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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i am a new hedgehog owner ive had her for about a little over a month now. when i first got her i noticed her skin was very dry an her ears were tatterd so i took her to the vet. they did a skin scrape an ruled out mites or a fungus. about a week ago i noticed that she was starting to loose some quills but i figured she was only quilling because shes only about 5 months old. but then they started to come out more and more and now her fur is falling out too an her skin is flaking excesivly. i took her back to the vet and she had lost some weight since shes been there but she eats very well shes quiet the little pig acutally and shes not running on her wheel as much as she use too. the vet gave me some medicine to treat external parasites but she nor i see anything crawling around on her, i also gave them some of her poop to test for internal parasites but still nothing. the vet suggested giving her more variety in her diet so i mixed a premium cat food (wellness kitten) in with her hedgehog food (pretty pets) and gave her some wet cat food(wellness) but now she seems to have diahreah (after i gave her the wet food) i feed her the freeze dried meal worms and crickets and ocasionally some cooked chicken. im just at a loss an have no idea whats wrong, my mom thinks she might be having a reaction to my hairspray an perfumes an stuff i use in my room, is that possible? i also just changed her bedding from carefresh to aspen but then changed it to newspaper shreddings after going to the vet for the second time which she had suggested if someone colud give some suggestions i wud be so greatful
 

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blakheartedbella89 said:
kinda off topic but can poor nutrition cause quill and fur loss and excesive skin flaking?
Well first of all, in respone to to your other comment on another thread - yes poor nutrition can cause skin problems and the food you are feeding - pretty pets - is absolutely horrible!!!!

In fact, hedgehogs have died from malnutrition being on pretty pets!! Nothing against you, I'm sure you just got your information from a bad source and I'm also sure your vet reccommended it as I've heard many people say theirs have :roll: but please take your hedgie off of it right away. :)

What did your vet use to treat for the external parasites? Just because a skin scraping is negative doesn't mean they don't have mites (skin scrapings are usually negative even when they have mites, as detecting mites using a skin scraping can be quite tricky). Unless your hedgie was treated specifically for mites (ie with revolution) she could still have mites. But she could very well be quilling too.

All that being said, my guess is that it's the food!!!

Check out this list to find your hedgehog a healthier food: http://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15

Wellness is a healthy food, but the kitten formula has too much fat, and too much protein. Try Wellness Indoor Health, or Healthy Weight instead. :) Also many hedgehogs find wellness is too rich on their tummies, same with wet cat food, which may be why your little girl has the diarrhea. To avoid diarrhea, new food should very slowly be added into the diet. Mind you, you may find that when you add a better food, your hedgehog stops eating the pretty pets right away, which is fine. Hedgehogs are smart, they know when they have a better food than pretty pets and usually switch off of it right away.

Hedgehogs should be fed a mix of at least 3 high quality organic cat foods (and usually no hedgehog food at all, although there are some okay brands ie. spike's delight, 8in1 ultra that can be fed as "junk food" only). Protein should be between 30-35% and fat should usually been under 15%. The first five ingredients should include high quality meats (ie meat meals), no "by-products" (this means beaks and feet and feathers!!) and no corn (hedgehogs cannot digest corn). Also no harmful perservatives like BHA, BHT or ethoxyquin (these cause cancer).

Also what kind of newspaper bedding is it? If it's actual newspaper that is bad. newspaper contains harmful toxins and is very cold too. Most people on here use fabric liners (ie fleece). Carefresh is by far safer than newspaper though so I would switch back to that if you don't want to switch to fabric liners.

As for the drop in wheeling...what kind of wheel are you using? does it have a solid running surface with no crossbars? Wheels without solid running surfaces are dangerous and so are silent spinners. Has your hedgie's nails been trimmed lately? long nails = less running.

Also do you have a heating system set up? Hedgehogs need to be kept at a constant 76-78F, some even need warmer. They also need 12-14 hours of light (but not direct sunlight on their cages) in order to prevent hibernation. The reduced activity could be because she is cold / close to attempting hibernation which is not safe.

Check out this thread for all about heating: http://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579

Also freeze dried mealies arent usually reccommend or shouldnt be fed in high quantities at the very least. I feed freezed dried crickets and have never had any issues but I've heard of hedgies dying from eating too many freeze dried mealies because they compact in their intestines. Live mealies are more nutritional anyways :)

Sorry to throw all this info at you!! I hope I didn't come across as harsh at all! Unfortunately there's a lot of very bad info out there on hedgehogs and even most vets give their clients wrong info. I was doing lots of things wrong when I joined HHC, that's why this site is so great, the info is correct and people are always willing to help out :D

Congratulations on your new girl and I hope she gets better :)
 

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1) Do you see new quills coming in? And also are there patches of quills missing?
2) I add Flaxseed Oil to my hedgie's food to help her dry skin a bit and it works for her.
3) I'm not sure if so many different smells can affect her health but try to keep it as less fragranted as possible. Their sense of smell is very good and is very important to them.
4) It seems like there's a lot of different foods thrown at her at such a small amount of time. I've had my hedgie for a little over a month too and I just introduced the 3rd food into her mix with occasional flaxseed oil.

I really hope this information is helpful and good luck! :D I'm a new hedgie owner too but this forum has a lot of great information. I visit it everyday to make sure I'm updated so I can keep my hedgie healthy and happy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
well i jus started the wellness 3 days ago but before that was fedding the pretty pet but since introduceing the wellness she wont touch the pretty pet anymore i started her on the kitten cuz thats what the vet said to use because of her weight loss but was suggested that i used indoor health or weight management so i got the weight one also, i mixed a little of if with the kitten since thats what shes been eating for 3 days now. her poop is a little soft now and smells terrible lol should i give her some pedialite?
 

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blakheartedbella89 said:
well i jus started the wellness 3 days ago but before that was fedding the pretty pet but since introduceing the wellness she wont touch the pretty pet anymore i started her on the kitten cuz thats what the vet said to use because of her weight loss but was suggested that i used indoor health or weight management so i got the weight one also, i mixed a little of if with the kitten since thats what shes been eating for 3 days now. her poop is a little soft now and smells terrible lol should i give her some pedialite?
If you think she is getting dehyrdated (ie has diarrhea or really soft stools) you can definitely give some pedialyte.

As for the soft stools, canned pumpkin (just plain pumpkin - nothing added to it) usually helps firm up the stool. You can get it at your local grocery store, usually in the baking aisle. It comes in big cans usually (for making a whole pie) so you can always freeze what you don't use up and defrost it later and use it.

If the stool looks green at all, you could also sprinkle some acidophilus on it - a probioitc you can pick up in the vitamin section. You can buy it in capsule form, break open a capsule and just sprinkle 1-2 pinches. It helps restore natural bacteria in the intestine that the new food may have upset.

I know you're already throwing lots of foods at her, but I wouldn't keep her just on wellness. Most hedgehogs on here can only tolerate up to 15-20 pieces of wellness before their tummy gets upset as it is a very rich food. Since she stopped eating the pretty pets cold turkey, she is going to have upset stools for a few days anyways so if I were you I'd add another less rich food in the mix now, so that she isn't stuck on just the wellness (otherwise the soft stool may not go away).

Favourites around here are Chicken Soup for The Cat Lovers Soul Light - you can look up a retailer on their website: http://www.chickensoupforthepetloverssoul.com/dealer_locator/

Natural Balance Green Pea & Duck or Natural Balance Calorie Control are big hits too. Same with Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken. These foods can usually be found at your regular pet store, but if not Health pet stores almost always have them.

You can definitely leave the kitten food in the mix to help her put some weight back on, but if she's finding it too rich you could also try Royal Canin BabyCat food instead. It's a high fat food that people have had great success with for their underweight/sick or just skinny runner type hedgies. Sometimes it's hard to get hedgies off of it though once they've started cause they love the taste and the small kibble size. I've heard that Before Grain cat food is a also a super tasty food with a higher fat content used to put on some weight.

Wax worms are also a good way to put weight back on quick (only feed a couple though cause you don't want the hedgehog to have too much fat), or you can feed more mealworms (live - not freeze dried) in a day (up to 10) until your hedgie gains some weight back.

Good luck :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
so i put the pedialyte in her water and tried to give her some pumpkin but shes just really picky , all she really cares for is her dry food bugs and cooked chicken . i mixed some chicken in with the pumpkin but she only picked out the chicken . im going tomorrow to get the natural balance to add to her dry food since you said i shudnt just give wellness alone since its rich. i just hope it doesnt make it worse the smell is terrible it makes me wanna throw up lol i keep my window open at night but now have a cold beacause of it. im also concerned with my hedgies well being. this is what i get for buying her from a petstore they had no idea what they were talking about
 

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Just checking...

You have a CHE for her, or some sort of heat set up for her...Right?
Just the part about you catching a cold from having an open window made me feel the need to ask...Because if it's cold enough for you to catch a cold, it's cold enough for her to go into hibernation and not come out of it...Ever...
 

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Agreed Immortalia... I wouldn't open the window period even if you do have a heating system set up. Sounds chilly!

Also, you should always offer pedialyte in a separate water dish, so that the hedgehog has their normal plain water in one dish, and the pedialyte in the other. That way if they refuse the pedialyte, at least they still have their regular water to drink.

You may have to make the pumpkin liquidy with warm water and syringe feed it, into the side of your hedgehog's mouth (a mouthful at a time). You can pick up a 6mL syringe at your vet clinic, or sometimes at your pharmacy. I only ever give my hedgehogs about 3mL of liquid pumpkin a night, and it seems to do the trick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
well i mixed one part pedialyte and one part water and shes drinking it fine. shes acutally drinking quiet a alot of it. the syrange thing is gunna be tough but ill give it a try shes so skidish every little noise an movement scares her even though ive been holding her everynight since i got her
 

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blakheartedbella89 said:
well i mixed one part pedialyte and one part water and shes drinking it fine. shes acutally drinking quiet a alot of it. the syrange thing is gunna be tough but ill give it a try shes so skidish every little noise an movement scares her even though ive been holding her everynight since i got her
As long as she's drinking it that's fine. Make sure your refrigerate unused pedialyte and I believe it's only good for 48 hours once the bottle has been opened.

Here's some info about giving oral meds (not what you're doing but same idea with the syringing): http://hedgehogcentral.com/oralmed.shtml

I scruff my hedgehogs in order to syringe. I take one hand (usually with a glove on) and grab the scruff of their neck gently. This exposes their head. You then stick the syringe in the side of the mouth (not straight on as this will cause them to choke) and slowly push a little bit of pumpkin in. Let go of the scruff, wait a minute for them to chew and swallow. Then repeat.

Make sure the pumpkin is liquid-enough that it flows through the syringe easily. You may want to "run" the pumpkin through the syringe a few times first to break up chunks. If the syringe gets jammed at all, do not push it out in your hedgie's mouth, instead squirt it into a towel.

Do you have a heating system set up for hedgehog? It's very important that hedgehogs are kept at 76-78F and that this temperature is constant. We were just concerned with your window being open that your hedgehog was getting too cold. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok so ive noticed that the quill loss has gone down but her skin is still extremely dry an her fur is still falling out. her ears look worse to me an i noticed little scab like things on them....could this be mange or something? i hope not cuz if it is i dont want my dog or hamsters to get it :|
 

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The scabs could be caused by scratching. Whether that is due to her skin being extremely dry, or due to a fungus or mites will need to be determined. I know you said the vet did a skin scrape before, but there still is a chance this could be mites. Sometimes skin scrapes can come up negative, it just means there was no mites in the location they scraped.

Have you rubbed her with a dark cloth and examined the flakes for movement? If there is movement, she has mites and will need treating.
 

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blakheartedbella89 said:
ok so ive noticed that the quill loss has gone down but her skin is still extremely dry an her fur is still falling out. her ears look worse to me an i noticed little scab like things on them....could this be mange or something? i hope not cuz if it is i dont want my dog or hamsters to get it :|
If you do find out she has mites you will definitely want to get your dog a preventative. There's a topical product called Advantage that works great, and you don't need to see a vet for it in the states (we still do here in Canada). You'll want to do 2 doses, 3 weeks apart.

I'm just telling you this because when my new guy Oakley brought in mites all my dogs and my cats got it!

I'm not sure about hamsters...may want to ask your exotics vet on that one.

Good luck :)
 

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blakheartedbella89 said:
if the quills have little bulbs at the ends of them does that mean they were lost naturally ?
A lot of people think that and I've seen it written in different places, but it doesn't really mean anything. They could have mites whether the quills have the bulbs or not. Or they could not have mites if the bulbs aren't there.
 

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Wellness is a very rich food to feed. And for some hedgies, it WILL cause smellier poops.
Most here will have 2 other good quality cat foods mixed in with their Wellness, to help ease off the richness.
For example, my old mix consisted of Wellness Weight control, Natural Balance Green Pea and Duck, and Solid Gold. And my boy's poop wasn't overly smelly, and he's kept in my room as well. The only reason why I'm switching out the Wellness is because of his dislike in that shape, he has a harder time eating that cylinderish shape.
 
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