How Do Hamsters Get Mites?

Today, we’ll look at how hamsters get mites, possible symptoms for mite infestations, and how to treat them.

If your hamster is suffering from a mite infestation, you may be wondering how your hamster got mites.

How Do Hamsters Get Mites

Unlike cats and dogs, pocket pets like hamsters are low risk when it comes to diseases. It is because they spend most of their lives within their habitat, away from parasites.

However, this does not make them immune to parasites. Now and then, they come in contact with some parasites, for example, hamster mites.

These mites can cause great discomfort for your furry friend, who in turn affects your wellbeing; who wants to watch their pet suffer?

Keep reading to learn the various ways hamsters get mites alongside practical prevention methods.

How Do Hamsters Get Mites?

Some forms of hamster mites don’t pose any threat to their health, except they have an underlying condition. An example of such a mite is the Demodex mite.

Many hamsters have this parasite present on their bodies but live until something compromises their immune system.

On this premise, old age, stress, and sickness are other contributors to how hamsters get mites.

Exposure To Infected Animals

Hamster mites typically spread through proximity with the parasite, meaning your hamster can get mites from coming in contact with an infected hamster.

So whether it’s the pet store, shelter, or a play date, your hamster can pick up mites from just about anywhere. There just has to be an infested hamster present.

Some zoonotic parasites can spread from one animal to another. This means that your hamster may have gotten mites from another animal such as a cat or dog and not necessarily another hamster.

Hamster mites are usually not zoonotic, meaning there’s a low probability that you or other household pets will get them.

Our advice is to be cautious with where you take your pet and who you allow them to interact with.

Old Age

As humans age, their immune system weakens, and they become more prone to certain diseases such as hearing loss, poor vision, and dementia. The same can be said about hamsters.

Elderly hamsters also go through their phase of aging. Typical signs of aging in hamsters include hair loss, weight loss, and loss of senses.

Earlier, we mentioned that most hamsters have mites present in their system but can live without it being a problem.

As they age, the already present mites can overpower their system and pose a serious threat to their health. Hence, one way hamsters get mites is from reduced immunity caused by old age.

You can maintain your pet’s health in old age by adopting some best practices for elderly hamsters, reducing their probability of getting hamster mites.

All ways hamsters get mites

Poor Nutrition

Another way your hamster catches mites is through poor nutrition. Poor nutrition in hamsters can increase their risk of contracting mites because their system isn’t performing at its peak.

A balanced diet isn’t essential to only humans. Virtually all living things can produce the necessary nutrients their body needs to function properly.

However, it still takes some level of effort from the organism to aid its body in doing this. The same applies to our furry little friends.

If your pet isn’t getting the essential nutrients it needs to keep its immune system performing optimally; mites aren’t the only thing you should be worried about.

A healthy diet for a hamster includes fresh fruits, vegetables, occasional nuts, and constant clean water. Reducing the chances of getting hamster mites will lower the risk of catching other diseases.

Stress

One factor that’s certain in life is stress; everyone has to deal with it. I bet you didn’t know animals had to deal with it too.

Stress in animals can suppress immune function, making them more susceptible to several diseases, including parasitic attacks from mites. On this note, your hamster could get mites from a weak immune system caused by stress.

Hamsters that are exposed to a sedentary lifestyle and lack mental engagement are more likely to become stressed.

You can tell your hamster is stressed if they are hyperactive, aggressive, displaying unusual habits.

Some ways to reduce your pet’s stressors include providing them with a large cage, ensuring they are in a quiet environment, and setting up their cage with many activities to keep them busy.

Underlying Condition

There are occasions when a trip to the hospital reveals that an even more serious problem causes a problem we have. For example, your constant headache may be a sign of an infection or brain tumor.

The same scenario applies to hamsters. Thus hamsters could get mites from underlying illnesses.

You should take your furry friend to the vet whenever you notice signs of sickness in them since the chances of treating disease are higher when it is spotted on time.

Improper Grooming

Like most microorganisms, hamster mites need a suitable environment to survive. If your hamsters are not appropriately groomed, there is a possibility that their mites will get out of hand.

A dirty cage presents these parasites with a healthy breeding ground. Hamster beddings can also be easily infected with mites. Hence, hamsters can get mites from being left in a dirty environment.

We advise you to inspect your pet’s bedding before use and that you change it regularly.

Virtually all ailments are prevented by creating and maintaining an environment that is difficult for parasites to thrive in.

Clean your pet’s habitat regularly and disinfect the habitat using recommended insecticides and acaricides.

Preventing Hamster Mites

One of the most significant ways of reducing your pet’s risk of getting hamster mites is by providing them with a clean environment. It is a no-brainer.

Virtually all ailments are prevented by creating and maintaining an environment that is difficult for parasites to thrive in.

Clean your pet’s habitat regularly and disinfect the habitat using recommended insecticides and acaricides.

A second way of eliminating how your hamster could get mites is by keeping your hamsters stress-free and on a healthy diet.

As we mentioned earlier, older, stressed, and sick hamsters are more susceptible to mites. Hence, reducing your hamster’s stress levels and keeping them on a healthy diet reduces their risk of mite attack.

Proper nutrition keeps their immune system operating at optimum performance, and this helps them battle with parasites.

Caring for older hamsters involves taking out objects they no longer need, such as their wheel and ladders. It also involves providing them a smaller cage since they need to get to food and water without much stress.

Reducing your hamster’s stress boils down to providing them with activities that keep them physically and mentally engaged. You should also keep them in a quiet environment.

Lastly, it is essential you take note of any deviation in your hamster’s behavior. Sometimes mites are a signal to a more significant underlying problem.

Starting treatment on time is one way to guarantee a stress-free recovery for your pet.

How Do Hamsters Get Mites? – Conclusion

Just like humans get uncomfortable when sick, your hamster can be restless when it has mites.

Your hamster might get these mites from the pet store, shelters, and anywhere else they come in contact with infected animals.

Other ways your hamster gets mites are because of stress, old age, and a poor diet.

The best way to diagnose and treat mites is with the help of a vet. It is because they are in the best position to guide you on what treatment method to use and how to use it.

Not only that, but they are also in the position to detect any underlying severe condition present in your hamster.

A few things you could do to prevent your hamsters from getting mites is to keep it stress-free and on a healthy diet.