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Old 09-28-2011, 01:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Dry skin/Quill loss no mites?

So Pfeffer is a little under a year old and this summer I've noticed progressively worsened quill loss. She's always had problems with dry skin, but this summer she had major problems with flaking and quill loss. She's been treated for mites 3 times to see if that was the cause, the medicine hasn't seemed to have made a difference (and yes i wiped everything down, don't have any mite holding products in the cage and own no other animals). When I first got her she was treated for intestinal worms so I don't know if that would be the cause either. I think the vet is stumped as they haven't found any evidence of mites on the quills or anything alarming in a stool sample. Her food is blue buffalo weight control with fish oil/flax seed drizzled over it, she pretty much only eats mealworms and turns up her nose at other treats/bugs. Once every 3-4 weeks she gets a bath in warm (not too warm) water and she gets 2 capfuls of olive oil on her quills which seems to subside the flaking but not the quill loss, I can't even use soap or she'd be even worse with flakes. I've tried baths in flax seed oil, didn't seem to work better than the olive. Any thoughts? At the last bath she lost 40+ quills and seems to be losing 10+ a day, though I haven't seen any bald spots. She uses liners.

Nothing changed over the summer to make the quill loss different..same food same liners etc.

Thoughts anybody? Is there a likely cause or is she just an unlucky hedgie with skin problems?
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Old 09-28-2011, 07:15 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dry skin/Quill loss no mites?

There are several things you can try.

See if switching her food may help. Some hedgies are randomly allergic to something they eat and can cause quill loss. What kind of detergent? Can try switching that too.

And stop the oil baths. You can also get a skin scraping done and see if she has anything fungal or bacterial.

And sometimes, it may just be hormonal. One of Nancy's has had to be spayed and her quill loss stopped.

So obviously try to rule out the less invasive possibilities first. And I also remember kelsey(lilysmommy) having problems with Lily's skin and it turned out to be because of the oil. But it's too early for my brain to be properly functioning to remember. She'll probably see this but if not just shoot her a pm.
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Old 09-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dry skin/Quill loss no mites?

Yes, stop the oil. Sometimes oil based products cause more problems than they solve. You can use a water based moisturizer, the vet should have something. The only thing is, whatever you get, watch that it isn't highly scented. Sometimes these products are meant for dogs so of course are perfumed.

You can also double rinse her bedding and use some vinegar in the rinse to cut any soap residue just in case this is allergy.

If using a non oil based moisturizer doesn't help, I'd have a skin scrape done and sent out for testing to check for fungal or bacterial infections.

If all else fails, chances are it's a hormonal issue.
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Old 09-28-2011, 01:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dry skin/Quill loss no mites?

Allright I'll stop using the oil and try changing the detergent I use for the liners and doing an extra rinse cycle. I'll also call the vet to see if she has a hedgie friendly moisturizer, if none of that works I'll change the food. If none of those work I'll ask what the vet thinks about a hormonal issue, might as well do a skin scraping for good measure anyway..


Thanks everybody!

Also, is there a way to tell if it might be hormonal? I guess I really didn't notice problems until she was an adult with her quill loss. Is the spaying process terribly traumatic?
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Old 09-28-2011, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dry skin/Quill loss no mites?

Also, follow up to Nancy or anybody else with similar problems, is there a food you recommend that would minimize the allergy problem?
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Dry skin/Quill loss no mites?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfeffernuss
Also, follow up to Nancy or anybody else with similar problems, is there a food you recommend that would minimize the allergy problem?

I recommend Blue Buffalo Basics (Fish flavor can cause stinky poop, so I don't recommend this flavor) It has limited ingredients so it may cut down on allergies. I personally prefer the Turkey and Potato recipe and no problems yet. It is $18 at Petsmart and $21 or so at Petco. BUT it lasted me for 5+ months (I freeze the amount I don't use)

Good luck to you and your hedgie's path to recovery
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