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Old 02-19-2013, 08:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New hedgehog - Questions

I recrently got a hedgehog from a breeder 4 days ago. He is 5/6 weeks old. I have him a large sterlite been with a fleece liner, a 12" wheel, a tunnel of fun and an igloo filled with fleece strips for him to bundle in. And of course his food/water dish. I have a space heater that regulates the cage temperature at a range of 74-76 degrees. The breeder had weaned him into to soft broken up cat treats and I'm in the process of weaning him off of that to blue buffalo indoor health chicken kibble.

I have a question about potential ingrown quill(s) and anointing issues.

Yesterday I took him out in the late afternoon for playtime. We played on a fleece cover in the floor and I also let him sample some baby food: chicken and gravy as well as peas. He sampled both and anointed with the peas. Also, he started to chew at the carpet, why? After play time I let him run around in a bath of warm water to clean him a bit. Afterwards I dried him in a warm towel, but all he wanted to do was bite at the towel fibers and then anoint afterward, is this normal? Lastly, as I was getting ready to put him in his cage for the night I noticed his forehead was red and puffy, as well as a spot behind his ear. I'm thinking that these are ingrown quills? I tried to get a closer look but he is a little jittery when I try to touch him around his head and he likes to move a lot! He hasn't started quilling yet, but if these are ingrown quills do they usually resolve themselves naturally?

Thanks
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog - Questions

Ingrown quills tend to pop up especially around the visor quills (forehead) and they usually will go away on their own without any necessary treatment. Usually it starts with some swelling, then you'll see a little bubble of pus (looks like a whitehead, basically) which will then break open and scab over. Sometimes you'll miss the pus bubble and just see the scab. The quill may or may not come out. Once it gets to the pus part you can try to gently tug at it - if it's able to come out, it will slide out without any resistance. If there's any resistance at all, leave it alone, don't force it. You can then dab a tiny bit of neosporin/polysporin on the area, but it's not necessary unless it looks really inflamed for more than maybe a day afterward. They heal on their own pretty quickly.

The anointing is normal, especially for babies. For babies, it's how they interact with the world and react when encountering new things. Any kind of fabric is especially interesting and tends to have an appealing scent. Damp towels/fleece just after a bath get a lot of attention, but pretty much any fabric, and various other objects, will get that reaction too. It's totally normal.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog - Questions

I'm really hoping that this is just the case of an ingrown quill associated with him quilling. Today when I went to get him out for playtime I noticed a few quills under the fleece scraps in his igloo. Also, his visor area seems to be even puffier. I've attached some photos, including his first quill.









Is this normal for quilling?
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:21 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog - Questions

Completely normal. You'll be seeing quills dropped on and off, or all the way through, until 12+ weeks, even 15-16 or longer. In some cases they can literally lose hundreds at a time.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog - Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by moxieberry
Completely normal. You'll be seeing quills dropped on and off, or all the way through, until 12+ weeks, even 15-16 or longer. In some cases they can literally lose hundreds at a time.
Is the puffiness on his visor in the second picture not too great of a concern? It looks painful to me.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog - Questions

Looks like the start of an ingrown quill. That's the most common location, and around 6-8 weeks is when I've seen a lot of them happen. You can't do much but let it do its thing and heal over, like I described earlier.
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Awesome! Thanks for the help, if anything worse comes of it I will let you know.
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Old 02-20-2013, 04:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog - Questions

And, while you're here, we can talk about other new stuff!

For instance, you say you have a space heater, which is fine, lots of people use those. Do you have a thermometer in his cage? With either it, or the temp lead at ground level? That will make sure that you get the most accurate temperature reading available.

Other than that, your set up sounds pretty good. A lot better than a lot of new hedgehog owners. Sounds like you did your research.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes! I have a digital thermometer in the cage that reads the current temperature as well as the high/low in the recent 24 hour period, so I know if the cage temperature is relatively constant, even when I'm not around!
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgehog - Questions

Wow, what thermometer is that??? Major Kudos to you!!!!!!
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