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Old 12-12-2012, 05:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

Hello,

It has recently come to my attention that my little boy hedgehog might have ear fungus. His ears were always tattered, and I was told that he previously had mites. He finally allowed me to get a good look at his ears today, and I'm thinking it's fungus. Actually, I'm almost positive. He's got some yellow fingers growing, and his ears are very eaten down. Note that I have not had him for long, and this is the first time I've really gotten him still enough to see his ears (they're so eaten down it's difficult) I rubbed them down with neosporin -as much as he'd let me, ornery fellow- and am looking for vets.

Problem is, I have had horrible times with vets. One vet let my bird fly out of his office Another kept insisting on giving my dog shots that made her pass out and have to be on fluids over night (Imagine how quickly those costs racked up) among numerous other things and outrageous pricing ($276 to tell me I need to put neosporin on a hamster's small cut and give me unecessary antibiotics). I rescue and rehabilitate reptiles, and have about 80 herps of my own, and I do not use vets, simply because of their ignorance, mostly of reptiles. I perform my own fecal tests, minor treatments, and even amputations (with convenient access to a biology lab). My distrust of vets runs deep, and I am especially concerned over taking a hedgehog to one.

So, first question. For those of you in Oregon or Washington, what is a normal pricing for a checkup and diagnosis/treatment of fungus in a hedgehog?

Also, what is the preferred medication for treatment? I know there are oral and topical medications, and in all honesty I'd prefer a good topical treatment, as I am always worried about vets not quite knowing what they're doing and prescribing too much oral medication (in the case of my own animals, this has happened multiple times). I'd like to know what has been effective for others.

And third, if there is a good topical out there, would it be possible for me to obtain it and treat without seeing a vet? I know it is preferred to see a vet, but in the event that I call them and talk to them and don't find that I can trust any nearby, is this a viable option?

I ask this all because I will be taking my menagerie up to Washington state for a month to see family within the next week, and it does not seem that there are any hedgehog specific vet listings on this site for WA. I'm hoping I can get this set and treated, or be able to order in a topical treatment to my home up there to treat him over the holidays. I'd like to get a vet that actually knows a thing or two, but I'm not very hopeful after all the calls I've made around here for exotics vets.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

Can you post a photo? Tattered ears are most often just a build up of gunk (dirt, dry skin, etc) and can be softened and diminished over time with Vaseline. The "yellow" description doesn't fit, though. A photo would definitely help for getting an opinion.

As for treating fungus, if that's what it is, I don't have any recommendations. I do, however, have a fairly thorough list of WA vets on my website. Mostly western WA. They all treat hedgehogs, last I checked. http://www.volcanoviewhedgehogs.com/wa-vets.html
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:38 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

It's very difficult to get photos because he refuses to stay still, the ears are very small, and he has a penchant for grabbing my phone in his mouth and trying to drag it out of my hand.

I tried to get as many as possible. Here are the best ones.

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/...5AB2E6FF59.jpg

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/...5AC16B915D.jpg

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/...5AF16FCCC3.jpg

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/...5B003638E5.jpg

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/...5AE4CF6E9E.jpg

http://i1088.photobucket.com/albums/...5ACD93785D.jpg


The rest from this awful photoshoot can be found here. http://s1088.beta.photobucket.com/us...stons%20fungus

I apologize for the quality. I tried to get as many as quickly as possible for you. Also, the forum didn't like the size I had so I just gave you the links to them. Easier than resizing them.

Also - I've been to the vets at Northwest Animal Care in Everett. I don't like them at all They're the ones that charged $276 for a hamster, and who racked up $4000 in treatment costs for my dog to tell me they didn't know what was wrong. I'll talk to some of the other vets on the list.
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

It does look different than normal tattered ears - fungus is as good a guess as any. I don't have any personal experience with fungus, but hopefully someone else will be more helpful with that.

And thanks for the feedback about that vet! I'm in Port Orchard and haven't used that one personally. The only one I can vouch for personally is ours; she and the whole vet clinic are fantastic. Our mentor uses Bo Dill, also on that list, and has nothing but praise for him too.

Good luck!

(Also, if you're in the PNW, I may have to ask you about your herps sometime - we're looking into getting a carpet python sometime in the next 6 months or so.)
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

Thanks for the look-see and the list of vets Hopefully I can get a reply on here before I start making calls again tomorrow.

Also, I haven't had a ton of experience with carpets myself - I work at a reptile store and we don't normally sell them - but I do keep a lot of other snakes (32) of different species, so I'll at least be able to help with some basic snake care if needed! I've handled some gorgeous carpets. They're definitely cool snakes.
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Old 12-12-2012, 06:31 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

Definitely let us know if you find a good vet nearby. I'm pretty sure I remember you saying you are in Portland. I'm staying with my parents in Clackamas for winter break and, while I have a highly recommended vet down in Corvallis, I'd like to have a good one up here too for winter and summer breaks.
There is one listed in the Oregon vets thread in Beaverton, although I think it was posted a while ago. The vet recommended on there is still at the same clinic so I was just planning on going there if I need to. However I'd love to hear from you how you like wherever you end up going and if they are very good, I could plan on using them instead.
And also definitely keep us updated on how your little guy does.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:08 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

I would try rubbing his ears with Polysporin for a week or two and see what happens. Yellow fingers seems to happen with light coloured hedgehogs. I've had some rescues/rehomes with horrid fingers. One boy had fingers about 1/4" long and I was certain his ears were damaged and once the tatters came off, he'ed have no ears left. Once all the gunk and tatters came off he had perfect ears. His ears were small, but the edges were smooth and healthy with no damage.

As long as he is not loosing quills or fur or showing other signs of fungus or illness, I'd try regular Polysporin first. Don't use neosporin.
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

Thanks for the advice! I'll keep up with my treatment then, and I'll switch to Polysporin.

What's in Neosporin that isn't good for hedgies? I usually use a generic ointment version of Polysporin, without the pain reliever for any reptile issues. As far as my own knowledge goes, the three active ingredient neosporins are bad because of the pain reliever, but the two active ingredient neosporin is fine for other things. But this is reptile specific knowledge, so I had figured (and read) that neosporin would be fine for hedgehogs. I just want to know what things to avoid if I happen to use a generic ointment.

His ears are already down to nearly stubs, or at least one is. Hopefully just the polysporin will work to get rid of the yellow fingers, and the rest is just past issues. Aside from his ears, everything else on him is fine, other than his ornery personality. We had some great snuggle moments today after struggling to get ear photos, though, so I guess I forgive him. He decided to crawl out and lay on my stomach flat while looking at me, like in my new avatar. It's moments like that that makes me forgive him for denting my phone with hedgehog teeth marks.

Also, a note. He just shed two small soft hairs today on one of my hats. I'm assuming that's not enough to worry since it was so few, but I thought I should say so.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

If you are in Portland, my best suggestion based on experiences I've heard from other people would be Dr. Burgess in Beaverton (I believe his clinic is Southwest Animal Hospital). He's an exotics specialist and knows his stuff as far as medical things go, though I rarely trust any vet to know any hedgehog specifics. They just don't know them as well as us. I would never take care suggestions from a vet but if you ever need to go get antibiotics or have something done you really do need to have a vet to work with. If you're willing to drive south, the vet I use is Dr. Vickstrom at West Hills Animal Hospital in Corvallis, and she does have a considerable amount of hedgehog experience and really knows what she's doing.



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Old 12-12-2012, 11:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Vet Cost - Best Treatment Option?

Neosporin and Polysporin are the same thing, I think, just different names depending on US and Canada. The main thing to make sure with them is that you use the regular kind, not the extra strength or pain relief one, so it sounds like you're just fine with that!
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