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Old 10-17-2014, 04:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Sep 2014
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Unhappy Is she sick!?

I have family visiting and my cousin was holding her last night - so I got to see her from angles I haven't seen before. We have had her for 3 weeks and she is 8 months old - we rescued her from a woman that just didn't want her anymore - and if your saw my previous post in 'general questions' you will know that she wasn't looked after properly at all - tiny vivarium, filthy uncovered heat matt, one tiny flannel for bedding, moldy food in her bowl etc etc AND she apparently had another one that 'died' and she 'doesn't know why'

Pickles is now in a loving home, large cage, heat lamp, fresh food, multiple layers of fleece bedding etc (the heat lamp only arrived two days ago - before then she had a new covered heat matt and we kept the whole house at the right temperature) - I've been holding her almost every night to get her used to me - some nights she's inquisitive, some nights she's grumpy. She is eating her food, drinking her water and going to the toilet all without problem.

BUT last night I noticed that her skin was very pink under her fur - where I didn't notice it before - she has been losing quite a lot of quills and I think I may be seeing some patches of dry skin between her quills towards her back side, but I might be being paranoid AND on her back feet her left foot has no nauls at all - and her right has SUPER LONG nails, including one that look different to the others, amd points at a strange angle.
Oh! And her ear appears to have a pick 'patch' at the base where her left ear doesn't.
And she just looked sick, when I looked in her eyes :'(

I'm going to take her to the vets today, they've said that they see pygmy hedgehogs so hopefully they will know better than I do. But is there anything I should prepare myself for? What could be wrong? Im so worried!
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Aurora, Colorado
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Do you have pictures? The pink on her belly is normal and pink patches on her ears are probably normal too. It's call pinto and this is where patches of skin lack pigment. It's bred and sought after in a lot of hedgehogs. I have two pintos in my household. The pictures below are of Rose, she has a big pinti spot under her quill and a small one if you can see and part of her ear is pink. She was not happy about the early morning photoshoot so I apologize for the bad pictures.

The hedgehog that I just mentioned also lost one of her toenails and if notice in the picture they are kind of sickly and gross looking. This is still from when I got her and they are just taking a while to grow back in a new.

It might take months for Pickles' nails to grow back and develop healthy ones. Her conditions weren't the greatest so that's not unusual.

But taking her to the vet is a great option. Especially if she hasn't been yet. Have them run a fecal (you can just bring in the freshest poop) for any parasites and do a good exam. Don't be worried if they need to put her under a little anesthesia to get a good look. Have them check her nails and possibly do a skin scrape for mites or fungal issues.

You are doing great! Pickles is in great hands.

ETA - Dry skin is fairly common is hedgies so if the vet doesn't find anything, I would start giving her baths with oatmeal (just soak oatmeal in the tub with a washcloth or old sock and then maybe add some hedgie safe oil like vitamin e or flaxseed oil to her rinse water.
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Last edited by DesireeM81; 10-17-2014 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 10-20-2014, 11:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks DesireeM81! I did take her to the vet but unfortunately I hadn't seen your post before hand - so I didn't take any poop!
The vet lady was very nice and had a good look, she even brought in a nurse man for a second opinion before the end of the visit as he had more experience with African pygmy's than she did.
They agreed that her skin looked very dry and at the rate she was losing quills he suspected mites - so they gave her a little spray of this special stuff which would kill the mites if she did have some. - I take her out every night and the last two nights she hasn't lost any quills whilst I've handled her (when usually I would find about 3 or 4) so fingers crossed that the spray stuff worked and it isn't just luck!

They said what you said about the toes! She gave 2 of the healthy toenails a little trim and said how the other ones would fall out eventually as her new ones grew in (she spotted a very healthy nail underneath the mankiest looking one). They said that other than the skin she seemed like a healthy hedgehog (she was very energetic in the vets - she's always very curious of new places!) - they looked at her eyes etc so fingers crossed it's all good news!

I would definitely like to give her an oatmeal bath - I've never given her a bath before (I suspect she's never had one in her life) so I'm going to research that more to make sure I get it right!

Thanks so much for your help Xxx
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dry skin, pink skin, quill loss, sick hedgehog, toenail

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