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Old 01-08-2016, 02:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ringworm & Mites

Long story short: Adopted a hedgie from a rescue group he was turn into almost 3 wks ago. When I got him, I immediately noticed he had mites which vet treated with Revolution. Suddenly this week I have ringworm. Seems logical that it prob came from new hedgie & maybe vet didn't see it on his skin because it's already crusty and quill loss due to bad mite infestation. I have a cat and 3 dogs in my house also (but they're all inside animals and we've never had an issue with ringworm before). I have topical stuff to treat myself. Called our exotics vet just now to ask about ringworm on hedgie. Response was that he's never seen it on a hedgie before and it prob came from cat or dogs. Asked about quill loss & I said yes, but he's got bad mites so who knows if it's from one or the other or both. He just suggested I watch for more quill loss and come back in if the loss gets worse. umm... none of the other animals in the house seem to have it but since they've all been in contact with me, you can sure bet I'll be watching for it! I can't imagine it would've come from the cat or dogs and they show no symptoms yet I do. I'm thinking it's the hedgie and since his skin is already so bad from the mites, we just couldn't pick out the ringworm. Does anyone have experience with ringworm and hedgehogs? My vet says he's never seen it but a Google search (I know, don't believe everything you read on the internet) says it's not uncommon in hedgies...? Please help! I don't want this to spread as it's very contagious and I have a house full of animals...
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Old 01-08-2016, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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p.s. The vet told me he used to breed hedgehogs. How are you an exotic vet AND you were a breeder and you have NEVER heard of a hedgie having ringworm before when all other sources seem to say that it's fairly common in them...?
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Old 01-09-2016, 12:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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If I remember right, ringworm should show up under a black light, so it should be a fairly easy diagnosis... I would insist on getting him tested (or maybe get black light yourself & check?) or tell the vet you're going to find a different clinic then. I agree that it's strange he's never heard of it before. I think it's somewhat common in them (and easy for them to pass on) due to their quills creating entrances into their system when they first break through the skin. Likewise with us - the quills poke little holes in our skin & make it easy for the fungus to get in.
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Old 01-11-2016, 11:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Lilysmommy, Yes, I am going to find a new vet. Counting back the days with the incubation period, seems obvious that it came from the hedgie and none of the other animals are showing signs of ringworm while our poor boy is still losing quills all over but now also has a VERY noticeable bald circle on his rump. Ding, ding, ding! So yeah, new vet it is. The ringworm on me is VERY bad... feel bad for him because he must be so miserable and to top it off, he's in a new place, we're trying to handle him for the first time in his life, etc. Poor boy. Thanks for the input!
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Old 01-11-2016, 10:18 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Poor little guy. I'm so glad he's home with you and clearly has a loving family now though. I hope you guys can get him feeling better soon! Please keep us updated on how he's doing.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:33 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Well, he doesn't have any lesions that are nasty looking but the balding on him is definitely in a circular pattern if you catch him from behind at the right angle. I did the blacklight test and my arm didn't light up and neither did anywhere on him, really... his penis area was yellowish but I assume that's from pee.

His belly, nose, etc. all look pretty good. However, he doesn't like to unball for us yet so it is possible something could be different on him and I wouldn't exactly know it. But I can beyond a shadow of a doubt say that the quill loss he is going through is primarily on his lower back/rump area and that by his face and upper body the quills remain fairly thick.

I'm wondering about when he got the mites/ringworm, though. If he'd had them since he was born (a year ago), wouldn't he be bald by now? Maybe he got them during the time he was turned over to the rescue... which was when he was about a year old and they had him a week or two and we've now had him just over 3 weeks.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:35 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh and none of the other animals in our home show signs of ringworm, hair loss or anything else abnormal. All seem healthy & happy. He is the only animal in the house who is new and also the only one with any sort of "hair" loss going on or skin issue.

Also, some of his pores look really swollen or inflamed... like a lump with a quill sticking out and last night one of the pores was bleeding a small amount.
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Old 01-12-2016, 02:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you haven't yet, you may want to get a skin scraping done and have a culture done on the scraping. I've seen quill loss with overly dry, crusty skin be a bacterial infection (staph).

I've also seen staph infections cause red rings to develop around the base of quills, then a pustule form, and the quill would fall out. His started out in the center of his back, then its diameter grew as the infection slowly spread. That hedgehog had a resistant staph strain.
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Old 01-12-2016, 08:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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With the mites, there's a theory that hedgehogs can get mites and not have a full infestation that ends up causing quill loss, needing treatment, etc. because they stay in check. However, if something happens to cause their immune system to drop, such as a hibernation attempt, other illness, or stress from a move, it can provide an opening for the mites to flourish & start actually causing problems. Since he's had so much going on in his life recently, that could be a possibility. Alternatively, he didn't get them until more recently, from a bad bag of bedding, rather than getting them as a little guy.
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Old 01-13-2016, 03:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for all of the information! Yesterday afternoon I left work early & drove an hour away to see a different exotic vet. This guy had a much better "bedside manner" and took my concerns seriously. He handled Tiggy better than I've seen anyone else do it and confirmed he probably wasn't ever really handled by his previous owner who turned him into the rescue group, as he said this was the meanest hog he'd ever encountered. Tiggy also bit during the examination... he did NOT want to cooperate and even when using some water in a tub to get him to unball, they had to use a lot... like you think he's going to drown himself cause he won't unball... the vet called him "gangster", "thug" and "bad ass". lol Soo... yes, we have an uphill battle with socialization. They are doing a culture and we started him on antibiotics. Hoping culture will grow in 5-12 days and we'll know for sure... could be bacterial infection and/or ringworm. Mites are gone so the Revolution worked, thankfully. Because one of us works in the medical field & can't take a chance with things that are contagious, etc. we are being extra vigilant. All animals are quarantined and being kept apart, super disinfecting like a mad woman & doing some other things also. Just hoping we can pinpoint where the ringworm started at and make sure it's treated so we don't pass it around to all the humans/animals in our house.
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