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Old 12-09-2011, 02:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec 2011
Posts: 32
Default Losing quills...how much is too much?

Hi everyone first timer here though I've browsed before for various questions.

I have a probably almost 3 year old male hedgehog named Winklebottom (King of the hill reference.) A friend raised him as a baby and when she found she didn't have enough time for him she gave him to me about last April, so this is my first winter with him and I'm guessing that may be part of the problem. I also moved in May to a higher altitude which resulted in some dry skin but he seemed to get over that quickly. I spoil him mercilessly and I also fret constantly that I'm missing something. This issue comes up again and again and despite google and forum readings and even a reassurance from his former owner I'm a bit worried, hopefully needlessly.

From April to October everything was the same: healthy poop, eating, playing, sleeping. However he wasn't getting enough light (which forums helped me figure out) and he did try to hibernate one night, I caught it right away and immediately got a heating pad. He was warm the next day and has been fine ever since (trust me, I'm keeping an eye on that!) Before the hibernation attempt he was losing a very small amount of quills per the usual, like maybe 10-20 a month...a very hard to notice amount. Right before the hibernation attempt (I'd say maybe a month before) the quill loss intensified...I'd say double and it was noticable that whatever the prior amount it was literally twice that...20-40.

Since then (October) its been the same...it seems like quite a bit but his previous owner said as long as he has no bald spots he's fine. He didn't so I tried to chill out over it. Today I noticed on his back (not where the little normal patch is, the mohawk bit) on his upper left shoulder area there was a very small thinning spot...like if you will 3 rows and in the three rows 3 or so quills were noticeably gone. But right above that I noticed a very small new quill growing in so part of me is thinking that since October it has gotten colder here (it went from like 110 degree highs to 50 highs in a week) and since they are growing back despite the thinning maybe its just a winter thing?

I'm sure I sound like a moron right now. Frankly I don't think my friend took good care of him...when I got him his whole cage was coated in a layer of poop I can't even describe (literally everything from the wheel to his bedding). She gave me no instructions other than how to feed him. So I'm hoping that this is nothing and I'm doing fine.

What would you guys recommend? Other than this continuing quill loss that is more than it was, this is the first little thin spot I've noticed and there is nothing else differently noticeable about him. No lumps, always normal body temperature, normal attitude, normal eating and pooping. He does sneeze every now and then (as I read that they tend to do) and about a week ago I heard him doing it two nights in a row...but I've heard nothing since so I'm chalking that up to the usual. Any help is appreciated thanks!
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