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Old 04-22-2019, 04:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello,
I’ve had my hedgie Henry since October of 2018 and he was 12 weeks when I got him. Since I’ve had him he’s had terrible skin issues like dry flaky skin. I took him to the vet a few months ago and got him treated for mites, although the condition of his skin improved it wasn’t quite normal (still flaky and dry). Since I had given him two treatments of revolution I had ruled mites out and decided to give him things for dry skin, so I started putting flaxseed in his food and on his back as well as giving him coconut oil and oatmeal baths. Today as I was bathing him I realized he was losing a lot of quills and I mean a lot at least 15 while I was handling him, his back is starting to bald but I can also see some new quills poking through, but he’s definitely losing them faster than he’s growing them, I have made a vet appointment for Monday and I gave him an oatmeal bath today and gave him a spare dose of revolution I had. Has anyone experienced this? The vet I’m taking him too isn’t known for her hedgie skills but staff promised she was knowledgeable. I just want to ask the right questions to get henry the right diagnosis. TIA
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Couple of thoughts...

Has the balding has gotten worse since using the oils on him?
Has he been tested for a bacterial or fungal infection?

One thought is that he could have a bacterial or fungal infection. Its possible that he was fighting it off/keeping it in check and then the mites overwelmed his immune system and it has since gotten out of control. If the quill loss has gotten worse since keeping his back more moist, that may be an indication of a bacterial infection as well as it would love the moist environment for growing.

Another possibility is an allergy or a hormonal issue. A culture and sensitivity test for bacterial/fungal infection would be easier/quicker to rule out than either of those though.
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Old 04-22-2019, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Definitely take into consideration Kalandra’s advice. With that being said, he’s only 9 months old, which still is in the time frame of quilling. If you can see new quills coming in, it could be too that he’s just finishing the process quicker than normal. But for me, I’d still make another vet appt to rule other more serious possibilities out!
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Normal quilling should not equal what I would define as balding, thinning of areas yes, but not real bald spots. So I guess the question is, define balding. How large is the area that is missing? Is it one area and getting larger, is it multiple spots?
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Old 04-25-2019, 12:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for replying! I 100% have felt that it was a bacterial or fungal infection from the get go! The Vet I took him too last however didn't want to do the skin scraping because she felt like it was unnecessary. His lower back seems to really be the part that's thinning out, he has a bald spot that is about half an inch in diameter. I also came home from work and immediately went to go check on him. His cage has a ton of quills laying around and i counted almost 30! Along with his quills there's also large pieces of dead skin everywhere which kinda resembles what would come off when your skin is peeling after a sunburn!! Did I make a mistake by giving him an oatmeal bath??? I only give him baths about once a month and foot baths when he really really needs them which isn't too often, maybe once every 2 weeks.
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Old 04-25-2019, 10:07 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd push on the vet to do a culture and sensitivity test since this has been going on for so long. A small area that is growing is what I have seen in the past with some that have had bacterial infections, as the infection spreads the area gets larger. Also examine the base of the quills directly around the balding spot, any redness or white spots around them? Those are signs its infection too and may help you determine what to do.

I'd cut the baths. Only bathe when he is dirty, if its just some yuck on the quills, use a wet wash cloth to wipe it off. Routine foot baths are fine, but limit the full on baths. For some any bath can be drying. I'd also cut any type of oil applications at this time too, if this turns out to be a bacterial infection, oil can help promote growth and make it much worse.
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Old 04-29-2019, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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So I went to the vet and they did a scraping which was negative for mites and they determined that he has a bacterial infection from having the mites previously! So thank you so much for the advice! They prescribed him some trimethoprim for pain and meloxidyl as antibiotics, both which is given via syringe by mouth which is difficult to do. I gave him his first doses when I got home and tried to give him a wormie afterwards as a reward but he denied it, which worried me a bit. I was also suggested to get an ultra EFA to put in his food which hopefully will help his dry skin. I have a follow up in a couple weeks and hopefully he improves by then!
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Old 04-30-2019, 08:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Feels weird to say this but, that's good news! Not good that he has an infection, but at least you have a diagnosis now and can treat him. Hopefully the medication will work quickly and you'll see a major improvement in his skin's health soon.
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Old 05-20-2019, 08:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Update!
Henry is doing much better and his skin is looking much more hydrated and his quill loss is almost non existent! I’m still giving him the EFA’s daily in his food and when his quills stop falling out, the vet suggested to changing that to every other day. I’m pretty excited because the skin issues have made it hard for us to bond so I’m optimistic that he’ll start being more trusting! Thanks for all your input, it was very helpful!!
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Old 05-21-2019, 04:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Now that is exciting news. It feels so great to see them heal. If his skin has been irritating him for a long time, I bet you are seeing a different personality come out. Hopefully he's associating you with making him feel better too.
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