My boy is also losing quills. It started around his 2nd birthday in late October but has continued and gotten worse, now dropping 4-6 per a week. I’m going to take him to the vets on Monday for a preventive mite treatment (2 doses of revolution, 2 weeks apart). I recommend you discuss doing the same with your vet. It is not harmful for them to have a preventative treatment as often it is hard to see them, unless it is a serious infestation. Yuki last had a preventive treatment at the beginning of last year and it seemed to help (hes lost more quills this time around).
I have a pet cam for Yuki since Christmas and I see him scratching throughout the night the night. Do you see or hear your boy scratching a lot? Most the time the quills have bulbs but sometimes they don’t or they have a piece of flakey skin attached. Even if they have bulbs they can still have mites. My vet previously told me that there is normal for them to have some mites, it is only when their immune system is compromised that it can get out of control and become an issue for them.
I live in Japan and the winters are also super dry here. I have a humidifier in the room so the level is correct (60% humidity) but the hygrometer reader on the digital thermometer inside his viv often reads onlymid 40s. I don’t know how I can get this higher ><
I’m going to try switch up his kibble too. Has your boy always had the same food, what do you feed? When I first got Yuki, the pet store had him on Mazuri and his skin was dry and he had bald patches back then (again was same time of year so maybe the dry winter didn’t help). I switched him over to good quality cat food including one salmon base one and his skin and quills got better! I had to switch these up a few months to a year later as he gained a lot of weight (original was tiny and verging underweight). So that’s when I introduced blue buffalo weight management last June and only kept one original food as part of his mix). He started losing fur and quills last Fall but only these last couple of months it has increased to 4-5 a week and he has a few sparse looking areas. So now it’s a bit warmer I’m going to take him to the vets for a wellness check and revolution treatment. Hes been having issues with vomitting lately as well so I’m not sure if it’s all connected. Our poor boys!
All I can suggest is to have a preventative mites treatment anyways and see if it helps. Consider changing his diet, research the ingredients and consider doing an intolerance test (I’m also looking into this now) and consider feeding a raw diet, as it’s a cleaner food (less chance of food allergies. I’m also going to introduce this.
As far as I’m aware, they don’t go through any more quillings after their first birthday. It’s normal to lose some quills and shed a little but it shouldnt be multiples in a day. But since Yuki is losing for a few months now and it’s slowly getting worse I don’t think it’s normal and 25 in one week isn’t normal either. Perhaps the stress of going to the vets made your boy lose more quills or if the humidity changed drastically perhaps it aggravated his skin of the flaxseed oil?
Also you didn’t mention about baths, how often do you bathe him and with what? It most likely not the cause but best to clarify just in case it’s making it worse etc. A new environment can be stressful but I think he would have green poops and his appetite effected as well. Has the new place been recently refurbished, freshly painted etc? Is the interior wooden in the room which could be irritating him (wooden floors, beams etc).
Re the oil, if the sudden excessive quill lost happened after giving the flaxseed oil I would stop it for now and see if it continues or improves. Maybe just use once a week. I also wouldn’t use any oil on his quills until the vet has ruled out a skin issue (bacteria, fungal or mites), just in case you are. I know the mite test was negative but often they come back negative, the mites might be in particular area etc, using oil on the skin can block pores, increase mites or make a skin condition worse.
Hoping he improves soon! Keep us posted!