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Old 02-27-2018, 02:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Urgent! Vomited 7 times in one night

I've had my hedgehog Charlie for over a year now. He's a very social and playful hedgie, which hasn't changed over the past few weeks. However, I did notice a few weeks ago what looked like a little bit of vomit in his cage - after seeing the same thing on 2 separate occasions, I took Charlie to the vet.

The vet checked him out and confirmed that he looks healthy and social. No behavior changes or anything that stood out as abnormal - she prescribed Charlie some anti-biotics and pro-biotcis to balance.

I've been giving Charlie his medicine for 13 days now, and I haven't really noticed any puke around his cage since. Until last night - I put Charlie in a plastic bin to play, and this time it was obvious that he had puked 3 times after eating kibble. I cleaned that up, gave Charlie his daily medicine with a tiny piece of chicken and cous cous (his favorite). Shortly after that he puked twice more. About 10 minutes after cleaning that up, I made sure to watch him intently. It seemed like he was getting in a position to poop when his stomach started contracting and he puked again. This was the first time I actually witnessed him vomiting.

Despite all of this, Charlie still continued to play with his paper towel rolls and nibble on food. The vet has said that the next step would be to bring Charlie in for x-rays and blood work, which would require anesthesia and cost a minimum of $550 (plus the costs of additional tests after that). I feel so horrible, but I do not have the ability to pay these costs at the moment. I was hoping that maybe anyone else has experienced similar issues and can give any advice??
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Old 02-27-2018, 08:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My boy also vomits occasionally. I see the stains (he usually re-eats most of it if I don't happen to see it soon after it happens). I took him to the vet about it and the vet also said he seemed healthy but since at that time he was having lots of green poop/mucus he was put on Baytril and that sorted out the green poop.

I came to my own conclusions that it was the live superworms causing him to vomit since I'd usually find pieces of their exoskeletons in the dried vomit. We used to give him 2-3 supers (cut up into bite size pieces mixed with his food which we also soak so it is a mush consistency). So we tried removing all the worm shells (exoskeleton) from his food giving only the innards and his vomitting stopped. I think he finds it hard to digest them which is strange as they contain chitin which is suppose to help them digest it with ease? ><

Anyways recently we started giving just a couple bite size pieces of the exoskeleton parts again and most the time he's been ok. We also started him on canned mini crickets which is loves too. But a couple days ago I noticed a large area in his litter tray looked like dried food (ive seen it a few times before but couldn't tell if it was dried urine / feces mixed but this time it was such a large area I could tell it resembled his wet food all dried up, plus I saw another exoskeleton piece in it ><. We've stopped giving them again and it hasn't happened again. So I definitely think it's the exoskeletons causing him to vomit. Also since his food is sometimes quite watery, I'm not sure if he's just running so much (with a full stomach of fluid/food) and he throws up? Since the vomit recently has been in his litter tray at the entrance where he gets on his wheel. Just like humans can vomit after running a long distance!

Does your boy eat his kibble with ease? Sometimes my boy gets it stuck in the roof of his mouth (if we haven't mushed it up enough) and he'll try to dislodge it on his own and sometimes this makes him vomit. Or is there anything else he could be eating such as litter or bedding? My boy is on fleece but sometimes I notice little fuzz pieces caught in his nails where he's tried to dig at his fleece and I wonder if when he cleans his feet the fleece fibres are making him vomit sometimes? Like causing mini hair balls! (I do try to remove the fuzz from his nails when I see them and I'm wanting to change him off fleece for this reason and give him more natural bedding so he can dig! But that's another topic for another day!)

I'd be calling your vet and letting them know about his recent vomitting, as being repeatedly sick like that would indicate to me perhaps he has a blockage so the food can't be digested and so it's coming back up (if he isn't struggling to eat food or given insects etc). The fact he is acting normal and attempts to still eat would further indicate this but this is just my opinion.
Is the chicken you give him moist and cut into tiny pieces? It's not too dry so gets stuck in his throat or something? I'd probably stop giving him it and the couscous for a few days and see if he still continues to vomit. I also don't know if they can eat couscous, perhaps this is also causing him problems? It took my boy a few months of feeding superworms for him to start showing signs he was having problems eating them. I also had to stop giving him dubia roaches as they grew so big he actually choked whilst trying to eat one one time! >< he is a petit size hog even though he is 1.5yrs old.

Do you not have any pet insurance? It does sound like he might need an X-ray if the vomitting continues but try just giving him kibble and no other foods and see if it makes a difference.
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Old 03-16-2018, 10:49 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Hi! Thanks so much for your reply. I'm happy to hear that someone else is in the same situation and was able to find a solution. I think that the reason he was puking so much in one night was because he was eating the bottom layer of the hut that he sleeps in. I figured this out when I went to throw all his stuff in the laundry - so I made sure to take the hut out of the situation.

He seemed to be doing well after making this change - hadn't puked for about a week. But then this past week, he puked on 2 separate nights. I have experienced Charlie getting his kibble stuck in the roof of his mouth in the past, so I got him smaller kibble that wouldn't get stuck.

I do agree that his diet should be better - but honestly I have heard so many different things about what to feed that I never understood what was the best option. Right now, he eats Blue Buffalo indoor cat food and a couple of dried mealworms. What diet have you found to be successful for your hedgie?
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Old 03-17-2018, 05:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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No worries! Ah I'm glad the excessive vomitting at least stopped and that's good you found the previous cause! What was the hut made of just of our curiosity why he would want to eat / chew it?! >.<

Sorry to hear he's puking again . Could it be the dried mealies? How often do you give them and are they freeze dried ones? Freeze dried are known to cause impactation when fed too many so it could be these? Would seem to make sense with my boys issues with eating insects... Even if you don't feed everyday, if live superworms' exoskeltons are too much for my boy to digest and make him vomit even though they have the required chitin in them (I think their exoskeletons are tougher though), then freeze dried mealworms are probably no better or even worse as they no longer even have the enzyme to help hedgies digest them properly (they lose it when they go through the freeze drying process). After a while of eating them, I guess they get backed up in their gut and this is what causes them to vomit ~ this is purely just my opinion from what I've experienced so far...

We started Yuki on canned caterpillars a couple weeks ago... I only offered him 1x whole one, leaving it in his cage over night. In the morning it had gone but sure enough there was a vomit dried patch in his litter pan again! ><
I waited a couple nights and this time cut 1x caterpillar in half and spread out giving him one half during bonding time and the other half in his cage to forage during the night and he was fine! ^.^ ~ive been feeding 3-4 quarters of one caterpillar a night and he hasn't been sick. So this makes me think it's also the size. Caterpillars have soft exoskeltons so it must be easier to digest at least but since my boy is petit maybe he has a gag reflex like a toddler can and can only eat very small pieces of food ><

See how the new size kibble goes. But to be honest I use x4 types of cat kibble and the smallest size one is one of the hardest ones! >< I know this because I soak Yuki's food for him (he won't touch kibble dried but gobbles it up when it's all mushy!). So even though it's small, if it's hard this is what could get stuck in the root of his mouth as it doesn't break down as easily. I don't use blue buffalo so I don't know what the kibble consistency is like. You could test it by putting one piece of kibble in some water and see if it swells up after 10 or so minutes. If it does it should be easier for him to eat. If it's still hard and takes effort to mash up with a spoon then it might be too hard for your boy and get caught in the roof of his mouth when he's trying to chew it and it mixes with his saliva.

What seems to be working for Yuki currently....I use Halo adult chicken (very soft when soaked), halo adult salmon (also soft), now fresh senior small size type (small pieces and hard, they take longer to soften when soaked. I'm sure they did a normal size before and they were fine but I can only seem to get the small size version and they're much harder!) and natural balance duck and green pea (so hard and takes ages to soften when soaked! ~ I'm going to change this one when I've finished the bag to a different brand and probably use one that has hair ball control, in case Yuki does sometimes eat fleece fibres). Yuki gets this every night (big portion) and also a smaller portion for breakfast. In the evening I put x2 superworm innards in the wet mix and remove the shells before mushing it altogether. I then use x1 caterpillar cut into 4 pieces and use during bonding time and put a piece in his cage buried under fleece strips to find during the night. I will introduce mini crickets again (ran out atm), and still need to try canned snails and grasshoppers but grasshoppers are jumbo size so probably won't do too well with those! ><. I'm also going to start farming mealworms once the superworms are all gone, I think their exoskeltons are a little softer than supers and Yuki did ok with them canned previously. Perhaps you could try canned mealies if you haven't already?

Keep me posted on Charlie's situation, hopefully we can get to the bottom of the cause for both our hedgies and find resolutions!
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