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Old 05-29-2018, 01:09 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: May 2018
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Default Help please.

I’m in need of urgent help or assistance. My pet hedgehog, Lucy is in horrible condition, I know what everyone’s thinking - Call a vet!! Trust me, my family and I spent multiple hours calling every vet in our state this weekend and not one single one of them saw “exotic animals” and were absolutely no help, I spent hours reading online tips to try, and also trying to find a solution. I’m emotionally torn up and I just don’t know what to do. I arrived home after a day of being out and was heading to feed and water my small animals, while I was refilling their food bowl I noticed my hedgehog turn and look at me and just drop, not lay down or ball up, I mean drop with her legs spread out. (And no she had never done this, or had ANY issue walking, or falling, or keeping balance). I immediately grabbed her and started a panic the first thing that came to mind was she got over heated due to us living in such a hot climate, I always leave a fan on for her to circulate the air in the room put I make sure to point it in different directions of the cage so it’s not blowing directly on her or two powerful. Also I want to attention she has never gone in hibernation before or has never (that I’ve seen) had any other heat exhaustion. This day in particular was very hot and my boyfriend had accidentally unplugged the fan in the room during that day, I plugged it back in and left it running for a couple hours and the room was cooled off before she dropped, when I grabbed her and assumed it was heat exhaustion I immediately wanted to cool her off but not too fast so I placed her in the sink and began running cool water on her she would respond to the water by squirming in it but when I picked her up it was like she was fading in and out of consciousness, I dried her off and held her in front of a fan while syringing her some fluids such as room temperature water with dissolved sugar, Gatorade, and boiled down cat food mixed with water. (I know this may not be the smartest ideas but I’ve only worked with dogs and cats before so I took reaction to their heat exhaustion situation assuming it may be similar) she reacted well to these she was swallowing well and not holding it in her mouth but during this time her eyes were still rolled back and were cloudy looking, and she just seemed weak, with shallow breathing. I held her close and let her sleep. She seemed to be getting chilly and was extremely tired seemingso I decided to start trying to wake her from a stage of hibernation that seemed to be accruing, I started with a heating pad, I placed it under her under covered with a blanket and towel to prevent burning that seemed to perk her up she started to open her eyes more and started licking her nose like her normal self (which she hadn’t done since she collapsed) this immediately made me feel like a huge improvement was taking place after about 20 minuets of nothing else I decided to up the steps, I then took her into the bath and placed her on her back in warm water she then started to become even more herself I thought this was great considering she seemed to Be “coming to” I left her there for about 10 more minuets and took her out and towel dried the blow dried very carefully and on low settings and from a far. She balled up and stuck her spikes out and kind of hissed (which once again she hadn’t done since I found her) I thought she was going to finally come around and become her full self but the I noticed her slowly wearing again she turned to her side as if to get up and she couldn’t even stand on her own her little legs almost look broke with how weak they are, and her skin still feels dehydrated, I grabbed her heating pad and covered her with the blanket and laid with her. She seems to be just fighting back and forth one moment she’s almost back to normal the the next it’s like she’s not even there, I need any ideas of things to try to help I will do whatever it takes to save her, any ideas at all. I found one vet around 4 hours away that said she may be able to look at her I could make the trip if She has a chance, if it would be worth it. but if it’s sounds critical enough where I should just make sure she’s comfortable and keep her home I’d rather do that I know I sound uneducated but please I’m in desperate need of help to save our Lucy (please excuse any spelling errors or any messed up sentences it’s hard to post on this on a mobile phone while taking care of her).
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Old 05-29-2018, 01:28 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Posts: 225

If it is overheating, your hedgehog needs, absolutely NEEDS a vet. Her life is in danger. Here is one post that shows an example of what can happen from overheating and the dangers. The hedgehog died soon after.
(Please don't post on this link as it is an old one)

How hot did it get in her cage? Do you have a CHE light and thermostat? Also, even if the fan was not directly on your hedgehog, drafts are not good. I'm not even sure if it was overheating or too cold because of this, or even a mixture of both.
If you really do not have the money to keep the air conditioner on for her, you can provide a ceramic/marble tile for your hedgehog to lie on. You can also place an ice pack on top of the cage (NOT in it) and the cold air can drift downwards.

Last edited by autumnfox; 05-29-2018 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 05-29-2018, 02:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 815

I think the constant hot and cold temp changes probably isn't helping, I know you mean well.

Never put a hedgehog in water if they appear sick, the sudden change in temperature can put them in shock. You need to very slowly cool (or warm) them. Heating pads are not good idea, it's too much heat too suddenly. Your body heat is enough to keep her warm and like autumnfox suggested ways to cool down naturally using cool surfaces.

Try keep her in a stable condition, not moving her too much. You can gently pinch her skin to check if she is dyhydrated, it will quickly go down if she isn't. Make sure she is drinking, little and often. Are there no vets close by that can help with possible estivation in small animals?
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Old 05-29-2018, 08:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: Manning, Alberta, Canada
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I would show up with her at the closest vet and refuse to leave until they see her. This sounds like a life and death emergency and no decent vet would refuse to see an animal in that condition. If it is heatstroke/exhaustion then she may have an electrolyte imbalance from it.
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