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Old 02-26-2016, 10:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Dry, itchy, pink skin

I brought Prue home a week yesterday. At the breeder she looked a little bit pink, but the lighting was dim and I figured that it may be normal for her. After we arrived home, I let her roam around in a playpen. She was insanely itchy and had turned a bright, painful looking red. She had not yet been in her cage so I know that it was not the new bedding. At that point she was only red and itchy, her skin was actually very soft (not dry). The breeder had given her a bath in some fancy product the same day, I figured that she might be reacting to that. I called the vet anyways, and booked the next open appointment (which had to be two days later). I also contacted the breeder, who recommended giving her a rinse in some warm water. I did this, and it seemed to give her some relief.

So fast forward until the day of the vet appointment and Prue was now much less red, but her skin was very dry and flakey. She was still itching a lot, but not with the same level of desperation. She had not lost any quills (to my knowledge), but I was starting to think that it might be mites.

At the vet they inspected for mites and took a skin scraping. It appeared to them that she did not have mites, but my vet also said that sometimes if the scraping is not taken where the mites are the results can be deceiving. She also lost one quill while they were doing this. So they treated her with Revolution and gave me another dose to apply in 7-10 days. They also recommended that I add a tiny bit of olive oil to her food and run a humidifier in the room with her cage (for if its just dry skin.)

I am running a humidifier (my house is dry at this time of year), but is the olive oil an okay idea? Does anyone have any thoughts on what they think this is? My vet is not particularly experienced with hedgehogs and I would love some insight and ideas from people who really know the species.

Thanks!
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Old 02-29-2016, 04:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Update:

Prudence is still very itchy. Last night I gave her a bath in oatmeal shampoo and rinsed her off with a teaspoon of oil mixed into 4 cups of water. Her poop last night was small and dry compared to usual and she did not finish her food (which has never happened in the 10 days I have had her). She had lost two quills. I'm so confused and want her to be comfortable...

Any tips are much appreciated!
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I share my home with one, big, slobbery dog, a ragdoll, a blind domestic shorthair, a slinky tabby, one crowntail betta, a double tail halfmoon betta, and our latest quilled addition... Prudence!
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Old 03-02-2016, 07:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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How old is she? I wouldn't worry right away about the quills she lost - if you just got her & she's still young, she's likely going to go through quilling now or soon, so that could be the start. Even if not, two quills isn't a major concern even for adult hedgies. It's normal for them to lose a quill or two a day, like when we shed hair.

Has she gone back to pooping & eating normally since you posted? I would guess that was due to the stress from the bath, but depends on if it's still continuing or not.

My best guess on the skin situation as a whole - she was irritated by whatever product the breeder used to bathe her. Hedgies have sensitive skin, which is why most people stick to no soap, only whole oatmeal, or Aveeno oatmeal products, which seem to work well for most hedgies. What you're dealing with now could just be dry skin, but could also be a skin infection. I wouldn't guess mites either, since she's not losing any quills. But doesn't hurt to treat for them. The oatmeal bath + oil is fine to continue if it seems to help. If it only gives temporary relief or if her skin gets worse, I would head back to the vet to get her checked for a possible skin infection.
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Old 03-03-2016, 08:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the reply! Prudence is 2years and 8 months old (a retired breeder).
I'm so glad to hear that a quill or two a day is normal for adults! Her poop has gone back to normal now, you're probably right about the stress.

The air is definitely very dry (my hands are dry so I figure she must be too), so I am continuing to run the humidifier. The bath seems to have helped. She is much less pink and I have only seen her itch once!

Thank you for the tips and detailed response-I really appreciate it!
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Prudence's Proud Mum Since February 2016

I share my home with one, big, slobbery dog, a ragdoll, a blind domestic shorthair, a slinky tabby, one crowntail betta, a double tail halfmoon betta, and our latest quilled addition... Prudence!
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