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Old 03-22-2011, 02:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default HELP!

I wrote previously about Dexter's quill loss. It seems to have gotten worse.

Symptoms: Loss of about 20 quills per day. Typically on the rump area. 2 bald spots developing (see pics). Tattered looking ears (he had those when I got him). Excessive Irritability.

There is NO itching.

I don't think it is mites or a fungus (since I have 2 hedgehogs who readily snuggle and will cuddle in the same blanket during play time). Avogadro is not losing quills, his ears are fine and he has been pleasant. If it was mites or fungus they would BOTH have it.

Yesterday I started Dexter on a dry skin regimen since that's what I think the issue is. I first gave him an Aveeno Skin Relief bath and then put a few drops of Flaxseed oil in his food and on his ears and on his balding rump. Today I noticed one of his ears is almost completely healed! It went from tattered and scaley to, smooth and healthy looking over night! But he is still loosing quills and his bald spots are getting worse. I can see new quills coming in. I am sure it is all what is making the poor guy miserable. So, has anyone had a similar issue? Does it seem like dry skin?

I posted before and got 0 replies. So, if you read this and have some advice, please please please post. Thank you!


bald spot


remaining tattered ear
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

The only thing that I think may help better is I remember susanaproenca talking about sunshine factor? and how she uses it with piggy pete. She described Piggy pete's skin before as VERY dry. Maybe try sunshine factor? It'll take awhile for it to work though. Have you thought about a vet visit?
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Old 03-22-2011, 03:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

Sorry to hear you are going through this. There does seem to be a lot of cases were hedgies have unexplained quill loss and it can be worrying. It's hard to say but from the picture it looks like more than just dry skin. I'm not an expert though and my hedgie experience is limited to two. The tattered ears healing over night happens sometimes because its actually a build up of dead skin/gunk and the oil lifts it up exposing healthy ear. Even if your other hedgies aren't showing symptoms it could still be mites, fungal, allergy etc, each hedgie has a different immune system so its possible something that would be fought off by one hedgie could affect another. Hopefully there will be more along that may be able to recognize what is going on with his skin, it looks like something though that will need a vets attention.

Hope Dexter gets better soon and that it ends up being something easily fixed
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

I agree with hedgeonboard, it looks like more than just dry skin. In the first picture his skin looks very irritated.

I suggest a vet visit. The vet would do a skin scrape to determine if it's mites or not. If he does have mites, treat him with Revolution, it's the safest treatment for hedgehogs. In the meantime before the vet visit, I'd stop with the flaxseed oil rinses, if it's a fungal infection the oil could make it worse.

And as pooka said, for very dry skin I highly recommend Sunshine Factor. I've been using it since December with my girls and their skin is just perfect and healthy, not a single flake. When we got Pete she had very bad, flaky and crusty skin. We started to see improvement in less than two weeks after we started the SF.
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Old 03-22-2011, 07:48 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

Dry skin alone rarely causes quill loss to the point of baldness. Usually with mites they scratch, especially mites to the point of balding. 20 quills a day is not a huge loss and if it were mites to the point of balding, he would most likely be loosing more than that per day.

Tattered ears are most often just a gunk and dead skin build up. Rubbing oil on them will clean up the tatters really quickly if that's all it is and it's sounds like that is the cause of his tatters. They can have tatters that are a gunk buildup and still have mites. Usually it takes quite a mite infestation to cause tatters and there would be lots of scratching.

Oils work well if it is 100% certain it is not fungus, or a bacterial infection, but if it is fungus or bacteria, putting oil on them will only make it worse as the oil seals the pores and the infection/fungus in.

When did you get him? If within the last month or even as much as two, it may be stress related quill loss.
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Old 03-22-2011, 08:15 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

Just wanted to add that skin scrapings can give false negatives, so you may just want to get them both treated for mites as a preventative and then wait awhile to see if that helped. If it goes away and he starts growing new quills then great(by now, if it was stress related he'd be growing back quills as well). If not then it's back to the vets to rule out fungal and bacterial. Once those are ruled out, then you start treating for dry skin. As said above, oils are bad if it's more than just dry skin.

It's a little too late now, but this is usually the reason why new additions should be quarantined for a month. Cause now, whatever you need to do to treat Dexter, you will probably also have to do to your other hedgie. That'd mean that everything, including cuddling blankets should not be shared.
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Old 03-22-2011, 11:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

Thanks guys! I didn't even think about the immune system factor. I wish I would have known to quarantine Dexter when we got him.

I will be taking them BOTH to the vet as soon as they can squeeze me in. Thanks!
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Old 03-22-2011, 12:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
Dry skin alone rarely causes quill loss to the point of baldness. Usually with mites they scratch, especially mites to the point of balding. 20 quills a day is not a huge loss and if it were mites to the point of balding, he would most likely be loosing more than that per day.

Tattered ears are most often just a gunk and dead skin build up. Rubbing oil on them will clean up the tatters really quickly if that's all it is and it's sounds like that is the cause of his tatters. They can have tatters that are a gunk buildup and still have mites. Usually it takes quite a mite infestation to cause tatters and there would be lots of scratching.

Oils work well if it is 100% certain it is not fungus, or a bacterial infection, but if it is fungus or bacteria, putting oil on them will only make it worse as the oil seals the pores and the infection/fungus in.

When did you get him? If within the last month or even as much as two, it may be stress related quill loss.
I originally posted about it being stress related and got 0 replies. I still think it is a dry skin/stress combination, but I am taking the little guy to the vet anyways. It may be costly to take him, but the peace of mind associated is priceless. I have been worrying myself sick over the little bugger.

He is still doing all his normal healthy things. Running on his wheel for no less than 10 hours a night (not an exaggeration), eating, drinking, pooping, peeing. He is just more irritable and losing the quills. I counted them yesterday when I woke him up. I shook out his t-shirt, inspected his cage and counted any that fell off during play time (now:grumpy time). Total was 18. If we round up to 20 that really is only .3% of his quills. I am sure I loose way more hair than that on a daily basis. it seems to only be in the one spot though, on his butt. Everywhere else is fine and I can see the new quills coming in, which is probably what is making him so irritable.
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: HELP!

Hey
Did you ever figure out what was wrong with him?
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