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Old 07-03-2018, 08:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stress/Health concern Quilling

Background: Pippa. Female. 4yr. Avg. weight 260-270g.

My main concern, Pippa is quilling in large quantities per day. Approximately, 3-4 dozen quills. No clear sign of balding. The quills have the bulbs at the end. I can hold her for a few minutes and her quills seem to be just flaking off. Yesterday's bath resulted in the loss of 50 quills. First noticed small amount of quill loss 1.5 months ago, but it was minute and not of concern. Withing the past two weeks it has got extensive.

There are two potential reasons of cause in which I can think of; a month post-op of dental surgery and/or high outside temperatures.

Approximately a month ago Pippa had dental surgery due to a benign growth on her gum line. Ended up removing 5 little teethes. Post-op began a slow process to her dry hard kibble (cat food). First started with wet cat food then mix of wet and powder kibble. Currently, purely on powder kibble with the graduation onto a bit large kibble. Little girl is a trooper and didn't seem all that phased about the surgery and is missing the wet food. (she got up to 300+g while on the wet food; she loved it)

It has be extremely "hot" for what is normal during the summer for us. ~30C or 80F for the past month straight. Not having air conditioning makes things a bit harder to regulate. Nonetheless, her room stays at ~25C or 78F on a regular basis.

She has a vet appt coming up. But in the meantime, what can I do to help her and/or questions to ask the vet?

Thank you in advance.
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Old 07-04-2018, 12:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Aw poor Pippa, hoping she recovers soon ♡

I don't have experience with post op or older hogs but it would sound like they could be falling out from the stress of the operation and or medication. I wouldn't think the outside hot temp would be effecting her if her room stays at 25C. Could she have mites? The stress from the op and medication and lowered immune system might have caused a mite infestation? You could ask the vet to check for mites by doing a skin scraping. How is her skin, is it dry and flaky?

What bedding are you using? And do you use anything to bathe her with? Probably best to keep baths to a minimum and only use water until you see the vet and can discuss with them.

If it is mites or the vet treats for mites as a precaution, make sure they only use revolution which should be applied topically. Ivermectin is too strong for hedgehogs and some have overdosed on it and sadly passed away.

With her food, how comes you don't keep offering her wet food or at least the powdered kibble mashed if the % are better values? My boy also won't eat hard kibble but scoffs down soaked, mashed kibble and gained much needed weight from it. The vet said his teeth are fine and he has all of them still

Although can I ask, what did Pippa's mouth look like from the outside before she had her growth removed? My boy Yuki, has a lump/swollen lip on one side and I'm constantly worrying he has a gum issue that the vet missed when we did take him in recently. Did Pippa have to be sedated for the vet to discover the growth on her gum line? The vet just put a que tip in Yuki's mouth to pry it open and said he had all his teeth, but I think the lower lip angle wouldn't have been viewable properly, as his mouth was stretched open, covering the problem area. I've recently posted about Yuki's lip issue ("Lump / swollen lip"), if you have a spare moment, please look at the photos and let me know if it looks similar, I'd really appreciate it as I haven't found any current members dealing with similar issues. My vet thinks he is having an allergic reaction to his food but I think this not right as the lump is always there, just sometimes more red and noticeable, if his bottom lip happens to droop and uncover a little, showing the inflammation more ><

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Old 07-06-2018, 10:40 AM   #3 (permalink)
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In regards to the surgery, post-op Pippa's right side of her face was extremely swollen. She had a large mass on her gum line that was infected. A clear sign we missed was she was "lapping"; meaning constantly smacking her lips due to pus in her mouth. She was place on antibiotics just prior to surgery. During surgery she was placed on a small dose of anesthesia. The vet removed 5 out of her 17 teeth due to infection. The mass itself was not removed due to how extensive it was. We (hedgie parents) also received a phone call while Pippa was under asking if we wanted to biopsy the mass. We declined because if it came back positive for cancer we knew we wouldn't be able to do anything about it. Post-op Pippa was high as a kite, but bounced back quickly. She was running and eating the same day. She was then placed on antibiotics and pain relief medication. A month later and Pippa is doing overall well. She still has the hard mass on her gum line, but it doesn't bother her. When we push on it she doesn't hiss nor withdrawal.

Pippa's skin is normal, maybe a tad bit dry. She gets once a month baths with Johnson's baby soap. No balding. Bedding is ether half puppy pad or fleece and half carefresh with a hut and fleece snuggle blankets.

As much as I wanted to get back to her normal diet that she had post-op of just hard cat kibble with fruit, veggies and mealworms, I think she had a taste of the luxury lifestyle of wet food and I am going to have to start providing it.
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Old 07-06-2018, 02:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So we just got back from the vet. The vet is testing for fungi and mites. While Pippa was on the the table at the vet, which had a black top, you could see all of the flakes falling off. Therefore, Pippa's skin is drier then I thought.

In the meantime we wait and see. The vet put Pippa back on the anti-inflamtory medication she was on post-op due the vet not 100% satisfied with how large the mass still is.
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Old 07-07-2018, 07:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry to hear that she's been put back on meds because of her mass, I hope her situation improves soon. Is it really not an option to remove it, especially if it is growing?

Re the skin issue, I would stop using the johnsons baby shampoo, it is actually quite drying. A lot of people including myself, use the Aveeno Oatmeal baby wash (make sure to get the wash, and not the shampoo). This can be soothing for dry skin issues. Others also use actual oats soaked in a pair of tights with water and squeeze out onto hedgie's back during a bath If it was me and when my boy had severe dry skin last year, I only used water for a while. Don't use any oils in the bath water either, until a skin fungus / infection has been ruled out as this can clog the pores and make the issue worse. A little drop of flaxseed oil in the food once a week or so can also help with skin issues. My boy's skin issues ultimately seemed to improve after I switched him to a high quality cat food (was previously on a rubbish hedgehog food).

Haha yes, my boy is the same! Either his mouth issue is the reason why he won't touch hard kibble or he preferred the easier way of mashed mushy food instead ><. Making it into a powder seems way easier and not much extra work at least if you can gradually transition him back onto that from canned wet food

Thank you for the information on Pippa's mouth issue. Poor little thing but sounds like such a trooper, bouncing right back after surgery and eating well . I think we will need to take Yuki in and have him put under a little anaesthesia so they can properly check his mouth for an abscess I'm pretty sure I can see.
I hope you don't mind, but I will attach some photos of Yuki's mouth issue below. I think it is only at an early stage or a small abscess but if you recognize a similarity to how Pippa's mouth began to look, I'd be so grateful for your opinion ~ thank you!

Also keep us posted on Pippa's skin and growth issues, hoping they both get better soon ♡
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Old 07-07-2018, 08:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Above photo is how it looks every night (a slight lump under the skin)

Photo below is when it is swollen/inflammed, his lip droops a bit revealing redness / the inside of his lip.

Your opinion would really help me convince my partner that we need to take him back to the vets (the vet doesn't think we need to do a more thorough examination so my partner trusts the vet ><).
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Old 07-07-2018, 10:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ek! He is so cute. So that mass is different from what Pippa has. Her mass is located on the inside of her check like where her whiskers are and seems to be a hard boney prominent. They would have to x-ray it to see if it is removable.

I would defiantly maybe go to another vet and get a second opinion in regards to Yuki's mouth. If it's an abnormal red could mean infection.
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Old 07-08-2018, 12:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Here are some photos of Pippa's face. You can clearly tell her right side is much larger.
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Old 07-08-2018, 11:38 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dear_Riah View Post
Ek! He is so cute. So that mass is different from what Pippa has. Her mass is located on the inside of her check like where her whiskers are and seems to be a hard boney prominent. They would have to x-ray it to see if it is removable.

I would defiantly maybe go to another vet and get a second opinion in regards to Yuki's mouth. If it's an abnormal red could mean infection.
Aww thank you! ^^
Ah I see what you mean, thank you for sharing photos of Pippa, what an adorable little girl. Bless her, I'm glad it doesn't seem to bother her. I can see why they probably can't / don't want to remove it, would be quite invasive surgery I imagine. When we went previously about Yuki's mouth issue, the vet showed us his veterinarian book on hedgehogs with growths before and after surgery and one photo! the little hedgie had to have half it's jaw removed in order to remove a growth, poor little thing it's surprising how much they can go through and recover from for being such a small animal.

I'd definitely try get some aveeno oatmeal wash if you can or just try using water to see if her dry skin improves. I also use coconut oil in the rinse water but I wouldn't suggest any oils until a skin infection / fungus has been ruled out. Flaxseed oil or fish oil in their food can help improve their skin though so you could try this in the meantime.

I completely agree. I'm going to keep reducing the different types of kibble brands first that I'm feeding to try and rule out an allergy (as the vet suggested) and if it doesn't improve or gets worse we will request a further examination under gas. We tried a different vet clinic before but they didn't seem as confident or professional as this clinic. Everything is made so much harder living in a foreign country sometimes, language barrier and culture differences ><
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Vet called today. They have ruled out mites. Still waiting on culture test for a fungi infection. Pippa overall seems to be well but the quilling has been non stop. Attached is a photo of her balding which is all over, not centralized in one location. Pippa also got to enjoy some spa time at the sink with oats.
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