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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My hedgehog is 1.5 years old, and for the past week he has been losing 2-8 quills a night. Prior to this I have never seen him lose even 1 quill (outside of quilling.) I'm not noticing any excessive scratching. All of the quills have the root attached and I don't see any signs of mites when doing the mite test.

I've also noticed he is using his wheel less (about 4 hours of activity a night instead of 8-10.) When he is on it, he is sprinting and seems fine.

He is eating, drinking, and going to the bathroom. His cage is around 75-80 degrees always, he has a carolina storm bucket wheel, eats high quality chicken protein grain free cat food, his nails are clipped, and has a completely dark environment at night. I can't think of any changes that would be causing him stress leading to quill loss.

Should I be worried about the quill loss? Has anyone experienced quill loss / shed with an adult hedgie without having mites? Am I being paranoid or is it time for a vet visit?

Any insight would be appreciated!
Thanks!
 

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Because you are seeing the quill loss and a change in behavior (less activity) my guess is it is time to see the vet. Mention the changes you have noticed, and see what the vet says. It could be mites, or something else, but better to be proactive than reactive!

Best of luck!
 

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I have heard that some hedgehogs quill twice in there lives but you should probably consider seeing a vet. Especially because he isn't running on the wheel as much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks guys! I will be taking him to the vet just in case (I'm beginning to think my Vet thinks I'm crazy because I take him in whenever he looks at me the wrong way.... lol) but better safe than sorry.

For future reference, what is the average number of quills an adult hedgehog loses ? I've read conflicting info, some say they will lose 1-2 per week, some say 1-2 per month, some say it doesnt matter as long as their coat looks full and its not all from one spot. Or does it vary per hedgehog? This is my first one so I'm wondering what to expect :)

Thanks again for all advice / Input!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UPDATE: Wilbur went to the vet today. This vet is an exotic vet with tons of experience with hedgehogs. She did a skin scrape and found no mites, and said his skin is PERFECT as well as his weight, demeanor etc.

We are proactively treating with revolution just to be safe.

She did find lots of residue on his skin. The pet sitter he stayed with did give him a bath with aveeno oatmeal baby shampoo (my choice) and this is when the quilling started. She said he could have an allergy to it or just be irritated by the residue.

Question: has anyone else had this experience with aveeno oatmeal baby shampoo? I know it is widely recommended in the hedgehog community.

I gave him an oatmeal bath and scrubbed/ rinsed all the residue. He did lose about 20 quills today, but i cleaned him up and applied the revolution and am told i should see an improvement in a few days.
 

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Sounds like you made the right call, always better safe than sorry. My hedgehog usually loses 1-2 quills a week.

As for the baby shampoo, it could very well have triggered it. The most commonly used product for washing hedgehogs is the Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash, not the
Oatmeal Baby Shampoo. The shampoos are generally more drying than the creamy wash. Hedgehogs have sensitive skin, and I seem to recall that the shampoo version was not recommended due to the adverse reactions it can cause. Allergies and sensitivities to these products are also very common. My breeder bathed my hedgehog right before we took her home using some lavender hedgehog bath bomb. She was crazily itchy for the longest time, and it wasn't until we contacted the breeder for suggestions that we figured out what had happened. She was also exhibiting symptoms of quill loss, dry skin, and itchyness.
 

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I've always just used the Aveeno Baby Oatmeal Wash, not shampoo, since I've read anything with "shampoo" in the name could be too harsh. I've never had any issues, and in fact, Hazel seemed better after I used it (she was quilling). Maybe your hedgehog was allergic to it after all? Particularly since your vet didn't find mites or anything else.

I hope your little one is back to normal soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sounds like you made the right call, always better safe than sorry. My hedgehog usually loses 1-2 quills a week.

As for the baby shampoo, it could very well have triggered it. The most commonly used product for washing hedgehogs is the Aveeno Soothing Relief Creamy Wash, not the
Oatmeal Baby Shampoo. The shampoos are generally more drying than the creamy wash. Hedgehogs have sensitive skin, and I seem to recall that the shampoo version was not recommended due to the adverse reactions it can cause. Allergies and sensitivities to these products are also very common. My breeder bathed my hedgehog right before we took her home using some lavender hedgehog bath bomb. She was crazily itchy for the longest time, and it wasn't until we contacted the breeder for suggestions that we figured out what had happened. She was also exhibiting symptoms of quill loss, dry skin, and itchyness.
OMG! I just double checked the bottle and it is indeed the shampoo. I think we may have solved the mystery. Thank you soooo much for your help!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
UPDATE:

I also found out Wilburs pet sitter washed all of his blankets that he sleeps and burrows in in regular laundry detergent, so I have gotten rid of all of his old bedding and replaced them with new ones. I've never washed his blankets in detergent so that could be an allergen for him as well.

Last night for the first time in a couple days he got up on his own during the night and started wheeling again! (he has only been wheeling in his pen during playtime the past couple days.) I also checked the feed in the morning (i have a night vision camera to monitor his behavior when hes sleeping lol) and can confirm he's not scratching or showing any signs of skin irritation.

I checked his pen and he has only lost 2 quills overnight. This is a lot better than the 20 the day before.

The vet says he will continue to lose a few but should start to improve in a few days so here is hoping!
 

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i made the same mistake with the shampoo! wylie was scratching all over and had crazy dry skin after a bath. took me forever before i realized i bought aveeno shampoo and not the oatmeal creamy wash. they are certainly sensitive skinned animals!
 
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