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Old 12-19-2012, 07:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default ITCHY ITCHY ITCHY

My hedgehog is constantly scratching himself with his hind legs like a dog, is this a concern or something most hedgies do?
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Old 12-19-2012, 08:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: ITCHY ITCHY ITCHY

Hedgehogs will scratch from time to time. If it seems excessive, the most likely cause is dry skin, which is common during the winter because the air is so dry. If you see any flakes of dandruff coming off, that's definitely it. Itching can also be caused by mites, but those aren't likely if you use fleece as bedding and don't have any wood objects in the cage. If you use a substrate bedding like shavings or Carefresh, mites are more likely (one of the reasons fleece liners are recommended). Dry skin is easy to treat by adding oil (flaxseed oil or olive oil) to the rinse water after a bath, or if it's a bad case with a lot of flaky skin, my preferred remedy is Humilac, a topical spray.
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks! Yes I'm using Kaytee Pine small pet bedding
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Old 12-19-2012, 10:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: ITCHY ITCHY ITCHY

There's a chance that it's mites, but dry skin is the first thing to rule out. Another problem with things like shavings is that it can be drying as well. If you start to see excessive quill loss with bald patches, or if the itching keeps up after trying dry skin remedies, then you should get him treated for mites (ask for Revolution). I really suggest switching to liners even if he doesn't have mites this time around. Most hedgehogs that are kept on shavings/substrate will have mites at least once in their life, because they can be harbored in that kind of bedding when you buy it from the store. Shavings also can cause allergies, dry skin, and respiratory irritation from the dust. Pieces of shavings can get lodged in a male's penile sheath. Liners also cost less in the long run because you wash and reuse them, and you don't have to constantly buy more bedding.
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:37 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Could temperature be another issue?
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: ITCHY ITCHY ITCHY

Temperature isn't a very big factor on itchiness. I'd like to bet it's dry skin, all the hedgies I've seen that are kept on loose bedding tend to have dry skin and/or lots of bits of bedding stuck between their quills.
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