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Old 06-29-2012, 12:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default It was cancer...

Hello everybody,
Some time ago I wrote a post saying that my hedgy was vomiting a lot and I didn't know what was wrong with him. Well, after two vets and no answers I was starting to lose faith.. my hedgy was losing weight (3 months vomiting does that to you...) and his poops had blood. Well, in a phorum I read about a girl (vet student) from another city who needed 20 hedgies to do an ultrasound scan of their kidneys for her research. I contacted her and she told me she could expand the ultrasound in order to include the abdomen and see if there was something wrong there. So... I travelled and they checked him and did the US scan. The vet (the girl's teacher) told me they found a lymphoma and that there was nothing they could do to help me. I am heartbroken... my Shakespeare is only 5 months old, barely starting his life... now I'm currently giving him medicine for his stomach and making him gain weight to start a treatment with corticoid (he's weighting 190gr, and he should probably weight 350gr...)

I wonder if some of you have had any similar experience and if you know how I could prolong my hedgie's life... he's not in pain and he's very happy and playfull...

Thank you...

Fran

pd: sorry if I made some mistakes, I speak Spanish...
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: It was cancer...

I am so very sorry for your pain and the illness of your little boy. I have no experience with hedgies. But I have had sick pets and lost pets and understand this loss. Hopefully others will be along soon with possible advice for you. Again, I am so very sorry.
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Old 06-29-2012, 08:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: It was cancer...

I've had a hedgehog with lymphoma. We gave her prednisone in chemo doses and the cancer shrank and even went into remission for a while. She lived about 11 more mores after diagnosis (we were told only a couple of months). Cancer sucks, and it can happen in even the young. My youngest was only 1 year and 1 week when we saw the first symptom. It really does suck.

Talk to your vet about changing his diet. Or supplements you can add to help support his body.

Cancer tends to cause the body change. Plus there are some studies out there that show carbohydrates feed some types of cancer. With several hedgehogs who have had cancer I have switched their diets to a very high protein/low carb diet (one which isn't appropriate for your normal healthy hedgehog) and they have done very well. The lymphoma hedgehog was switched just after diagnosis, and while I have no proof that it helped her out live her prognosis, I cannot say it hurt her any. The last time I had one with cancer I fed Evo Weight Management ( 50% protein/15% carb) along with Blue Buffalo Wilderness Salmon (40% protein/23.5% carb). That hedgehog lived for nearly 1.5 years with her cancer while on that food.

For supplements, I give salmon oil (for the omega fatty acids), ip6, vitamin c, acidolphilus (helps keep the GI happy) and last time we added lysine & arginine. Talk to your vet before using such items though. But I would ask.
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: It was cancer...

Thank you Shetland and Kalandra, I am currently feeding him with Hill's A/D grastrointestinal and Royal Canin Sensitive 33, plus I'm giving him some chicken and mealworms. I don't think we have those brands of food you mention (I live in Chile) but what do you think of the diet I just mentioned? In my city I can find royal canin, hill's, pro plan, techni-cal, eukanuba and some other I don't remember now...

I will see another vet this afternoon, she's interested in helping me and see if there is another option. I will mention the prednisone to her.

Thank you again, I'm very sad, somehow I always thought he was going to be with me for a lot of years...
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Old 06-29-2012, 02:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: It was cancer...

Talk to your vet, maybe he can give you some ideas of what foods are available that may help. Not all cancers behave the same way, so discuss it with your vet first.

If your vet thinks a low carb diet would be ok, take a look at the percentages on the products. I think with Royal Canin they have a 40% Selective protein variety. I don't know if it is available in Chile, but it looks it is under 25% carb.

To figure out the carb percentage, add the percentages for: protein, moisture, fat, fiber & ash. Then subtract from 100. The actual carb percentage should be close to that amount.

Good luck, and hopefully you'll find a protocol that will give you extra time together. Cancer sucks, whether it is in a young hedgehog or an old hedgehog, it just sucks.
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Old 06-30-2012, 12:05 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: It was cancer...

Thank you Kalandra, I'll do that. They are currently examining the scan and they'll tell me what they think, but I don't have my hopes up...

By the way, I just realized prednisone was the same thing the vet told me to give Shakespeare when he gains some weight.

And you're right, cancer sucks... my aunt died of cancer, my mom had cancer (she's ok now) and now my hedgehog... gah, it's horrible u.u
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Old 07-05-2012, 09:34 PM   #7 (permalink)
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How is your boy doing?
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:09 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: It was cancer...

Oh, Kalandra, I forgot to update on Shakespeare's condition. He died only 1 month after his diagnosis, he was extremely thin, I tried to feed him with a syringe but it was a mess, I could only give him water. It was a holliday and the vet was closed, it took 3 days of agony, seeing him barely opening his eyes... I'm actually glad he passed, that was not a good life to live, he sufferend a lot and he deserved to rest...

Now at least I have Noelia and Atenea to keep me company, but I still miss him a lot...
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Old 01-01-2013, 03:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: It was cancer...

So sorry. Cancer is awful.
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