Extensive Quill Loss - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 09-17-2014, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Extensive Quill Loss

Hi guys,

My hedgie (Sonica) has been struggling with super dry and flaky skin for a few months now. She's losing a TON of quills as well and has some bald patches on her back. She's been on a Revolution treatment monthly per the vet's recommendations from what we assumed was mites in the past; however, even with a double dosage of Revolution, the quill loss is still present along with the dry/flaky skin so we can rule out mites at this time. The vet also seems to think that Sonica could be allergic to the Revolution in that her quill loss is focused around the area where the Revolution drops are placed.

A fungal infection has also been ruled out. Currently, she's being treated for what the vet thinks is a bacterial infection; however, she has been on the medication (given orally) for about a week and a half now and there has been absolutely no improvement.

I don't think she could have developed any allergies since nothing has changed in her environment. She is also on fleece bedding.

Any ideas as she's not responding to anything that would typically cause these types of symptoms.

Thank you!
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Old 09-22-2014, 07:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I really hope one of the more experienced posters or admins on here will post and help you so your question doesn't get bumped down to the bottom of the page and not seen.
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Old 09-22-2014, 08:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Has your vet done a skin scraping and sent it off for a culture & sensitivity test? A culture would determine if there really is an infection and what medication will properly treat it. For instance, if she has an antibiotic resistant strain of bacteria, you could try several medications before finding the right one to finally cure her.
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Old 09-22-2014, 11:28 AM   #4 (permalink)
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They told me that she would need a biopsy to determine what it is and would need to put her to sleep for it which is really expensive. Honestly, I just can't afford it. I had a basic skin scraping done for her which ruled out mites and fungal. That's all I can manage.
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Old 09-22-2014, 02:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You don't need a full biopsy for a culture and sensitivity test. They should only need a skin scraping to get a good sample from an infected area. And I've never had a vet anesthetize a hedgehog for a sample for a test of this type. You may need to find another veterinarian. Some vets do immediately jump to the anesthesia option instead of spending a little time and being patient with their patient.

Yes, culture and sensitivity tests are not the cheapest option, however if it is drug resistant you can go through many veterinary visits, many drugs and expenses, and a great deal of suffering on the hedgehogs part before you find the right one. Or be treating a hedgehog with medication when the problem is entirely something else. Sadly diagnosing what is wrong with these little ones, and treating them isn't easy or cheap sometimes. But that's just part of being an exotic pet owner I suppose.
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Old 09-22-2014, 03:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It does sound like mites but the Revolution should have fixed that if that is what it was. It could also be a sign of malnutrition or stress. I had one pair of rescue hedgies that I saw the quill loss in and it was because they were not eating a high quality food. If she is reacting to the Revolution I would discontinue the use of that and give her baths for mite treatment. Wash the cage and area around the cage well and bathe her at the same time. The shampoo I use for this purpose is Sentry Dog Oatmeal Flea and Tick Shampoo and this will kill the mites. Repeat this process again in 3 days and then in another 3 days. This should at reduce greatly or eliminate the mites. Also switch her food. What is she eating now? I recommend Select Diet Premium Hedgehog Food. This is what all my animals eat and works well to keep their skin in good shape as a sample food. You can order it on my website but I will also send you a sample if you want to try it for a few weeks and see if she likes it. It may take some time for the food to make a dramatic difference but I have seen animals really improve after the switch. If you'd like to discuss this further, email me. [email protected] You can order the food here: http://www.hedgehogsnw.com/Shopping.html but again, I'd send you a free sample if you want to try it. I didn't just answer to market the food.
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Old 09-22-2014, 09:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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It doesn't sound like the problem is mites, and I'd be rather hesitant to use a treated shampoo if it's unnecessary.

Hedgehog foods are not great, for the most part. Most of them have very poor quality ingredients, and while 8in1 isn't one of the outright dangerous ones, the ingredients still aren't great. I'm going on memory for that though, considering you can't even find the ingredients online anymore (which is pretty concerning). I know some people prefer hedgehog foods, but IMO, they should only be offered in a mix with one or two good quality cat foods. Personally, I wouldn't bother spending money on them, given the awful quality of ingredients.

I agree with Kalandra that it sounds like you need to look into a different vet that will be more willing to work with you to find out what's going on with your hedgehog. I can't give any better advice than she has. I hope you're able to figure out what her problems are being caused by & get her feeling better!
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