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Old 03-02-2016, 05:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Worried My Hedgehog is Sick

Hi! I have a four-year-old male hedgehog named Odair. He's been losing quills for some time, but I just thought that was the shedding they do to get their adult quills. (But I'm no expert.) However, the loss has gotten very, very bad. There are quills all over his cage, and he has a very large bald spot on his back and his quills are getting sparse. I also believe he has lost a lot of weight (he definitely looks and feels skinnier), and the skin on his back is very, very dry--it looks flaky and lumpy. His diet mainly consists of a dry cat food, and he'll occasionally get yogurt chips (but I don't think he eats them) and freeze-dried crickets. There's always food in his cage (most of it knocked into the bedding), but when I fed him the other day he DIVED into it. I've done some research, and I wonder if he's gotten malnourished and needs a completely new, more "human," real-food diet? Research has also mentioned mites, but I haven't seen any, and I don't know if that accounts for weight loss? (My house was built in 1940 and we get occasional ant problems, and I think a few have been slipping into his cage recently if that has to do anything?) I'm trying to see what I can do before going to the vet and spending money I really don't have right now (broke college student), so I was wondering if anyone here could help? Thank you so much, from me and Odair!
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What is the brand of food you are feeding? What type?

It seems he has a skin condition of some sorts especially bald spots. Please see if you can get him to the vet ASAP, there is not much we can do from here
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He eats Premium Edge, Finnicky Adult Cat dry cat food.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The ingredients don't look bad but that food is very high in protein. 34% is too much. Hedgehogs need about 25-28% protein. The fat content is also far too high at 18% (I shoot for about 10-14%). But it is weird he is LOSING weight on a very high fat food. Are you sure he is eating it?
Is his mouth okay? Sometimes they get oral problems. Any signs of swelling?
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Actually maybe I am mistaken. I see 28-35% being listed on the forum about protein. Then the protein should be fine but there is still the question of why your little one loses weight on a high fat diet.
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Old 03-02-2016, 05:54 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Do you keep track of how much food you give him & how much he eats? If so, how much does he eat each night?

Unfortunately, he does need a vet visit. He likely has a skin infection, which isn't going to be something you can fix at home. You don't always see mites if a hedgehog has an infestation, though they do usually scratch quite a bit more with mites. It wouldn't hurt to treat him if the vet wants to, but make sure they ONLY use Revolution - do not let them use Ivermectin on him. To check for a skin infection, they may need to do a skin scrape. The options are bacterial or fungal - bacterial gets antibiotics, fungal gets antifungals.

As far as his food goes, it's fine. Nothing wrong with the protein content - 35% is considered the upper limit. Yes, the fat is high, but that's clearly not posing a problem currently. I agree that it's concerning he's losing weight on the food though. Is he extremely active?
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