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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys!

My hedgie is just over two months old and I believe he is quilling.

I'm finding a lot of quills in his cage and I can hear him scratching sometimes. I've inspected every single quill he has dropped and it has the little ball on it, so I know it's not mites or anything unnatural.

My question is, how many quills should he be losing? Last night, when I checked out his cage there were like 20-30 quills on the floor.

I'm not panicking or anything, I guess i just wanted to know how much quill loss is normal. Ive read this should be his last quilling anyhow. I gave him a bath last night to help soften the skin so its not as painful when the new quills come through.

Thanks for any help!
 

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Mites don't always make the ball on the end go away, so you shouldn't use that as your only reference. Keep an eye out for any bald spots or orange crust on the skin, as well.

During quilling, some hedgies lose a LOT of quills; some almost none. It varies depending on the hedgehog. It's likely that it's just quilling that he's going through, as you suspected, but be sure to keep an eye out that no bald spots are developing. Also, gently move some of his quills aside on his back to see if there are new quills poking through the skin. This will also verify that he is quilling.

If he keeps losing quills in a big amount and bald spots start appearing, it's time for a vet visit. I would guess it's nothing to worry about, though. Be sure to give him lots of love during this time since he's sure to be feeling icky.
 

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When my Wicca started quilling at first there were a few quills here and there and then one day I went to check on her and it looked like a hedgehog exploded in there :shock: there were quills every where.
Zalea is right about the mite's.
And also remember that you wont be able to see the mites with the naked eye unless they are very bad.
You can give a quilling hedgie a bath a few times a week to make their skin feel better.
A warm bath in Aveeno Oatmeal bath helped mine a lot. With a flax seed oil rinse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
K...

well so far, there aren't any bald spots or crusting....thank god. I know mites are a common ailment, but is it possible for a hedgie to get them even though the environment is cleaned all the time? My guy is on fleece liners that get changed daily and washed...

I also reiterate that I actually check every single quill (paranoid much?) for the ball on the end even though its not a 100% indicative sign of mites.

Shelby's Mom, mine is the same, sometimes the cage hardly has any quills in it, other times there are a lot lol (exploded as you appropriately put it.)

I want to avoid mites at all costs, obviously :p Are there any other symptoms that would indicate mites?

The only thing I'm not REALLY seeing are new quills poking through, but I havent FULLY examined him. Tomorrow I will use a magnifying glass to check him out properly for new quilla poking through.

I gave him a bath the other day (as i read its good for their skin during quilling) and he seemed to like that. I also used a super mild and safe soap (tearless and with vitamin e in it to not cause drying.)

So at the moment he loses the occasional quill and i can hear him scratching himself sometimes.

Is scratching normal during quilling as well? He only does it very seldom....

Thanks a lot guys!
 

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It's unlikely that it's mites, it's just good to keep in mind that it could be a possibility. The main mites symptoms are excessive scratching (like apparent more than just occasional scratching), orange crust, and bald spots; there is often dry skin involved, too.

If you're really worried, you can do a preliminary test by taking a piece of black construction paper, put it down on a flat surface, gently rub over your hedgehog's quills to put some dead skin onto the paper, then watch closely to see if it moves. If it does, there are definitely mites; if it doesn't, however, it doesn't mean there aren't--just that if there are any other symptoms you should see the vet. I really would guess that it's just quilling now, though, especially since you've gone to such lengths to prevent it. (Keep in mind that the previous owner could have had him on wood chips, though, so it's not something to totally rule out.)

Scratching during quilling is normal. His skin is dry and itchy during this time. The bathing is one thing that helps with that. Try getting some colloidal oatmeal powder to mix in with the bath water. The stuff used for chicken pox/poison ivy/etc, from the pharmacy area. This helps the quills come in a little easier. And make sure you don't use anything with tea tree oil in it, as this is toxic (a lot of shampoos contain it).

Like I said, just keep an eye out to be sure no bald spots appear and keep an eye out for the other symptoms. Different hedgies lose different amounts of quills, so it really sounds like yours is just losing a lot from quilling. In a week or so, he'll probably start losing less and get down to 1-2 a day. Some hedgies quill for 1-2 weeks; some take months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the response Zalea, i really appreciate it.

I'll report back if i come across anything unusual.

Thanks again guys!
 

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What is the orange crusty stuff? Can it be caused by something else? Gypsy had that on the top of her head and I thought it was just dried blood from her quiling. This was about half a month ago and its stopped.
 

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My little hedgie girl Fizgig has been quilling. She was very playful on Sunday during my sons birthday party this past Sunday afternoon, but eventually got tired and began huffing and puffing at my sister. She even tried to snap at her, but grabbed hold of her fleece blanket in her cage instead. Very testy. Last night she barely ate the handful of food in her bowl, but I noticed all the green beans were gone and some of the cat food. The rest was picked over, yet she did her normal routine on her wheel. Is this normal for them to be picky eaters when quilling? Gave her a bath upon returning home, which she loves, but I'm concerned about the food that wasn't consumed.
 

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She ate a few pieces of cat food after she dried off from her bath. I gave her about 6-7 mealworms in a small jar lid, which she promptly gobbled up. She was being very playful and less edgy after her bath and a bit of food. Hopefully she'll get back into her routine tonight.
 

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Hi everyone! I think I am experiencing something similar with my hedgehog, Luna. Last night I found about 15-20 quills in her cage, all which had the bulbs on the ends still. She is just over a year old but I have only been her owner since May and this is the first time I've experienced this. Is this normal? Should I be worried? Thanks!!
 

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Hi everyone! I think I am experiencing something similar with my hedgehog, Luna. Last night I found about 15-20 quills in her cage, all which had the bulbs on the ends still. She is just over a year old but I have only been her owner since May and this is the first time I've experienced this. Is this normal? Should I be worried? Thanks!!
You're probably seeing a "one year" quilling. As long as you don't see any bald spots without new quill growth or crust-like substance from pus or discharge on her skin, you're probably okay. If she seems uncomfortable, an oatmeal bath with a bit of flax seed or coconut oil in the final rinse (no more than once a week) can help soothe her skin.
 
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