Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise. - Hedgehog Central – Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 05-29-2012, 10:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

Good Morning Everyone,

I have a question for you all, my hedgehog Loki has recently begun making these "coughing" noises. However they are infrequent and seem to occur after receiving a mealworm/being returned to his cage. (I have had it occur in both situations). He has only made these "coughing" sounds a maximum of four times in the past 7-10 days and they only last for a few seconds. It is not a loud or jerking noise. Its rather quiet and sounds like a combination of his usual squeeks while exploring with a huff or pft noise but in succession with his breath being more apparent, you can visibly see his sides move. This is not constant, I have monitored him throughout the day without any "coughs" at all, and then it will randomly occur one evening. Has anyone experienced this before? Thanks very much!



-How old is your hedgehog? 10-12 weeks old
- How long have you owned your hedgehog? Just over two weeks
- Has there been any changes in the 2-3 weeks prior to the symptoms starting? He was moved into his new home with me two weeks ago from a pet store and started treatment for mites.
- What is the temperature of the hedgehogs cage? Between 24-26 degrees Celsius
- What is the lighting schedule? 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark. Usually 6am-6pm.

I have noticed “coughing” very occasionally… Maybe three times in the past week. Only lasting for a few seconds.

Weight
Do you weigh regularly? When weighed one week ago he was 223 and is now 252.
Poop
- normal size and texture, soft but formed
- colour normal, light brown to brown
- Smells as it has since the start, his food contains fish meal so it is a bit smelly, but nothing off putting unless you lift it right under your nostrils…

Urine
Normal, clear yellow.

Nose
No sneezing unless he smells something new or tries sniffing food pieces
No mucous, his nose is wet but not running.
Occasional licking after smelling food, or drinking.

Breathing
Normal

Eating
- His eating is the same, he loves his food
- Two to three tablespoons.
- Any difficulty crunching food? No
- Has there been a new food or treat recently and if so, how long ago? No.
- Is the water the same as usual? More when he runs frequently, but roughly the same

Skin
Scratching – Very rarely
Dry skin – Small amount, still recovering from mites.
- Sores – he has small scabs on his feet and tiny cracks, I perused forums here and it seems that these could be caused by his wheel (he just started using it this weekend) His wheel is a Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel.
Rash – No rash visible
Quills – minor Quill loss

Vomiting
No vomiting.

Activity
Normal

Meds
-Was given Ivermectin over two weeks ago. And I did not continue it for his second treatment.
-Revolution administered on Saturday(May 26th) morning.
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Old 05-29-2012, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

are you sure it's coughing and not a happy chirping? a video might help
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

@shawnwk1

Definitely not a happy chirping noise, his chirps are very "sing-song" like when he is happy and tends to rumble/purr along with it. I can attempt to get a video of it, its just sporadic in when it happens, sometimes not occurring for a few days, I will do my best though.

On a side note, I was cleaning his cage up this morning, filled his water and gave him his morning snack when I noticed something stabbing my knee. When I picked it up I noticed it was a tooth, looked molar like to me with a small point on one side. I didn't have time to grab a photo of it this morning before work, however I would be able to tonight... Loki is only 10-12 weeks old and this concerns me. However he was at the vet for a general check up 2 weeks ago and declared healthy in all aspects minus the mites... Is there something I should do?
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

Could his food be too hard causing him to choke and maybe broke a tooth? I've only had one lose a tooth and still don't know why for sure but its not bothering him. Kalandra told me awhile back it could be cause for concern. Have you tried contacting the vet to see if he wants to see him?
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Old 05-30-2012, 11:16 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

I found some other threads in here on tooth loss and it seems that it can and does happen. I think I will moisten his harder kibbles and only leave a few of his softer hard food just to keep his teeth clean. I checked his mouth and his gums are pink with no bleeding. I noticed a slight dip in his eating a couple days ago, but it is normal now. Maybe the gum was tender at the time it was lost but has returned to normal now. He seems unbothered. I will keep an eye on him and if anything seems amiss then I will contact the vet, since he was there not long ago for a check up, I don't think a gum issue could have arisen so quickly as he was also there on Saturday for his 2nd mite treatment and overview.
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Old 05-31-2012, 03:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

The way you described the coughing noise sounds like the way my hedgie does when she sneezes. She's down with an UTI at the moment so is sneezing quite a bit, I'm sure your guy is ok though. Could it be something like that? She almost makes a kind of BLAT noise for want of a better way of describing it.
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Old 06-01-2012, 12:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Erin132
The way you described the coughing noise sounds like the way my hedgie does when she sneezes. She's down with an UTI at the moment so is sneezing quite a bit, I'm sure your guy is ok though. Could it be something like that? She almost makes a kind of BLAT noise for want of a better way of describing it.
I am not sure... it is kind of like a sneeze/cough combination when I think of it. The only way I can think of describing it is as a soft click noise. Not like the "Iamsuperpissedoffstoptryingtotouchmeyougiantbeast lyhuman" clicking, but very soft clicking combined with a quiet/soft sneeze. He doesn't do it very often though, so its hard for me to catch a recording of it. And he will make maybe 5-10 of these noises at a time, then nothing like it for hours or days.
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Old 06-01-2012, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

What kind of bedding is he on? If fleece what are you washing it with? He could be allergic to the bedding or detergent. A vet visit isn't a bad idea to rule out any infections. If it is a uri you don't wanna let it go or it can turn into pneumonia.
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Old 06-01-2012, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shawnwk1
What kind of bedding is he on? If fleece what are you washing it with? He could be allergic to the bedding or detergent. A vet visit isn't a bad idea to rule out any infections. If it is a uri you don't wanna let it go or it can turn into pneumonia.
He is on fleece, which is washed with an all natural brand detergent with no scent. He has shown no irritation to it/no sneezing at all. He has been to the vet, barely a week ago and was declared healthy. As I said the "coughing" is random, would it not be more consistent if it was an allergy to his bedding? (just curious).

However... I just thought of this. The last time he "coughed" was right after I cleaned his cage and his tubing/wheel and litter liner with water and vinegar.. Could he perhaps just be reacting to the lingering smell of vinegar?
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Old 06-01-2012, 06:10 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Potential Coughing? Please help in identifying the noise.

Vinegar is usually pretty safe, but they do have sensitive respiratory systems. It's possible his is more sensitive to vinegar or just like humans we all have different allergies so it may just be one of his. Doesn't have to be the bedding he's allergic too. Is there anything else new in his play pen, cage, food, etc.
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