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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My hedgehog is 3 years old, she's never been extremely social and really enjoyed her own space. She's always been extremely large and has always had dryer skin than most hedgehogs.

A few months ago I noticed she started loosing more quills than normal, I didn't think much about it because when I looked it up, it said it was normal as hedgehogs can go through shedding fazes plus her quills still has the little follicle on the end so I never really questioned it. She stopped going on her wheel as maybe 2 months after that which was a bit odd because she used to constantly run on her wheel. Again, I didn't think much of it as she was still eating, drinking, etc.

throughout this time, every 4 months or so, id see she had some red mucus in her poop, again I'd try and google it, nothing came up and then it would quickly go away.

Now all of a sudden within the past month, her dry skin started to turn into big flakes, loosing 10x the amount of quills and began to bald. I never noticed how bad her quills got until I saw the bald spot due to this being such a slow process it didn't seem like such a change. She's been scratching so much that she scratches her skin raw, sometimes even cutting it (all over her skin is pretty pink and still has such dry skin). I took her to the vet two weeks ago thinking its mites, her behavior has become so much worse than before. She wont even uncurl when I hold her it got so bad she'd make my hand bleed a bit and I'd just have to take it. At the vets they said they'd have to gas her in order to get a really good look as wont cooperate. So we decided to just try the mites medication, they gave her the first dose and id have to return 2 weeks later for the second dose (which is tomorrow) after that if no improvements, we have to gas her. Well now today I have to give her a bath because I noticed her nails had gotten pretty long, when I picked her up she was covered in poop all over her belly so I had to clean her. A bump started to form under a quill and lots of scab looking spots showed up. If I move her from the top part of her cage which has her food, bathroom area, water and wheel she will not move back up there on her own. I will physically have to pick her up and move her up there or else she just sleeps and doesn't move much.

The night after the first vet she went on her wheel for the first time in months, but never again since. I'm hoping that this second dose will help but I honestly don't know. I've changed her bedding from pet store bedding to fleece, I keep close looks on her and am trying my best. I could really use some help.

· Administrator
3,924 Posts
I'm going to have more questions than answers for you as there are lots of possibilities here.

Losing a quill or two in an adult hedgehog is normal, a lot isn't. Those that have excessively dry skin do tend to lose quills more frequently in my experience but often stop once we figure out how to take care of the dry skin problem. Lots of things can cause dry skin, for example allergies to bedding, dietary issues, humidity issues, etc.. We can discuss how to approach dry skin later, things like what kind of bedding are you using with her, what is her diet like, have done anything to try to fix the dry skin etc. To see if there are items you haven't tried that may help her skin.

Are you seeing pustules around the base of the quills? Redness/swelling?

When your hedgehog was seen by the vet, did he do a skin scraping? While she may be hard to handle a skin scraping shouldn't be too bad, especially in a hedgehog who has a bald spot. Ask your vet about the possibility that she has a skin infection. Mites can cause dry skin and quill loss, but so can bacterial or fungal infections. A treatment for mites wouldn't help with a bacterial infection. So you may want to inquire about that to see if a round of antibiotics will help her.
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