3 y/o Quill Loss
I am growing very concerned for my soon-to-be 3 year old hedgehog (his birthday is in April!). For the last couple of weeks he has been losing quills, and I only noticed them when I cleaned his cage or took him out to play. It is not normal for him to regularly drop quills - the last time he did so was when he quilled on his first birthday. . Not an excessive amount was lost at first, a fairly regular 5 quills a week, but enough after 3 weeks of this to take him to the vet to check for mites.
The mite test came back as negative and the vet recommended increasing the humidity in his room to help with dry skin - which makes sense, as the winter months can be rather dry. Followed their instructions and now, about a week later, he has lost 25 quills. 25 quills in 1 week compared to the earlier 5 per week. I am at a loss.
- The quills have the little bulb folicles on the ends. They also don’t seem centric to one spot on his body, as he has yet to show any balding spots.
- The only aspect of his environment that has changed was moving in early Jan. He uses the same type of fleece, wheel, food, heating source, and I use the same type of cleaning products to clean his cage regularly (a vinegar solution rinsed off after with water). He seems to enjoy the new apt, tho, as he is not afraid to take the opportunity to explore and annoint when I have him out. Can a change that happened 3 months ago impact him now?
- His activity is all the same. He eats about the same, sleeps about the same, activity level, love of the wheel, exploring time outside of the cage, all of that is the same. I can’t say whether he has grown grumpier, as he was always a bit of a grump.
- I have no other animals, he has never gone outside beyond travel and I freeze his food before giving it to him, so even with the negative test for mites I think that it is HIGHLY unlikely that it’s some sort of parasite.
My best hope is that this is another quilling phase. My vet said that he’s not too old for such a phase, but didn’t confirm that this was what it was. I thought hedgehogs generally didn’t quill after they were a year old? I’ve seen a couple of 2 y/o cases on the forum in my search for an answer, but would 3 be too old?