What is Ectoparasite?
Ectoparasite on a hedgehog is a parasite (usually mites) that lives on or in the skin but not within the body. As an owner you will notice that their quills will fall from time to time as a part of their normal shedding. But if your hedgehog is itching and scratching extensively and the quills that fall at the bottom of the cage are more than usual, your hedgehog might have an ectoparasite.
Ectoparasites on hedgehog will cause discomfort and make their skin itch and irritable. The skin will dry out causing red and inflamed skin. Your hedgehog will also suffer quill loss and anemia.
Always wash your hand after handling any other hedgehog. Mites can be brought into your hedgie’s home too by way of bedding and food. Freeze all bedding and packaged food after you purchase it for 24 hours before putting it in the cage with your hedgehog.
Do consult with your vet in case you notice such symptoms in your hedgehog. Based on the type and severity of the case, various medications may be prescribed and applied to the skin of the hedgehog. It is important not to use mite medications that are used for other animals without professional direction because these medications are toxic and will harm the hedgehog.