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Old 10-22-2017, 10:43 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Amputation of leg

Hi everyone! I am new to this site and have been reading a lot. 2 weeks ago tomorrow we had to get my daughters hedghog Hadley?s leg takin due to her getting her foot caught in her wheel. When she came home she was ok for a few days but now she is almost completely stopped eating. We took her for her 10 day checkup last Friday and the vet is worried about her liver. They didnt tell me before that her liver could have issues if she doesn?t eat for a period of time. They just said it was her meds and she would be ok! So she probly went about 4 days without eating. I am now feeding her baby food thru a syringe along with her a second dose of antibiotics. They gave her an injection to keep her from dehydration but I am so worried about her. They told me if she doesn?t eat by tomorrow we may have to hospitalize her. We have already spent so much money and I really don?t think we can do that. Has anyone else had to have an amputation done and was your hedgehog ok? Or is there any special thing you have tried and it work for a fatty liver?
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Old 10-22-2017, 12:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, hedgehogs shouldn't go for more than a day or two without eating, similar to cats & ferrets. Their bodies are designed to need regular food intake & they start immediately using fat for energy if they don't have food - their liver has a hard time dealing with this & it causes fatty liver disease. I had this happen with one of my girls, as she was hugely overweight & lost the weight too fast.

Let the vet know what your remaining budget is like - they should be willing to give you some different options to work with besides just hospitalizing because that is quite expensive.

Baby food is okay for syringe feeding, but in this situation I would look into some other options that have more nutrition - see if you can get Hills A/D from your vet. It's a canned food meant for syringe-feeding & is a good option for sick hedgehogs that aren't eating on their own. You want to aim for getting as close to 24-30ml of food in her per day as possible. You may have to feed her fairly frequently at first until she gets the hang of it & (hopefully) starts eating more in a session.

I haven't had experience with a hedgehog needing an amputation, but there are plenty of others who have gone through it. Usually if all heals well, the hedgehog adjusts & does fine with only three legs. Did the vet say how her leg looks?

Can you figure out why specifically she quit eating? Is she not coming out of her bed much? Not having much appetite? Has she thrown up at all? Various possibilities I can think of include cage not warm enough, possibly still in pain or not adjusting well to the loss of the leg & not willing to move around cage, feeling nauseated & not wanting to eat (can be a side effect of meds sometimes), or having a hard time eating for an unrelated health issue.

While you keep syringe feeding her, offer her some different food options in her cage. It's possible she quit eating once due to some nausea or not wanting to move, & now she feels crappy because of not eating, so the cycle continues. Once she's getting enough food from syringe-feeding, she may bounce back. You can offer her her normal food, some of the syringing food, maybe some cooked chicken, etc. See what she's willing to eat. You can also scatter some of her kibble in bed with her and/or move her food bowls close to her bed to see if she's more willing to eat if she doesn't have to move far.

The fluids against dehydration are good, but also keep syringing her water when you syringe-feed her, to help out. With Pancake, I usually gave at least 1ml of water at the beginning & ending of syringing session - as she got better at syringing, I would give 1ml & then keep offering water, she would turn her head away once she'd had enough water & was ready for food or to be done.

Good luck & let us know how she's doing. It can be stressful nursing a hedgie that won't eat, but hang in there. Hopefully she just needs a boost for a couple days & will start eating again soon.
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Old 10-22-2017, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you so much! We haven?t pin pointed why exactly she stopped eating. The vet just kept telling me it?s her meds. She was on a strong pain med and we lowered it and then finally took her off of it 3 days before her 10 day check. She doesn?t seem like she is in pain, when you touch her incision she doesn?t do much at all. At first the dr said she thought it was infected because it had a lot of scabbing but when she felt around it Hadley didn?t do anything and it?s not red and warm to touch. She just put her on a stronger antibiotic to make sure and the injection to help dehydration. She is a bit over weight so they said not to give her much food but I think she really needs it. I?m afraid to give her to much or not enough. The dr just said if she doesn?t eat by Monday either do blood work and check liver just in case. Could she be depressed? She hasn?t rode her wheel since the accident and she loved it! She has also had to change her bedding since she couldn?t use the paper bedding we had due to causing infection. Could she just be stressed due to the changes? All she does is sleep now, when I get her out she will walk around for awhile but I think she just goes to find somewhere to sleep. I have tried her favorites and different baby food and I also tried cat food just to see if she would eat it. She wants nothing!? I will definitely look into that Hills a/d, I just wonder why the vet hasn?t offered it to me. I will also cook some chicken and try that, I didn?t realize you could give them that.
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You should be syringe feeding her between 20 and 24 mls of food a day, if she isn't drinking you'll need to syringe her water too.

What kind of wheel does she have?
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Old 10-23-2017, 12:10 AM   #5 (permalink)
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The vet may not know, their experience with hedgehogs can be pretty variable since they're such unusual pets.

Pain meds can make them kind of woozy & sleepy, so that could be contributing to her inactivity. And yeah, she may very well be stressed by everything that's going on. I wouldn't worry about her not running on the wheel right now, but let us know what type it is, just in case that's a factor. But it might take her some time to adjust to the missing leg & everything else that's going on before she tries running again.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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We had the Silent Spinner red and white wheel made by Kaytee. It broke apart and that is how Hadley got her foot caught. I do not recommend this wheel at all. The farm we got her from highly recommended it so my daughter bought it. I called them and told them what happened and she said she will be looking into another one. We bought her another one that is one piece and I hope she will use it when it?s time.
I had her at the vet again today and they gave her another injection. They said it should be the final one. She did eat baby food by herself last night, not much, but anything is good. They gave her some Hills a/d today so we can try it. I sure hope she eats it.. The vet said she looks really good and feels she is ok overall. She doesn?t really know why she?s not eating except maybe stressed a little and maybe a little nausea from the meds but really shouldn?t be. So we are hoping since she ate last night she is on the mend. I asked her about sleeping all the time and she said this is a rough surgery on her so it may be a little while for her to adjust. So we will see! If she isn?t better she will try one more injection and if that doesn?t work then check her liver but she really doesn?t feel it?s that because she is moving around really well when she is out and she isn?t throwing up. So let?s hope she starts eating again.. I have 3 more days of antibiotics and will be glad for her to be done with them just to see if it is the meds.
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Old 10-23-2017, 09:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear that it was the Silent Spinner that caused the injury. They're definitely dangerous wheels. Hopefully she'll give the other a try when she's feeling better. Did you get a Comfort Wheel?

Hedgehogs do tend to food strike when they're stressed, so I'm guessing that's the reason. They tend to sometimes get themselves into a spiral too, since they go for a night or so without eating, feel crappy & don't want to eat, and get worse from there. The more you can get into her from syringe-feeding & with her starting to try a bit on her own, the more she should hopefully rebound. Glad to hear she tasted some baby food on her own! Fingers crossed that she'll keep improving & give the A/D a try too.
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