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Old 05-21-2014, 11:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Mysterious Quill loss - olive oil allergy?

My first post. hi all. I adopted Alonzo in November and despite his shyness I have bonded with him so much over the past 6 months. His year birthday was April 13. I recently gave him an oatmeal bath and applied olive oil to his back, and the day since (3 days so far) I've found 15-20 quills. In his sleep sack or on the floor of his cage. Yikes!
So here's my story.
Alonzo started itching around December, I'd hear or see it about once a day. He also lost 1-2 quills a day. I thought it was dry skin, because of my space heater, and didnt do much for it. Bathed him in regular baby shampoo (just a drop) once a month careful to not let him drink or inhale it.

I considered mites to be a possibility. Took him to billingsley vet in Columbus oh in February, didnt get a skin scrape but got some revolution.
I insisted she only apply the recommended amount. It didn't do much for him. Around April we ordered more treatment. Still itching and 1-2 quills a day were still lost.
I talked to Gail at millermade about it and she suggested an oatmeal bath, and skin are oil. I did both on Sunday, applying the olive oil to his back after the bath.

Here's where it gets funky.
I took him out Monday night and immediately noticed quills in his sleep sack. I attributed it to his recent bath. Like 20 total.
Then last night, same thing. 5 quills on the floor 15 in the sack.
Tonight I only found 4 in the cage .. And 15 in the sack. And I noticed some butt baldness! What is going on???
All look healthy
All have bulbs

My theories
- most likely .. Reaction to the olive oil. I thought it was safe. It's in Gail's niks.. But he seems to be dropping them right where that oil went
- 1 year quilling - but the bath feels like a trigger
- mites? But I just did a topical for them about 3 weeks ago. It was the second, and the vet reassured me to use the whole thing. He's a big boy. I know it's not that
- internal parasite?? But why would it do this
- stress.. He is a stresser anyway!

Notes- PEW is fine! Pee looks dark but I feel I'm paranoid
Activity level is normal, skin looks fine
Scratching has been eradicated since the oatmeal bath, as far as I can tell. Hmmm. He seems almost more comfortable.
Aaaand he's losing a bit of fur too. I don't know if they shed.

Someone help me with my baby. ): vet care is hard right now. We moved a few months ago and our car broke down of course so travel is really difficult. I don't feel it is life threatening (at least not yet) so please no one judege me for not scooting to a vet. I love my baby but I don't want to stress too much yet. I'll go in a heartbeat if his behavior changes.

Questions are : could it be a parasite? Olive oil allergy? I really feel it is not mites. I treated him so recently and am treating again in a week.
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Old 05-22-2014, 12:21 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's possible it could be a skin infection, which can be sealed in & made worse by oil, unfortunately. I wouldn't use any more oil on him for the time being, and once you can, head in to the vet for a skin scraping to be cultured & looked at. Skin infections can be bacterial, fungal, or yeast. It's also possible though, that it's just from dry skin & the oil loosened things up enough that they started coming off all at once. It does seem like a lot of quills for it to be that though. Since it's hard to get to the vet for right now, you could wait a couple days, see if the quill loss continues at the same rate & go from there.
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Old 05-22-2014, 09:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I did not even think about that! To the naked eye his skin looks fine.. Could any skin infections 'look' normal?
Also, this morning before I left I checked his cage .. No quills, and he wheeled and ate normally. I did not check his sack yet, just picked him up to see if he was alive. Lol and he licked the air and went back to sleep as usual.
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Old 05-23-2014, 12:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The two infections that Lily had both showed other signs (bacterial infection was red spots on her skin, yeast infection was thick, chunky skin pieces coming off & moist-looking skin - and that one was caused by too much flaxseed oil on her, according to my vet), but that's just my limited experience. I know there's been at least one post on here from someone whose hedgehog just looked like he had dry skin, but a vet visit showed it was a fungal infection.

Yay for no quills this morning! Fingers crossed that the trend continues & there's nothing to worry about.
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Old 05-29-2014, 09:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I went to the vet.. Being told its bacterial and not fungal. I am confused though b/c it looks yeast or fungal. She prescribed baytril and I can't figure out the proper dosage.
I thought it had it but according to this
https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...lp-needed.html
5mg/ kg?
Mine is... 20mg/1ml .. Sigh. And she's gelling me to give him .2 mg but.. It doesn't seem to match the dilution. And is it even bacterial? Ugh.. I'm gonna start losing my quills.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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My vet's office was really good with medications. They would either separate the dosages for me in their own vial or they would show me exactly how much to use (I always a syringe and inject the baytril into a mealworm). Maybe you could ask them to separate the doses for you?
I had a hedgehog who scratched all the time and started losing quills. It turns out it was ringworm caused from a bad case of mites which she had when I bought her. Have they checked for ringworm?
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