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Old 08-20-2014, 09:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hello! And help? WARNING: Long entry ;)

January 3, 2014 I received my little Hedge. She was a little older than a year. I bought her and her cage for $35 (the owners initially paid $400). My heart melted the minute I held her. She wasn't really handled much because she was "not friendly" and "not like the hedgehogs on YouTube". She clicked. She stayed curled in a ball for up to half an hour after being picked up. I wasn't even able to watch her eat for the first month. She'd run and hide.

Everyday I picked her up. Everyday I told her I loved her. Even though she made my hands bleed I still worked with her. I can now pet her chin, scratch her nose. I even touch her feet while she sleeps. She's not perfect. She still pops and clicks every now and again- old habits die hard.

I love her.

She was raised in a cage with wood shavings. I had never had a hedgehog, but I wouldn't be comfortable with wood shavings around my butt so I then changed to Carefresh. Her food was Kibbles 'n Bits and on occasion she was given bugs- never had she tasted fruits or vegetables. The Carefresh bedding started to make me nervous a few weeks later; afraid she would eat it. She has been on fleece with little snuggle blankets for months now. She eats Simply Nourish Fish and Chicken cat food. She loves applesauce and sweet potatoes and eats crickets like she is afraid they'll disappear and she'll never get one again.

Early in the year, after a few months of having her, she wasn't eating very well. When I took her to the vet I was told my hedge was the most malnourished and thinnest hedgehog the vet had ever seen. She was anemic and had bad bacteria in her intestines. It looked grim.

I was devastated. This little, tiny, creature whom I had only had for a few months, whom I had worked with, bonded with, and loved wholly was sick.

My husband and I worked over the last months, syringe feeding her nutritional support 4-6 x a day. We gave her infant gas drops 2 x a day. Probiotic and antibiotic, Pet Tinic... it was worrisome for the first few weeks. She would gain some weight, then she would lose some.

Her initial weight was 350 grams. Her x-rays showed bones and skin. Her most current weight is 420 grams (as of yesterday). Healthy, right?

The bad bacteria is still plaguing her intestines. The vet prescribed chloramphenicol- .2 cc/mls twice a day. The suspension is 100 ml/mg. I am NO vet but I'm worried that is high. Thoughts? Experiences?

My second question deals with skin. My grump has large flakes and yellow residue. She has been loosing a lot of quills. I.e. I clipped her toenails the other night. It took less than 10 minutes and she lost 15 quills. When I took her to the vet yesterday, she lost 7 in a short amount of time. I mentioned it to the vet who performed a skin test and came up with no mites. The vet suggested she may lose quills due to her long period of malnutrition and grow newer, healthier ones. But what is the yellow residue? Large flakes? Still the same reasoning?

Excuse my long entry. I have been following this forum since March. I have wanted to post entries, but could only access it through my phone as I did not have internet at the time. So much has happened in my little pig's life and I wanted to share her story with people who were like-minded and compassionate for these little critters! Thank you so much for reading.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If no mites, it may just be bad skin from being malnourished. Give her some time to bounce back with a solid diet. Also you can treat her from the outside with oatmeal baths and/or a few drops of oil in her bath water. Around here olive or flax oil is recommended. I use pure coconut.
As far as the meds go, I also am not a vet. Sometimes you just have to trust the Dr and go with it and pray it works out.
It sounds like she is in the best hands she can be in. I hope everything works out for you and your girl.
Welcome to the forums please keep us updated on your progress.

Edit: and pay closer attention to the mods on this forum than to me They have a ton of experience.
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Last edited by gracefulchaos01; 08-20-2014 at 09:45 PM.
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Old 08-20-2014, 09:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry your little one isn't feeling well. Unfortunately, I don't have much experience with intestinal infections, so I'm not sure I can help much. However, a couple questions that might help provide more information for others (like Nancy) to give better advice -
- Did the vet say what kind of bacteria she had?
- What kind of testing has been done to discover what you know so far?
- You mentioned what she's on now, but what medicines have you guys tried before this new one?
- Has the vet been doing tests to confirm that the bacteria is still causing issues? Or are you guys going on poop appearance?
- Speaking of which...what's the poop look like?

Regarding the skin, it sounds more like a possible fungal or bacterial infection than mites. Is she scratching at all? I would have the vet do a culture to check for fungal infection & test for bacterial infections as well while they're at it. Have you ever put any kind of oil (like flaxseed oil) on her skin? That can cause a yellow tinge to the skin.
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Old 08-20-2014, 11:26 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Lilysmommy is an amazing source of advice, and I really have nothing to contribute in that regard. I just wanted to say how it warms my heart to see such genuine love without any expectations. I hope your little girl will be better soon, and I'm convinced she already has the best possible home. <3
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone for your help, your replies, and your warm wishes!
Lilysmommy- the vet did say, though I can't recall. A bad bacteria that started with a "c", maybe a "cl"?
The vet has done two blood works, 3 cytologies, and some type of palpating every time we go in. She also did a skin swab on my piggy's skin and collected quills. She also checked her poop for mites, stating that sometimes mites can live on hedgehogs bottoms. The only other medicine she has been on was an antibiotic called "Baytril" 1.7 cc/mls and a suspension of 27.
From what little I know, her poop looks good. It smells pretty strong and what leaves her intestines last, can be a little runny and more....fragrant. It's dark brown, feels a little firmer than toothpaste and dries black. She drinks A LOT of water. Probably a quarter cup every night. I hope this healthy and a good sign...
She has been scratching, not much, but some when I wake her. Thank you for the bath recommendations everyone! I do use flax seed oil on her and in her bath- maybe I'm not rinsing her well enough after.
Thanks again for all your help!
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Old 08-21-2014, 06:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quick fix: more like an 1/8 cup now that I think of it...
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Old 08-21-2014, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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If you are using oil on her skin in a bath, use it in her rinse water and don't rinse it off. It kind of defeats the purpose. Leave it on and if you are using the correct amount it should absorb into your skin. If you find yourself with a oily hedgie, put the flaxseed oil on her food and rinse her with oatmeal soaked water after her baths. Again don't rinse it off, it will absorb into her skin.
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