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Old 12-27-2016, 11:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Quilling?

Hello!

So, I'm new here to this wonderful community, and I was wondering if my little Jawnhog could be quilling? He is 6 weeks old and I am finding several quills on my person--when I hold him--and in his cage. When I held him a moment ago, I got at least 10 off of me.

I am, however, worried that it could be something else. Jawnhog, when we first brought him home (about... 3 weeks ago) he was nervous for all of 10 minutes and then he was crawling all over me, exploring his surroundings, he let me pet his quils, and then he slept on me for a very long time. He was so playful and lovely. However, now he seems a bit more grumpy. If I go to touch his quills right now, he jumps and hisses a bit until I stop (which is VERY quickly, I don't want him assosiating my touch to something unpleasant). He does not mind me petting him, just not on his quills. He is eating well and he is drinking quite a bit, so I don't think that's it. He is itching quite a bit.

How do I tell if he has mites? Is it just quilling? Can any hedgie experienced parents tell me what's going on? Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 12-27-2016, 11:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What does his itching look like? Is it just frequent, but relatively casual? Or is it frantic, like something is really bothering him? The first is more likely to be dry skin and/or quilling. The second is more common with mites.

My guess is probably just quilling. The behavior is consistent with quilling, as is his age. You're doing the right thing by not petting his quills - the reason he's grumpy is because his skin is really sore right now with new quills coming in. Kind of like teething for babies, but sharp things coming through your skin all over!

A couple things you can do to help besides not petting him - warm baths with oatmeal soaked in the water can help soothe their skin. A couple drops of oil (flaxseed, vitamin e, coconut, etc.) can help with dry skin as well. If it's winter where you live, the air is likely drier than usual, so a room humidifier can help too. Other than that, the biggest thing is patience & just waiting it out with him. Hedgehogs quill at 6, 9, and 12 weeks, so you may notice a break in between quillings or he may be a grumpball for a while as this stage passes. Just hang in there!
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Old 12-28-2016, 03:23 PM   #3 (permalink)
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It is frequent, but it doesn't appear to be frantic, no. His skin looks very dry, but I've got coconut oil that I hopw will help with that. That is acceptable to use? I just worry that I'll do something wrong ^_^;. I've been told quite a few new hedgie parents feel that way, though. Do I put the oil on him? It is winter here. I believe we have a humidifier! Thank you so much for the help! I appreciate it! Sorry I have so many questions.
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Old 12-28-2016, 04:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I haven't tried oil myself, but when my Hazel was quilling, I found that giving her a bath with some Aveeno Baby oatmeal wash mixed in was quite helpful! Hazel always felt better after that, and her skin always looked fine. In fact, when I had to bath her recently, I added some to the water because it's winter for us, and the air is more dry this time of year.

Good luck!
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Old 12-28-2016, 09:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You can apply oil either with a syringe, just a couple drops between the quills, or to help it spread out more, you can add a couple drops to the rinse water at the end of a bath. The second method is the one I & most people seem to use, but I know a couple people that do the syringe method instead. Hedgies tend to be a tad slippery once they come out of an oil-tinged rinse!
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