Estefany White Veterinary - ISSN 2529-895X
On this page about mammals
Rodents are very active companion animals, somewhat nervous and very small, but they are not exempt from suffering parasitic problems at the skin and hair level, better known as external parasitosis. Among rodents affected by external parasites highlights the hamster, guinea pigs (guinea pigs), gerbils, mice and rats.
External parasites that can commonly affect these types of pets, such as hamsters, guinea pigs (guinea pigs), gerbils, mice and rats, are tiny organisms that also attack dogs and cats. These parasites cause sometimes mild, even intense, itchy rodents, causing them to scratch a lot, getting skin lesions, injuries that can be infected by bacteria and cause hair loss.
What parasites cause external parasitosis?
Among the causes of external parasitosis in rodent-type pets such as hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, etc., we have:
The mites can live normally in the skin of some rodents and can reproduce very quickly, even causing wounds in areas where the animal does not scratch, this may be due to problems of food deficit or contagion of other rodents. There are also mites that produce scabies (Demodex, Sarcoptes), which lodge inside the rodent's skin and make a kind of tunnels between its mantle that causes much discomfort and itching.
The lice lodge in the hair and adhere to it, depositing their eggs in the skin. If they are very numerous they can be easily appreciated.
Fleas are usually acquired if the rodent coexists with other animals, or if it is allowed to access the outside, that is, in areas where there can be a proliferation of these parasites such as gardens.
Symptoms from external parasites in hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice or rats
The most obvious symptoms to detect external parasites in hamster, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice, rats and related, vary a little, according to the type of parasite that is present, some animals look very restless, nervous and sometimes they do not stop move inside the cage where they live.
In problems of fleas and lice, these parasites are noticed almost immediately on the hair or inside it, on the pet's skin, distinguishing their presence by blackheads, or tiny brown, black or red animals.
The most common and obvious lesions seen in external parasites of rodents are:
- Irritated and reddened skin.
- Mild or very intense itching where some animals stop eating and lose weight.
- Peeling and scabs on the skin.
- Dermatitis (inflammation and thickening of the skin).
- Allopedic areas (without hair).
- Excessive hair loss.
- Lacerations on the skin.
How to diagnose external parasites in rodents?
We have already mentioned that in the case of external parasites such as fleas or lice housed in hamsters, guinea pigs, gerbils, mice or rats, these can be more easily appreciated due to the size they have, either by direct detection or by means of tape testing , although the same does not happen in the case of mites, because these parasites are not observed with the naked eye and it is necessary to perform skin scrapings to get to observe them through a microscope.
For this same reason, once the previous clinical signs have been manifested, the veterinarian should be consulted to perform the indicated tests or procedures and thus diagnose an external parasitosis, even rule out other problems that may cause damage to the skin's skin. rodent.
When you bring a hamster home, you probably aren't thinking about what you would do if your hamster ended up with fleas. While fleas are quite rare in hamsters, they can occur. Knowing how to handle hamster fleas can help give you quick relief>
Your hamster is cute and cuddly, and he looks for food, water and a little attention every day. Hamsters have relatively low maintenance compared to other pets, but that doesn't mean they don't need special treatment from time to time. Like their cats and dogs, hamsters can become infected with fleas. While it is quite rare, knowing how to treat and control hamster fleas can help your hamster's infestation be short-lived.
How get rid of fleas in hamsters
Identifying hamster fleas
Fleas are quite large, and you can see them with the naked eye. Omlet recommends that you remove your hamster's hair to look for fleas. You can also identify if fleas are present when examining their droppings. Flea droppings, also called dirty fleas, will look like small black dots. If you brush them on a paper towel and add a drop of water, the black droppings will turn red due to the digested blood they contain.
However, if your hamster has an unusual itching, he may have mites.
According to PetMD, it is quite common to find mites in hamsters. Usually, there are few mites that do not disturb the hamster, but sometimes mite infestations can occur. A hamster suffering from a mite infestation can cause a lot of itching and rubbing against the cage bars to relieve itching. You can also see flaky skin or hair loss.
To treat your hamster, you must determine if you have mites or fleas. You may see hamster fleas, while the mites will be so small that you will not be able to see them. If you are not sure which problem is affecting your hamster, take it to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian can do a skin scrape to diagnose mites and can tell you the best way to treat your hamster's itch.
Treating fleas in hamsters
Your local pet store should have a variety of sprinklers and flea treatments made for hamsters. Be sure to use only products intended for hamsters, and always follow the instructions on those products carefully. Never substitute a spray made for a cat or dog in your hamster, since the chemicals they contain can endanger the health of your hamster.
In addition to treating fleas in your hamster, you will want to simultaneously clean your hamster's cage. Putting your hamster back in the dirty cage will only cause it to become infected again when it comes into contact with other fleas or their eggs. Instead, clean the entire cage and discard all old bedding. Rinse the cage thoroughly with warm water, let it dry and place new bedding. If there are cardboard tubes or other permeable materials in the cage, you should discard them, as they are a potential breeding ground for hamster flea eggs.
Treating your other animals
When your hamster has fleas, it is likely that the other pets in your home also have fleas. It is important to treat all your pets simultaneously, or fleas will simply continue laying eggs, incubating and infesting your pets. It may take several months to treat your pets before you have all the flea life cycles under control and can eliminate pests from your home.
According to Dr. Foster and Smith, you can choose from a series of products designed to kill fleas on your pets. For active infestations, you may want to start with a flea comb, which will literally allow you to comb fleas from your pet's coat. Then, continue with another method.
Topical flea medications are applied monthly. They are durable and some even help kill ticks. However, some of the topical medications intended for dogs can be highly toxic to cats, so choose carefully if you have several pets in the home.
Flea collars can also be effective, but it is important to apply the collar properly. Be sure to write down how long the collar is effective and replace it with a new one once its useful life is over.
Flea shampoos and dips are other popular options. Flea shampoos tend to be less hard for animals, while dives can have lasting effects. Be sure to follow the instructions carefully for any product.
If you are not sure about the right flea treatment plan for your home, talk to your veterinarian about your different pets so you can come up with the right plan that keeps everyone safe.
Treating your house
If your pets, including your hamster, have fleas, then it is likely that fleas are also in your home. Just treating your pets against fleas is not enough to solve the problem and you should also treat your home.
Doctors Foster and Smith recommend that you fully vacuum your home to eliminate flea eggs. Pay special attention to the areas where your pets sleep, and if you have hardwood floors, be sure to vacuum the cracks between the floors. Once finished, seal your vacuum bag in a plastic bag and dispose of it.
You should also wash the bedding your pets use and treat the carpets with a product that eliminates adult fleas and stops egg production. There are a variety of products to choose from, including surface sprays and nebulizers. Be sure to follow the instructions and read the warnings about these products, as they can carry risks for pets, children and people with asthma.