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Old 01-08-2010, 11:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Getting worried about quill loss

I posted a while ago that Beck had been dropping some quills. He had mites at the end of November that I treated with three doses of Revolution spaced two weeks apart each. He was dropping a few quills a day, and I wasn't overly worried because I thought they had probably been damaged by the mites. But it's still going on. And a lot. They come out really easily if I stroke his back firmly. Last night I got about 20 off of him. Which seems really excessive to still be related to the mites. Maybe not? Any thoughts?
Last night he started itching himself again. Not a lot, but enough for me to notice. No observable mites on him though. Could he have a fungus of some sort that is not visible? He's kept clean and so is his cage. His skin has been dry, so I've been putting vitamin E capsules on him.
Could it be dietary? For most of his life he was on the Ultrablend hedgehog food (bad, I know). I switched him to Sunseed (not much better) shortly before he got the mites. He's now on Performatrin Olive Oil and Salmon (on Reaper's list), with freeze dried insects and random bits of turkey, chicken, beans, and stuff like that. I know when I deal with my horses, when we make major changes in food, it shows up in the feet (you can see a visible change in colour, firmness, etc.)-- Could he be like... shedding his old diet quills and getting new ones because of a better diet?
His quill cover still looks good. No visible balding, just... lots of quills. Should I be worried? Has this happened to anyone else?
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

He still may be loosing mite damaged quills but 20 at once this long after does seem rather excessive. If he is growing new quills in and his quill coat is not looking thin then perhaps this is just damaged quills.

It could be fungus. While using Vit E or anything oil based is fine for normal dry skin, using it if there is a risk of fungus or bacterial infection can make the problem worse as the oils can clog the pores and seal the fungus/infection in.

Rethinking this, mites at the end of November with 3 doses two weeks apart would have taken you to the end of December so assuming that possibly the mites were still active until the last dose, then yes, possibly this is still damaged quills.
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

When new quills come in, do they start out really, really thin? Because there are like... hair-looking quills that appear to be coming in when I separate the longer ones. Some are longer and thicker than others. Do they come in thin, grow long, and then get thicket? Or should they come in at their normal thickness? The new quills coming are definitely thinner than normal.

The quills come out more easily immediately after putting vitamin E on them. I wondered if that's just because it's softening up the skin and pores, making quills that were already loose come off faster?

Thanks,
Emily
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

New quills come in full size. They look like someone has cut a quill and glued it to the skin.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

My little one had a few months of losing quills.

Unlike yours, didn't seem to be from mites and she started getting bald spots.

But, like you are describing, when some of the quills grew back in, some looked a tad funny. The majority were as kalandra describes - nice and thick. But a few were some skinnier than others - some almost hair-like and some with a curve to them. We ended up treating mine with dietary supplements and an antifungal medication for a yeast infection. With that treatment, all new quills started looking more normal.

So maybe it's a yeast/fungal problem? Your vet should be able to tell.

Sorry you and your little one are going through this. Hopefully, he'll start to feel better soon.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:07 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

What kind of dietary supplements did you use? How did you know you had a yeast infection? Were there other symptoms as well?
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Old 01-12-2010, 06:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

Is it possible for an adult (2 years) to quill again...? I've never heard of it, but I was just wondering if it might be a really wierd, quirky quilling/colour changing thin,,,? It seems to be getting worse. I'm going to try and get him into our vet.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:41 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

Quote:
Originally Posted by emeko
What kind of dietary supplements did you use? How did you know you had a yeast infection? Were there other symptoms as well?
We got the supplements from her vet: Sunshine Factor and DMG. She loved the Sunshine Factor... would eat the whole bottle at once if I let her, but got messy poos from the DMG, so we really limited that.
Her vet diagnosed the yeast infection on her skin - she took a swab and then (here's where I sound a bit daft) processed it somehow and determined that it was a yeast infection.
As for other symptoms beyond the quill loss and balding spots, she had super dry & flakey skin.
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Old 01-13-2010, 08:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

Mrrrrf. He is most definitely itchy again. Vet thinks we should try Revolution again, and it doesn't get better she'll do a fungal skin scrape.
*sigh*
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Old 01-13-2010, 09:44 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Getting worried about quill loss

Sounds like a good plan. I'm guessing you have enough Revolution on hand to treat him at home? Or do you have to bring him back to the vet? I'm thinking if you need to go back, may as well do the fungal skin scrape then rather than stress the little guy out with more trips.
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