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Old 03-10-2014, 01:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Would like opinions- possibly WHS?

My 3 year old hedgehog may have WHS. Although I've read it's usually progressive, could it happen over night? One day Felix is playing like usual and the next he won't move, eat, or drink water. For a day I syringed him water and baby food mixed with water but no improvement so I took him to an emergency vet. Vet said it could be VHS but his wobbliness could be caused by dehydration and the fact he wasn't eating. So vet gave him Pepcid and some electrolytes in hopes Felix is just having belly issues. He also have me carnivore care (I believe that's what it's called) to syringe feed 4-6 times a day.
It's been a day later and still no improvement. All Felix does is sleep and fights when I syringe him food and water.
He did try to hibernate a little over a month ago but has seemed fine every since and I've been keeping an eye on his cage temp which is always around 77 degrees.

To those who have taken care of wobblies, does this seem like what it is? Should I still wait a few days for improvement? I've heard about vestibular syndrome, could it be that?

I honestly don't know what to think and my heart is breaking over my baby ):
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Old 03-10-2014, 03:12 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It doesn't seem like it could be WHS. Does he have a good light schedule?
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Old 03-10-2014, 06:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No I don't have a light schedule at all. I just always have is lamp on. How should I transition him to a good schedule, and what is a good schedule? Would that really make a difference?
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Old 03-10-2014, 07:06 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It's not WHS. It doesn't move that fast, it takes weeks to start getting worse.

What does he look like when he walks? Does he just shake a little bit but otherwise normal? Does he tilt his head at all or frequently fall over on one side or move in one direction? Does his movement seem impaired the same all over, or does it look at all like he might be worse on one side or it's just one side not working?

I'm kind of wondering if perhaps he had a stroke or something. I'm not sure what other things there are that could suddenly cause such a huge change in a hedgehog overnight. If he did have a stroke, he'll be very slow to recover, and he may never recover fully. It doesn't sound like the emergency vet knows much about hedgehogs or what to do with them. Is there a vet that you typically take him to that's more experienced with hedgehogs? He needs to go back to a vet and be seen again without the vet just writing this off as WHS. It's almost definitely something else and a vet can help you figure out what that might be and how to help him. If you don't have a regular vet, it'd be a good idea to start looking around at vets in the area & calling to see if anyone would be a good option.

EDIT:

"Always have his lamp on" - is his heating lamp one that gives off heat only? Or does it give off light too? If it also gives off light, it'd be a good idea to switch to one that emits heat only, a ceramic heat emitter. A lot of hedgehogs are bothered by the light from reptile heating lamps that give off both. For a light schedule, hedgehogs need 12-14 hours of light during the day (not dependent on natural light) to help avoid hibernation issues. I would guess this isn't hibernation though if you've gone through that before. It tends to be pretty obvious, and he would be cold or cool to the touch in addition to the other issues.
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Last edited by Lilysmommy; 03-10-2014 at 07:09 AM.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:53 AM   #5 (permalink)
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When he stands, he wobbles back and forth. When he tries to walk, it just seems his legs don't want to support him but it does seem he leans to one side over the other.

I don't have a normal vet for him because he's never shown signs of illness until now. I honestly only went to the emergency vet because they were the ONLY vet I could find within a 70 mile radius that would see him. There is another vet that is closer though and I've been told are very experienced in exotics, I'll probably give them a call.

And yes, his heat lamp also gives off light. I'll go to the pet store today to find just a ceramic light and transition him to a light schedule.
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Old 03-10-2014, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good luck with that vet! I hope you guys can figure out what's going on with him and it's nothing too debilitating for him. Keep us updated, I know I'll be thinking of you guys.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I took Felix to the new vet and sadly it wasn't good news. After blood work it was determined his kidneys were failing, the vet believes he had some sort of congenital kidney disease that he has always been dealing with. Even with treatment, his blood levels were too bad that she didn't think he would pull through and we both agreed to put him out of his misery. He will always be my baby boy and I feel a part of my heart is gone.

Thank you for the support and advice. I will have to remember it all when if and when I get my next hedgie.
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Old 03-10-2014, 11:36 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for the bad news and for your loss... Sending you lots of hugs and good thoughts. RIP little Felix, I'm glad that at least you're free from any pain.
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Old 03-14-2014, 10:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am so sorry that you lost your little love. Especially since it was so sudden and you had no forewarning. When I lost my first hedgie, Snoball I felt like I would die too. I hope you can just try to remember the good times you had with him and know that he is no longer suffering.
Take care,
Susan H.
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