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7464 Views 18 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  IowaMisty
I brought Hayden to the vet today and some tests were run since he's been losing quite a few quills lately. The vet tested for mites (no mites were found) but he said he thinks its ringworm, since in the past he's seen hedgehogs with ringworm and it looked just like this. They collected the quills that fell off while I was at the vet and sent them to a lab for analysis - but it will take a month to get results back. Has anyone else had experience with ringworm and hedgehogs before? What did you do to treat it? How long till it cleared up?? My vet gave me some stuff to cover Hayden in and it smells like farts and rotten eggs. I think its a very harsh chemical and I would rather NOT use that on Hayden.

I assume I should get treated since it can be spread to humans. :|
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To test for ringworm they shine a woods lamp on the animal and if there is ringworm it glows. http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm ... cleid=2493 Not 100% accurate but worth a try. Try using an ordinary black light which is basically the same thing.

The stuff you were given is probably lime sulfur which is HORRID stuff and can cause blindness if it gets in the eyes.

I have heard of ringworm in hedgehogs but it isn't that common. Personally, I'd treat for mites with Revolution and look further if that doesn't work.

How old is Hayden and how long have you had him? What type of bedding is he on? Can you see new quills growing in? Is his skin dry?
Hayden was born June 18th, 2008. I've had him since August 3rd.

He has fleece bedding. He has never been exposed to any other animals and I've never had him outside the house (except to visit the vet).

I've done all the tests recommended on here for mites - rubbing him on black fabric, checking for balls at the end of the quills, scratching, etc. I didn't see anything moving on the fabric, the quills all have little balls on them but also like a crusty thing around them. He's still losing baby quills.

His skin is dry and flaky, big white chunks usually fall off. I've been bathing him with a little bit of olive oil and using flax seed capsules over his food, as was recommended to me on this forum. The flaking seems to be slowly but surely clearing up.

He seems to be developing a bald spot on his back. There ARE new quills growing, several are in the said bald spot.

Where can I get Revolution? My vet doesn't carry it. Should I buy it online?

Thank you VERY much Nancy for your help, I don't know what I'd do without your help.
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At his age, he could very well be quilling. Usually they don't go bald on the back but sometimes they go pretty thin. Some babies do have very thin quill coats. Can you post a picture?

The black cloth only works if you do see something move. It is not accurate nor is the ball on the end. If he has mites he would probably be scratching pretty frantically. Think of how you would be if things were crawling on you. The thing is, quilling make them itchy too.

What colour is the crust around the quill? If orange, it is most likely mites. If it's white, that can be normal dry skin.

I'm not sure you can buy Revolution online without a vet prescription. If you can, get 1 vial of kitten dose. The dosage is 1 drop per 400g.
Is it normal for him to lose adult quills when he is quilling? I've found about 15-20 adult quills (today alone there were about 5) since I've gotten him that he's lost. I will try to take a picture and post it, I'm having a hard time getting my camera to focus.

The crusty stuff at the base of the quills that fell out were clear or white. My boyfriend insists it was clear.

There are quite a few new quills coming through the skin.

I've only seen or heard him scratching two or three times. His cage is right next to my bed and I always hear every sound he makes. I've never seen him scratching or looking uncomfortable when I am holding him every day.

thanks again for your help, I had no idea that rotten egg stuff would make him blind. It makes me mad the vet would even give me something like that. you would never give medication for someones child that could make them go blind, so why my hedgehog :(
Lime sulfur used to be a pretty common treatment for skin issues. The vet should have warned you about getting it in his eyes.

With the exception of him going bald on the back, it sounds like normal quilling. Are you sure those are adult quills he'es loosing? What makes the vet think ringworm? I know of someone whose hedgehog had ringworm and if I remember correctly, there was round rings of scaly skin.
The adult quills are much longer, thicker, and darker than the other quills that fall out.

Here is a picture, sorry if its a little blurry.

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I don't think the photo looks like ringworm.

If he does have ringworm, you'll turn up with it pretty soon as well. We brought home a kitten with ringworm once. Pretty soon everyone in the house had it - my parents, me, both dogs and all three cats. The vet diagnosed it by shining a black light on the sore. The sores are crusty, might scab over, and itch like fury. They won't necessarily be ring-shaped or even round and tend to be pretty small at first. If you get a sore, it's important to go to the doctor ASAP because it is hard to get rid of, extremely contagious, and can get infected - my mom wound up with impetigo on her chin.

When we all had the ringworm, the vet gave us some special shampoo to wash the animals in. I don't remember that it was at all stinky or nasty in any way. Oddly enough I don't remember at all what the doctor had us humans do!
Blue Star ointment works like a charm on ringworm. Lot less caustic than that sulfur stuff. You might consider it if it turns out to be ringworm?
Is the amount of quills he's been losing normal? He just seems so bare on his back. I can see so much skin when his quills are raised.

The dry skin seems to be getting better from the flax seed oil in his food and there doesnt seem to be as many quills lost each day.
It's hard to say if the thin area is normal quilling, or mites. Some hedgehogs do go quite thin during quilling. If he'es growing new quills in, it could just be quilling.
What about a bacteria infection? Did doc dismiss the possibility? I ask because one of my first developed a staph infection in his skin. He dropped quills like made and by the time we found the right antibiotic to treat it (it resisted the first antibiotic), my little one was pretty much bald on his back. For him his back looks pretty normal, except we would see a tiny pocket of pus (looked like a tiny zit) form around the base of the quills, when the pocket would pop the quill would fall out. Otherwise there was no flaking or redness.

We had a bacteria culture ran on him. Doc did the culture in house and we had results within a day or two of doc taking a sample.

Just something else to consider if it hasn't been ruled out.
It sounds like quilling to me. My hedgehog Herisson was born on June 5th and is still quilling. He looses several quills every time I handle him and I always find some on his new liner. Herisson also has dry flaky skin and scratches sometimes.
Back to the woods lamp thing. Only one breed of ringworm glows, and even then it only glows 50% of the time. So its alot less accurate than alot of people think. Somethign i learned at my last vet tech seminar :D
Hey, I'm wondering what the status of your girl is? Did it turn out to be a fungus, bacteria or good ol' quilling?
Hi All

This is a photograph of the Ringworm my wife has just caught off our newly aquired Hog.
Leo as he is called shows no visible signs without the lamp but under it he is covered on his ears head and legs. He glows a nice shade of green. Please see the thread, How The **** did This Happen.

Ian & Julie[attachment=0:314wsu9s]Leo 1.jpg[/attachment:314wsu9s][attachment=1:314wsu9s]Ring 2.jpg[/attachment:314wsu9s][attachment=2:314wsu9s]Ring 1.jpg[/attachment:314wsu9s]


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A month for a ringworm culture is a very long time. Usually within 14 days they have a nice culture growing if it is there but I have never had to wait this long for a result. It was my understanding that 50% of fungi will show up under a woods lamp. It also show up bacterial. A green-ish to blue glow would indicate a FUNGI but does not mean it is ringworm as we have stated in another thread as mentioned above.

What you have described sounds a little like it is either quilling or mites. You need to view hedgies quills like human hairs, they will shed them through out their lives and regrow new ones but not loads every single day.

Mites on the other had can & will cause massive quill & hair loss and the quills can regrow while the load is still living on their host. We have used Stronghold suscessfully to treat this.
Looks like my hedgie might have it. over the last week I've had an itch on my hand, now I have a circle shaped lesion in between two of my knuckles because I managed to open the skin while scratching.

It's fairly small so I'm not sure, but it looks like the center is lower. My hedgehog has also been showing flaky skin and I can see light bald patches not unlike those in the picture previously submitted. Also he sleeps a lot, too much I'd say.

Now, ringworm responds well to topic treatments so I'm not worried about myself, but what can I do for him? Are there any otc fungicides I can use on him?
We are treating a few babies for ringworm. Our vet gave us an oral medication that seems to be working very well & the hedgehogs actually like it. We had a ringworm outbreak back in January with a different mother & babies (uggh) & we were given a pill to crush up & put in their water. He must've been out of the liquid stuff. I'd say it'll probably take at least 3-6 weeks to clear it up on your hedgehog. And if I were you, I'd start treating your hand with some antifungal cream right away. When we had our 1st outbreak, we didn't know what it was & our doctor prescribed me the wrong thing & made it worse. It took me 6 months to get rid of it. It was a nightmare. You'll be able to tell it's clearing up because it'll start getting dry & kind of crusty. Good luck!

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