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Old 01-30-2010, 01:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Quill Loss?

Hello all!

I've read that a few quill loss is normal and something more might mean something more serious. Last night, I noticed that Spike Jones lost about 12 quills when I handled him. This is the first time I've ever noticed him losing ANY amount of quills since I've had him (about 3 weeks). Tonight, he's lost about 7-8 quills. He generally seems okay. He's running on his wheel, his poops are okay except one that was dk green and slimey, he doesn't seem to be itchy at all. I did the general mites test where I scratched his quills on a dark linen and he only had a few dry skin flakes come off (he also seemed to really hate that). I haven't changed his food diet. The only thing I can think of that I changed is his cardboard hut to a different box, but I've done that before.

Is this normal? He seems okay in every respect but if he has mites I want to get him checked out ASAP.

Also, on a separate topic, what wattage do people recommend in ceramic heaters? I believe I have a 60W for a ~22.5gal plastic sterilite container which has been doing ok so far but I'm becoming paranoid about keeping my baby warm.
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss?

HOW OLD IS HE?

and congrats on ur new hedgie
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Old 01-30-2010, 01:29 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss?

It might be possible that the quill loss is from the stress of changing homes since you've only had him a few weeks. I've seen posts before where they will start dropping quills after a change like that. It's also possible he's going through a quilling depending on how old he is. Is he showing any balding areas?

Hope he gets to feeling better
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Old 01-30-2010, 04:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss?

For heating, a CHE that wattage would work fine for a cage that size, but a tub only 22.5 gallons would have to be pretty small. Hedgies need at the absolute bare minimum 2 square feet, but 4 or more is prefered. Does he have a wheel?



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Old 01-30-2010, 12:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss?

A 22.5 gallon plastic bin is a bit on the small side. You will either need to buy a bigger one (at least 125 qt. which is 31.5 gallons) or add another bin and connect them with PVC tubes or a dryer hose. A 60 watt heat emitter is a bit low. You probably want at least 75 watts. 100 W would be more preferable. Make sure to only heat one side of the cage (so he can move if he gets hot) and to keep the room a bit warm also. His cage needs to be about 72F all around and about 75F on one side. If you don't have a digital thermometer go buy one now.

As for the quill loss:

How old is he?
Do the quills flex when you bend them, or do they snap in half?
Do most of them have the little ball on the end?
Does he have any bald patches or bare spots?
Can you see new quills growing up through the skin?
Is his skin red, scabbed, or irritated?
What kind of litter is he on? If he's not on cloth (no towels) switch him over now.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss?

I got the 100W CHE today and letting it warm up the cage right now.

He was born 9/24/09.
The quills have a ball at the end and bend but do not snap in half.
I can't see any new quills right now, but then again, he puffs up so much if i poke at his quills and i can't search very well.
His skin doesn't look irritated at all.
He's on kiln dried aspen bedding and right now he's not litter-trained.
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Old 01-31-2010, 11:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss?

Actually as an update, I noticed new quills coming around his ears. I suppose that is why he is much much more cranky lately.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss?

So he's about 7 weeks old? He's probably quilling, and getting his adult quills, which would be normal.
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