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Old 09-08-2014, 07:02 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What to expect at a vet visit?

Okay, so I have taken three of my hedgehogs to the vet. Two were to get regular checkups and one was a check up and fecal sampling(?). I was reading another thread and realized, to be completely honest, I have no idea what to expect at a vet visit. They could have just been poking my hedgehogs for no reason.

For all three of them, the vet looked at ears, eyes, teeth(with Penny), looked at their paws and kind of felt around with their bellies (with Penny and River). Winter never really unballed but I was able to get him to let the vet look at his ears and eyes. No teeth though.

I brought in a poop sample from River which I didn't need because she pooped in the office so they took the fresher one.

What should I expect at a vet visit? Should they take a temperature? I know they do with dogs, cats and even ferrets. I don't really like the vet we went too. They weren't all that knowledgeable about hedgehogs or at least the vet I saw wasn't.

Everyone was given a clean bill of health. Even River who's fecal came back normal. But how do they know if they are healthy? Basically while I am searching for a new vet what should they do to let me know they are knowledgeable about hedgehogs?
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:18 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Actually I was won over by my exotics, who I have only seen once so far (so good), when she told me that she loved hedgehogs, had a friend who had one with her in college, went to seminars about them, and took me absolutely seriously over discussions on food and mite treatment options. She also explained she doesn't get to work with hedgies much because they are rare around this way, and apologized for double gloving because she is actually allergic. I figure anyone who takes me seriously, discusses treatment options, and is a fan of the APH is someone I can work with and trust even in a dire emergency.
Sigh. Of course she isn't the emergency vet...
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Usually how extensive the well hedgehog examination is depends on the individual hedgehog. For one that is very co-operative, they look in their mouth, eyes, ears, poke and prod all over, listen to their lungs and heart, look at their skin, quills, weigh, and if hedgie will allow, take their temperature. Sometimes depending on the vet, a fecal will be included.

If hedgie doesn't want to be agreeable, then the vet will do as much as hedgie will allow. If there is a concern about something, usually the vet will focus on the concerns first because usually the longer hedgie is being looked at, the less co-operative they become.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:35 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you. When I first took Penny in I doubt she would have allowed them to take a temp. She probably would now though which is good. None of the others would be having that.

I asked for the fecal with River since she wasn't and still isn't eating. The vet seemed really unconcerned about it which is what is really pushing me to find another vet. This one is already 45min to an hour away depending on traffic. I want to make sure that the next one I get to is a good one since I will be driving a good distance.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I love my vet, she is the one I recommended to you Desi, she Loves hedgies, and deals with hedgehogs almost as much as dogs and cats. She was highly recommended by several hedgehog owners I know. She does as much as Olive will let her when she is awake however it isn't much because Olive becomes so stressed out it makes most tests in accurate. I have seen her with nice hedgies and she does a million and a half different tests while holding them and making sure they are happy. She takes temp, belly feel, feels girls lady parts, bladder, and baby parts. She looks in their mouths, ears, feet, skin, she always asks for feces even if she isn't doing tests on it, just to make sure they are having healthy poops. Sometimes she expresses their bladders just to make sure their pee is looking good, without blood, and they are hydrated. She inspects their quills to make sure there are no curved quills poking them. She also always trims Olive's nails every single time we come in, usually I forget to even ask and she just does it. Unfortunatly vet visits stress Olive out so much it can hurt her, she also will NOT come out of a ball so she needs to be lightly sedated, Most of the time she doesn't put her all the way under, but enough to make her relaxed and let her do her tests and clip her nails which I like better than being all the way under, usually she will take her back for 10 minutes or less and she is fully awake and back to herself by the time she is back with me, that's how little she uses. I have never even had Ollie act groggy or different after she is done. She has never gotten sick or tired from the sedation, also was up and happy that night light nothing had happened. When she was sick she got me in right away on her over booked Saturday schedule and was genuinely concerned. She even called me back 2 days later to ask me how she was and what she was doing...and yes the actual vet called and not the receptionist or vet tech, the actual doctor... I was so happy that she took the time out and cared enough to call and personally check how I was. The 1st time I brought her in she wrote me a letter thanking me for coming and telling me how happy she was I saved Olive. She is very very thorough with hedgies, doesn't try to push products or foods she carries on me, and actually knows about hedgies and the real best medications they should be on, unlike some vets who prescribe things lots of us know isn't good for hogs and then get angry when you ask for something else. She is very open to the things you ask for and if you asked for a test or thought it was something they needed she wouldn't argue with you or try to talk you out of it. The only time I can see her saying something was offering a better test, or if it was completely unnecessary and would be worse for the hedgie than doing good.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have never had a vet take a hedgehog's temperature unless they were under anesthetic, not just sedated, the reason they gave for this is if a hedgehog tried to ball up while their temperature was being taken it would break the thermometer and cause serious and possibly fatal injuries. Most vets can tell by handling them if their temperature is in a normal range.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:45 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I took Molly to an exotic vet who specialized in hedgehogs and the vet did take Molly's temperature. Although Molly was a pretty amazing hedgie- super friendly and I don't ever remember her balling up. I don't think she quite understood she was a hedgehog. But out of all my hedgehogs, she was the only one who ever had their temperature taken.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Ill point out she only took her temp when she had a hibernation attempt because it was necessary
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I've had a couple of hedgehogs who were laid back enough to have their temperature taken without being gassed. Most of them couldn't be.
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Old 09-09-2014, 06:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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My vet took panamas temp with a digital ear thermometer. Titan too. So no worry there about thermometer breakage. It was very helpful for both of the animals.
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