Dry Skin

Chinchilla & Hedgehog Pet Forum

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Hooked on Hogs
Jan 28, 2009
Kingston, Ontario
There are many causes of dry skin

- mites
- dry air
- quilling
- bacterial & fungal infections

Hedgehogs are naturally prone to dry skin. Usually it looks like fine dust like particles on their skin and in their bedding. There are numerous ways to help their skin.

Bathing with one of the following…

- Aveeno oatmeal body wash. http://www.aveeno.com/productDetail.do?prodid=3646
- Aveeno soothing bath treatment http://www.aveeno.com/productDetail.do?prodid=3640
- Moisturizing kitten or puppy shampoo. Puppy shampoo is usually more highly scented which your hedgehog may not like
- Oatmeal. Take a fistful of plain oatmeal, put in a sock or cloth and swish in the water until the water is cloudy.

Final rinse water with
- a few drops of vitamin E oil added
- a few drops of flax seed oil added
- a few drops of olive oil added

Remember not to use too much or you will have a slippery hedgehog.

You can also treat dry skin internally by adding a few drops of flax seed oil on your hedgehogs food 2-3 times per week. Don’t add too much or it might give him or her diarrhea.

Dry air

Just like us, your hedgehogs skin will get dry in the winter. Adding some moisture to the air will help.


Mites will cause dry skin. If your hedgehog has flakes of skin coming off and he is scratching, he may have mites. Mites also cause quill loss and bald patches. Your vet will do a skin scraping to check for mites but sometimes a skin scrapping can be negative if the mites are not present where the scrapping was done.

Revolution is recommended for mites. Many vets will want to use Ivermectin but ivermectin has been the cause of many hedgehog deaths. Do not allow your hedgehog to be treated with ivermectin.

Fungus & Bacterial infections

Fungus and bacterial infections can also cause dry skin. Your vet will do a skin scrapping and will prescribe antibiotic if necessary.


You're a life saver!
I use aveeno baby shampoo, but she still has dry skin, so I'll try the others.
Thanks, again!



Thanks for the info! Little Bear has some dry skin, which I've been treating topically with olive oil. He doesn't scratch too much, but he's got some crazy quill loss, which is worrisome. He's due for his yearly wellness check, so I think I may ask for a skin scraping, too (poor little guy - he had a skin scraping a year ago, too, and it caused him to scream/cry).

We've been using Johnson & Johnson's baby shampoo, but I like the sound of Aveeno or just regular ol' oatmeal better.

As far as internal treatment, do you have an opinion about putting a few drops of vitamin E oil on food? I've tried this before with Little Bear and with Tilly, but I've stopped after recalling that vitamin E is one of the fat-soluble vitamins, and thus much easier to overdose on. Plus, his dry kibble (Purina Cat Chow Indoor formula, which he doesn't eat that much of) already has vitamin E in it. Thoughts?

Thanks again for the info, Nancy!

---Lisa Ann