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Old 01-27-2013, 08:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Severe Quill Loss

I rescued a neglected hedgehog named Penny about two weeks ago, and she seems to be settled in. I got her nails trimmed down, got a brand new cage, made her fleece liners, got her switched over to my mix of food, and got her cage setup for good health (safe,heated,wheel).
She came with long nails, very dry skin, overweight, and what I can only describe as "thinning" quills. What I mean is that I could clearly see her skin through her quills. She wasn't itching at all, and there was no one patch missing, but all over there were not enough quills. I took her to the vet and was told she doesn't have mites. I gave her two oatmeal baths and gently scrubbed off her dry skin and put some olive oil in her rinse water. I also put a little flaxseed oil in her food a few times a week. So far her skin is looking great, she hasn't had any dry skin since.
The problem is she is still losing a TON of quills. Still no one patch of missing quills, but all over missing! No dry skin, no itching.
I'm thinking I will just have to take her to the vet and ask more questions. But first I figured I would come here for some opinions while I wait to get an appointment with the vet.
I don't know her age, and her previous home thought she was a boy. She did have interactions with other male hedgehogs a few times. I have her on pregnancy watch, and put carefresh ultra in her cage (after freezing it overnight which I read about to kill mites). If this was the cause wouldn't her skin also show irritation?
Can/should I have her treated with revolution? What else would cause this? I am a little lost at this point! Any advice would be appreciated!
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Old 01-27-2013, 09:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe Quill Loss

Stress can cause quill loss as well. There's been a lot of changes in her life in the past few weeks, so stress could be the main cause of the quill loss.
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Old 01-27-2013, 10:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe Quill Loss

I didn't think of that, thank you! Would you suggest postponing her vet visit? And/or is there anything I can do to help her?
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:11 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe Quill Loss

The olive oil is amazing, isn't it?

I don't know that I'd necessarily postpone the vet visit. You don't know what else went on while she was with her previous, obviously inadequate home, so you probably want the vet to get to know her immediately and do a thorough checkup. Sorta like if you're going to buy a used car, you take it to a mechanic you trust first? I have no clue if there are hedgehog pregnancy tests (Can they just ultrasound a hedgehog tummy? I have no clue) , or anything, but a good baseline vet visit, so that if you have to bring her back later the vet has her on file is probably a good idea. And if nothing else, you can get them to prescribe some Revolution and use it preventatively.
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Old 01-28-2013, 02:33 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe Quill Loss

So I just read in another thread that you've already taken her to the vet, previously. Now I feel silly.

But maybe you could get them to prescribe you some Revolution over the phone?
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe Quill Loss

Don't feel silly! When I'm worried I tend to ramble and it can be hard to follow! Thanks for your input!
So I'm kind of thinking that I should get some revolution and see how that helps, and if there is still no difference I should get her to the vet. Is it safe to give her even if she may be pregnant? My friend is a wildlife rehabilitative and foster animal home, I can get Revolution through her no problem!
Does anyone know about quill loss and stress? I've read about shedding a few quills but this is so extreme. She will loose 10-20 a day. I am so worried and at a loss for what to do.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe Quill Loss

Revolution is safe if she's pregnant.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:19 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Severe Quill Loss

Wonderful, thank you!! I realize it sounds like I'm being careless not taking her to the vet right away but I just had her there and I'm bracing myself for vet bills if she does end up having babies!
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