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Old 03-26-2015, 01:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice on cancer/pain.

Hi guys,

A few months ago I noticed my hedgie Snowflake had a small lump on her when bathing her. I was very upset since the last time I found a lump while bathing a hedgie, it ended up being squamous cell carcinoma, which is very fast acting. Anyway, I couldn't afford to bring her to the vet at that moment, because I had been having really bad financial trouble. Thankfully, a few weeks later my wonderful boyfriend offered to bring her in since he noticed how upset I was. He doesn't have a lot of money, either, but he does have a part time job so it was feasible. But we could only afford to bring her in to get checked out. The vet said our options were to take a sample to send out and find out if it is cancer and what kind (and with everything added up, he said it'd be close to $200, not including the actual visit), or we could go straight to surgery (which was $600). He said that he couldn't be %100 sure it's cancer by looking and touching the mass, obviously, but said it didn't look good in terms of it possibly being something else. It's right under her right arm (I call the front legs arms, haha), right where maybe a mammary tumor would be. Overall he said her health and weight seemed great, that she was one of the healthiest and friendly hedgie's he's ever seen (which surprised me because she usually only likes me and my mom!), and also pointed out how clean her teeth were!

Either way, he told me to come back for painkillers if/when I need them, and all I could do is wait it out since I couldn't afford either option mentioned above. We brought her in early January, and I know it's not squamous cell carcinoma because her lump doesn't even look like it's grown, and if it has, it's been minimal growth (thank gosh). She is still eating, running, etc. Only stopped running at one point and I thought it was due to the lump, but she started running again soon after, so it might have been because her schedule was off a bit.

So my question is, what are the most likely options in terms of cancer type? I only know of oral cancer, squamous cell carcinoma and mammory, etc. I'm not sure what actual types there are/how fast they usually spread. Just curious for some insight. Obviously you can't diagnose it, I just wanted advice/personal stories or opinions on the different types other than squamous. I'm going home end of next month (I'm a student in Montreal, but live in Ontario) and I have a job lined up, so I'm hoping to bring her in if she's still here (which I don't see why not) and find out exactly what it is/removal if necessary because my vet over there is amazing and extremely affordable for me.

The other question is the pain/painkillers. He told me to look for signs of pain or cancer spreading like sneezing, coughing, not running, weight loss, appetite loss, etc. Unfortunately for me, she sneezes often, and always has, so I can't really use it as an indicator. The rest are kind of iffy for me, because I know hedgie's usually only show signs when it's really bad, and I really want to avoid her being in pain and suffering because I don't know when it's time to give them to her. I want to know if I should pick up pain meds now so I have them when needed, and if so, when I can tell it's time to give them to her. My first hedgie that had the squamous cell carcinoma was given meds once I brought him to the vet and lived happily until the very end running around despite the huge tumor he had, which obviously I attribute to the medication.

I just want to make sure she's comfortable, and the thought of her being in pain and me not knowing is terrible. Any advice on when it would be best to start giving it to her?

Thanks,
Cassandra
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sorry that I can't help much. I just wanted to bump this back up a bit. Hopefully Nancy or Kalandra will see this and be able to comment & help. Lily had cancer, but we didn't really know what was going on after I had her euthanized, so I don't have much experience with this. I wish you good luck though, and hope your girl's lump can be removed & won't cause further problems.
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