When your hedgehog is
quilling you will notice dropped
quills and quill points that are breaking through the surface. You
should not see bald spots within the coat. As they fall out they are
replaced and only shed quills should be evidence. Bald spots are an
indication of another health problem.
Hedgehogs can become
extremely irritable during this
time. Their appetite may also drop off so do not be overly alarmed.
Think about what they are going through and you can well imagine what
it must be like. Fortunately it is over fairly quickly. Some can take
only 4-5 days to be through with the process while it may last 2-3
weeks for others.
Handling them during this time can make them extremely uncomfortable
and breeders suggest understanding and gentleness. This does not mean don't
them. Some may
continue in this grumpy attitude
if left totally alone during this time. They will resume to their
normal nature soon enough so be understanding.
Many breeders do
recommend warm baths. Oatmeal baths
can be given twice a week to help soothe the discomfort.
Add Aveeno powder to warm water deep enough to make
the hedgehog swim. You can use a cup to pour the water overtop his body
as he swims. Make sure he is always attended during his bath as he can
tire quickly. Do not rinse the oatmeal bath off. Their skin is
naturally dry and this will help them. Adding a non-flavored,
non toxic oil such as olive oil to the last rinse may also prove
helpful to soften the skin. Make sure you dry them well with a towel
afterwards and keep them out of drafts.
On occasions hedgehogs
will go through another
quilling at 1
year of age. This is seldom as harsh and many times goes totally
unoticed. Growing up is tough for all and we had teething to get
through. Be understanding and gentle and it will soon pass.