Dry Skin Treatments

Jun 13, 2013 by

Treatment Overview The first step in treatment is to look at a clean, completely dry hedgehog. Our Bathing Articles describe an oatmeal bath, how to bathe your hedgehog, dead skin removal, and simple skin care tips. Various owners and breeders treat simple dry skin with various over-the-counter remedies and other items usually found around the house. Very rarely will a veterinarian prescribe a prescription treatment for dry skin only, since many other more cost-effective means are successful. In many cases an oatmeal bath will clean and soothe the skin, and no other treatment is necessary. Healing should happen fairly quickly, and if not, a trip to the veterinarian is necessary because dry skin that is not accurately treated will become worse over time. Mite infestations can be the root of the dry skin problem and will continue to cause more skin and quill damage if not properly treated. Most veterinarians recommend a treatment of Revolution as a precautionary against mites because it is more reliable than looking for mites, it is inexpensive and very safe. Another reason to see a veterinarian is the he/she may need to prescribe oral antibiotics such as  Trimeth-Sulfa Susp and Conofite spray for fungal problems.  Oral antibiotics such as Itraconazole may be necessary as well.  Harrison’s Avix Soother Topical Spray Great for skin irritation, mange, minor lesions and itching Promotes soothing relief for skin inflammation Is safe and effective for all species...

Causes Of Dry Skin

Jun 11, 2013 by

In order to treat the dry skin, it is necessary to understand potential causes of the problem.Several factors may contribute to the dryness, but the problem will not be completely eliminated without treating the specific problem. Quilling Varying degrees of quill loss may also be associated with dry skin.  Quill loss and dry skin may indicate a mite infestation or fungal infection but is not always the case. A veterinarian can rule out mites by observing skin scrapings under a microscope and performing a simple fungal test. It is very important to visit the vet and ascertain the reason for the dry skin if the problem persists or there is quill loss. Our Quilling Article has more details on this subject. Mites and Fleas Refer to Mites and Other Ectoparasites for More Information Fungus and Bacterial Infection Your vet will need to do a skin scrapping and will prescribe antibiotic if necessary. Fungal spores are airborne and can be transferred easily throughout the environment. Animals (and humans) with dry skin are more susceptible to funal infections Fungal infection: ringworm Fungus (dermatophytoses. (Vet Med, 1999). Type of Bedding Bedding with fine particulates can dry out the skin Hardwood beddings and dusty beddings can also dry the skin. Diet Deficiency Certain dietary issues may also cause dry skin. Allergens Grass Detergents Fabric Softener Carpet Cleaner Bathing Too frequent Type of soap or shampoo Not rinsing shampoos well can cause...

Overview Of The Skin

Jun 11, 2013 by

Healthy Skin The epidermis and dermis are the two primary mammalian skin layers. The epidermis is the topmost layer is the selectively permeable skin barrier. It is called the dead skin layer, which provides waterproofing and serves as a barrier to damage. The dermis serves as the location for appendages of the skin including hair follicles and quills. Healthy skin is important to maintaining a formidable barrier to external stimuli including protecting against dehydration,  environmental changes, and diseases such as bacterial infection. Any modifications to the skin’s barrier equilibrium may trigger skin conditions such as dryness, itchiness, or dermatitis (inflammation of the skin) Healthy skin can be hard to maintain due to numerous environmental factors Temperature Sun Pollution Water itself can cause dry skin if one showers in excess or in hot water because it removes the oils the skin naturally secretes for moisture. Additional Articles Problems Associated With Dry Skin Causes of Dry Skin Diagnosis of Dry Skin Treatment of Dry Skin Other Skin...

Mites & Other Ectoparasites

Jun 6, 2013 by

General Information The information below is not meant to scare you but to make you aware of this common problem. With proper diagnosis and treatment mites can be eradicated with little more trouble than a minor inconvenience. According to Heidi Hoefer, in Clinical Approach to the Pet Hedgehog, mites are the most important parasitic disease of pet pygmy hedgehogs. Most hedgehogs will encounter an Acariasis (mite) infestation at least once in its lifetime. Various hedgehog species in the wild are known to carry mites, fleas, maggots, and ticks. Almost all hedgehogs in the UK Hedgehog Rescues are treated for these little creatures. The only type of flea infestation affects only European hedgehogs in the wild. Dog and cat fleas typically do not infest African hedgehogs kept as pets in the US. Symptoms Quill or Hair Loss Dry, Flaky, or Scaling Skin Scratching Caused by an uncomfortable feeling Excessive scratching is indicated by redness of skin and or scabs and sores Scratching can result in a secondary infection. Spines that are lost from the natural quilling process will have a root bulb that fits into the hair follicle similar to that of a human hair.  o Spines that are lost due to mite infestation typically will have a soft, flaky appearance to the spine tip. Tattered or ragged ears Crust at the base of quills or around eyes and ears Scabs Detection If you suspect that...

Quilling

Jun 5, 2013 by

The Process of Quilling There are times when a hedgehog will shed large numbers of quills and replace shed ones with new ones.  This process is called quilling.  The quilling process is different than the replacement of spines that are lost individually.  Quilling is a gradual and natural process that happens over time rather than an over-night occurrence.  It can be better compared to teething in human babies. Quilling occurs over an extended period of time rather than shedding like a snake that typically occurs overnight or in a short period of time. Quills that are shed naturally have a root or bulb at the end (like human hair) but spines that are shed due to a skin condition or mites tend to have a flaky or soft tip on the end of the spine. The first major quilling or heaviest quilling occurrence is often distinguished by the loss of small fine quills and the growth of new quills.  New quills can most easily be seen on a relaxed hedgehog looking down the spine and over the rump.  They will be thicker new quills beginning to poke through the skin surface.   Quilling is often equated with the “Terrible Twos” or “Adolescents”. New quill points will break through the skin fairly quickly after spines are lost so there are no bald spots or large areas of visible thinning in the hedgehog’s spine coat. Each...

Acclimation To New Home

Apr 25, 2013 by

Right From the Start When your hedgehog gets home you will want to let it acclimate to its new cage. Make sure it is warm, comfortable, and able to find its food dish and water bottle. The water level should be placed so that the tip of the bottle is the hedgehog’s shoulder height. Please allow your hedgehog time to rest after the ride home. It may take awhile for it to adjust to its new surroundings or it may be relaxed and ready to play right away. We suggest that you wait to put the wheel until a week after your hedgehog comes home. Your hedgehog should be eating and eliminating regularly before you introduces additional stimulation to the cage. Some hedgies are more interested in wheeling than eating or they wheel so much that they are too tired to eat after all their activity. A good comparison is my children at the park – they play and play and don’t want to stop and eat, then fall asleep in the car on the way home without getting a full meal. It is always a good idea to quarantine any new animals from other animals in your home for two weeks. We understand that it isn’t always possible but it will help minimize the stress of the new animal and decrease the risk of an illness or disease among pets. What is normal...