Is your hedgehog losing its quills? Don’t worry. Quilling is a natural phase in the life of a hedgehog that it goes through. If you are a new owner, this article is specially curated for you.
Most of the new owners get a little bit confused and surprised when they notice their hedgehog quilling. But there is nothing to worry about it because the quilling phase is a very common phase in their lives.
If you own a little hedgehog, this article will help you. This guide covers everything you need to know about how often do hedgehogs quill.
Quilling In A Hedgehog
Hedgehogs technically don’t have quills; instead, they have spines. For our convenience, we call it quills. When hedgehogs exchange their old quills for new ones, the process they go through is called quilling.
This is a part of their growth process because the quills that they had as babies would not help an adult body. When a hedgehog quills, there will be a loss of significant quills. They lose their soft infant quills and get the tough quills of adults.
Usually, the process is natural, but there can be exceptional worse cases. Sometimes it does not come out of the skin, and this can also be very painful. If a quill cannot grow by itself, it causes the skin of a hedgehog to bleed. In such cases, one must contact a veterinarian.
The process of quilling in hedgehogs continues till they hit puberty.
Age Of Quilling In Hedgehogs
In the early stage, when they are around 6 to 8 weeks of age, they start quilling and continue till they get their adult body. Yes, they keep quilling throughout.
During the early stage, when they quill for the first time, they face a lot of discomfort because the small quills are replaced by small quills with large quills.
The second period of quilling starts when they are 16 weeks old. This quilling is said to be more painful and uncomfortable than the last one.
Even after this stage, a hedgehog can quill. But it depends on the different breeds and needs of the hedgehog.
How Long Does The Quilling Stage Last?
The process of quilling depends on the breeds, species, and genetic components of a hedgehog. Some hedgehogs quill for just a few weeks, while others take months.
How Often Does Hedgehog Quill?
The process of quilling can last from a week to several months. Mostly it takes 7 to 12 weeks to begin the phase of quilling.
Some hedgehogs do not lose their quills exactly at 6 to 8 weeks. They may even lose quills at 5 to 6 months of age. The cycle of quilling in a hedgehog occurs every 75 days in its lifespan.
After the quilling that happens at the age of 3 to 5 months, there are very few chances to have upcoming quilling cycles. A young hedgehog will quill more, while an adult will quill less.
This process is a natural process that is lengthy and painful. Hedgehog may show behavioral and attitude changes during the period of quilling.
How To Make Out A Hedgehog’s Quilling?
Quilling is natural but is not similar to shedding. There are some features that make both of them different.
When you look at the spines of your hedgehog that have been shed, you will be able to see the root with a bulb shape in the end. This means it is natural shedding. Also, the quills that have fallen will be smaller than the ones that are growing.
You can see new quills taking the place of the old quills. These are just signs of natural quilling.
Other than these natural reasons, quilling can also take place due to other reasons. The most important is a mite. The mite is a small parasitic insect that lives on the skin of animals. Other reasons can be tension, increasing or decreasing hormones, or insufficient diet.
If you suspect a lot of quilling and you think that it is unnatural, we suggest you visit the nearest veterinary doctor. Other than these natural reasons, quilling can also take place due to other reasons.
How To Comfort Them During Quilling Process?
Imagine the pain of something growing out of your body, hedgehogs go through this more than once in their lifespan. There are many steps through which you can ease the pain and provide comfort to a quilling hedgehog.
- Bathing with oatmeal will smoothen, soften, and moisturize the skin of a hedgehog.
- You may also try baby shampoo to bathe your hedgehog.
- You can use natural oils like vitamin-E oil and flaxseed oil on the skin. This mixture moisturizes the skin.
- You can use mixed olive oil or coconut oil in the water while bathing them.
- You can also use natural massage oil.
- You may use products that are specially made for hedgehogs too.
- You should take care and not use teetering or any other oil moisturizer.
- Don’t use excessive amounts of oil.
- For bathing the hedgehog, you may use a toothbrush to wash the quills.
- You may use warm water to bathe your hedgehog.
Hedgehog quilling can be a very uncomfortable process for them to go through. At this point, you need to be more careful about your little pet!
But you and your hedgehog are in this together. Make your hedgehog feel your love and warmth they need to get through this.
Be very conscious of providing comfort to these little anti-social creatures while they’re quilling because it requires a lot of caution and care.
Not handling them at all is not a good idea because they will not get the comfort they need and the touch that will help them heal faster. Make sure that the quilling your hedgehog goes through is a natural process. If you find anything doubtful, immediately contact your veterinary.
Hope you found this article helpful and got to know how often hedgehogs quill. Now that you know about quilling, you will understand the behavior of your hedgehog easily!