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Old 05-22-2012, 11:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Treatment for flaky skin

Hi! Sorry for having so many questions. I'm still relatively new to owning hedgies. :S

I am having a problem of dry, flaky skin with Cookie. I sometimes see her her scratching, but not often. I checked for mites, and she doesn't seem to have any. This is not constant. Sometimes, her skin is clean and sometimes very flakey, especially just before her scheduled bath.

Here are some possible reasons for this:

1) She really loves to play in her sandbox. The sand is natural sand from the beach of Boracay. I read somewhere that sand is a natural remedy/prevention for mites on hedgies. And Cookie positively loves to roll around in the sand. Most mornings I'd awaken to a very, very sandy hedgie.

2) It's been very hot and humid here. It's summer time in the Philippines.

3) Quilling. Cookie still seems to quilling. The quill loss is lesser now but can still see new spines growing on her back.

4) Frequent baths? I'm not sure if once a week is too frequent but I might be ridding her of her natural oils.

I've tried some remedies. I am using oatmeal soap for her baths. I also used to put olive oil on her during quilling but since she loves to play in the sand, this has been a very bad combination. The sand just gets stuck to her body with the oil. I also removed her sandbox for awhile and replaced it with a shredded paper dig box but she liked the sand better so I placed it back. The flaky skin just keeps coming back. It would be gone for awhile after the bath but then after a few days that skin's flaky again. Is there a permanent solution for this?
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Old 05-22-2012, 11:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin, wheezing

Also, no answer in my last post regarding the wheezing. She only wheezes when she's in my arms. She doesn't wheeze when she's sleeping nor when she's not in my arms. Both she and Kreme does this, is it normal hedgie behavior?
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

I'm guessing the sand is drying her skin out and making it flaky. I would take the sandbox out...I know she likes it, but it's probably drying her skin out, and it can also pose a hazard as far as getting stuck in private parts or in her eyes and causing scratches. For a dig box, most people on here recommend using fleece strips, since they don't fray at the edges, and they're safe. Shredded paper would probably be better than the sand though, even if she doesn't like it quite so much. Just make sure that you shake the paper out a bit before you put it in to keep the dust down.

I'm not sure on the wheezing...If they only do it when you're holding them, I'm guessing it's probably one of their normal hedgie sounds. If they had any respiratory issues, they'd be making the sound in their cage as well, I would think.
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Old 05-22-2012, 12:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

sometimes its hard to see mite it might be best to treat her with revolution anyways to see if it helps

before this though how often are yo bathing her? she shouldnt be bathed more then twice a month.

have you tried adding vitamin e oil on top of her food?

for the wheezing do you wear perfume or use scented soap? she could be sensitive to the smell.
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Old 05-23-2012, 09:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

Thanks for all the advice.

I have a digbox of felt cloth, but Cookie won't even touch it. Although I think she used it as a litter box once. When I take out her sand box, she doesn't seem to want to play with anything besides her wheel. She might have become attached to the sand.

Kreme's sometimes flaking as well but he doesn't have a sand box in his cage (his cage is smaller).

With the vitamin E on food, is it okay to use olive oil? I read that flax seed should be used but I'm not sure if I can find some in supermarkets here. Olive oil has moderate levels of Vitamin E but I'm not sure if it's ok mixing it with their food (although I've seen Cookie taste herself when I put olive oil on her). Also i have lots of olive oil left.

I give both my hedgies a bath once a week. I thought it would be good for them because of all the heat and humidity, plus the oatmeal baths seems to clear up the flaky skin for a few days. And it can't be helped with Kreme who seems to have a secret desire to be a pinto. He always seems to manage to anoint himself with dark colored stuff.

I would try to find revolution but I don't think I've seen any in pet stores around here. Philippines isn't really known for its diversity in pet related items. Finding appropriate cat food for the hedgies is already hard enough given that most of the recommended ones aren't available locally. :/

I don't really wear perfume or loton. And they also seem to wheeze when carried by my brothers. Although I'm not sure if it's wheezing per se. It's high pitched but I'm not sure if it's hedgie talk or respiratory related.

We are hoping to schedule a vet visit soon so hopefully the vet we're going to knows what the problem is. Not entirely confident with local vets, there are so many negative feedbacks on the net.
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

revolution can be ordered online or you can get it from the vet.

do you have a pharmacy there? they might have vitamin e capsules thenyou just break it open and pour out the liquid.

somehedgehogs dont use anything but their wheel and honestly they dont really need anything more if they are happy with that. the sand might be the problem you could try making a dig box out of small polished stones (1inch), lots of people do this and hide treats like mealworms under the rocks for their hedgehogs to find during the night and they seem to like that
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

Revolution is not sold in stores and I have seen several posts recently saying that you have to go to the vet to get a prescription for Revolution. I personally wouldn't risk buying it online.

Flax seed oil is sold in caplet form in pharmacies & supermarkets. Any place that has a vitamins aisle should have flax seed oil.

Definitely get rid of that sand and cut down on the baths if you want to get rid of the dry skin. If your hog anoints, just take a damp washcloth and wipe the quills off.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:53 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

I'll see if the vet finds mites in my hedgies and ask him for prescription.

For flax seed, I'm not sure if it's popular here, I think fish oil is more common. I'll try to look for some. There is a brand called MyraE, but I thnk it's a beauty product. Not sure how safe it is for hedgies. Anybody heard of it?

I'll try some small pebbles for Cookie's digbox. She's not really a fan of rocks, tried it during vacation. I'll also change their bathing sched to twice a month and see if it helps. With Kreme though, it's really hard to remove the stains because it seeps down to his skin and it's even difficult to clean during bath time. Add the fact that he's not as friendly as Cookie and would readily raise his really sharp quills.Is it okay if I leave the stains be until his bath time?
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

the stains arnt going to bug him and if he was a darker hedgehog you wouldnt even notice them as much
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:22 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Treatment for flaky skin

Dirt and stains is purely a human aesthetics thing. He doesn't care if he's stained or dirty.

But instead of giving such regular baths, you can try giving him a "steam clean". Get a bucket of warm water, slightly hotter than you'd use for an actual bath. Wet a wash cloth, wring it out and place the cloth on top of him while bonding. Just try to avoid covering his face entirely. Rinse and repeat when the cloth cools and you can start gently wiping away surface stains.
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