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Old 11-14-2015, 03:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stress? Quill loss? Help!

My hedgehog has been losing quills like crazy. I've made a few other posts about this over the months but its STILL happening.
At first I thought it was just quilling, but when it was still happening and I could not see any quills coming in after, I took her to the vet. My vet said she did not have mites and we treated her for a bacterial infection. I've been giving her baytril for a few weeks. The skin flakes have cleared up but she is still losing a lot of quills. The vet has brushed it off as normal shedding, but I'm not sure I feel that way. Any thoughts? She is a VERY high strung hedge. Could it be stress? I'm not sure what else to do for her, as already her environment should be low stress. There's no other pets, and I live alone. Its very quiet for her.
The detergent I use on her blankets is hypoallergenic and scent free. I change her sheets every other day. I've also started giving her flax seed oil. If there's anything else I can try, please make suggestions.
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:51 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How long exactly has it been going on? Have you seen new quills coming in at any point, either before or after the Baytril? About how many does she seem to be losing a day? And how old is she?

Sorry for all of the questions! Just not sure I can say much on the situation yet, it could easily go either way as being normal or not normal.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think she is about seven months old? Its about 5 quills a day. Before it was more. I saw quills coming in a bit before the baytril, but then I didn't see any more growing in, and they were still falling out. That's when I took her to the vet. I think its been happening since I got her. Then I wasn't as concerned, because with the new quill growth I knew she was quilling.
Like I said I think she is more high strung then an average hedgie.. sometimes, actually quite often, she even scares herself. To give an idea of her personality, yesterday some time after I had put her back after "cuddle time" she had run between the wheel and the side of her cage. I guess the wheel touched her back and she managed to freak herself out. Of course every time she huffed her back touched the wheel again and it took awhile for her to figure things out. I feel I should note that she had lots of room, and was in no way stuck. She is like this a lot of the time. Most of the time really. Is that normal? Or is she just a very uptight girl? I feel like this might be a contributor.
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Old 11-14-2015, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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5 quills isn't too many, really. Hedgehogs do regularly lose some quills, like we lose hair, so it's possible that it's normal quill loss. If you're still seeing quills come in, she isn't getting any bald patches & her skin looks good again, I wouldn't worry about it too much at this point.

It does sound like she might be a bit more nervous as far as hedgies go. I'm not sure it would be contributing to the quill loss though. They can quill in response to stress, but if I remember right, Nancy has said that it typically occurs after the stressful period. It sounds like you're doing well with her & not like she has any unnecessary stress in her life.
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Old 11-14-2015, 10:35 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There's no bald spots yet. Shes getting a little thinned out though. I'm hoping to see new quill growth soon. So far there's nothing really that I can see.

Thank you by the way You are always the one to help me.
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Old 11-14-2015, 11:33 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok, I have a question about the thinning quills. Do you notice it when she isn't balled up or stretched in some way? If you could share a picture of a thinned spot that might be of some help as well.
Next question, the quills she is losing, are they fairly normal? By normal I mean fairly straight and have a bulb at the base and skinnier at the base and tip.
When you took her to the vet last month did they just give her baytril or did she get any additional medication? What did they say about the ear gunk?
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Old 11-15-2015, 12:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I only notice that they are thinning when she is balled up really. They all have the bulb on the end. I've been careful about that, but thank you for thinking to ask, because I did not think to mention it. It was just the baytril she was given. Her ears have cleared up nicely, so they haven't said much about that. I will take a picture in about half an hour when I have her out.
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Old 11-15-2015, 01:02 AM   #8 (permalink)
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A lot of them can look a bit like they could use a comb over when they ball up. While their quills are dense the diameter of them make it impossible to be thick like a dog or cats fur. So it may not be really thinning at all. A picture will give you the benefit of fresh eyes on it. But the fact that she is losing full normal quills is actually a good sign.
During any of this time did you do a diet or being change or change bathing products on her?
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Old 11-15-2015, 02:33 AM   #9 (permalink)
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ok.. so I cleaned her cage tonight and there were over 20 quills in her bedding.. Im feeling pretty distressed. I don't know how she isn't bald.
I have changed her detergent to a non scented one as I mentioned before. I don't use shampoo on her because it made her flaky the first time I used it. Just a bit of olive oil of flax oil. I have dripped a little flax oil on her back this week, trying to help, so that's why the dry skin in these pictures might look a little yellow.
For food, she is a picky eater. She wont eat mealies yet so she gets unsweetened apple sauce, carrot baby food, or the rare temptations beef cat treat. The cat treats only started when I was giving her the medication, which gave her insane poops and pees, so I didn't think mushy treats were a good idea. For kibbles she gets Royal Canin adult fit, a little bit of now fresh adult, and natural balance green pea and duck. She came on the royal canin, but I wanted more of a mix In her diet since she is so picky. No recent changes in the kibble.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ps4szfmhbg.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...psqop0au36.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...psl4lrxvx3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v3...ps4iwaf59m.jpg
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Old 11-15-2015, 02:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The vet also gave her a liver treat while she was there, but she mostly just anointed with that anyway. I'm not so sure its a food allergy. I'm honestly wondering if its not mites and the vets she has seen just aren't missing them.
ps. Those pictures of her are balled up by the way. She was a fuss pot tonight so I could not get a good picture with her relaxed.

Last edited by blacktallon; 11-15-2015 at 02:40 AM.
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