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Old 11-15-2013, 08:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Hedgie losing quills?

Hi! My hedgehog is around eight months old and is losing quills right now. He had an adult quilling around two months ago, and I know for sure that it wasn't mites or anything like that. That stopped awhile ago, and just yesterday i noticed that his quills were falling out again, and even when i was just holding him they would fall out. I wasn't able to take him out for two days due to being really busy, but i noticed a lot in his sack too. I've found around 5-6 from the past 18 hours or so and tons of white hairs/baby quills(?) all over his fleece liner, and none have skin attached to the end. I haven't noticed any major bald spots, and he's eating and drinking fine, just a bit grumpier than usual. I've started to put his heat lamp on longer than usual in case it's that. I tried the dark shirt test and didn't notice anything. He does have really dry skin, but I put flax oil on him around 2-3 times a week, but his skin is still pretty dry.

But is it possibly mites or is losing quills just common around this time of year/age? He hates driving in cars so i don't want to have to take him to the vet if i'm just panicking over nothing, but I will definitely do so if its highly suggested. He's my first hedgie so i might just be going crazy over nothing...

Thank you for any advice!
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Old 11-15-2013, 11:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like it's likely dry skin, especially since this is the season for it - winter air is drier, and heating systems usually dry the air out even more. A heating set up for the hedgie cage can make that even more dry on top of everything else. A humidifier in his room might help keep the air more moist for him.

I've read at least one person recently that said that olive oil seemed to help their hedgehog's skin better than flaxseed oil. So you could try seeing if a different oil helps more. I would be cautious about using oil more often than you are now - you can use too much & cause a yeast infection instead. Humilac is a product that's been used & recommended by a lot of people recently - I've only seen one person whose hedgehogs reacted badly to it, but if you do try it out, remember to try only a small spot first to test for negative reaction. I haven't used it myself, but most of the comments I've seen on it say that it helps quite a lot.

Also, unrelated to the skin issue, but you said you've been turning his heat lamp on longer than usual...are you making sure temperatures are staying relatively stable? Keep in mind that large fluctuations usually aren't good for many hedgehogs either, and most people recommend using a thermostat with a heating set up to make sure the temperature stays steady & within the safe range.
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Old 11-19-2013, 03:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I am checking the temperature every day, and it's still at the average heat for him, i just never had it on before (except for the night) to save money and energy.
I think I might try the olive oil because the flaxseed doesn't seem to be doing it for him. Thanks!
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