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Old 05-09-2019, 10:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Vet couldn’t get him to open up

So my hedgehog Charlie is very much a stubborn hedgehog apparently when it comes to vet visits. He refused to unball for the vet, and only unballed when him and his assistant left the room. He then ran to my arms for shelter.

My vet said it’s expensive and risky to use anesthesia so he couldn’t look at him or get a skin scrape to for sure know that he has any mites. He has very flaky dry skin, and I have not seen any mites (the dandruff won’t move). But he was treated for mites with revolution and goes back next week. (Two weeks apart).

My question is, is this normal that he wouldn’t let the vet look at him and so the vet just gives up and takes a guess? I just don’t understand and I hate treating him blindly for something I don’t know he has. I’ve had him for a couple months now and I don’t use bedding so he would’ve had to have had them from the breeder. The only reason I took him to the vet was because he has thinning behind his ears due to scratching, although he doesn’t scratch when I take him out of his cage and I’ve very rarely seen him scratch. But he has hours while he’s up at night that he could be scratching because I only see him and take him out an hour every night.

Does anyone have any reassurance? Am I doing the right thing? Is there anything I do to help his dry skin while he has the revolution treatment?could this worsen any problem he may have? So far it looks like maybe his fur is growing back but I don’t know. I feel like I’m alone because the vet literally couldn’t look at him and that’s what I need, a diagnosis.
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Old 05-09-2019, 10:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I’ve heard mites could get in their food if it’s not stored properly and then they transfer to your hog.
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Grain mites are the mites from food. Its pretty easy to see them too, they are generally little white specs that move. I always check new bags for them. Before using them. If you get them you throw out the whole lot of biscuit. But anyway thats something to look for.

A lot of hedgehogs will ball up at the vets yet. But if he's looking at the skin, then it would have been easier while balled up, but you can generally see more if their skin when they puff themselves up into a spiky ball !! I also cant see any reason for not being able to get a skin scraping while he's in the ball, because again you get MORE access to the skin when they are balled up.
But then I don't know a huge amount getting a skin scrap since I've needed to.

Treating for mites with revolution regardless of having mites or not wont harm him at all. If there is mites it will get rid of them (make sure to change whatever bedding you use) and then if there isnt it wont do anything bad.

You could buy flaxseed oil capsules, and put one of these on the biscuit a week, this will help with the dry skin. I use it for Holly because she got a little dry skin, but it also helps to keep it from getting dry if you continue to use it once a week on the biscuit. So its part of routine.
There's other ways for helping dry skin but I'm not sure if you can use it with the mite treatment.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Grain mites are the mites from food. Its pretty easy to see them too, they are generally little white specs that move. I always check new bags for them. Before using them. If you get them you throw out the whole lot of biscuit. But anyway thats something to look for.

A lot of hedgehogs will ball up at the vets yet. But if he's looking at the skin, then it would have been easier while balled up, but you can generally see more if their skin when they puff themselves up into a spiky ball !! I also cant see any reason for not being able to get a skin scraping while he's in the ball, because again you get MORE access to the skin when they are balled up.
But then I don't know a huge amount getting a skin scrap since I've needed to.

Treating for mites with revolution regardless of having mites or not wont harm him at all. If there is mites it will get rid of them (make sure to change whatever bedding you use) and then if there isnt it wont do anything bad.

You could buy flaxseed oil capsules, and put one of these on the biscuit a week, this will help with the dry skin. I use it for Holly because she got a little dry skin, but it also helps to keep it from getting dry if you continue to use it once a week on the biscuit. So its part of routine.
There's other ways for helping dry skin but I'm not sure if you can use it with the mite treatment.
The areas of question are in his fur not his quills. He couldn’t look at the sparse areas of fur I was talking about. And the more the vet tried to touch him the angrier he got (until they left and he acted like a little baby) I use flaxseed oil already, it doesn’t help whatsoever. And I was using it before his dry skin was severe, to prevent dry skin. I can’t find any mites so he either doesn’t have them anymore and didn’t have much to start with, never had any and it’s something else, or he doesn’t have many and they don’t like to move much. I’ll buy a new bag of cat chow for him tomorrow just in case. But my vet had said it was most likely from the breeder since he has so many hedgies and keeps babies together, it happens. I’m just worried its something else random and I’m not treating him correctly. But his little fur areas do seem to be getting fuller again, I’m glad I caught it early because he isn’t affected at all. Same energy, appetite, etc. I’m just scared that’s all. I’ll call the vet tomorrow and ask what is an effective safe dry skin cure I can use while he’s on revolution
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Old 05-10-2019, 02:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You could try flaxseed oil twice a week rather than once.

I know that hypocare spray works well for dry skin.

As does a little coconut oil in a bath not too much though or it gets oily and make sure you rinse it all off.

Oatmeal baths you can either put oats in something like tights or that kind of material, and run the water through it.
Or buy the aveno baby oatmeal wash

You'll want to check these are safe with the vet for the treatment

You can also try a sand bath this actually gets rid if most of the white flakes with Holly.
I cant see this being a problem as long as you change throughout the treatment like bedding, but you can always ask to check.

Also a tip for the vets - take a fleece blanket that smells like you and him, then put him in that, it helps relax them more as the have familiar scents.
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Ria View Post
You could try flaxseed oil twice a week rather than once.

I know that hypocare spray works well for dry skin.

As does a little coconut oil in a bath not too much though or it gets oily and make sure you rinse it all off.

Oatmeal baths you can either put oats in something like tights or that kind of material, and run the water through it.
Or buy the aveno baby oatmeal wash

You'll want to check these are safe with the vet for the treatment

You can also try a sand bath this actually gets rid if most of the white flakes with Holly.
I cant see this being a problem as long as you change throughout the treatment like bedding, but you can always ask to check.

Also a tip for the vets - take a fleece blanket that smells like you and him, then put him in that, it helps relax them more as the have familiar scents.
I bought coconut quills spray so I’m going to check with my vet to see if it’s alright. And I did bring him with his fleece I think I’m going to try to coax him out next time with mealworms. But if the vet touches him there’s no way he’ll stay opened up you know
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Old 05-10-2019, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If he's distracted with eating you may get away with it.
Defiantly check with the vet but the spray should help with the dry skin
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Old 05-15-2019, 07:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So he went to the vet today and got another dose of revolution. He gained 20 grams so that’s good. The vet said not to bother with the spray because his dead skin is needing to flake off. So it looks like he’s doing good
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Old 05-18-2019, 02:10 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Whenever I suspect mites, the vet just gives them Revolution since (properly dosed) Revolution isn't lethal and the skin test might result in a false positive. So you can do an expensive test that might tell you if you need to treat for mites or you can just treat for mites with no consequence. It sounds like that's what you ended up doing so no worries, though two-weeks is kind of a short turn-around. Whenever we get Revolution we give 1 drop between the shoulders and then a second drop one month later. It probably won't have abated after only 2 weeks if it's mites.

As for his balling he's just freaked out by people touching his belly especially a stranger that he doesn't know. My best advice to counteract this would be exposure therapy, just touch his belly yourself every once in a while to try to get him used to it and let other people hold him to see that strangers don't hurt. Then maybe the next time you let him to a vet he'll let his guard down long enough to get a swab. You might also take him for visits to pet stores since he might remember that the smell of pet supplies means a doctor is gonna try to get fresh with him. A pet store might disrupt that association for him.

To a certain extent, they're just skittish little prey animals and they're never gonna be totally cool with having people come at their bellies, so the best you can do just see if you can get them to relax a little while longer. My girls can get skin swabs but **** will freeze over before they let you use a stethoscope on them.
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