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Old 02-13-2016, 03:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Decision on amputation

Hi all,
I have had my male hedgehog, Leroy, for a little over a year now and today I learned that he has a large cancerous tumor in his foot. Several months ago, this was misdiagnosed as a basic infection and was treated with antibiotics but the mass never went down. Because of this, he has likely been in pain for a few months already without pain treatment. The vet suggested the option of amputating mid-leg. However, she said that it is possible that he has other tumors in his body and there would be no way to know if he was in pain elsewhere. He is on pain meds now but I will need to decide soon whether to amputate or put him down. I don't want him to suffer any more than he has, but I don't know if it is too soon to consider that option. Has anyone else had a similar experience or any words of guidance? This is my first hedgehog and my first pet of my own so this decision is not an easy one for me. Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I would really take the vet's advice in to consideration. It's a really tough decision, I'm sorry you're having to go through this.
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Old 02-13-2016, 04:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally, I would attempt the amputation. Hedgies are so very special to us and very difficult to replace. Although you may run the risk of more possibly inoperable tumors, it would be worth the try. Plus a three legged Hedgies would be so cute! Do any of you watch Parks and Rec, b/c Andy and April's dog on the show only has three legs and he's a cutie patootie.
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The hedgehog's health and quality of life has to be the first and main consideration. Wanting to keep them with us longer & how they look afterward are very low on the list of importance when making a decision like this.

Heather, how old is Leroy? If he's still a young hedgehog, it may be worth trying the amputation. Hedgehogs do usually adjust well to only three legs, so if he has a strong chance of making it through surgery & would have a decent amount of time left to him (barring more tumors) after he heals up, that would make it worth the surgery, in my eyes. I would also find out how likely your vet thinks it is that there are other tumors. Is there any option to test & find out what kind of tumor it is, and what the likelihood of metastasis is?

Ultimately, the choice really is yours. We can say what we think & would do, but we're not in your shoes. I know how hard it can be, especially when it's your first time making decisions like this for a loved pet. All you can do is try to gather as much information as you can, & go with what you think is right for Leroy. Good luck, and let us know what you decide & what happens. I'll be sending you & Leroy good thoughts!
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Old 02-13-2016, 07:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'd go through with the amputation, personally.
Once he's healed up and the pain meds are discontinued, then see how he is. If he seems like he's unhappy or suffering, you can make the decision then.
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Old 03-03-2016, 06:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry for the late response!

Leroy is 1 year and 5 months old. I chose to go through with the amputation and he just returned home today. He is doing well and has been eating/pooping as normal. However, the vet did end up doing a full leg amputation as opposed to the foot/partial leg amputation that we had discussed. So, he does not have any form of a stump to walk/run on. Has anyone else had experience with this? He seems like he keeps trying to walk on it but hops his other foot when he realizes it is not there. Will he adapt well?

Otherwise, he seems much happier and more comfortable without his leg. Before, he was very scared/grumpy and was difficult to get to stop hissing and spiking no matter how long he was out of his cage. Now he is much friendlier!

Thanks everyone for your replies.

Heather
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Old 03-03-2016, 10:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Sounds like he's already starting to adjust and I'm sure he'll improve as he gets used to it. I'm glad it seems like he's feeling better, that's fantastic news! And thank you for coming back to update us, I love it when we get happy ending updates.
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Old 07-11-2018, 11:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi there, how is Leroy's quality of life so far? Can you share with me more about the amputation risks and prognosis, down time & things to look out/take care of after the surgery? I am worried sick as Norbie is scheduled for his surgery next Tuesday. He is our first pet too and also aged a year plus. I can totally empathise with how you feel!! 😢
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Old 07-11-2018, 12:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Please check the date on a thread before posting, this one is from 2016.
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Old 07-21-2018, 12:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Loving this thread! sub'd
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