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Old 01-04-2014, 10:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Brick, New Jersey
Posts: 31
Default Quilling?

I was browsing the quill threads but thought it would be easier if I posted a new one, since I'm a beginner hedgehog owner. I am the one that found my hedgie outside, he was very young and small, I'll post a when found pic, and a now pic so you can see the size difference. He ended up developing a uri and eventually got pneumonia, but he made it thru that. But I've been noticing finding a lot of quills, I noticed when I took him out the other day to let him walk around I found about 8 quills. Then I have since then been finding more in his cage. I cannot really see any new small ones growing in... Should I be doing anything for him. Should I give him a bath, I have never done that yet. He eats perfectly fine and is grumpy. Thanks for all your advice.
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: The Northern Wastelands
Posts: 1,922

Sounds like quilling. Sometimes it takes a little while before new quills start growing in. If he starts developing bald patches then it might be mites (which would be surprising after all his recent medical treatments & adventures), but it's probably just quilling.

Technically, you don't need to do anything except avoid ruffling his quills or petting his back. But, you can ease his pain a little bit by giving him an oatmeal bath.

Take a bit of regular (unflavoured) oatmeal, soak it in warm-not-hot water (use your elbow to temperature-check like you would for a baby's bath) until the water is milky-white, then remove the oatmeal and insert your hedgehog. Let him soak a bit, and the oatmeal-water will soften his skin and relieve itching. Afterwards, dry him off by bundling him in a towel and hanging out with him.

You can use anything for the bath. Some people use the sink, but my guy panicked so we use the bathtub. Others use buckets, tupperware, baking pans... flat bottoms seem to work a bit better than rounded surface, but otherwise, if it holds water, it's fine.

For water depth, for a footbath you normally run just enough to cover feet and get the belly damp (maybe a half-inch?); for a full bath you can have it a bit deeper and pour water over his back to get that oatmeal-water into his quills. Hedgehogs can swim, but few enjoy it, so don't make it so deep he can't reach the bottom.

He will be total cranky-pants while quilling. Some hedgehogs do distinct waves of quilling, others do unending misery for weeks until replacing everything with their adult quills. He also might change colour during this process.

You don't need to, but I totally recommend saving one of his baby-quills for comparison in a few months. I didn't realize how much crazy-sharper my little guy's baby quills were than his adult-quills; retroactively, I wonder how I ever managed to handle him the first few weeks!
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