Like all pets, hedgehogs are prone to picking up many things like getting sick or experiencing a health problem. Hedgehogs do not have fur like other animals. Instead, they have sharp spines. Therefore, a question that many pet owners have is, can hedgehogs get lice?
Yes, hedgehogs can get lice, also known as mites.
Unfortunately, your hedgehog is also prone to getting lice like many other animals. However, you must not get so worried if you find out hedgehogs have lice. Most commonly, hedgehogs get infested with mites, but there can also be other kinds of fleas that they can get.
If you suspect that your hedgehog has lice, you must get it checked by your vet. Your vet can determine the kind of fleas your hedgehog has and then give the right medication.
Can You Get Lice from Hedgehogs?
If your hedgehog has lice, it is natural to worry if you can get them too. Lice in hedgehogs or any animal is an annoying problem. Dealing and getting rid of lice takes a few days.
But can humans get lice from hedgehogs?
Good news for you, they cannot. If your hedgehog has been infested with lice, you are safe. Hedgehog lice do not like human hair or skin. Moreover, hedgehog lice need hedgehog blood to survive and cannot live off human blood.
Therefore, these lice prevent transferring from hedgehogs to humans.
You can stay in contact with your hedgehog and take care of it during the lice infestation.
However, your hedgehog may feel irritated during the whole process, especially if it takes any medication. Although the lice will not affect you, you need to act fast in getting rid of them because they can harm your hedgehog’s health.
Are Mites Common in Hedgehogs?
Unfortunately, mites are common in hedgehogs, especially those in the wild.
Hedgehogs can get mites from other infested hedgehogs. When hedgehogs are placed together at pet shops or the breeders, the infestation is common to move from one to another. Moreover, if an infested hedgehog has previously used the bedding your hedgehog uses, it will get mites.
Therefore, it is easy for the hedgehog to get mites. Therefore, it is important to maintain hygiene when it comes to hedgehogs. Always ensure to do a regular mite check to avoid any serious problems.
What do Hedgehog Mites Look Like?
Mites are small parasites, and different species can affect hedgehogs. The first species of mites is called chorioptic mites. These mites have an oval shape and light colour. The mites are usually grey or white. As a result, your hedgehog’s skin can become rough and get some scabs.
Another species of mites are sarcoptic mites. These mites affect hedgehogs, as well as cats and dogs. These mites are tiny and difficult to detect. However, your hedgehog will experience serious skin irritation if these mites have infested it.
You can also find demodectic mites in your hedgehog. These mites have a flat, oval shape. Your hedgehog will not experience any visible irrigation. Usually, these mites do not affect hedgehogs unless they have a weak immune system.
The worst kind of mites that your hedgehog can get is called psoroptic mites.
These mites are scabbing mites and will reproduce under any existing scabs in the skin. These mites are mostly found in livestock animals. Although hedgehogs can get infested with these mites, these are not as common.
It is important to know which mites have infested your hedgehog so you proceed with the appropriate treatment.
What Are Mite Infestation Symptoms in Hedgehogs?
To ensure that you are on top of your hedgehog’s health, you must monitor mite symptoms:
Although hedgehogs have dry skin, you will find them itching and scratching. However, if your hedgehog has mites, it will scratch and itch excessively. Your hedgehog may also chew on itself and rub against walls to scratch itself.
When something bothers a hedgehog, it usually affects its appetite.
As a result, you may notice a loss of appetite in your hedgehog. For example, a hedgehog infested with mites may not express interest in food or drink. Lack of appetite will result in weight loss in your hedgehog.
You will find that your hedgehog is not as active as it used to be. As a result, your hedgehog may experience fatigue, lack of energy and will not be playful. To ensure that your hedgehog has mites, take a close look at its skin.
If the skin appears to be scabby and irritated, your hedgehog may suffer from mites. If your hedgehog has started to lose its quills excessively, it is an indication that it may have mites.
Can a Hedgehog Die from Mites?
You must keep track of your hedgehog’s mite infestation. If the infestation increases, your hedgehog can become quite ill. Many people are concerned if hedgehogs can die from mites.
When hedgehogs become infested with mites, they might lose their quills if it gets worse. Once that happens, hedgehogs become more vulnerable and compromised. A stressed hedgehog will have its defences down and let the diseases take over.
It is easy to save it from the pain if you detect mite infestation early in your hedgehog. However, if the infestation has increased, your hedgehog can be at the risk of dying.
Hedgehogs can get lice like all animals.
These small mammals can get lice, especially if they are in the wild. Moreover, if a hedgehog encounters another infested hedgehog, it can get lice. Humans cannot get lice from hedgehogs because hedgehog lice cannot survive in human skin and hair.
Hedgehogs usually get infested with mites that are flat and oval parasites. If mite infestation gets worse, it can prove fatal for hedgehogs. If your hedgehog loses quills, does not eat, and is experiencing energy loss, it may have mites.