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Old 04-13-2014, 12:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Urgent Advice Needed: What's Happening!

Please bare with me I really need some advice to help a little hedgehog! My husband and I rescued a very little baby hog over a year ago. He could barely walk, covered in ticks and alone. In the country where we live the attitude towards all animals is fairly brutal so for a little hedgehog he would either have ended up under a rock or in a pot! We nursed him back to health and he had his first hibernation this winter so we were hoping to release him into the garden now it's spring.

However, he had a lot of fleas so we did our research and got him some flea powder for caged birds as recommended online and by the pet shop owner. He's had some sort of terrible reaction to it though. For the first few days all we noticed was him drinking a lot of water and bathing but then his spines started to fall off, not one by one but in sheets with his skin (imagine a sheep being sheared)! The skin underneath looks lumpy and dry, nothing like the pictures we've seen online.

We're absolutely horrified and want to help him but with not being a domestic pet he's pretty feisty and difficult to handle (this is nothing new) so washing him is out of the question (though I've managed to pour some warm water on his back to try and get off any residual powder) and I wouldn't trust a vet here to know what to do with him. Otherwise he's fine, eating well, running around and doesn't seem under the weather at all.

Any advice of suggestions as to what might be the matter would be much appreciated! I've attached some pics.
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Poor little guy. He is such a cutie.

I suggest contacting a hedgehog or wildlife rescue that deals with hedgehogs. There is Tiggywinkles in the UK. http://www.sttiggywinkles.org.uk/

Good luck.
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Old 04-13-2014, 02:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Nancy, I was thinking of asking them but as theyre all about British hedgehogs and he's of the desert variety (and not in the uk) I thought I had a better chance of feedback here (I think part of me was hoping someone would say its normal for this breed :s ). I guess it's worth trying though, fingers crossed we figure it out or he recovers.

Fortunately he doesn't seem to be in pain, despite how it looks, and it doesn't appear to be getting worse but we reckon he'll lose all his spines and just want to make it as quick a recovery as possible. Any suggestions to ease his skin or if anyone's seen something similar please let us know! Thanks!
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Old 04-13-2014, 08:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, poor guy! I'd still try contacting Tiggywinkles. The treatment may be similar to European hedgehogs and they may at least have an idea of what to do.
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Old 04-13-2014, 10:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Contact a local wildlife rescue or state wildlife department. Find out what vets they use.
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Old 04-14-2014, 01:24 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I've sent Tiggywinkles an email with the pics so fingers crossed! I may end up calling out our vet here, I just worry that they'll insist on putting him down simply because they don't have any answers and, well he's a hedgehog. He's in such good form otherwise and I've seen him pushing past plant pots so he's obviously not in too much pain, so I'm not willing to give up hope yet!

I'll post any replies I get from the rescue centre.
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Old 04-14-2014, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default poor thing

First of all, where are you located?
That is really horrible. It is too bad that no one suggested to you to use a topical product like Revolution (for puppies), the kind you just put a drop on their neck.
I have never seen anything like that!

If I were you I would try to contact a vet who treats animals at the local zoo.
They would be more likely to have treated hedgehogs, or at least can look things up in the literature.

Another thought would be a university vet school…..

-Susan H.
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Old 04-15-2014, 01:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi all, so I'm in communication with st tiggywinkles and they've been really helpful! Their first opinion was a chemical burn and advised us you use aloe vera so we've started with that. I sent some more pics today and on second look they thought it could be mange and told us the treatment he needs from the vet. We actually took him to see our local vet, as we were going anyway and I was at a loss, she admitted to not knowing really what it was or what will happen and also suggested Vaseline or baby oil to keep the skin moist.

We showed her the flea powder and she was surprised saying its a natural ingredient and shouldnt have caused any reaction. St tiggywinkles said they had concerns over it, that there was no evidence of its use on hedgehogs and had caused some problems in cats. SO TAKE NOTE!! Anything that contains NEEM, even if it says its natural and wont cause a reaction, you may want to give it a wide berth until we're sure it's mange!

I'll call first thing to see if the vet can test and treat him for mange, its worth a try! Either way St tiggywinkles were optimistic that he'll grow back his spines which is wonderful news (the vet was less optimistic but I'm choosing to ignore that for now, hope springs eternal!).

Thank you for you're help! Ill post up if anything changes and, as ever, if anyone has more advice please post!
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Old 04-15-2014, 03:42 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm so glad you were able to get in touch with them and that his outlook is promising! Keep us posted!
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Old 04-15-2014, 04:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Please let us know what happens! The worst thing is when someone posts something like this and then never updates us on what happened. We will be keeping our fingers crossed that your hedgehog recovers!
-Susan H.
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