites your hamster has? Did the vet identify them by doing a skin scrape?

Not all mites need a complete cage clean because some live on a hamster naturally and age, a weakened immune system etc can cause an overgrowth causing hairloss which would also be treated with ivermectin.

Wooden items can be baked at 100C for an hour but keep an eye on it or frozen for a week.
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Old 07-02-2021, 06:45 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

Has he been tested for mites? It's best if Invermectin is only prescribed by a vet. They can do a skin scraping and look under a microscope. I only ask because there are other things can cause fur loss and Invermectin is quite toxic to them if they have it too much. Assume it is vet prescribed. Hamsters have mites living on them as normal, very few. It only becomes a problem/outbreak usually if their immune system is down. But it is possible from hay so I guess it could be from hemp. But I've never heard of anyone having mite problems with hemp.

Regardless of that, if you suspect mites, it's best to do a full cage clean. Not good for the hamster but necessary and he'll get over it in a couple of weeks.

I'd use some pet safe disinfectant (must be suitable for small animals like rodents - ask the vet which is the best one) on the bars and cage base - rinse well to remove any scent after leaving it on for a bit. Hamsters can be really affected by strong smells - they have a sensitive respiratory tract and a very strong sense of smell. If it smells nice to us it could be overpowering to them or even affect their breathing.

Put all new bedding in. If the hemp has been frozen for a week it should be fine - or use a paper one for now. Like Kaytee Clean and Cozy. Maybe you can start adding hemp later a bit at a time when it's been frozen for a week. But if you suspect a batch I might be tempted to bin it. It can be good to have a mix of two different substrates anyway - a bit of variety for them.

Anything plastic or ceramic can just be washed in washing up liquid (again rinse well) but if you want to be ultra cautious, use the pet safe disinfectant on those too.

Wood items are tricky. Some people bake them - that is supposed to kill anything. I think at 100 degrees centigrade for not sure how long - about half an hour maybe.

They can smell funny afterwards though! I wouldn't rely on freezing for mites on wood items with lots of crevices. A wheel can be washed or sprayed with pet disinfectant too. But again rinse well even if it says it doesn't need rinsing off. You need to leave it on for at least 10 minutes I reckon to make sure it does its job.

Sadly you'll need to throw away the nest and hoard as well so put new food out where the hoard was to make up for it and a big pile of torn up strips of plain white toilet paper so he can build another nest. Throw away any chews and replace them. Such a palaver.

Do be sure it's mites though - hamsters can itch and lose fur with allergic reactions too and they can be allergic to some beddings. Paper is usually safe and non allergenic.
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Old 07-02-2021, 08:22 AM   #4
Willowknows
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

Hey, so yeah this is all through the vets, he got the last treatment and it seem to have worked really well but then came back. I have been using carefresh and a fragrance free small animals disinfectant… I have kaytee I’m the freezer at the moment. So the wheel and all can just be disinfected leaving it on for about 10 min? Now all the hair is growing back since the treatment. Any advice I’ll take on board. He’s in great form and nothings changed other than that hair loss he’s about a year and 7 moths of that helps they think dermadex
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Old 07-02-2021, 12:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

Hopefully you won’t have to do another full cage clean fingers crossed. What kind of wheel is if? A plastic one is easy to disinfect - a wood one a bit more tricky. A year is a long time so he must be getting on a bit now! Is it just fur loss or any sores as well. Good to hear he’s happy and healthy in himself. Once they get to 2 some fur loss is fairly normal. It usually starts behind the ears IMO.
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Old 07-02-2021, 01:43 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

I don't know whether disinfectant would reliably kill mites, particularly if it's a pet-safe disinfectant because those are specifically designed to not kill animals! I would wash all the plastic things in hot, soapy water, scrubbing them well to get any mites off. Since they're non-porous, that should be enough but you could apply some disinfectant afterwards if you wanted.
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Old 07-02-2021, 03:01 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

Agree - hot soapy water first and disinfectant as back up!
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Old 07-03-2021, 03:29 AM   #8
Willowknows
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

As far as his skin not a bother no redness, dryness or anything it was just a hair loss. His wheel is the trixiewooden with cork… he will only use that wheel sadly… if I wash it warm soapy water and leave to dry will be that enough
Any recommendations on soap ? I have the no scented Milton soap for bottles really mild. I’ve found impossible to get non scented soap . Like he’s really happy out other than hair loss so I’m at a loss
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Old 07-03-2021, 03:32 AM   #9
Willowknows
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

I do have a wooden shelve in the cage it’s attached for his wheel how will I best clean that
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Old 07-03-2021, 04:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to cage clean after mites

If the wood wheel and shelf are painted with plastikote it'll be fine to "wash" - maybe with a soaped sponge and then rinse off with a rinsed sponge - rather than completely immersing it. Just make sure it gets into every little bit and you don't miss a bit. And fine to spray with disinfectant afterwards.

If they aren't plastikoted - well you could still use soap and water on them and they'd probably be fine - maybe be a bit waterstained/water marks.

The wheel might be the thing that sustains most damage from water and disinfectant spray. I have washed a karlie wood wheel before (a few times) and scrubbed it in the sink with a brush! But that was without the cork. However with a different wood wheel when I did this, it started to fall apart (the wood veneer on top peeled off). The cork may also sustain some damage if not plastikoted but you could soap it and be gentle

TBH it might be easier to buy a new wheel. But then if it came to that you could have a go cleaning the old wheel and if it comes out fine you don't need to buy a new one!

Which cage/shelf is it? If it's somehting like the barney or alexander, the wood is quite think - the shelf would stand being scrubbed with soap and water though but it would take a few days to dry out. After that you could paint it with plastikote to seal it - so it would seal anything in (eg eggs that were missed) and make it easier to clean another time with some protection.

I have actually just found an old post of mine from 6 years ago Where I researched how to kill mites. Freezing won't do it unless it's -70 degrees apparently! It needs to be oven baking and that was recommended at about 120 degrees c for a couple of hours - I think that could burn things . Some sites actually recommend chucking and replacing any wood items or things that can't be washed. That might be ok with something like a bendy bridge or house (a bark wood house would be very difficult to rid of mites by cleaning and the place most likely to have eggs or mites) but a bit unnecessary with a shelf.

So basically smooth wood items - given them a good scrub with soap and water. Really soap them, scrub, then rinse off - then dry and paint with plastikote. You could try baking bark wood items but probably safer to replace them.

If pet disinfectant isn't going to kill them (I'd have thought it wouldn't do them any good!) then I'm wondering if white vinegar might be better as a second clean. I know vinegar can help kill moth eggs. It's acidic obviously and according to google vinegar will kill just about any mite. The soap and water is to remove any invisible eggs or droppings.

Might also be worth asking your vet what they recommend using.

In terms of the hamster - giving immune boosting foods will help as well - to try and prevent a recurrence. So as well as the usual hamster mix, a pinch of hemp seeds every day will help. They are supposed to contain all known minerals and vitamins and are immune boosting. I used to put them on a separate little dish rather than in with the food where they disappear. They just lick them up and seem to like them. I get the Linwoods shelled hemp seeds (they're on Amazon or at Holland and Barrett).

Half a brazil nut once a week is an immune boosting treat as well. Brazil nuts contain something that is high in immune boosting. (Not in its shell obviously) and a nice treat for the hamster.

Linseeds are also brilliant for fur and helping it grow back and thick and good condition. A pinch of those on the same dish as the hemp seeds every day maybe.
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