Taking care of your pet is important because they can easily acquire diseases and external parasites. Unfortunately, when it comes to hedgehogs, external parasites are common. Therefore, many pet parents, especially first-timers, can feel worried when finding a flea infestation in their hedgehog. So how do you de flea a hedgehog properly?
You can de-flea your hedgehog by using flea powder, sprays, or getting a professional flea exterminator to do it.
It is best to consult a vet before starting any treatment because you may be unaware of products that can cause allergies or harm hedgehogs. Moreover, alongside treatments, you must be careful about your hedgehog’s environment.
For example, you must remove the bed, clean its cage, and get new bedding, so any fleas or eggs are removed, and there is no chance of contracting them again.
What Flea Treatment Is Best for Hedgehogs?
If you do not have experience dealing with fleas in hedgehogs, it would be best to consult your vet. However, to ensure that your hedgehog has successful flea extermination, it would be a good idea to go to a professional.
Many flea treatments are available for hedgehogs. However, choosing the right flea treatment is important because some may not be as effective, while some can harm hedgehogs.
Fleas can affect both cats and dogs, so all of them should be treated if you have other pets than hedgehogs. Unfortunately, no hedgehog flea medications are available, especially for hedgehogs, but some are for cats and dogs.
Some topical medications are safe for hedgehogs, but you should use them under veterinary observation.
While flea collars sound like a good idea, you must avoid them completely for your hedgehog. In addition, you must also not use organophosphates and permethrin spot on treatments on your hedgehog.
Do Fleas Harm Hedgehogs?
Unfortunately, fleas are common and affect hedgehogs of all ages and sex. When hedgehogs have fleas, they can become very uncomfortable and will be seen scratching all the time. Apart from scratching, hedgehogs also resort to biting, chewing, and licking.
Hedgehogs also begin to lose their quills during heavy flea infestations.
Fleas also leave their faeces behind on hedgehog skin among their quills. The faeces are known as flea dirt. Hedgehogs can also have flea bite marks on their skin which can turn into infections. As fleas rely on blood, young hedgehogs with a heavy flea infestation can become anaemic.
Can Fleas Kill Hedgehogs?
While fleas are potentially harmless, if the infestation gets worse, your hedgehog may die. Fleas can cause hedgehogs to become uncomfortable with all the scratching and biting. Moreover, fleas are not good for hedgehog quills because it leads to them falling off.
Hedgehogs are also likely to develop secondary skin infections.
When hedgehogs lose their quills and contract infections, they become sick and may suffer from a loss of appetite. Hence, hedgehogs will become weak and may find it difficult to live. Therefore, it is important to keep a check on your hedgehog and detect early signs of flea infestations.
Can Humans Contract Fleas from Hedgehogs?
While many sources indicate that hedgehog fleas only stay in them, it is not the case. So if your hedgehog has fleas, the chances are that they can affect you too.
A heavy flea infestation in your hedgehog can lead to fleas biting you. People often experience flea bites on their ankles, which is especially harmful to those with sensitive skin. Once you get rid of fleas from your home, there will not be any left to bite you.
Can Cats and Dogs Get Fleas from Hedgehogs?
Contrary to popular belief that only hedgehog fleas will stay on hedgehogs, they can affect cats and dogs too. This is because fleas do look for not only blood but also a place where they can stay. Hence, while fleas may not be interested in cat or dog blood, they can be looking for a host.
Apart from other animals, fleas also affect humans. So if your hedgehog has fleas and you have other pets, please ensure to keep them away. Moreover, when you do flea treatments, get your cat or dog checked by a vet or do it yourself.
Do Hedgehogs Need Fleas to Live?
There have been many observations that hedgehogs need fleas to live. However, that is not true. Many people speculate that fleas give hedgehogs immunity. The idea behind this is that immunity is passed from the mother hedgehog to the hoglets.
When the fleas in the nest feed on the mother, they use the same mouth to feed on hoglets, passing blood to them.
The fact that fleas contribute to the immunity of hedgehogs is only a myth. The truth is that fleas do more harm than good. African pygmy hedgehogs that are imported do not carry fleas, and they survive.
Hence, if your hedgehog contracts fleas, do not assume that they are good for it. You must contact your vet immediately and get rid of the fleas before it gets worse.
As pet parents, it is important to monitor our pets and ensure that they are healthy. While hedgehogs can contract diseases, they are also prone to external parasites like fleas. A flea infestation is not easy to detect in its early stages.
However, if you notice your hedgehog scratching, biting, and licking, there is a chance it has fleas. Other signs of a flea infestation include hedgehogs losing their quills. In addition, you can tell that your hedgehog has fleas if it has red marks on its skin from flea bites.
Moreover, flea dirt is also an indication of flea infestation.
You can de-flea your hedgehog on your own or get the help of a professional flea exterminator. It is important to act fast as your other pets can also contract fleas. In addition, fleas can also bite humans. Along with treatments, replace your hedgehog’s bedding, so there is no chance of it contracting fleas again.