To remove wheel or not? Nail Issues. - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 08-02-2015, 11:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default To remove wheel or not? Nail Issues.

Penny has a swollen nail bed (I'm not sure if that is what it is called). It's painful to the touch (she huffed like a made woman when I grabbed her paw to clip it today) and slightly red on her back foot. It's the area around where the nail grows out. We have an appointment for the vet tomorrow but I'm not sure if I should take her in or take her wheel away and let it heal or do both. I scheduled the appointment anyway. It isn't infected or open as far as I can tell. I removed some dead skin away from it. It looks like she might have impacted it. I can only assume on her tile that is in her cage to keep her cool. The nail wasn't long, I clip them once a week. Foot baths every other day or daily if needed. She's pretty neat though and rarely has poop boots. I normally just let her walk around on a wet towel to get the pee off.

She also lost another nail last week that just popped off but the remaining pad and area looked just fine. We have a swamp cooler in the house, do you think the extra humidity is causing nail issues? If so, is there anything I can do for her? All other nails appear normal if not a little soft.
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Old 08-03-2015, 05:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like a vitamin b or protein deficiency. What do you feed?
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Old 08-04-2015, 02:11 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Sorry for the slow response.

I feed Halo grain free Game bird, Solid gold katz n flocken, Wellness Healthy weight and Canidae grain free ocean. I doubt it has anything to do with protein but possibly vitamin B. Not sure what to do for that.

We did visit the vet today. Vet said to keep it clean, wasn't sure about the wheel though. I was given a prescription of painkillers (Metacam) to fill if she needs it but when she is out and about, as long as I don't touch it she doesn't seem to be any pain. Since it wasn't infected we opted out of antibiotics for now. Check up in two weeks. The good thing is that she is otherwise completely healthy. Teeth, ears and heart sounded good. She did huff a lot when the vet poked at her toe so it's definitely sore.
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Nope, doesn't sound like protein with all of that, and several of those recipes have B12 supplements, but she may not be getting the full B range. So many recipes focus on 12, and forget there's other numbers. However, there is also rice and seafood in your mix too, which are usually what I suggest-eat some fish if you have soft nails.
Hope your vet can help figure it out
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Old 08-04-2015, 01:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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She's not the most hedgie knowledgeable vet but she is willing to learn and does seem them on occasion. The worse part though, is that the ones that she sees are often is horrible condition, malnourished, mite filled, or in need a c section or broke a leg so she often deals with the big cases and not the small ones. I'm happy it is a small one. We are doing daily morning footbaths because we want to keep her toes as clean as possible and don't want the pee to sit on her feet all day and cause an infection. The swelling seems to be going down already so I'm thinking a stubbed toe/nail and wondering if she caught it on the under the wheel pan. It's the one that comes with the carolina storm wheel. Oh and we have the cake topper wheel from them if anyone was curious so the wheel is plenty big enough. I'm just at a loss as to what caused this...
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Old 08-04-2015, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I've been looking at causes for soft nails in humans & I'm finding numerous things from too much water to Vitamin B/iron/calcium/zinc deficiencies to hypothyroidism. Kind of a wide range! I agree that protein & calcium don't sound likely...And I'm not sure about Vitamin B. One thing I found stated that biotin (B7) deficiency can be more of a cause than the other numbers. But it's generally found in a wide range of foods too. It also comes with other symptoms - dry skin, fatigue, intestinal tract issues, etc. And at least with humans, causes can include taking antibiotics for too long because biotin is made by bacteria in the intestinal tract, or issues with the intestinal tract not absorbing nutrients well. But I would think the absorbing thing would present with other side effects too.

Do you know what the humidity in the house is? It doesn't seem like it'd be high enough to cause nail issues like this, even with a swamp cooler, but I'm not positive.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It gets to around 50% in the house. Which doesn't seem like a lot but here in Colorado the average here is like 20% so it feels moist all the time. I honestly didn't think the problem was humidity but it's the only thing that has really changed. It is pretty hot in the house even with the swamp cooler. It gets up to 80 on most days here so the humidity probably feels worse. I can buy biotin at the store... My sister uses it. Would it be okay to supplement?

The impacted nail fell off today. When this happened with Rose, the nail never grew back right. She always had bad nails though, from the day I got her. I assumed it was genetic. Now with Penny, I'm wondering if it's something in the house. I use All Free and Clear detergent, no dryer sheets for the fleece liners. I use 1/2 vinegar and water to clean wheels. Sometimes dish soap if the poop is caked on but I rinse well. I'm using aveeno baby body wash when I give baths which aren't often. She is pretty clean.

Sorry, I'm kind of thinking out loud as a type to figure out what is going on. No itching, some quill loss but nothing crazy, maybe one every other day, nothing is bald though, skin looks good. Been putting vitamin e oil on her ears since they have some extra build up. Poos are completely normal, appetite is fine, drinking lots of water because it's hot.

I can also buy fish for extra vitamin b is that might help. I have access to a lot. The only problem is that I would like to freeze it for a month because I would want to feed it raw as to not have destroy any of the vitamins in it.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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That is strange, having two hedgies in the same house with nail issues. I'm honestly not seeing anything that jumps out at me as problematic. What kind of water are you using for their baths & the swamp cooler? Maybe something in the water rather than just the humidity? I feel like someone else once experimented with higher humidity for hedgehogs & found that it improved skin, but I don't recall them mentioning any negative effects on the nails. I'm not sure how long the experiment lasted though, or how many updates they really gave.

As far as biotin, it's excreted in urine, so it's not one of the vitamins easy to overdose on. But I'd still check with your vet before supplementing it & see if she has a recommendation for an amount. This is what I found recommended for humans:
"Infants and children—
Birth to 3 years of age: 10 to 20 micrograms (mcg).
4 to 6 years of age: 25 mcg.
7 to 10 years of age: 30 mcg.
Adolescents and adults—
30 to 100 mcg."
(http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supp...n/drg-20062359)

IMO, I don't think it'd hurt to supplement it carefully & watch to see if there are any changes either way. I would suggest just doing a B-complex supplement, but unfortunately some of the numbers can be overdosed more easily with more consequences, so that's probably not a great idea.
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Tap water for everything. The swamp cooler is attached to the hose. We don't have any extra chlorine in our water and it's not to hard either. I can try to do bottled water. I'm really against bottled water though. Would filtered water through like a brita picture work?

Okay, I'll go out and see what I can find for biotin. I want it to be easy to dose. I'll call my vet to see what she suggests. She might not be able to help though but she can at least give them the go ahead to try or to wait.
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Old 08-04-2015, 05:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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http://bembu.com/biotin-foods

It's a list for people so omit nuts, seeds and avocado. But it's a start.

But if it was biotin wouldn't it affect quills, somehow? But that would probably take longer to see than in the nails.
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