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Old 05-25-2011, 04:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

Liam's been having some skin and quill issues for a while now and I was hoping to get the HHC opinion on all of it. I feel like I'm doing a lot to try and help, with not a lot of results. Here's the scoop:

Most days when I go to clean his cage and take him out I find between 5-10 quills lying around, mostly near him where he is curled up sleeping. Every once and a while he will have a banner day and lose a bunch of quills. One day recently I counted around 30! He will also always lose a few when I have him out to play - I usually find them stuck in his hedgie bag. Sometimes if he shakes off or pops up (like after he wakes up), a couple will go flying off as well. I was checking out his back yesterday and I could see a lot of new quills growing in - probably a couple dozen. Is this a lot, or is this normal? He doesn't have any noticeable patches of bare skin.

He has had issues with dry, flaky skin for a while, which I am trying my best to remedy. In the mornings I can see skin flakes littered around the liner. He gets Sunshine Factor on his food every day, and I drizzled a bunch of flaxseed oil into his kibble mix, so that he gets a little of that every day as well. He also gets some wet cat food, cooked chicken, and veggies all mixed up. I give him a bath with flax oil directly on the skin about once a month. The flax oil in the bath helps a ton, but the improvement only lasts for a few days, and then we're back to dry and flaky.

The flaky skin bothers me, but is not as concerning to me as the quill loss. Any thoughts on what it could be/am I worrying over nothing? He is on fleece liners and I use no-scent, no-dye detergent. He is about 10 months old, so he should be well past all quilling. He's a happy guy otherwise - all of this bothers me WAY more than him, it seems.
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Old 05-25-2011, 04:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

Has he been treated for mites? I saw similar things with Truffle though since he is only 4 months old I attributed it all to quilling. I never saw bare spots, never saw signs of itching etc. But since he got his dose of revolution (just about time for round 2) his skin has been way better. No hugemongous flakes and not as many quills either.
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Old 05-25-2011, 08:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

He hasn't been treated for mites at all. I'm just not sure where he could have picked them up from - he hasn't been on shavings for months and months. I've also never seen him scratching really. Sometimes he will, but it's really intermittent and doesn't seem desperate, like I imagine scratching with mites would be. Also, shouldn't there be kind of noticable patches without quills?

I guess trying Revolution wouldn't hurt. I thought I read somewhere that you could order it in the US without a vet Rx - is that true? Not that I mind taking him taking him to the vet or anything.

Thank you for the suggestion! Hopefully we'll figure it out.
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Old 05-29-2011, 06:03 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

I'm having the same exact problem with my hedgie Damien. He's about 8 months old, but he has been treated ONCE for mites with invermectin. I was pretty sure he doesn't have them now again, I check him often. but he has always the same problem as you described. I still can't find out what's wrong with him, or how to treat it :/
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

To many baths is just going to make it worse.
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Old 05-29-2011, 07:45 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

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Originally Posted by cylaura
He hasn't been treated for mites at all. I'm just not sure where he could have picked them up from - he hasn't been on shavings for months and months. I've also never seen him scratching really. Sometimes he will, but it's really intermittent and doesn't seem desperate, like I imagine scratching with mites would be. Also, shouldn't there be kind of noticable patches without quills?

I guess trying Revolution wouldn't hurt. I thought I read somewhere that you could order it in the US without a vet Rx - is that true? Not that I mind taking him taking him to the vet or anything.

Thank you for the suggestion! Hopefully we'll figure it out.
I NEVER saw Truffle scratch and no patches at all. But the vet looked at his skin and said that was what it was. And his skin has gotten MUCH better than it was since I gave him the revolution. AND his personality has gotten MUCH better too.
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

so where/how can I get revolution? I know through a vet, but is there any other way to get it? What's the exact name for it? Is it in liquid drops form? Does this help prevent mites even if I'm not sure he has them?
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Old 05-30-2011, 10:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

When Snarf was losing quills and shedding flakes really bad in February, in addition to adding SF to his diet, I also removed any foods with salmon oil (I had started a barnd new food in January which he ate every day...starting losing quills that same time...coincidence? Dunno).

You may want to give it a shot, especially if you introduced any new foods within the last month. Salmon oil isn't found in big amounts in non-fish flavour catfood so you have to look pretty far down the list. I was suprised at how many of Snarf's foods contained salmon oil.
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Old 05-30-2011, 06:22 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

@Larry - he only gets a full bath once a month. Is that too often? He gets foot baths as he needs them, but just in a little water to get his feet wet.

@MissC - hmmm, I'll have to check. He has one food (Wellness) thats Salmon based. He loves it, and I haven't had any smelly poop issues. I can try taking it out.

The quill loss does seem to have stopped some - maybe he was just shedding a bit for the summer? I feel like I've heard that can happen sometimes? I may try and get some Revolution in the meantime.
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Old 05-30-2011, 08:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The mystifying quill loss/dry skin combo

The revolution I have is from the vet and is in liquid form. They gave him the first dose (not shot, you put some drops on his neck) and then gave me the little container and the syringe to suck up the right amount to put on him at 14 days (which is today) and 28. I did notice over the last few days that he has had a lot of flaky skin again (I do give him Sunshine Factor on his food every other day and flax seed on his skin) which makes sense. The first dose killed the adults but then the eggs hatch and grow out so 14 days after you need to kill those ones before they lay eggs. The last one at 28 days should take care of any stragglers.

I actually also have seen Toffee scratch a bit and she is losing quills but she is almost 12 weeks old so is likely quilling. Her skin is still nice and pink. However, since I have the revolution I thought I may as well give it to her as well. They do come out in the same play area (though not at the same time of course) so he could have spread the mites to her.
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