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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This may be long since I have alot of questions and I will try to give as much background information as possible.

I got my first hedgehog one week ago. The pet store said he was 7 weeks old. He weighs 9 oz. On the second day I gave him a bath. It was more of a rinse since I didn't use any type of shampoo. I just wanted to clean him up a bit, I'm pretty sure he had never had a bath before. Bath time went better than expected and after I wrapped him up in a towel and set him in my lap to dry him. I then switched him to a dry towel and let him snuggle up in my lap. He was resting well when I noticed specks on his face. I was going to try and clean them off, I thought it was bedding or something but upon further inspection I saw they were moving. I parted his quills and looked down at his skin and saw more very small moving specks. Of course I went to the computer in search of what these could be. I came up with some sort of mites. I called the vet the next day (who said they treated hedgehogs) only to be greeted by a vet whose first words were I've never seen a hedgehog before and of course I immediatley got worried. She didn't see any mites, I'm assuming they went back onto his body and were only on his face because of the bath. But taking my word for it she researched treatment methods. She diagnosed him with Chorioptes mites and thankfully treated him with kitten Revolution. I had read about the risks of Ivomectin and would have refused that treatment anyway. His ears were thick and ragged when I got him and now I don't know if that could be from the mites or from his litter mates (he was housed with 2 other hogs when I bought him) or from a secondary fungal infection. The vet suggested we get the mites cleared up before we check him for a fungal infection. She told me he was contagious until his recheck exam in 1 month and not to bathe him for 2 weeks. His skin is Very dry and flaky. He is not itchy and has no scabs or sores that I can see. He is also apparently quilling. He loses alot of little quills every time I hold him but they all have little white balls on one end. I do see more quills growing in and he doesnt have any bald spots or appear to have thin areas. He is also very inactive, he is always sleeping. When I pick him up he is curious and looks around but if he is in his cage or playpen, he just sleeps. For 5 days I haven't handled him much or let him play in his playpen. I am afraid that since I am not supposed to handle him for at least a month I will have a hard time socalizing him. I do hold him every day but not for very long maybe 20 mins. I have dogs and cats and don't want to run the risk of them catching anything from him. I haven't seen any more mites on him but his skin is so dry its hard to tell. His ears, tail and feet are still scaly but don't seem to be getting worse. I am also having a hard time getting him to eat anything but mealworms and the food the pet store was feeding him. I'm not sure of the quality of food they were giving him, its a hedgehog diet but they only gave me a clear plastic bag with some of the food in it. He does not play with any of his toys or run in his wheel. I don't think he has ever seen these things and may need time to warm up to them. He is already litter pan trained which I think is great! He seems to be a very sweet guy but he does get huffy when I first try to get him out of his cage. He is eating and drinking and going to the bathroom regualarly. His stool looks normal and is a solid consistency. I am going to make him an appointment with a doctor at our local vet school hospital. I just wanted to know some things since I won't be able to get him in to see a new vet right away, they are very busy and it may take a few days to get an appointment.

So my questions are:
1) Has anyone had any experience with these type of mites and how long are they contagious?
2) Should I wait to bathe him or should I give him an oatmeal bath to help his dry skin?
3) Does quilling cause dry skin and inactivity?
4) Is there an easy was to tell if he has a fungal infection and is that contagious?
5) How can I try and expand his diet?
6) If he is used to drinking from a bowl can I get him to drink from a bottle?
7) How can I get him to try his wheel?
8) Why does he sleep all of the time?
9) He never rolls into a ball, he will curl up to sleep but I have never seen him in a tight ball. Is that normal?
10) How long does quilling last?
11) What is a good type of heater or a suggestion to keep near his cage and playpen to keep him warm? Where is the best place to get one too?

Sorry this is so long but I am really worried about my little guy and I want to make sure he gets the best care possible. I figured people who actually own hedgehogs would know better than a vet that has never seen one before. Any input would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Welcome to HHC! Sorry it took a while to get to your post, didn't see it the first time.

1. Mites are a very common parasite with hedgies. I've never dealt with them, so I'm not sure about them being contagious, but it's a good thing you treated with Revolution.

2. An oatmeal bath I'm sure would be greatly appreciated. Just don't give it too soon after the Revolution treatment, you don't want to wash it off. After a day or so it should be absorbed into the skin, and I'd assume a bath would be fine treatment-wise.

3. Quilling is very uncomfortable and can cause dry skin. Your hedgie might be more huffy because he has lots of quills poking through his skin. As for inactivity, because he is a baby, he'll sleep a lot more.

4. Fungal infections are more severe than just tattered ears. You can pick up some lanolin (human nipple cream) at a store, and rub in on his ears. This should help the buildup of dead skin and rough edges to fall off.

5. A good diet would consist of a mix of high-quality cat foods, and supplemented with insects, fruits, and vegetables. You can offer baby food at a treat, if he will eat it.

6. Most will take to a bowl and prefer it over a bottle. Just show him where it is (sometimes they don't notice it the first time) and he should realise what it's for.

7. How long has he had his wheel? You can set him in it and block the exit with your hand. That way, he will try to run to get out. He'll notice it moves and most catch on quickly after that.

8. Because they are nocturnal, he'll always sleep during the day. You can't change that. Also, because he's a baby he'll sleep a lot more. When he's older he'll be up more, and be more active.

9. Just means he's a very friendly little guy. ;)

10. Quilling can last a few weeks, to months. Just depends on the individual.

11. I would say the best way of heating would be a ceramic heat emitter. It looks like a funny lightbulb, and works just like one, but with no light. You can also use a space heater, which works well.

Remember that hedgies need 12-14 hours of light a day to keep a healthy schedule.

Sounds like you're doing great with your little guy! Good luck!
 

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a little out of order sorry ;]
for dryness, we use flax seed oil. they come in liquid capsuls, and we just poke them with a needle and pour a few drops over hedgies food- she doesnt seem to mind.
and as far as rolling into a ball, mine never did that until we went to a vet (with a fungal infection on her and myself). my hedgie only rolls up when she is terrified...if that helps?
:|
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks alot for the welcome and the advice!

I will be getting lanolin and flaxseed oil for him tomorrow. Can I put the lanolin on his feet and tail? They are a little dry too.

I am also going to see if he likes baby food. I gave him some wet cat food and he didn't seem at all interested in it. I read that you can give them cottage cheese. Is that okay for them to eat?

He hasn't had his wheel long since I've only had him for a little over a week. I put him in it a few times and he kinda walked a little then got out. I'll try keeping him in the wheel with my hand and see if he figures it out.

and as far as rolling into a ball, mine never did that until we went to a vet (with a fungal infection on her and myself).
What did the fungal infection look like on your hedgehog? Is it something that is easy to treat?
His ears are thick, not thin and smooth like they should be. That is why I am concerned about a fungal infection.

Can I purchase a heat emitter from a store like Target? I have never heard of one thats why I ask. Heat emitters seem to be the safest way to provide heat for your hedgie and since I'm not always home, I want to make sure its safe. When I read about hedgehogs before I got him I didn't know they needed to be 76-78 degrees. I knew it needed to be warm but not that warm. Thanks goodness for this site. There is alot of good information here.
 

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The lanolin should be fine for his feet as well. Tail, if you can get it! Just don't use too much, you don't want him to lick it all off and get sick (it's safe to eat, but in excess can't be good for him).

Cottage cheese in limited amounts is a fine treat. Some like it a lot.

Ceramic heater emitters can be bought at pet stores, and probably stores like Home Depot and Lowes, though I'm not sure. I bought a herp-style lamp and a 75 watt emitter bulb at Petco, and it worked well (don't have it anymore). You may also want to get a reptile thermostat to keep it at a consistant temperature.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I got a heat emitter and a thermostat from Petsmart today.

I am also switching his food to Wellness and Blue Spa Select mixed together. I am going to see if he likes yogurt and baby food. So far he hasn't tried them. He hasn't tried his apples or bananas either. I hope he is not super picky!

I could only find heel balm (for feet) with lanolin in it. Do you think that is okay to use on his ears and feet? Its for dry, cracked heels.

I know babies sleep alot more than adults but he is almost always sleeping. I take him out of his cage at night and put him in his playpen for hours and he still sleeps. He is always under a blanket or in a tube. I just want to make sure that is normal for him to sleep that much. I was under the impression that hedgehogs were active and needs lots of exercise, which he gets none of.

I have an appointment with our local vet school's exotic department on Friday. I want to check and see if his mites are cleared up and make sure he doesn't have a fungal infection.

Thanks again for your advice. He is getting to be an expensive little guy! :lol: But I love him anyway! I will keep you updated on his condition.
 

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Wellness and Spa Select are both great foods. Make sure you transition him over to the new mix slowly, though, so not to upset his stomach.

As long as the balm doesn't have any fragrances, I would say it would be fine. If it is pure lanolin, even better.

Babies are almost always sleeping. Does he come out to eat and drink? If so, I'm sure he's fine. Just make sure he is kept at a constant, warm temperature, and has 12-14+ hours of light a day. Once he gets out of the baby stage, he'll be a lot more active, running around and wreaking havoc. :lol:

Good luck at the vet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
One of the ingredients in the balm is fragrance. I'll list the ingredients if necessary but since one of the ingredients is fragrance I'm assuming I shouldn't use it anyway. Can you give me a specific brand to look for? I must have spent 30 minutes looking for lanolin lotion (nipple cream) with no luck. That was the closest thing I could find.

I also got him some Aveeno oatmeal wash. It's a baby wash. I thought that would be okay for him but I want to make sure before I use that as well.

He eats, drinks, poops and pees regularly. Mainly when I'm asleep or not home. He will be getting more regular heat now that I have a heat emitter and I have moved his cage to his own room where I will leave the light on for 12- 14 hours when I am asleep or not home. I don't think he is trying to hibernate. Every time I pick him up or peek and say hello to him, he wakes right up. He explores for a moment but then buries himself and goes back to sleep.

Oh and I think he may be a bit rebellious. I tried what you suggested about holding my hand in front of him while he was in his wheel. He just kept trying to get through my fingers and then I guess he got mad cause he couldn't get out and he pooped on the wheel :lol: . I let him get out after that so I could go clean it.

I also noticed many people here have more than one hedgehog. I know it is not good to house them together but if I had more than one could they play in the same playpen together? I would make sure and get same sex hedgies as well. I do not want babies. I am not looking to get another one now but maybe someday in the future.
 

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If you go to the baby section of WalMart or Target, in the place where they have the breastfeeding supplies, there is pure lanolin. That would be the best.

Aveeno Baby Wash is great. I use it, and it's always been wonderful.

For more than one hedgie, the only ones that could play together would be female-female. Two males will fight to death, and male-female... you get babies, no matter how good you supervise. :roll:
 
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