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Old 02-17-2012, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Losing Quills

We just got our little baby Alice about 3 weeks ago. We bought her from a pet store in town. I know there are dangers with pet stores, but I could not find a breeder in our area. So anyway, after we had her home for about week (maybe 5 days), we decided that something was just not right. She seemed not very active, and a little wheezy, and there were a few quills falling out. So I immediately took her to the vets. She gave her a shot that she said would clear up any mites/fungus (even though there was no evidence of either), and she put her on a 12 day course of antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection. She completed the antibiotics, and her energy level is up, the wheezing is gone and her runny nose is gone. However, she is still losing quills! She has lost quills in a stripe down her head so it looks like a reverse mo hawk, and it is very noticeable that the rest of her quills are thinning out. Unfortunately, I do not know her age.

Has anyone ever experienced this before? Is it normal? Should I take her back to the vets?

Is there any kind of supplement that I could add to her diet that would help stop the quill loss?

Any help would be appreciated.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Losing Quills

The line of bare skin along the middle of the forehead is normal; it's there so the visor quills can come together when the hedgehog balls up. If she's a baby, that could have a lot to do with quill loss and the quills looking sparse. They're definitely not as dense in coverage earlier on, and babies go through several periods of quilling. You should try to look closely at the skin; if there are any visible quills starting to poke through the skin, that's a good indication that she's going through quilling and is probably in the range of 6 to 12 weeks old. That being said, especially without knowing the age and because you got her from a pet store, it could also be mites, but with the way you describe it, quilling would be my first guess. If she develops obvious bald patches that don't have any new quills growing in, that's something different, but in my experience there's a certain amount of 'thinning out' of the quills during some points of early quilling, when the new ones aren't obvious yet. If possible, it would help to include a photo; those can be more helpful than going by verbal descriptions.
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Old 02-17-2012, 04:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Losing Quills

From what I know, losing quills could come from a number of different things. She could be quilling - so you see any new quills growing in from underneath? Does she appear to be grouchy or in pain when you handle her/touch her back? Quilling can either happen due to age or stress.
Another thing that I know can cause quill loss is mites; however, you said the vet might have taken care of that. I know that the #1 recommended treatment for mites here on the forum is Revolution, so you might want to give that a try.
I've also heard of fungal/bacterial infections to cause quill loss, but I really don't know anything about that. Hopefully someone with a little more experience can help out!
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Losing Quills

Have you taken your new baby to a vet yet? With any new animal, it's always safe to take them in for a vet check up just to be on the safe side.
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:09 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Losing Quills

Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsMama
Have you taken your new baby to a vet yet? With any new animal, it's always safe to take them in for a vet check up just to be on the safe side.
The OP said the hedgehog went to the vet and was treated for a URI already. :]
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Old 02-17-2012, 05:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Losing Quills

Quote:
Originally Posted by moxieberry
Quote:
Originally Posted by EinsteinsMama
Have you taken your new baby to a vet yet? With any new animal, it's always safe to take them in for a vet check up just to be on the safe side.
The OP said the hedgehog went to the vet and was treated for a URI already. :]

Thanks hun. I must have caught the selective reading bug from my hubby.
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Old 02-25-2012, 04:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Losing Quills

Hey guys,

I have tried and tried to get pictures that accurately show her quill loss. She is just so darn fast! Anyway, I had a thought, and it may be silly, but do you guys use any special kind of detergent to wash your fleece liners?

Thanks for all the help.
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