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Old 01-15-2018, 03:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Texas
Posts: 139
Default Need some advice...

Hey all...
Itís been a little over three weeks since Echo was diagnosed with cancer on his lower left jaw. I need some outside opinions, though, as Iíve been stressing myself out. Is it time to let him go?
Iím pretty sure the tumor has grown and can be felt underneath his throat now, but his behavior hasnít really changed. Heís still relatively friendly.
He hasnít played on his wheel in months because he also has two collapsed disks in his back. He has trouble moving around, but he still can. Because of this, he couldnít reach his food bowl, so I feed him his kibble on a plastic lid (itís basically soaked to a mush since he doesnít have many teeth left) and I make sure he gets enough water. I keep it close to his house so he doesnít have to move far. Heís not really active anymore because of his back.
Heís not on any medicine, as the vet didnít want to upset his stomach and make him stop eating. He also told me that when he stops eating is when I need to bring him in, but I just donít want it to be too late since I donít want him to suffer..
What do you guys think?

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Old 01-15-2018, 03:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Some photos of his tumor. Heís gotten pretty swollen. Also, sorry heís so dirty. My little guy definitely needs a bath..

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Old 01-15-2018, 08:24 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I was once told by a very smart lady, who was also a breeder and a hedgehog rescuer, that it's better to let them go an hour to soon rather than a minute to late. I agree with this. Hedgehogs are so go at hiding pain and trying to behave as normally as possible even when sick that I always chose to let mine go sooner rather than later. You have to think about their quality of life and decide if they still have good quality. You know your hedgehog best. Letting them go before they suffer is the greatest act of love that we can do for them.

Follow your heart and you will know if it's time. Hugs. My heart is with you.
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Retired breeder and active HWS rescue station
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Old 01-15-2018, 10:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I struggled with that decision. Nico had lost her ability to walk and would not eat kibble on her own. I ended up syringing her every night for months. She would eat just about every bug I put in front of her though. She did her best to move around despite having lost the use of both back legs. Even managed to trash her cage that way. I can't tell you when it's time, and even now I wonder if I should have double downed on my efforts and given her more time, but in the end, I know she was never going to get better. Or even better than she was. I knew a hedgehog that could not run is a hedgehog that was not living. When i finally worked up the courage to weigh her again and saw that she was half the weight she had been before her problems began, I knew it was just about time. I gave myself a week after that and took her in. And I made sure to give her everything I could think of on that last day to make her happy.

Whatever you decide, just make sure you can live with the decision. You can't undo it.
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Old 01-17-2018, 01:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you both. I think Iíve decided to go ahead and start saying goodbye. He hasnít been interested in eating much tonight, and Iím pretty sure I saw him flinching when he was chewing up his kibble.
The tumor seems to have hardened up a little more since yesterday, and he hissed like he was in pain when I touched it. He was also very cuddly tonight, which isnít typically like him. He loves to burrow and escape, but tonight he was more interested in sitting in his sack and under my chin. Even if it was an off day, I know heís not going to get any better. Heíll only get worse, and I dont want to see him go through that. I want to remember him as the happy boy that he is.

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