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Old 03-25-2012, 07:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

Hi everybody!
I'm a first time hedgie owner and really worried about my hog who hasn't eaten in over 3 days now and has really runny diarrhea. Been to the vet yesterday but he could really find anything in her stools. I wondered if you guys had any idea what is going on and if there's anything I can do or change to help my hog feel better soon. Sorry for the long list below, but I wanted to include everything just in case. I would really appreciate any thoughts you have.

- How old is your hedgehog? 8 months
- How long have you owned your hedgehog? 6 months
- Has there been any changes in the 2-3 weeks prior to the symptoms starting? Her wheel broke so I had to replace it. She hasn't used the new wheel since i put it in her cage about a week ago.
- What is the temperature of the hedgehogs cage? 24 degrees celsius (I think that's 75/76 fahrenheit?) on a thermostat and has been this way since I got her.
- What is the lighting schedule? about 8 am to 10 pm

Please add dates that symptoms occurred: 4 days ago she made a real mess of her cage, tore up the newspaper under her liners, threw her water dish over, and pooped in her sleeping area. Everything was wet and dirty in the morning and I cleaned her cage. I don't know if this is related to her symptoms but I thought I should add this information because she normally is a very clean hedgehog and never makes such a mess.
The day after that I noticed she stopped eating and hasn't eaten a bite since. I put all her favorite treats out but she wouldn't touch those either. She has been up during the day way more than normal and sleeps a lot and in unusual places. 2 days ago she got diarrhea and seems more lethargic. I've seen her drink every day, but started to syringe her a bit more water today because I thought that couldn't really hurt.
I took her to the vet yesterday and he gave me antibiotics and antiparasitic and i started to syringe her those yesterday. I don't have any other pets so a parasite seems unlikely to me.


Weight
353 grams

Poop
- almost liquid, but with dark color (about the same color as usual i think)
- smells stronger than normal
- pooping in bed


Urine
No changes as far as I can tell

Nose
no sneezing or anything out of the ordinary
mucous - clear liquid



Breathing
normal

Eating
Not at all. Food hasn't changed.
Water intake as far as I can tell is normal, but I don't really know how much she should drink in a day.


Skin
No skin problems, vet thought she was in very good condition.

Vomiting
No vomiting I think

Activity
Sleeps more, no wheeling and unrolls easier when I take her out, which normally would take quite a long time.

Meds
I don't know if the name is the same, because I'm from the Netherlands, but here it is:
Flagyl 200 mg/5ml suspense per ml
1 time a day 0,3 ml for 5 days (given her first dose yesterday)
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Old 03-25-2012, 08:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

Flagyl is the typical medicine for intestinal issues. You will need to start syringe feeding her food too. Your vet should carry a food meant for syringe feeding but until then, buy any good quality canned cat food and what I do is put it through a fine sieve. Any little clump will clog the syringe. She needs to have food into her asap or Fatty Liver Disease can start after a couple days without food.

You can also give her canned pumpkin, the unseasoned stuff that is just plain pumpkin. It should help firm up her poop.

Sending prayers that she will feel better soon.
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:08 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

Hi all!
Nancy: thanks so much for the quick reply, I immediately started syringe feeding her food after your message.

Unfortunately I don't have any good news so far. The vet thinks she has/had a bowel infection. I had to syringe feed her powdered food (from the vet) and water every day. Since there was no improvement after my first vet visit, I took her to the vet again last week and started her on new medication: enrofloxoral and metocloral drops. Although the diarrhea stopped after that, her feces turned green (and has stayed that way since) and she still wouldn't eat or drink.
Last saturday I noticed she couldn't walk properly either and took her to the vet for the 3th time. Because she was so weak and lost a lot of weight (from 353 grams to 309 grams) he kept her there and has been feeding her with a probe and put her on a drip for fluids. She gained a little weight back but still won't eat or drink anything.

Also it seems that her leg is starting to die off for some reason (maybe got caught between something, or the bowel infection has spread?). It's turning black now, she doesn't use it and doesn't seem to have feeling in it. It's her back leg and probably won't heal anymore, so either it's going to fall off on its own, or I have to let them amputate it. The vet thinks she's too weak for surgery so she's still getting antibiotics and now a painkiller as well. (She's been at the vet's since saturday so this is information I got over the phone and haven't seen it myself.)

Does anyone have any idea or advice on what to do? And, if she gets better from the bowel infection, does she have any quality of life without her back leg? Can she still wheel with just 3 legs after everything has heeled? I just don't want to drag her trough all of this if she doesn't have a happy life to look forward to.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated, I'm so worried about my little girl and just don't know what to do now that she has the leg problem as well.
Thanks

p.s. I'm from the Netherlands, so if there's anything unclear because of spelling or grammar errors, please let me know.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

Your English is near flawless, so no worries there (:

I have read several cases where hedgehogs have led perfectly normal, happy lives with only 3 legs, so I'm sure you're little one will be fine in that regard.
Hopes and prayers for the best, too. Keep us updated
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Old 04-10-2012, 03:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

When I was a vet tech I met a hedgie that had to have her back left leg amputated-- she was very happy and active, and even still wheeled! She passed away at 6 years old, she went for almost 4 of them without her leg. She's in my prayers that she'll regain her strength and fight off whatever it is that's ailing her-- keep us updated!
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:55 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

Thank you both so much for the positive vibes. It's really good to know she still has a chance at a happy life after this. I also have some good news to report: yesterday she started eating kibble again on her own! I'm very pleased about that. And the vet thinks she gained enough strength from the extra food and fluids he's been giving her the past week to survive surgery. So he's going to amputate her back leg today. If the surgery goes well I can pick her up later today. Fingers crossed!
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

Quills crossed here for an uneventful surgery and recovery.

Just a side note. There have been plenty of tri-pod hedgehogs who have done very well. A couple that I remember very well were cared for by Standing Bear, at the Flash & Thelma Memorial Rescue. The rescue had a couple of Californians once that came in with gangrene in their back legs. Hopefully I get this right, but SB always reported that both hedgehogs lost a portion of those legs. Wilma lost most of one of her legs, and you could hardly tell that she was handicapped by how well she got around. Fred lost portions of both back legs, and while he had a limp, he still got around just fine. They lived at the rescue for at least 2 or 3 more years. So yes they can live pretty normal lives while missing limbs.
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Old 04-13-2012, 12:59 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

Just said a prayer for your little one today. Please let us know how it went. HUGS.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

I just got home after picking her up from the vet's office. The surgery went okay, but they had to remove more tissue than they thought: her entire back leg including the hip. And there's still a patch of skin that doesn't look good. The vet's worried about that so I'll have to keep an eye on it and continue the antibiotics. She started eating and drinking immediately after getting home, so that's a good sign I think. Walking is difficult for her, she's just going around in circles, so I put her near her food and water and hope she gets the hang of it soon.
Thank you all for your support, I really appreciate it.
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: 8 months old hedgehog won't eat and diarrhea

i just read this what a trooper. i hope all goes well and ill be watching for updates
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