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Old 11-13-2010, 12:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

Hi everyone,

Col. Mustard is sick and I had to take her to the vet this morning, but the regular doctor who has more experience with hedgehogs wasn't there so she was seen by other doctor, and I just want to make sure we're on the right track to get her back to her feet.

Background: female, 16 months old (give or take, she was adopted when turning 1 year old), eats a mix of Natural Balance Green Pea & Duck, Wellness Healthy Weight and Harmony Farms Chicken and Brown Rice Recipe, + treats (mealworms, chicken, eggs, bananas.) I have her in a C&C cage with fleece liner, she has a CSW, I have a CHE set up and temperature and light schedules are always consistent. She was treated for upper respiratory infection when we first got her in July/August.

Col. Mustard was just fine, healthy and happy as usual prior to this events.

On Wednesday evening I gave her a bath and she managed to snort a lot of water up her nose, so we were on URI watch over here.

On Thursday I noticed she had a runny nose and was sneezing a little. I also noticed decrease in activity and appetite, but she did ate a little and ran on the wheel for a while.

On Friday I had a long day at work and got home only at 10:30pm, to find Mustard acting very lethargic. I also thought she had drank little if no water at all all day, so I gave some water with a syringe.

This morning I woke up to find she barely ate last night and did not wheel at all, so I took her to the vet.

Vet said she has an upper respiratory infection and was dehydrated. She put her on antibiotic (Doxycycline) twice a day for two weeks, gave her subcutaneous fluid, and sent me home with Prescription A/D food. She told me to watch her and if by Monday or Tuesday she hasn't shown any sings of improvement, that I should take her in again.

Does this sound right? I'm just worried that it seems she got very sick so quickly, is this normal? Can they get so debilitated in just 2 1/2 days?

Any input would be very appreciated.

Thank you,
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Old 11-13-2010, 07:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

Anyone?
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

yes, i do believe that things progress very quickly in hedgehogs. please keep us posted!
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Old 11-13-2010, 08:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

For what you've described, it sounds like good treatment. Hedgehogs can go downhill in a matter of hours because they hide their symptoms so well. That's one reason I get upset when someone posts "Bob has been like this for a week, what should I do?". Typically the answer is call the crematorium because a week is too long to recover from.

It's imperative to get quick treatment when your hedgehog is sick. It sounds like you've done that. Now your part is to provide supportive treatment while letting the medicine work it's magic.

Offer a second bowl of water with chamomile tea with mint and sweetened with a bit of honey. Simply make a cup of chamomile and mint tea, sweeten it slightly, cool it and put it in another bowl. Offer wet fruits like watermelon to keep up hydration. Keep a very close eye on her weight and feed her whatever she'll eat to keep her weight up.

Good luck.
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

Thank you for your replies!

HedgeMom, I feel the same way when people postpone to take their pets to the vet, and that's one reasons I wanted to share what happened to Mustard, so people could see that you have to act fast. She dehydrated so fast, I can't imagine what might have happened if I had waited until Monday when her regular vet would be there... But anyways...

She still isn't drinking any water so I've been using a syringe to give her small amounts of water throughout the day. I'll try the tea, that is a very good idea.

I have her on my lap now and still she shows some lethargy but at least I don't think she is too dehydrated anymore, when I pinch her skin it goes back in a second, before it was taking very long to do so.

She ate some of the Hills A/D food, I'll try to find something else she would eat.

I'll keep you guys updated, again thank you for your help and support!
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Old 11-13-2010, 09:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

Watch her temperature. When they are sick they can get cool easier than normal. A heating pad under part of her cage will give her a warm area if she wants it, without heating her whole cage more than normal.

It's a rare hedgehog that doesn't like A/D and once she catches on to syringing, she will probably look forward to it. You can put some kibble in bed with her because very often they will eat in bed even if they don't want to get up to eat. You could even leave a tiny dish of the A/D in bed with her or close by.

I am glad you got her to the vet as quick as you could. You are a great hedgie parent.
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

She's sleeping on me now and she feels toasty warm. I did get the temperature in her cage a couple of degrees warmer than normal.

Considering how debilitated she is, how long coul it take until I start seeing some improvement? I'm so worried because she still seems to have no energy at all...

Thank you, Nancy!
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Old 11-13-2010, 10:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

Antibiotic can take a few days to work so you may not see much change for a couple of days. As the vet said, if there is no improvement by Monday or Tuesday she needs to go back.

Poor girl. Sending hugs and prayers to her.
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

Update:
Last night Col. Mustard ate about 1 teaspoon of the Hills A/D food. I left some kibble in her igloo and she ate it.
I offered her tea sweetened with a tiny amount of honey but she didn't want to try (she's very picky about trying new things) so I left a separated bowl of water with a little bit of honey in her cage and she drank a lot of it overnight. She also ate some more kibble too, so she's definitely less debilitated than before.
I have a question though, I'm afraid if I keep offering sweetened water she wont drink regular water once I stop adding honey to it. Should I stop offering it now, or should I offer it again tonight since she's still a little weak?

Thank you,
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Old 11-14-2010, 05:34 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Upper respiratory infection + dehydration.

I'd keep offering it until she is better. You can worry then about weaning her off it.

I'm glad her appetite has picked up. Sounds like she is improving.
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