Hi everyone! My name is Amy and my hedgehog is Penelope and we are new here! 😁🦔 That being said, I have actually lurked here on occasion for the past couple years in my research and just never joined. I got Penelope on 9/30/17 from Millermeade Farms in Ohio and she was born in July 2017, so we just celebrated our 2 year anniversary. She is my first hedgehog and I got her after six months of extensive thought and research. I also gave a 14 year old cat and two shih tzu, 9 and 13 years old.
Things were pretty smooth sailing with Penelope until a few weeks ago. I might be a bad momma, but life and work are busy and I had never taken her to the vet, though I had an exotic vet in mind when the time came that we needed one. Well, when she started peeing blood (a lot of blood, like a miniature crime scene 😳
on the evening of Saturday 9/7, then started to get lethargic and stop eating the following day, I started to panic and Monday morning called the vet first thing to schedule an appointment for that afternoon.
They said the most common cause of the symptoms I described in these little guys is uterine tumors and while they said they could first try an antibiotic to see if there was any improvement, they usually end up recommending spaying them. This is what I decided to do and they kept her that night and spayed her the following morning. They said it was a good thing, because she had a tumor in her uterus and her little uterus was full of blood. ☹️
Surgery otherwise went okay and they said I could pick her up that evening after work with some feeding instructions, pain meds, etc. Well, since then, the last few weeks have been a stressful and expensive "adventure", between two trips to honda for unexpected car repairs and a few trips to the vet for Penelope complications, September was basically the month from ****! 🤯🙈😫💸💸💸
Penelope's incision healed well, but she wouldn't really eat, she threw up the omnivore syringe force feeding I spent two hours giving her one night, she gagged up her medication one morning, her activity was low, and she was dropping weight, from 470g on 9/12 (2 days after surgery, when she already hadn't been eating for about 4 days) to 424g last Saturday when we went back to the vet for a third time. I tried several new food options to try and entice, but all she started eating in the last week was a few meal worms, but no kibble.
They thought it might be a good idea to hospitalize her for a couple days to give more fluids, vitamin b, force feed, and try to get her eating more than a few meal worms again to put some weight on. In two days the got her back up to 450g and she was eating most of the kibble they gave her at night, so they let me pick her up Monday night. Since then her behavior is starting to get back to normal, she's eating more, and I walked in on her running on her wheel last night, which she hadn't been doing. I'm hoping we are on a good path and she will keep eating, because I can't afford to go to the vet again anytime soon, and don't need any additional stress! 😅
Well, this turned out to be way longer than planned and probably way more than you wanted for an introduction, so I apologize for that!
Other than all that, I'm a social worker and work as a vocational rehabilitation counselor in Ohio. Penelope loves anything fleece, doesn't seem to care for any fruits or vegetables, and enjoys anointing herself any time she eats a freeze dried treat. She doesn't bite unless she mistakes my arm for fleece, tolerates me moderately well, but isn't one of those hedgehogs that will let me lay her on her back and rub her belly. 😂🤷🏻*♀️🦔