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Old 03-30-2011, 01:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

Hi All,
I've had my hedgie for a while now, but within the past 2 weeks or so I've noticed that when she crawls / nests / sleeps and her quills poke my bare skin, I'm getting what looks like a rash or hives. I get red itchy bumps that if I scratch them they start to look more like hives, more whitish and poofy. Is it possible to suddenly have an allergic reaction to an animal? I'm confused because I havent changed any of her surroundings, and she hasn't gotten into anything recently. I'm thinking that I'm allergic to something that's on her quills but I dont see how anything 'new' could be on her quills. She self annoints sometimes, is it possible her saliva is causing this?
I'd love any tips or insight, because I love to hold and play with her but lately have had to wear long sleeves and not let her near my hands due to this irritating 'rash' I get.

Thanks!
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

I sometimes get little red itchy bumps on my arms as well if Norman pokes them with his spines or digs in with his nails to climb. I'm not sure if it's quite the same as what you're getting, but I've found that just washing the area with plain ol' soap and water clears it up pretty quickly and makes the itchiness go away instantly.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

I suppose I should also mention, to help put things in some context, that I have rather fair skin, burn easily, and usually have a reaction to any sort of cosmetic product.
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Old 03-30-2011, 01:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

My skin is like that and so is my daughter's. We both used to get little red bumps when we held the hedgies, but that quit happening after a month or so. Now I only get red bumps if a hedgie decides to hang out in my shirt for a while.

Allergies are supposed to get worse with repeated exposure, though, so maybe that's why you're suddenly having the reaction and didn't before.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

I am also fair skinned and pretty sensitive to most things. I also get the same reaction when Niblet's quills touch my bare skin. I get little red bumps that itch and burn like fire. I too, like Nebular said, wash the area with plain soap and water and I can see/feel a difference in it after that. If it is still a little itchy, then i put some Cortisone cream on it.

I am a nurse and for many months have considered the reason that this is happening. My best guess is that when his quills touch my skin that they penetrate my skin which sets off a release of histamine and the inflammatory process. Who knows if that is exactly accurate but that is my best guess. I believe that it is just the skin/body's reaction to being punctured as opposed to an actual allergic reaction.

Either way....I would rather wear long sleeves and/or wash my arms and apply cortisone cream than get rid of my Niblet. So that is what I will do.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

Hmm, I hope I'm not actually developing an allergy to hedgies. I've always gotten small red bumps whenever Layla's quills would poke me, but I had never had a problem with them itching. They'd just be there for an hour or two and eventually just disappear. These newer symptoms seem a little different and needless to say, more like an alergic reaction... I'm curious to hear if anyone else has had this happen and what they've done or what info they know about it.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

The big thing to know with allergic reactions is that they don't happen the first time you are exposed to the allergen. An allergic reaction can happen the second or 304863586794568732nd time you are exposed to an allergen. Allergic reactions are the body overreacting to a relatively harmless thing, but the body has to learn to notice the allergen first. Kind of like if you and a friend were sitting around and a house fly flew by. Your friend looks at you and says, "Hey, what was that??". You explain what it was and what you know of flies. Your friend goes, "Oh, huh never seen one of those before." You both go on about your day. The next day, you and your friend see a fly again and this time, your friend yells, "OMG EWW A FLY! DIE!!!!", breaks out a machine gun and begins chasing the fly, firing at random.

It can be harder than it seems to decide what you are reacting to, but the most likely culprits are probably either the hedgie herself, trace amounts of urine/feces on her quills, or if she has a mites you might react to the mites. Talk to your doctor about the reaction, see if he/she thinks it is indeed an allergic reaction. See how you react after she is freshly bathed.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

When is the last time you bathed her??

I know that my bumps sometimes get worse the longer it has been since Niblet has had a bath.
I would say that if this is indeed an allergic reaction then it would be to something that is already on her quills and not to the hedgehog herself.

Try giving her a bath and using a soft bristle toothbrush on her quills with some Aveeno soap and see if that helps.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nibletsmom
I am also fair skinned and pretty sensitive to most things. I also get the same reaction when Niblet's quills touch my bare skin. I get little red bumps that itch and burn like fire. I too, like Nebular said, wash the area with plain soap and water and I can see/feel a difference in it after that. If it is still a little itchy, then i put some Cortisone cream on it.

I am a nurse and for many months have considered the reason that this is happening. My best guess is that when his quills touch my skin that they penetrate my skin which sets off a release of histamine and the inflammatory process. Who knows if that is exactly accurate but that is my best guess. I believe that it is just the skin/body's reaction to being punctured as opposed to an actual allergic reaction.

Either way....I would rather wear long sleeves and/or wash my arms and apply cortisone cream than get rid of my Niblet. So that is what I will do.
Nurses FTW! I'm a new grad myself.
Excellent advice. For the first month, I didn't react to my hedgie at all. Now I occasionally get light red bumps myself. I've noticed it happens when I get jabbed harder by her quills, light presses don't do it. The longer it has been since she had a bath/the dirtier she is, the more likely I am to react. I'm fairly positive I'm having inflammatory reactions to micro punctures myself. Soap and water clean the bumps up post haste.
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Old 03-30-2011, 02:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Red Itchy bumps from where Hedgie's Quills touch me - hives?

I gave her a full bath about 2 1/2 weeks ago, pretty soon she'll be due for another one but I really try to avoid overbathing because she has such dry skin. Sometime within the next few days I'll give her another full bath with my Aveeno and toothbrush and see if that helps. Until then I'll just try to wear long sleeves and not have any bare skin showing wherever she decides to roam...
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