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MissMel 09-09-2012 11:18 PM

Dry flaky feet
 
So just today I noticed that Tobie was chewing on his back foot. I took a closer look at his feet and all of them are a bit dry and flaky. What could be the cause of this? I changed his diet about a week and a half ago. Could it be the detergent I'm using to clean his fleece liners? I also heard that it could be from him getting pee on his feet from his wheel. I really don't think he has mites. Help! :/

moxieberry 09-09-2012 11:52 PM

Re: Dry flaky feet
 
Does he have flaky skin anywhere else? Hedgies are prone to getting dry skin, especially during dry times of the year, but in my experience that's under the quills. If it's just on his feet/legs it's probably something else. It could be an allergy to detergent if you're using something that has a fragrance - they can sometimes have reactions to the extra chemicals. You can also try washing his legs off to rule out the dried pee thing - I'm not really sure if that would cause flakiness.

It could be mites. We just dealt with a mite issue with some of ours that caused skin issues, not quill loss - either because we caught it before the quill loss started, or (my guess) it was a different kind of mite that doesn't target the hair (i.e. quill) follicles. It caused a kind of scaly, peeling skin, sort of like the way skin would peel after a bad sunburn, or comparable to the very very end of a scab, when there's no redness but just thick dead skin that still needs to fall off. A few of them got it only on the legs and the girl who got it worst got it on her legs, mostly at the "armpit" area for all four legs, and a little across the stomach and chest.

MissMel 09-10-2012 12:06 AM

Re: Dry flaky feet
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by moxieberry
Does he have flaky skin anywhere else? Hedgies are prone to getting dry skin, especially during dry times of the year, but in my experience that's under the quills. If it's just on his feet/legs it's probably something else. It could be an allergy to detergent if you're using something that has a fragrance - they can sometimes have reactions to the extra chemicals. You can also try washing his legs off to rule out the dried pee thing - I'm not really sure if that would cause flakiness.

It could be mites. We just dealt with a mite issue with some of ours that caused skin issues, not quill loss - either because we caught it before the quill loss started, or (my guess) it was a different kind of mite that doesn't target the hair (i.e. quill) follicles. It caused a kind of scaly, peeling skin, sort of like the way skin would peel after a bad sunburn, or comparable to the very very end of a scab, when there's no redness but just thick dead skin that still needs to fall off. A few of them got it only on the legs and the girl who got it worst got it on her legs, mostly at the "armpit" area for all four legs, and a little across the stomach and chest.

He only has it on his feet, no where else. Should I take him to the vet to get checked out? He doesn't seem to be acting any differently. He is still eating like normal, and running around.

moxieberry 09-10-2012 12:38 AM

Re: Dry flaky feet
 
What kind of detergent do you use? If it's anything scented, he could have an allergy to that. If that isn't it, and you can't think of anything else that might be causing skin irritation, I'd say get him treated for mites. Even if that's not what's going on, it won't hurt him to do it and it's pretty cheap. Chewing on his foot definitely suggests it's itchy enough to be bothering him. Mites don't really cause any difference in behavior besides itching, or chewing on spots they can reach with their mouths. But, that would also be true for an allergy to something environmental.

MissMel 09-10-2012 01:16 AM

Re: Dry flaky feet
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by moxieberry
What kind of detergent do you use? If it's anything scented, he could have an allergy to that. If that isn't it, and you can't think of anything else that might be causing skin irritation, I'd say get him treated for mites. Even if that's not what's going on, it won't hurt him to do it and it's pretty cheap. Chewing on his foot definitely suggests it's itchy enough to be bothering him. Mites don't really cause any difference in behavior besides itching, or chewing on spots they can reach with their mouths. But, that would also be true for an allergy to something environmental.

Thanks! What can I do to get him treated?

MissMel 09-10-2012 01:49 AM

Re: Dry flaky feet
 
Should I purchase the medication Revolution off of the petmeds website?

moxieberry 09-10-2012 02:07 AM

Re: Dry flaky feet
 
You'd need a prescription for Revolution, so you'll have to contact your vet. Some vets will give you the prescription without needing an office visit, but not all. You should get the puppy or kitten kind. You can try telling them it's for a puppy or kitten (rather than a hedgehog) and they might be more willing to just give it to you, and that way you don't have to pay the additional cost of an office visit. Vets can check for mites, but the skin scrapes aren't always very accurate one way or another, and even if he doesn't have mites, treating him is harmless - so better to just do it. If you can get it without the office visit, you would apply it yourself, which is one drop between the shoulders.

MurE 09-10-2012 04:20 AM

Re: Dry flaky feet
 
If he doesn't have dry flaky skin anywhere else, it seems more likely to be an allergic reaction, skin irritation, or dry skin. Maybe he walked over something that is irritating to him. Either way, it would be good to give his feet a wash to remove whatever is potentially bothering him.

Maybe give him a full bath just in case the irritant got onto other parts of him. Wash the sink basin first, then start with warm water to rinse the bad stuff away. Empty the water after the first rinse so that the bad stuff goes down the drain. Fill with new warm water, add Aveeno Moisturizing body wash, give him a gentle scrub down. Empty water and rinse. Fill with new warm water, add a few drops of Aveeno Shower and Bath oil, let him soak for a bit and relax. Empty water and rinse. Dry.

Then check his feet over carefully. Check for anything on the feet that might be bothering him (ex. hair/thread around the toes, splinter, etc). Check the length of his nails too in case they are growing funny and annoying him. Check to see if there are any wounds too. If he has chewed a wound, you may need to get it looked at by a vet. You can apply some regular polysporin on it too to prevent infection and promote healing.

Anyhow, take a look over your hedgie's living areas and consider what might cause dry feet/allergies/irritation. You can eliminate/change those things and see if the dry, flaky skin goes away.

That's just what I would do, but there are lots of other good ideas and advice here too. Good luck!


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