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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know there are a TON of threads on the subject, but I'm a bit worried about our little girl and whether or not she's ok...

Our girl is, well, we're not sure how old... The pet store told me 5-6 months, the vet said "she's definitely not a year yet... If I had to guess, yeah, maybe 6-7 months?"

I just stopped giving her antibiotics (like a day ago) since her face is all healed up now. (Clavamox drops + topical animax ointment on the sore). Her diet consists of chicken soup for the cat lover's soul (adult cat light formula) and wellness (healthy weight) and a couple of mealworms a day. Her skin seemed dry when we got her, but not so bad for the past week - until today.

Yesterday she was a little bit fussy - today, omg, she was like super, super fussy... I weighed her (300g) and afterward she seemed like she just absolutely did not want to be picked up, so I let her crawl into her snuggle sack... When I tried to get her to come out of her snuggle sack, I pretty much had to empty her out of it gently into her bed, but she actually grabbed a hold of the bottom of the bag with her teeth and didn't want to let go even. She was fine in my lap, fine with me peeking in on her, giving her mealies, etc... but she did not want anything to do with being picked up.... and now I can see why!

Not only was there a major, major abundance of flaky, dry skin, but between her bed and her snuggle sack I counted like 20 quills!!! :shock:

Is it at all normal for her to be quilling as late as 5-6 months? Could it be something else? It seems so sudden... Like, all 20 of these had to have come out JUST today and yesterday. Prior to this I hadn't seen her lose a single one. (...and, I know this may sound weird, but ever since I saw the thread where the girl had made necklaces with lost hedgie quills inside them, I'd been on the lookout in case Eva lost even one so I could save it... I definitely didn't expect to ever find 20 though! :cry: )

I took a photo of the quills with a dime to show the size... Is there any way to tell if they're still just baby quills?



I really hope it's just a late quilling... I feel bad for her because obviously her skin is dry and she's just so fussy about being handled right now... :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, I've read mention of vitamin E, lanolin and warm oatmeal baths... I'm a bit scared to handle her right now, but if it would help to give her a bath I will...

I can get vitamin E oil at a health store, right? ...or lanolin at a drugstore... I've also been looking for the oatmeal baths for kids but all I've been able to find are the oatmeal baths for adults (that have cautions on them about getting them in one's eyes). The baby wash we have for her is a no-tears, fragrance free, "soothing relief" baby wash (by aveeno).

Re. the vitamin E and/or lanolin, do I just apply it after the bath (after she dries off) with a soft toothbrush or what?
 

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The quills in the pic are definitely smaller than the ones Satin loses (she's almost 2yo now). When I put her quills on a dime, turns out they're longer than the dime is wide. The ones in your pic look more like the length she had when she was around 8 wks.
I don't know how representative mine is of all hedgies. But, if more people comment, we'll reach some kind of consensus.

You don't have to avoid handling her when her skin is ouchy. Just make sure you're picking her up from her underside where there's only nice soft fur. And let her stand on your hands rather than cupping her or petting her.

Another oatmeal option is to get the box of soothing colloidal oatmeal wash. It's a powder that you mix in with the bath water.
The vitamin e - you can use a few drops in her rinse water. Get a cup, some warm (bath temperature) water, drop some vit e in and when she's all done with her bath, pour that over her to rinse off (but not her head/ears... just over her back).
Or you could try to drip a drop of vit e in strategic areas if it's not bath time. It's definitely sticky. If you're doing it this way, you might want to consider flax seed oil instead. It spreads out over the skin better than vit e does.
You can find vit e (or flax seed) oil at pharmacies, grocery stores (in the vitamin section), health food stores...
 

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Those look like baby quills to me and her change in mood goes along with it. How long have you had her?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ohhhh, thank you both... that's really reassuring.

We've only had her like 2 weeks... and her history is sketchy. Considering the pet store folks were negligent enough to not notice the bite on her cheek - and to house her with at least 1 male, if not 2, they probably didn't really know her age either...

I think I'll go for the flax seed oil. If the vitamin E oil is the same/as sticky as the stuff one could squeeze out of a vitamin E capsule, then yeah... Echk. I remember that stuff from my childhood. :p

The box of oatmeal wash powder is what I was looking for, but I figured there'd be a baby version. The only one I found had a cautionary thing about avoiding contact with eyes. I guess I just need to look harder.

Thanks again so much. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok, so I'm totally bumping my post to update/query...

She's still losing a lot of quills daily...

Today is the first time I've seen her scratch, so I'm still pretty sure it's just quilling and not like mites or something. All of the quills are still that small size too... How many do they lose though exactly? You can't tell she's lost any by looking at her, but I've saved every one I've found... and there are tons...

She's not huffy and puffy anymore... Well, she was a liiiiitle bit when I took her out of her cage earlier, but I think she might just be mad at me for replacing her bed with a pile of fleece... Thing is, she was clawing and chewing at her bed and, since it had that kind of faux-sheepskin thing going on, I was scared of her ingesting any um.. polyester fuzz I guess it is... I did put it back in, but only after wrapping it completely in fleece. (I'm totally going to have to go buy another one of those little beds and then find a way to get fleece slipcovers made or something... Maybe my mom or someone on etsy could make a good slipcover, hmmm!) She seems happy now to have it back, probably since it is the perfect size for her. I'm pretty confident she won't try to chew/claw/etc. at it to get under the fleece too since she seems all nice and comfortable again.

Anyway, my apologies for that tangent, lol.. So, originally she was all huffy and puffy and I figured "ok, she's quilling, so she's miffed at the world." Now she's active as can be! We played for at least an hour earlier and it's like the fact that she's losing quills left and right didn't even bother her in the least! Do they just get over it after a few days or what? I read that it can last a whole month....

Cliffs re. questions I had: 1.) How long does quilling usually last? 2.) How many quills should I expect her to lose? ...and 3.) Do they usually just get over the fact that they're quilling after a few days or what? I'm just a little concerned because she went from being totally pissed about it to being completely not fussed at all.
 

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They all quill at a different rate some faster some slower. Generally they are done with their various stages of quilling when they are six months old but since you do not know the age of your girl you will just have to assume she is done when she stops dropping so many quills.
They will lose all the quills they have and regrow a full new 'adult' set, so expect quite a lot of quills to drop :lol:. As long as you see new quill growth coming in and no bald spots or increasing sparseness. Since you say that you cant tell she has lost any by looking at her, you don't have to worry. Its actually all the new quills poking their way up through the skin that puts them in such and understandably a grumpy, sore and itchy mood. Mine were not consistently grumpy every day when quilling, but definitely generally grumpier. They had some good days and some bad days.

You might want to consider making a nice hedgie bag for her lined with courderoy or denim if she likes to dig and chew on her bed :) . ( even fleece will fuzz with constant digging )

Taken from HHC fact sheet http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/stats.shtml

The average hedgehog has 5,000 -7,000 quills ( so thats roughly how many will be dropping and growing in, but i assume they have less as babies and grow in more for their adult set)

First quilling = 4 weeks ( of age)
Second quilling = 6 weeks
Third quilling/ Adult color quilling = 9 weeks
Adult quilling = 12 weeks
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oooooo! Thanks for the info!

I'm not really sure how I'd see/look for new quill growth, but I haven't noticed any balding or anything...

She loves her snuggle sack bag that she sleeps in on my lap (she digs and chomps down on it too though, lol), so I've been debating whether I should go with the bed slipcover idea, since she really does seem to like the size/shape/etc. of her little cup bed (which she's had since the day we got her), or the sleep bag idea... the bed has a nice, padded bottom so I bet it's really comfortable, but she also really likes crawling into anything cloth and sack-like. :D

That's a 5k-7k quill loss over all quilling stages, I assume? So, if she already went through 2-3+ quillings, she won't lose quite so many, right?

Oh, and I can't help myself... super cute pic from last night... :p
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Also, I assume it's normal for her to be completely disinterested in her wheel while quilling? I hope?

She was running around like craaaaazy on the floor last night, but won't touch her wheel right now. :(
 

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Quilling usually does not affect wheel use. Has anything changed with the wheel like the angle?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Nancy said:
Quilling usually does not affect wheel use. Has anything changed with the wheel like the angle?
Nope! :(

I think I'm going to get Wes to help me build her a new wheel (of the bucket variety) this week... She used the one she has now like once or twice after the vinegar thing... but that's it. She's now returned to using it only as potty. :(
 

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ana said:
That's a 5k-7k quill loss over all quilling stages, I assume? So, if she already went through 2-3+ quillings, she won't lose quite so many, right?
Hmm, i never really thought about it and i cant say i know for sure, but this is what i think.
Since their colors can 'change' every time they quill, and since baby quills are a different size from adult quills i think that they actually lose everything and regrow a new set at each individual stage of quilling. Their bodies are getting bigger and bigger at each quilling and 5-7k quills is the amount that they end up with eventually growing in at the final adult quilling. In all likelyhood they start out with something like losing 1k at the first quilling, growing in 2k of the new set, and so forth increasing the amount they drop and grow in each time.

I could be wrong, that is just my guess on how it works :D
 

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That seems like quite a lot... Inky still has some of his baby quills (you can see them in between the big ones-kind of funny). I have counted and collected every quill I have found that he has lost, and I'm up to 834 and he's almost 2 years.

Of course, I'm sure I didn't get them all... :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
It does sound like a lot... :eek:

I have about 210 that I've counted here... That's just since this started a little less than a week ago. (I haven't picked any out of her cage yet today though - and, of course, I've probably missed a few here and there since these are just from her snuggle sack and bed mainly).
 
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