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Old 01-04-2019, 05:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Texas_Hedgie's Avatar
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Location: Texas
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Question Sick Hedgehog not getting better

We have a 1 year old female hedgehog that is blind, has spondylosis (and arthritic change to the spine) affecting the rear 1/3rd of her spine, and chronic constipation; given her age, our vet believe she was born with all of these issues. The breeder we got her from is very good, and once her medical issues came to light bent over backwards to try and help us. We now manage her constipation with once weekly miralax and manage her spondylosis with metacam every three days. Her issues came to light when we brought her home, she was in a strange environment and did not adapt well, she stopped eating and her weight plummeted dangerously (we got her when she was 4 months old, her weight dropped below 300 grams before we finally got her turned around). It took several vet appointments, xrays and anesthesia to finally get the full picture.
As a result of treatment, she finally adapted, and started eating (highest maintained weight was 440 grams).
Now the problem - she has started losing weight again. She is still eating, drinking, pooping and wheeling, and her weight isn't plummeting but it is slowly, steadily trending downward. Over the last three weeks she has gone from 440 grams to 397 grams. Increasing her metacam from every three days to every two has slowed the decline, but hasn't stopped it. She is a very picky eater, and has no interest in anything we've offered besides her kibble (which I crush into powder, she will not eat whole kibble pieces) and the little bit of carnivore care we give her with her metacam (metacam has to be given with food, we give her roughly 1/2 a tablespoon mixed with warm water each dose and she maybe eats half of that).
We exhausted our resources getting her diagnosis and working to get her back on track so to speak, so we are financially tapped out.
I don't know if we are just reaching the end of her lifespan, of if she is having another medical issue.
If we need to, we are willing to rehome her to someone who could better help her, but if this is just the end and we need to be looking at her care as hospice care, I don't know what to expect or how to ease her.
Appreciative of any and all advice!
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Old 01-05-2019, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Manning, Alberta, Canada
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Since the increase in metacam seemed to help I would ask the vet about giving a daily dose. She could be experiencing more pain which would affect her appetite.
Retired breeder and active HWS rescue station
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