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Old 05-29-2015, 10:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Losing quills, pus filled bumps, small sore on face

I just got back from the vet, and wanted to document my situation here to hopefully help someone else! About six weeks ago, Penny began losing quills. It wasn't many quills and I spotted new quill growth, so I didn't think much of it.

About two weeks ago, I had some health issues, and after being hospitalized for a few days, I brought Penny back with me to my parents house. There I noticed the quill loss began to increase and she was scratching herself at night.

A few days ago, I noticed a large bump on her back (white-ish in color). While I was investigating, it popped and white pus came out. It was pretty gross. I put some neosporin on it and promptly made a vet visit.

Today at the vet, they did some light sedation to get a better idea of what was happening. They found three of those "bumps" and examined the contents. The vet report reads, "the way that her skin is acting - quill loss with obvious pustules present - fits for a skin infection or pyoderma. The exact cause is not known at this time, but we could have irritation to allergies as possibilities. For now, we will treat this infection with an oral antibiotic (Clavamox) and see if the situation recoccurs. If the masses do not resolve, the next step would be a skin biopsy to make sure that there is not deep lesions or skin cancer present." The vet did not seem to think that mites were a possibility after examining skin.

I was almost in tears when they took her away to be sedated, but she was only gone about five minutes and was awake-ish when she came back into the room. I was nervous about giving Penny her first dose of antibiotics (apparently Pina Colada flavored) but she LOVED it. I mixed it with a bit of Honest Kitchen cat food which she LOVES too (but is high in fat so I don't give it to her very often) and licked the spoon clean. We'll see if this method continues to work, but it would be fantastic if it does. My only concern is the vet said to give the antibiotic every 12 hours. I worry that when I wake her up in the AM, she will not be happy about it and will refuse/ball up. Any hints/suggestions?

Overall, I was pleased with my vet visit. MUCH better than the last vet that I went to that refused to touch her without gloves and called the other vets into the room to "see" the hedgehog (despite the fact that the person I scheduled the appointment with said that they had hedgehog experience). The vet seemed knowledgable, the vet tech had no hesitation picking up Penny to weigh her, and I feel much much much better about Penny's current health.

Hopefully this information helps someone in the future!
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:21 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Nico has gone through a couple of rounds of antibiotics. I found the trick to the morning one was to not give her time to wake up and think about it. I grabbed her, plopped her in my lap, shoved the syringe in her mouth and squirted. If I hesitated it gave her time to decide she was upset and then she would fight it. If you're quick and efficient it's done and she's back in bed before she wakes up enough to properly hiss at you.

I'm glad this vet was better. I hope all you need is just the run of antibiotics to clear up the problem.
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I will try tomorrow and hope that I am successful! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 05-29-2015, 10:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ooooh and I forgot to add - the vet tech complimented how trimmed Penny's nails looked! That felt like a fantastic compliment! :]
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I have finished Penny's round of antibiotics. Quill loss seems to have slowed and I see a lot of new quill growth.

However... today I discovered another one of those red bumps (with white pus in the center).

Suggestions?
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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PennyRosa I would call your vet and let them know, they might want to continue the antibiotics longer or try a different one.
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Old 06-14-2015, 09:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks Nikki - will do.
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Old 06-15-2015, 02:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Emailed the vet. She wants to do another round of antibiotics and then proceed from there!
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Update on this issue... *I know this thread is a month-ish old but the problem continues to persist so I figured I'd add an update here.

Penny continues to loose 2-5 quills a night. She has a few more red bumps, sometimes with what appears to be a whitehead on top. I have almost finished three rounds of antibiotics (all Clavamox and ten days each) and really have seen no change in her skin. All other hedgehog activities have been the same (running,eating, drinking, etc) throughout this entire debacle. I also see new quill growth. She doesn't have any completely bare patches, but some areas are sparse.

I emailed the vet to update that there really has been no change, and the vet's next step is to do a surgical biopsy. This seems like a drastic next step. I would need to drop her off in the am, leave her all day and pick up in the pm. Estimated cost is between 200 and 300 dollars. I am able to afford that if need be, but have recently just spent a large amount in vet bills already when this problem first presented itself. Plus, I would rather not put Penny through the stress of a surgical biopsy if other steps could be taken.

If this is just a skin infection of some sort, wouldn't it make sense to try another different kind of antibiotic? I've only given her Clavamox so far. Is there something topical that I could ask for? Suggestions?

I will try to get a picture later today if I can.
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Old 07-02-2015, 05:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Did you try any topical sort of solution?
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