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Old 01-03-2014, 07:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy bloody quills?

I was playing around with my hedgehog today, and i noticed that he had two bloody quills. The quill itself was perfectly fine but there was crusty blood at the base of the quills. I looked over the rest of his back to look for any other bloody spots but couldn't find any more. Should i consider taking him to the vet or is there anything i can do for him at home?

My hedgehog is also going through his 2nd round of quilling. He is 11 months old, so I'm not worried. The quills that are coming out have bulbs at the end which is normal, but I'm concerned about the mass amount of quills that he is losing. Also, I haven't been able to find and new quills coming in on his back. I've done the black cloth trick to check for mites and I'm pretty sure he doesn't have them. What should I do about these two problems?
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What kind of bedding are you using? If you're using wood bedding or Carefresh, I'd get him treated for mites, just in case. You'll want to make sure the vet uses Revolution, not Ivermectin (also called Ivomec) - Ivermectin can be easily overdosed, particularly the injected form. Revolution is much safer, and there's rarely side-effects (just occasional bad reactions from an individual hedgie). It can be very hard to be absolutely sure there's no mites (particularly if you use a wood bedding), so often it's easier to just treat, just in case.

Personally I'd go in to the vet - for possible mite treatment, and to check for a skin infection. As far as I know, I don't think it's typically normal for quilling to cause bloody quills. I could be wrong though, so if Nancy or one of the other admins or breeders that have more experience with babies/quilling counters that, listen to them! I know sometimes quilling can occur with losing lots of quills, then growing in lots of quills (so that you don't see any growing in right away when they're losing them, like your situation), but if you're seeing bald spots or anything, that's not normal for quilling.
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Old 01-03-2014, 11:35 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The quills that i found that had blood at the base were still attached. Should i try to clean the quills or just let them be? I was researching about my problem and read that it could be an infection. Also, i use fleece bedding. Thanks for your advice!
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:53 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Don't be so sure that his quilling at 11 months is normal. Although it can be, and many do go through a quilling at around a year, the majority of hedgehogs don't. Combined with the bloody quills it may be something other than quilling.

Does he scratch himself and if so is it frequent and a frantic type of scratch? If so, he might have mites.

How long has he been loosing quills?
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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He hasn't been scratching much at all. I first noticed the "quilling" about 2 weeks or so ago. I was looking at the bloody quills last night and he didnt seem to mind me poking around the area.
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Old 01-04-2014, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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There are only two quills with blood at the base and ive been looking around on his back and haven't found any more. They are located right on the edge of the quills and where the hair starts ( if that helps). Also, i was thinking, and could the quill lose be because of stress? I just moved his cage into another room. I think I am going to look in to a might treatment, just to be safe.

Last edited by Bentley19; 01-04-2014 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:51 PM   #7 (permalink)
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No experience or advice on the bloody quills, but here's a bit of info on mite-treatment:

The safest option is topical Revolution ("Stronghold" in the UK). We use the kitten/cat concentration sold by vets; dosage is calculated by the vet depending on weight and severity of infestation.

Some vets try to prescribe ivermectin. Injectable ivermectin is really easy to overdose, and some hedgehogs have fatal reactions to it (or develop an allergy, so have a fatal reaction to a later dose of it). Topical ivermectin is a safer option, but even so, most of us advocate for using Revolution whenever possible.

Good luck!
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