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Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17717
Experience:  15 years of small animal veterinary medicine
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My hedgehog has dried blood at the base of both ears, I suspect

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My hedgehog has dried blood at the base of both ears, I suspect from scratching. I did find a bit of blood in one of his nails when they'd gotten too long and since then I've been careful to keep his back nails trimmed as short as possible. His ears otherwise are perfectly normal - smooth, not flaky, no signs of mites or other problems. Just a scab at the base of each ear. Do you think there is something (mites, fungus, etc) wrong or did he nick himself once and now the scab itches and he keep scratching?

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 12 years. Thank you for your question about Wibbles. In this situation where he is having the blood at the base of both ears, I would be most suspicious that something is in the ears physically causing irritation and him to scratch and self traumatize himself. Mites are very common in hedgehogs. The can also get bacterial or fungal infections too, but the mites are most common. I would recommend taking him to a vet to have him evaluated. They can do a swab of the area / ear to diagnose the cause and to then start up the most effective and safe treatment available.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks! Is there anything I can do in the meantime to help stop the scratching/bleeding/scabbing? Do I need to get him to the vet ASAP or will he be ok for a couple days if they don't have an opening? I'm worried it may be hurting him and I'm an overly anxious person. (Currently lying awake in bed trying to listen for scratching!)
In the mean time, the best you can do is to make sure his enclosure / habitat is kept clean and that he has easy access to food and water to help him stay nourished and as comfortable as possible. I wouldn't try to put anything on the areas as the chance of further irritating it is possible. It doesn't sound like a dire emergency situation as long as he's still eating and drinking pretty well. I would get him seen when you can. Obviously the sooner the better as it will allow him to be treated for this situation.
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Hi Liz,

I'm just following up on our conversation about Wibbles. How is everything going?

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Aww thank you! He's good. I took him to the vet yesterday (our first time seeing one!) and she said he's a nice friendly hedgie and while she didn't see any of the usual signs of mites aside from the itching, she gave him a shot of Revolution just in case and we go back in 30 days for a follow-up. He ate last night, though less than normal but I'm assuming that can be attributed to the disruption in his schedule and the stress. He otherwise seems normal and mostly just irritated that I keep checking on him while he's trying to sleep!

His ears looked better yesterday, of course, he must have scratched the scabs off before we got to the vet and it made his ears looks MUCH better. Just red at the base with a little scratch on each where it bled.

So, long story sort, I think we're good. Possibly more dry skin than anything, but I'm not sure how to moisturize a hedgie. He HATES baths!

Thanks for checking on us! :)
I'm glad to hear that the little guy is doing better! I've yet to meet a hedgie that likes a bath! I'm glad he was good for his visit. Sometimes they can be a little mischievous. The interruption of his schedule could easily thrown off his eating. Hopefully that is back to normal here quickly. Let me know if any further questions come up! Take care.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
Thanks so much for checking on us! I'll certainly be back if we need anything!


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