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Old 01-28-2009, 01:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Quill Loss

Hi. My hedgehog Beans is about 2 and a half years old, I I have noticed he has lost ALOT of quills on his back. He is growing new ones in, and I'm just worried that is could be a fungus or mites. ( How do they get mites in the first place?) He also really irritable and won't even let me touch him, I went to pick him up the other day and he balled up and actually made my fingers bleed (go figure). I know it may be because he has new quills growing and it can be painful, but what can I do to calm him down?

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Old 01-28-2009, 01:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss

Hedgehogs can get mites from their bedding, if you use aspen or pine shavings/pellets. Both kinds can harbor mites and pass them along to your hedgie. If he's two and a half, it can't be quilling, so my next guess would be either fungus or mites. Either way, you need to get him to the vet so he can test for either or both. If it does end up being mites, make sure that the vet gives your hedgie Resolution for them. Ivermectin, another medicine prescribed for mites a lot, has resulted in quite a few hedgie deaths, so it's best to be safe and use Resolution. As far as the pain from the new quills, I've read on here that a warm bath can help soften the skin and lessen the pain, so maybe you could try that. He is probably grumpy from the new quills though, and won't want you to touch the tender spots. I would still handle him a bit, but try to avoid touching the painful spots, and maybe just hold him in your lap on a blanket or something, so that he's still getting bonding time with you, but maybe isn't so grumpy from being touched.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Quill Loss

I do use pine shavings. I will get him to a vet ASAP! Ya, his quill loss is definitely greater than the new ones growing in. What are some other options for bedding, I have seen people use hampster fluff, but i'm scared he will eat it.
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Old 01-28-2009, 02:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss

Yeah, I've read hamster fluff isn't that good of a choice. Most people use liners for their cages, and I'm going to be switching to liners soon, too. You can make them very easily. Just buy an anti-pilled fleece blanket from a chain store (like Walmart or Meijers or something). You should be able to get one relatively cheap, I saw someone mention they got one for $3. Then you can measure your cage, cut the fleece to match and you have a liner! I've read you can also use flannel or corduroy. And some people get more creative and they sew two pieces of corduroy together with a piece of flannel in between. But just a piece of fleece works, too. Just make sure if you use liners, that you make enough to switch liners out every two or three days. And remember to spot clean the poop out every morning, too.
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Old 01-28-2009, 11:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss

I use fleece blankets from WalMart, but I DON'T cut them - instead I fold them up to the cage floor size and the thickness makes a padded floor, as well as that I leave a whole bunch of the blanket at one edge of the cage all loose and rumpled, so Priscilla can make her nest inside and burrow between the layers.

Since giving her the opportunity to burrow, she never sleeps in her old spot, a PVC pipe, and now we can find her sandwiched in between layers of the blankie, which clearly makes her feel very safe and warm.
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Old 01-29-2009, 01:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Quill Loss

One quick note, if you do use fleece blankets, either cut up or whole, please make sure to remove any decorative stitching around the edge. A hedgies nail or foot could get caught in it.
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