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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Sylvie has had dry skin & quill loss (with growth) since I brought her home October 2008. She was born August 2008. This is a link to a bit of the back story on the dry skin: http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2675&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=10

In short, just before I got her she was treated with Revolution as her brother had mites, so she came to me with slightly dry skin.
Fall - I try adding flax & Olive Oil to her food, she loves the olive oil but no change. I don't add the olive oil any more.
Around January, she was treated again a for mites (there was dry skin but no evidence of mites, but treated to be safe) with Revolution, no change.
June - We add Sunshine Factor as a supplement to her diet, which she loves. & does seem to help a little, but no actual skin clearing. The vet did a skin scraping & thought it could be fungal so we treated her with Program Susp, no change. (above thread discussion)
Oct - With no change still and my having recently recovered from a yeast spot on my chin where I rest it on her cage, we thought it might be yeast. To cover bases as all the tests he was sending away were coming back negative she was prescribed Enrofloxacin & Hraconazole.
November, skin seems to be cleared up, quill loss is almost non existent.
Last night (Jan 2010) - I notice two big patched of dry skin on her rump again. The dry skin is so thick it almost looks like she's rubbed her bum in cotton balls and got the fibers all in her quills (she hasn't). Her nice gray skin can't be seen through the thick layer of white.
She hasn't (to my notice) started itching a bunch as she did this time last year.

Has anyone had experience with this? Provide some guidance? I don't want to keep giving her antibiotics as I'm afraid they'll weaken her natural immune system (think human superbugs) but I will if that's the only answer. The other thing I wonder is does she just have normal naturally dry skin & I'm fighting a loosing battle? As some pets or humans have Eczema, should I start looking at this as something to control over cure?

Edit: Fixing dates
 

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If the test comes back negative for fungus, there is a possibility of it being hormonal. Our Emma went just about bald with skin coming off in huge flakes. She was tested and treated for mites numerous times even though no mites were ever found. She had 2 skin scrapings for fungus and bacteria and nothing was found. She was treated with antibiotic sort of as a last resort and while on antibiotic she started to bleed. Endometriosis was discovered and once she was spayed, the quill loss stopped and she started growing new quills.
The above is from Nancy on your previous posting, have you pursued this avenue yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No I have not. How do they test for hormonal? There has been no blood in her cage. The only change other than skin was a couple days on & off of no poop/pee at New Years but I relate that to stress of a lot of people at my place. & an increase in noises while sleeping including huffing & squeaking.

edit: I can't help but assume there's a correlation between the October antibiotics & the temporary improvement in her skin. ?
 

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Have you tried pouring oil on her back after bath time? Quillbert had a few bouts of dry skin due to the low humidity this winter. I started doing a vitamin e oil rinse (you can buy the liquid or the liquid gel caps in the pharmacy/vitamin section) and it helped immensely. If she has something like eczema or psoriasis it won't be curable, just treatable. Make sure that she tests negative for fungal infections before putting oil on her skin as it will seal it off and trap in moisture. If it is a fungal infection the oil rinse can make it worse. But if it's a skin condition like eczema then it should help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Her tests for fungal came back negative back when we did them. I haven't done a new test since. I was putting flax seed oil on her back after baths or even just in the evenings which had a small temporary effect (ie. that night). She really doesn't like baths and is not a very dirty hedgie so I try to limit the amount she gets, particularly with the dry skin. (If anyone is wondering, we use Avenno for baths)
 

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Bengall77 said:
Have you tried pouring oil on her back after bath time? Quillbert had a few bouts of dry skin due to the low humidity this winter.
Bengall,
I forgot to ask you when Quillberts last bath was. Does he enjoy a bath or hate it? Tub or sink? He seems nice and clean right now but in a couple more weeks he will be ready. :mrgreen:

Thanks!
 

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She may just have chronic dry skin. Have you given her a period of time where you are not adding anything to her skin to see if it "settles?" I've had one or two that had chronic dry skin. Nothing was wrong with them, other than that.

Here is my approach, its a little long. Take from it whatever you can. I don't know that any of it will work, or if you have tried it already...

How long has it been since she was on a medication? Antibiotics mess up the flora of the GI system. An unbalanced GI may not be able to assimilate nutrients properly. I personally have to wonder if giving a hedgehog a lot of "lets try this to see if it helps" medications without knowing that there is a problem does more harm than good sometimes.

How long did you give the supplements? Supplements can take 6-8 weeks before you even start to see results. With as dry of skin as she had it may take longer. I'd add an omega fatty acid to her diet (flaxseed oil, missing link, etc). I'd likely give it to her nightly or every other night for 3 months to see if it is going to help. Even if it doesn't help, it should not hurt her.

I'd also look into adding a probiotic a couple times a week. I use acidolphilus. Probiotics help the digestive system. There is thought that a healthy digestive system can help skin conditions.

I'd cut out all baths and give her one only if she absolutely needs it. If a wet wash cloth or a foot bath will not clean her, then give her a full bath. But make it short and use only water if you can. Even using Aveeno, bath washes and shampoos can strip the natural oils.

If she isn't itching, leave her a lone for now. If she starts itching I would add a couple of drops of vitamin e oil or flaxseed to her back. One drop in 3 places. Give it 2 nights and add 2-3 more drops in different spots if she is still itching.

This has been my approach with hedgehogs that had very dry skin. Most improved over time, but I've had at least one I can recall who just always had a tendency of having dry skin.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the suggestions! When I got her in October 2008 it wasn't until the winter holidays that she had another revolution treatment, so some time there. The antibiotics were completed at the start of November 2009 and with the exception of the Sunshine factor, she hasn't been getting any supplements. She's been on Sunshine factor for quite a while now & really loves it (she bits at the syringe when I'm giving it & tries to stick her face in the bottle). I've started adding the flax to her food again recently when I noticed her skin was bad again. & I agree, I'd rather not put her on anymore antibiotics unless I absolutely need to.
 

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What's the humidity in her room? Do you run a humidifier for her? If her skin seems to get worse during the winter months it could be that the humidity is too low causing dry skin, a very common problem during the winter with some types of home heating systems. Running a humidifier can help a lot for dry skin related to low humidity. Just another thought.
 
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