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Old 01-25-2010, 11:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

Hello,

Its my first post here and the subject is a little overwhelming for some.
This is a discretionary warning.

My lovely little dude, Sonic, is turning 2.5 years this coming April. I got him from his previous owner last April as they couldn't take care of him anymore. He's an adorable, grumpy creature that has warmed up to me over time. Well, almost. He let's me handle him for cleaning and when I take him out of his home, but for the most part he's a 'solitaire' type of guy that love to play on his wheel every night. =) But, enough of the introductions and let's get to the real issue. >_^

My question is how to deal with that inevitable day that when he is no longer with me, particularly with the body.

Ever since I was a kid and had pets, I'd always bury them so they can finally rest in peace. Unfortunately, I live in Toronto, Canada where it can be difficult to dig into the soil while its frozen and have snow on top of everything. Will vets accept them? I haven't been to one yet (Sonic's been relatively healthy) and I'm assuming there would be a fee for 'disposing' of the body and or "putting them down".

I know I should spend every second enjoying the time I have with him now, but I just want to be prepared when the time comes and how to deal with it.

Many Thanks.
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Old 01-25-2010, 11:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

If he is healthy then you probably have a little more time with your little guy. The average life span seems to be 3-5 years in captivity. I don't know if vets will accept a deceased animal's body since they have to pay for disposal of animal remains. It doesn't hurt to call and ask, though. You could also call local shelters/humane societies. Those would probably be more willing to do it for a small fee.
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

I had to deal with the loss of my Hedgehog 3 weeks ago and I live in Upper Peninsula of Michigan my boyfriend and I went out and dog him a hole to bury him in and we decided if we weren't able to dig a whole we would bury him under a bunch of sticks and logs. My little Higgins was buried next to his two step sister they were rats.
It will be an incredibly hard thing to deal with but since you have your little hedgie around cherish every moment you have with them.
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Old 01-26-2010, 01:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

It's very hard... I've gone through a few pet deaths over the years. My dog, cat and both chinchillas were cremated. Here in Hamilton, Ont, we have an animal cemetery. We bought 2 big plots of land there, and they'll go and order a headstone and everything. Once cremated, we'd call the man who runs the cemetery, and we'd set up a time to bury them. And now... we've gotten to know the guy well enough that he'll help us with the cremation as well, and bypass the vet fees for them to send the body to be cremated. (note that this is only for cremating and not euthanasia). And I think I'm going to be reserving a spot for my horse soon as well. She still has many years left, but it'd be nice to know they have a nice final resting place.

Did you get him checked up by a vet when you got him? If so, then that same vet should take care of all that with you as well, and walk you through the process.

Where abouts in Toronto are you? I know of 2 vets who will see hedgies off the top of my head. One near Yonge/Sheppard, and one downtown.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:51 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

my hammy died in november and i took it very hard...harder than even i expected i would.
she had been sick (whs), and because of that it wasn't a surprise but i was still really unprepared for it when the day came because she had had a very good week (eating fine, happy, weight was up..)

i had guilt (i came home later than usual and noticed she had taken a turn for the worse and felt like if i had come home sooner her vet's office would have been open and that he might have helped some.) we agreed to take her first thing in the morning, so i stayed up with her but she didn't make it through the night.

it's been almost two months and i still get teary when someone mentions her to me which is often since everyone loved her some days were worse than others, like getting out the christmas stuff and seeing her tiny stocking, and all our hedgehog ornaments. but time heals all wounds and though she'll always be missed, i find i'm happy when i think of her now, more than sad.

we looked into cremation, but the cost seemed so wasteful when i could spend that money towards adopting another rescue after i had time to grieve. we decide to bury her instead.
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Old 01-26-2010, 03:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

There is also the option of pet cremation. I know that even here up in the middle of nowhere (Northern Alberta) there is a place not far away that does pet cremation so I'm sure there must be something like that where you are. The Vet clinics would probably know about them or they may be in the yellow pages.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

Thank you all for your replies.
At least now I have options to think about on how to deal with the inevitable day.

As for Immortalia's comments:

No, I have not taken little Sonic to the vet, yet. Although, I should take him for a yearly check-up from now on. I'll ask around the two vets that can take hedgehogs in Toronto and the humane societies in the area.

On a lighter note, I'll see if I can post a pic of little Sonic on these boards soon!
=)
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Old 01-27-2010, 11:58 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

Dr Munn is in Toronto and from everything I hear is an excellent and experienced hedgie vet. I know numerous hedgie owners who take their hedgehogs to Dr Munn.

Links Road and High Park vets are expensive and everyone I know that have gone there have said they need/want to do a kazillion expensive tests before they can give a diagnoses.

I'm in Kingston and we have had many losses during the winter. We have wrapped them well and put in a well sealed bucket and put them in the freezer or we will keep them in the shed until the ground thaws. Many vets will also store them for you until the ground thaws. All of our gang get buried here even if we have to wait a few months to do it.
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Old 01-27-2010, 03:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

Either I lucked out at Links, or they knew they couldn't get away with stuff like that
I took my boy there, because his quill coat was getting a bit sparse. I TOLD the vet to treat for mites as a precaution with Revolution, and he agreed...eventually...Wanted to use Ivermectin first.

Walked out spending $90.

But vets DO send pets out for cremation services. Thus far, my vet here have sent all my pets out for us and took care of everything. Just know that there will be a "vet fee" as usual.
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Old 01-27-2010, 04:14 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: How do you deal with a loss of a hedgehog?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
Dr Munn is in Toronto and from everything I hear is an excellent and experienced hedgie vet. I know numerous hedgie owners who take their hedgehogs to Dr Munn.
Dr. Munn is excellent. He treats Quigley and when we had to have our mouse put to sleep he was wonderful. Made it so much easier. The vet took care of the cremation and everything afterward but it means for the first time I don't have a grave to visit.
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