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Eep! Yet another quilling question...

5123 Views 15 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ana
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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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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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
i agree 5-7k really does seem like a whole lot of quills, its certainly a bigger number than i imagined they would have.
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