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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-02-2019 12:42 AM
Yukidama's mama Hey just checking in and how your boy is doing now? Still losing quills? I hope it’s easing off.

Oh that is funny to hear we’ve had a similar situation. The adult halo 16% was enough to cause Yuki’s weight gain! He’s now losing weight steadily but I’m worried it will go the other way. I’m starting the raw food but with him being so fussy he hasn’t gone for it yet...

It’s also interesting to hear you grind his food. Do you add water to it too then as you mentioned he has mushy food. This is exactly what I’ve done with yuki for 2 years now. Sometimes I worry have i caused issues by doing it but he was so thin before I didn’t see any other option.

He does the face rubbing periodically every night. It seems more related to when he gets an erection lol. So not sure if it’s food or that but he does do it a lot! His low jaw on both sides is a little lumpy and he was diagnosed with gingivitis last fall. The vet has seen him 3 times since (twice for vomiting issue and checking quills) and every time says his gums don’t look as red so he’s happy. But from the outside it looks the same as it did whilst he had inflamed gums. I don’t know if it’s me just being paranoid or the vet not being that aware.

Can I ask what previous mouth issue your boy had or was it just the food getting stuck that was the main issue? Did his mouth look any different from the outside, like lumpy, or the inside of his lip would show a little pink skin? Also did he used to also salivate more when he had the mouth issue? Yuki seems to drool, like the fleece wil be damp where his mouth was lying on and he has a lot of saliva in his mouth plus bad breath which actually since he’s been back on meds (for the vomiting) I haven’t noticed as much so maybe it helped. Sorry I know it’s a bit off topic but I do worry it is all connected at least in Yuki’s situation. It’s helpful to know others situation to try see a pattern.

Well it’s good at least he is not balding or has any broken quills. I’d theyre growing through that’s a good sign. How did your last vet check up go?

Yuki is generally still losing approx 5-8 a week. But a few weeks ago he lost 13 quills in one week which is the most for him! I gave him a bath at the end of that week and he lost two that night whilst drying him. The following week the quill loss went back down to x5 so maybe the bath helped. I worry it stresses him out though but will try do it about every 2 months. We went back to the vets a little over a week ago as yuki vomited quite a lot of food (I’ve made a separate post about it). The vet checked his skin as I mentioned he had lost the 13 quills the previous week but he said his skin looks good and he doesn’t think it’s mites, perhaps stress causing it.

Let us know how your baby is doing and Charlie’s owner how is he doing too?

It definitely helps to share information and situations and just knowing that others are dealing with similar issues. Hoping all our babies get better soon! ♡
04-05-2019 09:47 PM
xCrazyFlyinAcesx That is so funny that you mention weight gain with Yuki with the Halo brand, as I had the exact same issue a few years ago with my boy. The issue for us was that I had him on the food meant for kittens even though my hedgie had stopped growing, so the extra calories turned right to fat. It got to the point where he couldn’t run on his wheel properly, which was not good. Switched him to the Halo Holisitic meant for elder cats, and he’s been at a happy, healthy weight ever since. I also began to grind his food up in a spice grinder for partially the same reason that you may have with Yuki’s cheek rubbing problem. Bits and pieces of food would get stuck between my boy’s cheeks and teeth, and he would rub his face along the bottom of his cage to try and dislodge it. Does Yuki exhibit this behavior not long after eating? This and other reasons are why he now gets mushy food stuff. We’re past the point where we’re trying to resolve any food/weight related issues, so I’m reluctant to make any changes now that we’re set and happy. This was about a year ago, so I hardly suspect it has anything to do with what’s currently going on.

As for the fleece, my baby has been on just fleece for about 2 of the 3 years that I’ve had him. We used carefresh throughout the whole cage at first, then just where he used his wheel for the bathroom with fleece laid out elsewhere. He prefers and enjoys burrowing under the fleece than to carefresh, so we made the switch to fleece completely. It’s super easy to clean, it helped with his dry skin, makes heath issues like this easier to spot, and - most importantly - it doesn’t aggrevate his privates. My vet recommended freezing his clean fleece in the freezer before putting it in the cage just in case this is a mite problem. I tried it out for this last cage clean up.

This week’s lost quill count is 40. About the same jump as last week’s. Still no balding, no patches, no unhealthy quills that lack a bulb. Nor are there any quills snapped in half. Woah. An odd symptom for sure, but one that definitely DOES sound like mites. Or maybe 2-3 months between baths may be too big of a gap between baths?

I’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t just a natural anomoly? That my baby is just one of an (un)lucky group of hedgies that quill at an age that he normally shouldn’t? Because if he’s losing this many quills without patching or balding, then he MUST be growing them back, right? Or if this isn’t quilling, how is it that he can go on like this for almost 2 months with no other ailments but no sign if getting better? Very confusing.

Vet visit is in a few days. Will consult then and keep y’all up to date. Good luck to you and Charlie on your vet visit! And thank you again for sharing this mystery, I’m finding some relief in knowing that I’m not alone in this.




**For any moderators monitoring this thread, I wanted to take a moment to point out that while some bits our conversations have strayed from the original “Quill loss” discussion, it is for the best. As we are still trying to determine with each other and our vets why this is happening to our hedgies, trying to find a common factor such as food or environment may help narrow down a cause. As the op, I will say that I have found all additions to the conversation informative and helpful. Thank you.
04-05-2019 02:53 AM
CharlieCrowley Charlie only gets fleece strips in his house but it is a mixture of that and Pom poms. He has always burrowed to sleep. It has never been a problem. He has grass throughout the cage. I pull the grass out and hose it off and set it out to dry. It’s easy to keep clean.

I’m praying for our babies. I set up another vet appointment Saturday and I hope I get answers from that.
04-04-2019 12:51 AM
Yukidama's mama Sorry to hear both your hedgies are still losing quills.

Yuki is the same still but not as many. On average it was 4-6 quills a week but last week he lost x8 so it’s getting worse.
He had his first dose of revolution 2.5 weeks ago. The vet didn’t think it was necessary but did it to make me feel better I think ><

On the pet cam a few days ago I saw him scratch 20x in 10 mins!! He also shakes his head and wipes the side of his face against the floor etc. Do either of your hedgies do these additional things?

Next I’m thinking an ear issue, would perhaps explain the vomitting issue he also has. He has no wax and inside of ears from what I can tell aren’t red or aggravated. But he has lost a lot of fur around the base of his ears from above and behind them and even his quills on top of his head don’t look as full.

He also has some snapped quills, which make him look patchy in places but he has no actually bald spots. Any of your hedgies also have snapped quills? I heard it could mean a deficiency.

Oh I used to feed Halo chicken and also Halo salmon as part of a mix with now fresh and natural balance (all grain free). I had to reduce the Halo Chicken as the fat content was too high and he piled on so much weight! This is when I introduced the blue buffalo weight management which has grains and is chicken based.

I only give Yuki a full bath every 2-3 months and footbath every 1-2 weeks as it stresses him out so much, plus the winters get really cold here. But I’m going to try keeping his paws cleaner by just wiping them with a damp cloth. I guess it can’t be too hygienic for them to scratch with poopy feet! ><

I also use aveeno oatmeal wash but also recently got the hedgehog and friends line so the last two footbaths I’ve used the coconut and lime wash. I’d be careful using any oils directly on the skin, if there’s a chance it is a bacteria or fungal infection, the oil will block the pores and make the situation worse... what type of oil are you using CharlieCrowley?

Have you both always used fleece?
The only other thing I noticed was Yuki’s quill loss get worse when I put him back on fleece last Fall. That could just be it was more easier to spot them or perhaps fleece stresses him out (he tries to burrow in it). From last April to Summer he was on carefresh, which he loved but it came with other issues.

I’m thinking of introducing a natural substrate box (organic soil, play sand and coco peat) and see how he does in it then hopefully switch his enclosure completely but might be harder to monitor his health issues so not sure yet...will do the box first. Hoping it will help keep him cleaner and happier though!

That’s good to hear the humidifier is helping! I don’t know how I could get it to fall directly into his viv?? The top is wire mesh but I have two heat lamps on either end so maybe a fire hazard?! It will be so humid here soon enough I’ll probably have the opposite problem soon! But will be interesting to see if his quill loss gets better with the change of seasons!

Hoping our babies all improve soon!
04-03-2019 02:07 AM
CharlieCrowley I am so sorry your baby is still sick. I really hope they find out what is wrong! I’m feeling helpless also. Tested Charlie’s poo again for mites, sent quills to the lab, still waiting for one lab to come back. They did a scrapping while I was there and looked under a microscope. It really isn’t mites. It isn’t ringworm either. Maybe bacterial? The next set of tests will be on the endocrine system. I am at a loss. I can tell the vet is worried.

Charlie continues to lose 5-7 quills a day. Not in any place in particular. He does not have bald spots. It is perplexing. His appetite is the same. His energy is the same. His mood is calm. I think his skin is looking a bit clearer. It is not so flaky. The oil is working. I’m also bringing him in the bathroom when I shower as the vet suggested. He doesn’t seem to mind the steam as long as he can hide in his towel and sleep. I plan to buy a humidifier this weekend to continue with steam.

I think it is time to take him in again. Keep me posted on your next vet visit and I will post after mine
03-29-2019 08:34 AM
xCrazyFlyinAcesx I’m glad to hear that your hedgie is responding well to the treatment! Hopefully the quill loss will stop completely by the time the first dose wears off (or maybe a follow up dose may be necessary).

It has been 12 days since the Revolution mite treatment was given to my little boy, and the quill loss has not stopped. In fact, I would say that it has increased. Found about 33 quills in cleaning his cage this morning. Up from 25 a week to 33. Still no balding patches. Still happy as a clam in every respect. Even his dry skin seems to be gone, yet this problem persists.

My follow up appointment with the vet is in less than 2 weeks. I’m going to wait out the mite medicine’s dosage, see if this is just one of those “It’ll get worse before it gets better” situations. In the meantime, I will follow my vet’s advice and start to collect his lost quills again so that I have something to send out to a lab to check for skin bacterial/fungal issues.

Feeling very helpless right now, not sure what more I can do to help him.
03-27-2019 09:07 PM
CharlieCrowley Charlie was started on a mite treatment. We tested for 5 things including mites, worms, fungal etc..labs have not come back yet. He has flaky skin but now this seems to be improving with the linseed oil treatment and the coconut quills from hedgehog and friends. I have still consistently seen 2 quills per night, but this is an improvement from before when it was more like 30. He is also growing new quills so hopefully he will be back to normal soon
03-21-2019 03:41 AM
xCrazyFlyinAcesx Thank you for the well wishes!

We saw the vet for the second time for this problem and she did administer a preventative round of the Revolution mite treatment. We also made an appointment in a couple of weeks when we can check to see if the treatment is helping. If it is, the vet may do another round and we’ll chalk the problem up to mites. If not, the vet explained that the next step would be to send the skin samples and the quills he has lost out for cultures (though she didn’t say what for. I’m assuming some kind of bacterial skin infection?) I hope that won’t be necessary, as it would only delay his feeling well again. We’re going on our 6th week of quill loss here! I counted 20 quills in his cage the morning of our vet visit. Add it to the additional 5-6 he lost during the interactions of the vet visit and we’re still around where we were last Friday.

At the very least I seem to have solved the dry skin issue, according to the vet. Stopped the flax seed and got a humidifier used for babies. He isn’t as flaky or dandruffy as he was on his first visit regarding this problem. I hope your little one will find some relief from the dry air as Spring finally rolls around!!! I moved my humidifier so that the mist falls directly into the cage. Maybe that would be more effective in increasing the humidity for your baby? Mine is still not balding as a whole or in any one particular spot, which the vet said is also unusual. Additionally, she has ruled out quilling and environmental stress in moving as a factor; the problem wouldn’t be growing gradually worse as it is if the issue stemmed from a latent factor, and quilling doesn’t last this long.

To answer your questions about bathing, I don’t bathe him frequently to help keep his skin from drying out; generally every 3 weeks, 4 in the winter if it’s particularly dry. I use the baby aveeno oatmeal soap that many folks on the forums favor, and even add some olive oil in as a recommendation from my vet to help with the dry skin; we’ve used it all his life so it’s not something new that he is having a reaction to.

I am...hesitant to switch him over to a raw diet, but will keep that idea in mind. In the past he has had issues maintaining a healthy weight. He additionally wasn’t chewing or swallowing dry pieces well enough and wound up with an oral infection. Only within the last year and a half I have found a kibble that keeps him happy, at a healthy weight for his energy needs, and can be ground up and wet down for easier consumption. The brand is Halo cat food. Grain free with safe ingredients and a good fat and protein percentage. When he was younger he used to be more willing to try occassional non-kibble snacks, like turkey and banana, but the most I can entice his interest with now a days is hard boiled egg (which, I don’t think on it’s own would be a good substitute). I’ll keep it in mind, though. Thank you for the suggestion!

It’s too early to tell if anything that I am doing is helping, but I will keep this post updated! At the very least, it is reassuring to know that other folks have gone through /are currently going through this issue as well! I wish your babies all the best! Keep me up-to-date with your situations well and hopefully we can all figure out this quill mystery together!
03-19-2019 11:57 PM
Yukidama's mama Sorry to hear Charlie is going through a similar thing :/

I’d have them do a preventative mites treatment just in case. It’s almost impossible to see them yourself unless there’s a severe infestation. Does he have bald patches? You could have the vet do a skin culture and check for a skin infection (bacteria or fungal).

I took Yuki to the vet on Sunday mainly because of his vomitting but I’m also concerned about his quill loss as it’s been going on several months and I’m worried it will continue to increase like Crazyflyinaces hedgehog has now experienced. The vet said Yuki’s skin looked healthy and he wasn’t too concerned but I was(!) so he gave him a topical revolution treatment (do not let them use Ivermectin! It can be easily overdosed if injected and can be fatal on the second dose). I have only found one quill since so that’s an improvement already.

Other things to consider is his diet, what brands do you feed?
Also what do you use to bath him with (what kind of soap, shampoo or a wash?) and how often do you give baths? How many quills is he losing per a week and when did it start. It’s good for us to all compare and see any patterns. It could be something simple likes mites, husbandry, diet to environmental issues or an underlying internal health issue.

Hope he improves soon, let us know how it goes at the vets too.
03-19-2019 04:26 AM
CharlieCrowley I hope your baby gets better soon and you figure out what is wrong with him. Can you please post what you find out? My Charlie is also 3 and has been losing quills like crazy. There is no change in husbandry and he seems happy and lively. He runs so hard on his wheel all night it wakes me up sometimes. He has excellent energy. I checked him for mites and it was negative. I’m bringing him in soon to see the vet again to do bloodwork. I am freaking out.
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