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-   -   Frequent outer ear infections and discharge (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=106874)

zeroskaterham123 06-01-2015 09:14 PM

Frequent outer ear infections and discharge
For the past few months, my hedgehog Quillson has been having ear blockages and discharges that seriously mess with his balance seemingly every few weeks. When it happens, he holds his head off to one side and shakes his head constantly and noticeable fluid comes from his ears. Sometimes its so bad he can hardly walk. The first time it happened we took him to the vet and they cleaned his ears and gave us drops to clear his ears if it happens again. They work sometimes, but this time he doesn't seem to be getting any better. I can't afford to take him to the vet every few weeks just to get his ears cleaned. Any advice on how to deal with this better would be greatly appreciated.

shinydistraction 06-01-2015 11:52 PM

It could be that there is an infection and he needs antibiotics. Since the cleaning and drops have not corrected the issue it's fair to assume there is something else going on. I would bring this up to the vet. If they insist on continuing with the same course of treatment it might be time to try a different vet.

Kalandra 06-02-2015 08:13 AM

Unfortunately, you are going to need to seek veterinary attention again. I have had a hedgehog who had chronic inner ear infections, these are extremely painful. If it continues for too long serious consequences can occur, the ear drum can burst, permanent damage to their balance and hearing can result, etc.

Ear infections can also be a symptom of a much worse problem. For instance there could be a tumor inside the inner ear causing infection. For mine, we later learned he had leukemia and the ear infections were likely being caused by a weakened immune system.

With the one that I mentioned above, we were treating him with an antibiotic and it wasn't working well enough to fully treat the infection. We switched drugs to try to combat it. Sadly his infection got bad enough so quickly that his ear drum burst, when then required a surgical procedure to flush the blood and pus out of his ear.

If you cannot afford the veterinary care for him right now, you may need to seek other avenues to get him treated. Ask family or friends for a loan to help pay for his care, apply for Care Credit (google it if you aren't familiar), or if the worst happens seek a rescue group to take him in (depending on your location we may be able to help you out).

zeroskaterham123 06-06-2015 10:18 PM

Thank you both for the advice. I took him to another vet. He doesn't have any kind of serious infection. His ears were just kind of dirty with water build up. They cleaned them a little bit and I continued giving him the drops and he seems better now. His balance is mostly back to normal, the discharge isn't as bad, and he is more active but he does seem to have a slight head tilt still. Should I be worried about that?

shinydistraction 06-06-2015 10:52 PM

Did they do anything to determine if there was an infection present? Infections don't go away on their own and need the appropriate antibiotics to treat them. I couldn't say if the head tilt for sure is indicative of there being an infection or not, but it seems odd to me that two vets so far have only gone as far as cleaning his ears and not done anything else. How long has it been since you took him to the new vet?

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