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Old 01-17-2012, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

Hello, this is my first post here I'm new to hedgehogs, I just got an African Pygmy about a week ago from a pet store, she is now about 10 weeks old and is adorable! Yesterday, I noticed that she started sneezing constantly and licking her nose. Her nose is moist, but I don't see any mucus, crust, or other signs that would indicate she is sick, but I'm obviously not an expert on this so I don't know exactly what to look for. Definitely not lethargic either, she still likes to explore when I take her out of the cage and ran on the wheel at night.

So now for some relevant information. I use aspen bedding in her cage since cedar and pine can cause allergies and she has been fine with that for the week since I've had her. In the pet store, her bedding was some kind of egg-carton-like material. The room I always keep well above 70 degrees; enough to make me comfortable in a T-shirt. Her poop has been a dark greenish-brown (but more on the green side) with a toothpaste texture since I got her. I feed her a specific "Hedgehog Food" recommended by the pet store along with occasion fruit. I don't weigh my hedgehog, but she's not overweight and I think she is still eating and drinking properly, although this just happened yesterday so it's probably too soon to tell.

I just moved into a new apartment 2 days ago, but she showed no signs of anything wrong. Yesterday afternoon, I gave her her first bath and replaced the bedding in the cage with fresh bedding. Still, she was normal, no sneezing. Later I let her explore around the room, the hardwood floor might be a little dusty I guess, but she wasn't sneezing or coughing. It was only at night that I came home to find that she had pushed her igloo-like house to the side a bit and was sleeping under the wheel instead. I went to see what was wrong and she was sneezing a lot. I took her out of the cage to see if anything might have caused allergies. I suspected the house since I cleaned that recently. There was no smell or residue that I could detect, but I washed it down with more water and dried it just in case and put it back in the cage. However, she is still sneezing.

So I know this sounds like a lot of things that could have caused this, but I find it odd that she only started sneezing last night, not after making the changes. I hope she's not sick. These are the questions I have:

1. Will getting an air purifier help? Are they very sensitive to dust? My room doesn't feel particularly dusty to me.
2. If sneezing continues, at what point should I take her to a vet?
3. I happen to live in a state that does not legalize hedgehogs, can I still take her to a vet with no trouble if she gets sick?
4. Is there anything else I can do to diagnose the problem?

And also some other questions I've had that I might as well merge into this thread:

5. I always hear her scratching her house, I think its to file her nails. Is it common to put a rock or something in the cage for them to do this on instead? Or am I way off?
6. I found a chicken-based weight control cat food that has 28% protein and 9% fat. Is that acceptable to feed a hedgehog?

Thanks in advance for any help!
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Old 01-17-2012, 06:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

1. Can't hurt. They're good for humans, too.
2. I would bring her in for a well visit anyway. bring up the sneezing, they can check it out.
3. This is where thousands of dollars in fines and euthanasia can come in. I would not trust a vet in the area. As much as they are out to care for the animal, I would not put it past them to call the authorities, because it is in their ethical code to alert.
4. Keep an eye out. The poo is from stress.
5. It's not to file. It's because they have a natural instinct to dig. If you search for how to make a dig box here, you'll find one. You'll want to trim their nails with a nail clipper... rocks will just hurt their feet.
6. What brand of food is it?
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Old 01-17-2012, 07:06 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

anyone know a place to get batryl from if they can't go to a vet? i think i seen a more diluted version available for birds that is being sold without a vets prescription
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Old 01-17-2012, 08:30 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerseymike1126
anyone know a place to get batryl from if they can't go to a vet? i think i seen a more diluted version available for birds that is being sold without a vets prescription
Not sure on if you could get it without a vet prescription, but I don't think the bird version would be a good idea (or anything along those lines). Antibiotics need to be given in doses that are proper for the animal, it's weight, and the problem at hand. If the hedgehog weren't getting a strong enough dose, or for long enough, you could very well just make the problem worse by killing the majority of the virus, but strengthening what manages to survive the antibiotics and making it harder to completely eradicate it.

To the OP, if you're not near the border of your state where you could go over the border and see a vet in a non-illegal state, then I'd just wait for some more answers. I know there's some people on here who have contacts through rescues that know vets who will see hedgehogs even in illegal states. They might be able to help suggest a vet near you that would be safe to take your hedgehog to. Though the sneezing could be due to bedding or something new in your apartment, it's also likely it could be a URI, especially since you got her from a pet store. Pet stores don't typically know much about hedgehogs, and may not have kept her warm enough. Even if she wasn't attempting hibernation, not being kept warm enough for a long enough time can cause them to develop a URI. And URIs can quickly develop into pneumonia in hedgehogs, which can just as quickly kill them.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

the bird version was more diluted than the small animal version...i believe the small animal is 22.4 or something around there while the bird was 10...clearly you would rather have the real deal, i am just trying to think of what someone should do if they have a hedgie with upper resp in an area that you can't take it to the vet. no one take my word on any of this though. if need be i could try to find out more on the subject
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

Could u take it to the vet nearby n just say that u were in town on a quick vacation when u noticed the concern with the hedgie? Then tell them that u actually live in a neighboring state? Maybe a ong shot , but an idea. Good luck.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

Without going to a vet, you can't be certain the hedgehog does have a URI and not something else. Also, baytril is not always the best choice. Baytril is very strong and for a mild respiratory issue, something that strong may not be needed. Only a vet can be the judge of that.
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Old 01-17-2012, 09:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

really? i seen the small animal batryil (which is a much more diluted version) be given out by vets all the time for small animals, reptiles, and birds
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

Thanks for all the helpful comments Unfortunately, after waiting another day, she is still sneezing... although luckily the condition has not worsened.

I called a vet nearby and asked if they will treat hedgehogs and they said yes, so I think I will bring her there tomorrow. If she is stressed, what usually causes the stress? I take her out of the cage to roam around for about 30 minutes a day, is this too much or too little? The poop has turned back to brownish, but I dunno, it seems to alternate sometimes. The cat food by the way is this one: Link.
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Old 01-19-2012, 08:51 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie is sneezing, and other questions.

i willing to bet its URI. sneezing and its new hedgie from a petstore in the winter, little bit of meds and it will go away
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