Hedgehogs and Dry Skin
Hedgehogs are very prone to dry skin, and bathing them to often can cause the skin to dry out. This try skin can cause irritation to your hedgie and you may seem him scratching with a lot of flaky skin.
Symptoms of dry skin can also be caused by mites or fungus, and if your hedgehog has never been treated for mites you may want to see a vet to make sure that your hedgehog just has dry skin and not mites or fungus. Improperly using dry skin remedies while your hedgehog has mites will not cause any detrimental effects, but it will not kill the mites. Using dry skin remedies when the hedgehog has fungus can make the fungus worse as some of the remedies may trap the fungus in the skin and not allow air to get to the bacteria.
Dry Skin Treatments
The following treatments are used by various owners and breeders to cure dry skin in their hedgies.
- Oatmeal Bath
- Fill a sock with dry oatmeal (not instant oatmeal) and run in through a bath until the water is cloudy. You may also choose to use an oatmeal baby shampoo. Proceed to bath your hedgie, pouring the oatmeal water over it's back. Do not get the water in the eyes or ears as this could cause irritation or ear fungus. This should be done sparingly, as over bathing can make dry skin worse.
- Flax seed oil
- Many breeders buy flax seed oil caplets from their local drugstore. These convenient capsules can be punctured on one and a few drops can be squeezed onto your hedgehogs back. Doing this after a bath will allow the oil to more readily cover the hedgies entire back. If your hedgehogs food does not already contain flax seed oil, you can also add a few drops to your hedgehogs food. The kibble will readily absorb the flax seed oil. This can be repeated daily, and is best if used after an oatmeal bath.
- Vitamin E oil
- Some owners will put a drop of vitamin E oil on their hedgies back. It is recommended to put on the hedgehogs back, 1 drop behind each ear after a bath to allow the oil to spread across their backs.
Dangers to Hedgehogs
For an extensive list see Items Poisonous to Hedgehogs
- Do not use a Tea Tree Oil based shampoo or oil as this is EXTREMELY toxic to hedgehogs.
- Do not sue Vitamin E beauty products as these could contain other poisonous chemicals such as tea tree oil or grape seed oil
- It is not known if grape seed oil is toxic to hedgehogs, but grapes are poisonous to hedgehogs.
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- Hedgehog Central Forums - View Topic - Drey Ears?
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- Hedgehog Central Forums - View Topic - Vitamin E Beauty Oil
- Hedgehog Central Forums - View Topic - mites or quilling