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Old 09-29-2009, 02:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sensitivity to Quills

My girlfriend gets these tiny red bumps on her hands when she holds Ivan and she says that they burn and itch for several hours after. I just ran a search and saw that a few other people have the same issue. I read that for most people this irritation goes away over time, the more that you handle your hedgehog. It's been about three months since we got Ivan, and her sensitivity to his quills doesn't seem to be going away. I was wondering how everyone deals with this. From my understanding it's pretty painful, to the point where she doesn't really hold him anymore. We've tried lotions, soaps and hand sanitizers after holding him and they dull the pain while they're being applied but they don't seem to help beyond that.

Does anyone have any suggestions of specific products that they find work best? Or maybe even anything that can be done to prevent the irritation from taking place altogether?
Sarah and Ivan
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Old 09-29-2009, 03:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sensitivity to Quills

I'm alergic too and no, it doesn't get better in time. Actually, I only became allergic after a year and only with Litchi, I get almost no reaction with Tangelo. I use Benadryl cream (well the no-name) after handeling to help with the itch.

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Old 09-29-2009, 03:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sensitivity to Quills

Has he had a bath recently? Some people are allergic to the saliva on the quills from anointing and if that's the case the condition often goes away after bathing the hedgie.

It could also be the bedding if you don't use liners. If she is allergic to dust from the bedding (paper bedding or wood chips, either one). Much like with pet dander, if you're handling a cat you're allergic to and handle your hedgie afterward without washing your hands the quills will push the dander into your skin and cause an allergic reaction--which could also be a cause, by the way, if you have other pets she's allergic to.

If it's not either of those, it may just be something she has to cope with. As FiaSpice says, Benadryl can be helpful for allergies; it shouldn't be a long-term day-to-day solution, however. She might also try holding him exclusively in a fleece blanket that smells like her so her hands have minimum contact with the quills.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sensitivity to Quills

I usually hold Ender in a towel or his hedgie bag. The few times I've gotten poked by the quills I've noticed some itching in the spot that lasts an abormally long time. Usually these are accidental jabs, not majorly upset hedgie jabs. I'd hate to see a reaction to that. I'm also on OTC meds for my regular allergies (one's an anithistimine), so they may cut down on any potential reactions.

I'd recommend handling with a towel or blanket too.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sensitivity to Quills

I usually have my boy snuggled in a fleecie as well. Though the bumps I now normally get usually go away within an hour or so. I also make sure I wash my hands immediately after I first feel irritated. And then use some self control not to bother it after.

Also, I'm assuming it's heat based(meaning she feels heat coming from the bumps) so some sort of cooling gel would be good. Has she tried calamine lotion? That should help as well.
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Old 09-29-2009, 05:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sensitivity to Quills

I think this is more common than what is talked about - I still get raised and itchy skin too - it has got slightly less for me - well either that or I have learnt to block it out - if my hedgies sit on me in one place then I get REALLY itchy and red and blotchy but have learnt to ignore it and have a good scratch afterwards - it takes about 2-3 hours to go back down.
I took these pics recently dont know if it shows it very well though:
left arm after my hedgie was lying on me for an hour or so:

right arm at the same time - hopefully you can see the colour difference:

I think a certain amount is mind over matter or if it is getting worse then something like an anti histamine might work orjust holding the hedgie in a fleece like others have suggested
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sensitivity to Quills

After 6.5 years I still get it with some. Some don't bother me at all and others I get quite itchy. I keep baby wipes handy and wipe exposed skin off as soon as I put hedgie down. Usually that gets rid of the itchiness quickly. I find it never lasts for more than about 15 minutes.
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Old 09-29-2009, 06:37 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sensitivity to Quills

I would tend to think that if you're irrated by something external then washing immediately would cut it down significantly as you wash away the irritant. I'm not sensitive to anything, I think I could wear steel wool as a sweater and be fine Amazing to see how many people are though!
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