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Old 10-25-2014, 01:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Preparation for passing on (dying)

Our poor little boy, Hedgeworth, has had a pretty rough time. We were his 3rd family, and he's always had a very rough response to stress. Recently, he has stopped eating and drinking, and he is acting very lethargic, just the same as was described by the user pickles17 in this thread. (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/11-health/14972-almost-4-years-old.html)

When his eating decreased, we attributed it to old age (he is probably over 4 years old now, but his previous owners weren't certain when we got him). So we changed to wet cat food. His poops immediately became very gummy, runny, and messy. We had to give him little sink showers, which he hated. We switched to less rich wet foods and scrambled eggs as his primary diet. The poops became somewhat less runny, and his showers dropped in frequency, but the damage was perhaps done.

One day I saw that he was bleeding from his bum. I rinsed it off, e-mailed the vet, and kept my eyes open. I didn't see any more red blood, but his stools carried a little blood later that day, but it seemed to stop. Then 2 days later, he was leaving poop smears again, and there was definitely blood. He had apparently started gnawing at his own bum, similar to how he had once gnawed on his chest.

We visited the vet, who took a fecal sample. There was nothing they found in their preliminary inspection, except that he had an abundance of tummy-microbes, usually the result of stress (I fear from the showers). So he gave us a diluted medicine to syringe-feed him with.

That was two days ago, and he hasn't eaten since. I don't think he's been drinking for even longer. The vet said he had lost about 25% of his body mass since our last visit. He hates the medicine, and fights us when we try to feed him, but otherwise just lies pitifully. We are now syringe feeding him everything.

We fear the end is coming soon, and we want to know what we can do and what to expect. Sorry for the sad story, but thank you all for your time.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It does sound as if the poor baby has given up the fight, and that everything about his life is a source of stress now, although you are obviously a caring person and doing your best. Personally, if it were me, I would let him go. Schedule him for euthanasia sooner, rather than later, let him know that he is loved, and don't torture yourself with shoulda woulda coulda.

There may be others who will encourage you to keep syringe feeding and never give up, and they may have valid points. In the end, you are the only one who can make that decision. Whichever decision you make will be the right one. Be good to yourself, and be strong.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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We woke him up. He had the strength to huff, and even came to his feet for a moment. We syringe-fed him some water and a little chicken & sweet potato baby food, and he even liked it. And then we tried to tummy-medicine again and it was too much for him. He started fighting. Then he starting opening and closing his mouth, possibly a small fit or something. I held him to my tummy to keep him warm, my husband got a heating pad, and we cuddled him in his favorite blankie. He was gone in under 5 minutes.

It was very fast. Our vets have been very kind and responsive, but we don't know if it was cancer or what. But we think his testes/bum felt a little hard. We will bury him this weekend.

Thank you all for your stories and advice on this site.
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Old 10-25-2014, 11:05 AM   #4 (permalink)
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So sorry for your loss. Sometimes they just make their own decisions. You can take some comfort in knowing he did not die alone.
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Old 10-25-2014, 12:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm sorry for your loss. He passed in comfort and love.
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Old 10-25-2014, 01:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am so sorry to hear this. You did everything you could.
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Old 10-25-2014, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry for your loss
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Old 10-26-2014, 01:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Sorry for ur loss 😔
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I am so sorry. Your little one left this world surrounded by those who loved him.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss. It sounds like you did a great job of caring for him. RIP little one and big hugs to you!
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