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Old 10-27-2010, 02:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Slightly worried

So I came home tonight and discovered that Pliny has a horrible looking welt/sore under his left front armpit. It most definitely was not there yesterday. It is quite angry and red. It looks like the skin has been broken/abraded. It feels like there is a scab as well. He was really twitchy and jumpy all day, even when burrowed under his liner (his favorite place to sleep) he kept huffing and jumping all day, as if his skin was very sensitive. I noticed he seemed very itchy during play time yesterday, was scratching himself frequently.
He is eating same as always, wheeling like a maniac and generally acting like his regular Pliny self, aside from his touchiness. His poop and pee are normal. As the weather is getting drier and colder here, I have begun to add flax seed oil to his food a couple of times a week. his ears are fine (not tattered at all). He was to go to the vet next Tuesday for his annual checkup, but I left them a message tonight to see if we can get in tomorrow morning as I am worried about what this is and the risk of infection. I am worried that he has been chewing at it and making things worse.
I doesn't seem to be a lump. And it looks like his right armpit might be getting irritated in a similar spot. I hope it is not a tumor-type thing (i always fear the worst). I have rinsed the area with warm water and put on regular polysporin.
I also include a photo. Sorry for the slight fuzziness, but it was taken on my phone. The sore is maybe half an inch in diameter and goes right into the armpit area. It must hurt like the dickens, poor little guy.
Have not found blood or anything in his cage to indicate that he may have rubbed it on something.

Advice? Suggestions? Might this be a Staph infection? Hope it is not something like ringworm (no idea where he might have picked something like that up)
I love my little guy to bits and am very worried about what this might be and upset that he is uncomfortable/in pain

Thanks
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Old 10-27-2010, 08:40 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

It sounds like you've done all the right things. Nothing to do but wait and see what it is.

Another possibility that occurred to me is that it could be some sort of allergy. Maybe to something in the food, or the bedding maybe.

Also this is shot in the dark but maybe mites. If he's twitchy and sensitive then maybe they are bothering him and causing him to chew the itchy spots. This is such a wild guess but I think it's possible.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:52 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

It's not mites and it's not an allergy. It looks like a spider bite. Veterinary care is what you need to prevent secondary infection and inflammation. Most likely an antibiotic and prednisone.

Hope it all turns out ok.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

I don't think it is mites. He has none of the other symptoms other than being itchy. I think the itchiness is more related to really dry skin - Calgary in the fall and winter turns into the land of no moisture. my own skin is getting quite dry as well - just that time of year.
I doubt it could be a spider bite - we don't really have nasty, biting spiders up here Although, who knows. Every so often a ugly looking spider appears out of nowhere, so it could be a bite of some sort.
The sore has not gotten any bigger this morning, although it looks more angry and red. He ate, wheeled and pooped like normal last night. We have an appointment at the vet in a couple of hours, so fingers (and paws) crossed.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

Oh - and he lives on liners (flannel) and his food hasn't changed in ages. The only new thing in his home is his CSW, which he absolutely loves!
one other thought (this might be way out there): Pliny got a little porky this summer. I was out of the country for a couple of months on a research trip and he was being hedgie-sat by my best friend (who did a great job), but he did gain some weight. He was around 390grams or so when I left and is now ranging from 410-420grams. he seems to have developed some fat deposits under the armpits. his 'fluffiness' is due, in part, to the slow demise of his old comfort wheel (hence the CSW) and he was not wheeling as much. He wheels like a maniac at warp speed on the CSW - could the, erm, fat rolls be rubbing and irritating his skin? As I said in my first post, it looks like there is redness appearing under his other armpit as well.
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:53 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThePliny
I doubt it could be a spider bite - we don't really have nasty, biting spiders up here Although, who knows.
All spiders bite. All spiders have venom. Not all spider bites are dangerous but a bite that is nothing more than an annoying itch to a human can be more serious in a small mammal.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

If this spot came on suddenly and you are already seeing that it is getting worse, take your hedgehog to a veterinarian and have it checked out. Hopefully it is nothing, but quick response may be the difference between life and death if this does turn out to be a spider bite.

I'm going to tell you about Lucky, I don't intend to scare anyone, but I do want to stress that if this is a spider bite, that it can be very serious. As backup to what Hedgemom said, I lost a hedgehog due to what we believed was a common brown house spider bite.

You can see images of Lucky on Laura Ledet's website. The images were taken after things started to go seriously downhill. Originally the bite site was just a little red welt with a spot of broken skin in the center that we believed was the actual bite. She went to the vet the very next morning. These images are not for the weak of heart, they demonstrate the rapid progression and destruction of surrounding tissue. Lucky was euthanised soon after that last image due to fluid filling her lungs. http://www.angelfire.com/wa2/comemeetmy ... sues3.html

We learned through this that my vet at the time was an idiot. A second vet told me that the hedgehog should have been put on antibiotics, prednisone and bendryal and that the wound site should never have been cut into. The vet had cut into the site to take a biopsy. Cutting into the site can help spread the venom into the surrounding tissue and can cause even more damage.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

We are off to the Vet in 30min. I agree that it could be a spider since it came out of nowhere; I just see them so rarely in my apartment, but that doesn't mean anything. I will certainly bring it up with my vet (who is an exotic specialist).
Thanks for the comments.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:28 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

I am hoping for the best for Pliny! Please update us as soon as possible! It is crazy how fast these things can appear on hedgehogs, you are being an amazing owner by seeking vet care so soon! Lots of love and well wishes
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:05 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly worried

Good luck! We will keep our quills crossed that it is nothing but a little irritation or there is a "simple" fix.
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