Quill Loss due to Dry Skin?? Already had Vet Visit - Page 2 - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 04-23-2015, 12:44 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I would just like to say it is wonderful to see how concerned you are about the welfare of your hedgie and how you take prompt action to solve any problems!!!
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Old 05-04-2015, 11:44 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the kind words. I'm trying my best to be a good hedgie mom.

Unfortunately, the sulfur dip baths are no longer working I will be taking him again on Thursday to see what my next options are.
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Old 05-05-2015, 12:14 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Poor little guy. This has been going on for a bit now. Let us know what happens. Maybe he just needs a different antibiotic?
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Old 05-05-2015, 08:50 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I hope your little guy is better soon. I've never heard of the dip you mentioned, but it will be good to know in the future should I ever have similar issues. You are so awesome for not giving up on him! Best of luck!

Last edited by Ally's_Oliver; 05-05-2015 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 05-08-2015, 03:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I posted this in a another thread on the issue, but figured I'd share here as well. I've been lurking for a long time, and this site has proved invaluable!

First, how's he doing?

Second, I think you're onto something with the meal worms and the essential nutrients found in them.

We had/have a similar problem with ours. Large bald patches with flakey, crusty skin (She's also kind of overweight, but we're working on that with portion control).

We were told it was too much bathing (she was getting bathed about every 6 to 8 weeks), not enough bathing, mites, the bedding, etc etc.

We treated for mites, changed the bedding multiple times, went longer with baths, went shorter with baths, tried olive oil, adjusting the humidity and temperature, etc etc etc.

Well, I think we finally found the cause, and although its only been a couple weeks, we're seeing slow but definite improvement.

The source of the problem? Diet. Plain and simple.

We had her on Eukanuba cat food. I don't remember which particular style... the same exact stuff the breeder gives to all of her hedgehogs and was one recommended for hedgies. None of the breeders (adults or babies) hogs have any problems, BUT, once ours hit adulthood, it seems that some sort of allergy or deficiency popped up, and we've been fighting it for 6 months with no positive results.

We just switched to a hedgehog specific food we found at the pet store (Again, I dont remember the name, I'm sorry, but it was like a 14oz plastic bag that looks like uncooked pastina. Tiny little white-ish granules). I only thought about it because I had read that certain fish oils were bad for hedgies (maybe that oil is in the cat food?), and this food listed "Omega3s and essential oils for quill and skin health", etc.

Hey, for $11 (its expensive, I know) I figured why not take a shot? We're just starting week 3, and her back is now "blotchy" with quills.. no longer one big bald spot, and while she's still a little flakey, its not nearly as bad as it once was.

Again, I cant say for sure that this is a "cure-all" or that diet is the reason so many of us see this problem in our pets, but for us...so far... it seems like its a solution, so I figured I'd share.

I'll get the name of the food tonight when I get home if you'd like?

Please keep us posted with his progress, and if this new food winds up completely curing Elinor, I'll let you know.
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:24 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks everybody.

He is back to losing a good amount of quills everyday (10-20) besides today which is odd? (more info below) I gave him another sulfur dip bath on Tuesday. The next day he lost 20 which was very discouraging.

I took him to the vet yesterday for a checkup and to see what the next steps will be. When I spoke to her, she said to continue with the sulfur dip because in case he really does have mites or a fungal infection, it could be trying to come back and affect him so if the bath is given once a week for so long, hopefully that will solve the problem. She said they have had some hedgies that needed treatments for up to 6 weeks.

Thank you so much for the info Sully! I keep wondering if nutrition is the issue. I have attached some photos which makes me think there is something going on internally. Some of his quills that drop look like they haven't even fully grown before they fell. If you get the name of the food, I would love to know it. Anything is worth a try at this point.

I spoke to my vet about a taurine deficiency. My breeder found information online that linked quill loss to a low count in taurine. The vet was not sure. She said a lot of tests could be done to possibly find out, but that the tests do not always work. It's almost like playing the lottery.

I have been giving him mealworms, but I have to slow down. He has already gained over 20 grams in the past three weeks :/

Oddly enough, today he lost 0 quills so far!! I'm holding him right now so we'll see, but usually there is a good amount where he sleeps and I did not find any today. I am very confused. Sometimes I think the bath is working and then once I do, he drops 20 quills. I sent photos to the vet last night (see attached). The up close photos of his back show some of the odd quills I found that are substantially smaller than usual. She forwarded them in an email to exotic specialists in Illinois to get an opinion on what they believe to be the issue. Hopefully they will have some news.


p.s. I attached a cute picture as well to make things less depressing
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Quills Detailed.jpg (728.1 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg Odd Quill 04-24-2015.jpg (272.7 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Odd Quill 05-07-2015.jpg (305.2 KB, 31 views)
File Type: jpg 20150506_221051.jpg (142.5 KB, 33 views)
File Type: jpg 1429668192355.jpg (157.8 KB, 28 views)
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Old 05-09-2015, 12:28 AM   #17 (permalink)
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If you do try to see if its a food allergy I wouldn't recommend switching to a hedgehog food. Even the best hedgehog food is marginal at best and most of them are no more nutritious that the packaging them come in. There are cat foods for allergies, I had to have my one cat on a allergy formula when he became allergic to chicken when he was around 9 years old. He was loosing an incredible amount of fur and had horribly dry skin. Its something you might want to talk to your vet about.
Retired breeder and active HWS rescue station

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Old 05-11-2015, 12:39 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I'd agree with Nikki for the most part. There are some Hedgehog foods which are merely cat food in a smaller package at a MUCH higher price ( There was one in a cardboard box, with X shaped kibble... forget the name... the only difference between it and cheap cat food was it had a picture of a hedgie on the side instead of a cat)

This one seems to be working however, but of course, your mileage may vary. I'm no expert.

Its made by Sun Seed. "Vita Prima for Hedgehogs". I took a pic with my tablet and then left it at home, but here's a photo I found on the internet.


Again, Elinor's "recovery" is slow, but it is definitely steady. We're seeing more and more new little "quill buds" popping up in her previously bald spots, and the flakey skin looks better as well. She's not 100% cured, so don't expect an overnight result but for us at least, it seems to be helping.

She's even getting more active on the wheel, but part of that might be because we got one of those "flying saucer" wheels... she'd gotten a little too big for the 12" round wheel and her butt/feet would slip off!! (I know. We're bad parents with the over-feeding, but its 3 tablespoons of the Vita per day now to get that inline)

Sidebar: We'd never used a Flying Saucer before (Its like a sideways "spinning plate" wheel...all open) and I've gotta say I love this thing. #1) Elinor seems to love it, and isnt restricted by the sides. Even when she was smaller she always seemed to pop out of the wheel because she wanted to keep clear of the inner wall. #2) because of its lower angle, when she poops while trucking along on the wheel its eliminated the possibility of poop falling on her head/body from the top of the wheel! (Its happened more than a few times with the old wheel!). #3) Because of the shape, her droppings just sort of pool in the middle (the non-running part) of the wheel, and makes for easy cleanup and clean(er) feet!!!

Sorry for going off on a tangent. I'm sure everyone's experience is different, so again YMMV with all/any of this, but after learning so much from everyone here, I figured it was high time I shared some of our tips/tricks.

Good luck with your little guy (that IS a cute pic!) and keep trying what the vet says. A fungus or mites are nothing to mess with. If the diet helps as well, fantastic! I'm not a shill for sunseed, and I'm no vet, but with the improvement we've seen, I figured it was worth sharing.

Last edited by sully7570; 05-11-2015 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:14 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Sully and Nikki,

Thank you so much for the tips!

Sully, I really hope Elinor feels better soon! I've been thinking about getting Gimli a flying saucer. They sound like a fun time. Although, I wish I could see him run on his regular wheel. I know he does, but I never see it. He sneaks out at night as soon as I turn off the lights and shut the door to my room. One time I acted like I went to bed and went back really quietly and stood there to watch, but... it was still pretty dark. And... I felt like a creeper. haha. Anyway, I read the ingredients on the hedgehog food you sent and it is definitely better than the usual hedgehog food that is usually mainly corn. I will ask my vet about it and possibly give it a try. Thank you

Nikki, How did you find out your hedgehog became allergic to chicken? That sounds like it would be a crazier process to figure that out than what Gimli is going through. I will definitely take a food allergy into consideration though. If this doesn't work, I'll see what the vet says about it.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:27 PM   #20 (permalink)
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To give you all an update,

My vet contacted some specialists in Illinois. They both said by the signs of it, it is still probably either ringworm or mites. They suggested a higher dose of Revolution and a fungal oral medication called Itraconazole to treat the issue inside and out. I picked that up today (Itraconazole). I will be giving him .23 cc every 12 hours. for 4 weeks. Hopefully this helps. The Dr. suggested I continue with the sulfur dip bath for now. If things don't start looking up, we will move back to the Revolution in a higher dosage.

I gave him a sulfur dip bath today. He is starting to get used to it. Still isn't a fan, but he has come to face the fact it will happen whether or not he huffs about it.

I will continue to track his quill loss and hopefully things will start looking up soon.
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quill loss, revolution, vet visit

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