Quill Loss due to Dry Skin?? Already had Vet Visit - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Quill Loss due to Dry Skin?? Already had Vet Visit

Hi Everyone,

I'm a first time poster and first time hedgie owner. I have read a lot on here and hope someone can provide some advice to my hedgehog's situation.

Below is some background information:

Weight: 430 grams (I was told he is overweight by the vet - currently on diet food)
Age: About 11 Months - was born on May 18, 2014
Poop: Normal - occasionally looks like clumpy sand (color and all) (flaxseed oil seems to be helping)
Urine: Normal
Quills: Loses about 15 a day
Skin: Was very dry - recently losing large flakes of skin
Bedding: Fleece

Gimli first started losing about 6-7 quills in mid February and had dry skin with dandruff flakes coming off. I took him to the vet soon after that. The vet said the skin scrapping tests came up negative on mites, the fungal test was negative, and his overall health (besides weight) looked great. The vet treated him for mites with ivermectin the same day just in case. I researched the medicine afterwards and was very concerned after looking at posts on here. I kept an eye on him all day and he seemed to be doing well.

As the days passed, he was no longer losing a large amount of quills with new quills growing back. I'm not sure if this was from the ivermectin or from the olive oil spritzes I have him a few days before that. Two weeks later, he gradually started losing large amounts of quills with dry flaky skin again. I spoke to the vet again. This time she recommended I change out his bedding every day and only give him newspaper instead of fleece. After the vet recommended I give him another dose of ivermectin, I asked for revolution.

I gave Gimli the revolution and now a week has passed. I have changed his bedding everyday. I began to give him flaxseed oil (a few drops every other day in his food) and gave him coconut oil on Friday by massaged it in with a toothbrush on his back (as recommended by the breeder I purchased him from).

His skin looks much better, but he continues to lose a large amount of quills. I clipped his nails today and he lost 13 quills just from that when I held him. I'm very concerned. Lately, his left ear is looking less rounded (a bit raggedy) and he is sneezing more (maybe from the dust in the newspaper?). No running nose or trouble breathing though.

Is it possible for a hedgehog to lose so many quills from dry skin? If anyone has any suggestions at all, please let me know. I apologize for the long post. Thank you so much for reading.
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Old 03-30-2015, 01:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Geez, I don't know. It sounds like some sort of skin infection, but it's not something I've had experience with. It may be worth it to find a different vet. Frankly, I'd question a vet who would tell you to bed your hedgie on newspaper. There are several reasons you shouldn't do that.

It sounds like you've done some good things by trying to moisturize with oil and asking for revolution instead of ivermectin. The only problem is that if it is a skin infection the oil could actually be making it worse. Hopefully someone with more experience with that sort of thing will stop by soon.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Agreed, I would see if you can get a second opinion from another vet, at the very least. I would have him tested for skin infections again, both fungal & bacterial. And for Revolution to work completely against mites, he probably needs at least one more dose, so that might be worth trying as well, just in case.
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Old 03-30-2015, 10:21 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the replies. I called to get a quote from a vet my friend recommended. If Gimli doesn't look better by tomorrow, I will make an appointment. To be honest, the vet I took him to did not seem very familiar with hedgehogs even though they do handle exotic pets. My boyfriend asked her how many hedgehogs they get and she didn't have much to say...
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Old 03-31-2015, 12:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Good luck and keep us posted!
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I went to the new vet this morning.She was very nice and did seem to know a lot more. She had a lot to say about his situation and what could be done in the future if he does not show positive results. She isn't sure is wrong with him, but decided to rule out the most common and go from there. She didn't advise giving him any tests because they were already done and they aren't always accurate anyways. We gave him another dose of revolution and advised that I clean his C&C cage (along with other toys in his cage) with diluted bleach once a week. She stressed it is important for the smell to be gone and it to be dry before he returns back to the cage. This is in case there are mites hiding on his toys that wait to jump back on him.

She also prescribed Clavamox drops for so much to be given twice a day (12 hours apart) every day. She wanted to use this in case of any infection. She advised that I should try a limeplus dip if things don't get better which might kill whatever is causing him issues. I am aware that it will be very bad if it gets in his eyes or in his mouth so I decided try the safer route first. In the end, I feel better about this vet visit over the last one and hope this will make him feel better.



Now, to find a way to break the news to my previous vet that I have switched which may be an awkward conversation..

I will keep you all updated on his progress. Hopefully this post will help other hedgie owners that might be having similar issues. I have read many previous posts and know they have definitely helped me.
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Last edited by SushE; 04-04-2015 at 04:01 PM.
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Old 04-04-2015, 03:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Before I forget to ask, does anyone have experience with Clavamox? I will be giving it to him orally with a syring.
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Old 04-04-2015, 04:00 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Excellent! I hope the clavamox and revolution resolve whatever might be wrong.
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Old 04-17-2015, 12:10 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Well, I went in for another vet visit today. Gimli's quill loss has not changed and his skin is still very flaky. He was prescribed Lime Sulfer Dip today. I was told this stuff is VERY smelly so I'm sure he won't like it This is to kill any ringworm or fungle infection he may have so I'm crossing my fingers! If this doesn't work, the next step will be taking a blood test. My poor little guy seems more stressed than ever.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey everyone,

Just to give an update. I had the lime sulfer dip bath done at the vet for $30. I really did not want it smelling up my one bedroom apartment and knew I would need more than two hands to handle my little runner. We did it last Saturday and as of late, he is only losing 4 or less quills a day!! A ton of progress considering he was losing 20 a day just the day before the bath. Gimli has a checkup in 3 weeks and I will give him another bath in a week to make sure whatever was harming him will be gone for good.

If any of your hedgies are having a similar issue, I would highly suggest asking about this stuff. It does smell and is risky if you get it in his/her eyes, but if that is avoided, I was told there are no side effects and it kills anything that is affecting them (i.e. mites, fungal infection, ringworm etc.)

I am continuing to clean his cage every day and bleach his cage with very diluted bleach every week. I was also told by my breeder that although unable to prove, he may have been lacking a nutrient only found in the outer shell of mealworms which helps with quill growth and strength. I started feeding him mealworms again right after the bath. (I stopped because the first vet I went to said he was overweight and to avoid all treats or snacks and only give diet cat food.)

I still have no idea what Gimli has (or had?), but needless to say, I hope it is gone for good.
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