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Old 11-04-2014, 05:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Post Op - Starting to Refuse Food

Hello all.

First off my hoggle had one of her back legs amputated 6 days ago. She was eating fine the night after the op, and despite not eating much biscuits (she has always been a picky eater and often only eats bugs) she would always accept a reasonable amount of insects twice a day when i got her out for her pain and antibiotic meds in the days after. She would also come out when i put a bowl of mealies in to tempt her out.

The last 2 days though, she has been refusing insects and food i offer which is out of character for her. She is looking all bruised on the belly and leg from the op still which started showing a few days after, but eating has not been an issue until now.

Does anyone have an advice or suggestions as to why this could be and what i can do to encourage her to try and eat?

She had a veterinary appointment 2 days after the op on Friday, and everything was healing up nicely and her urine sample came back normal too.

I'm not sure what the vet would advise at this stage if i made an appointment other than doing the best i can to encourage her with her fave foods, which i have been doing to no avail, mealworms are her absolute favorite and she isn't interested, but still if she hasn't eaten anything tonight, then i think another appointment may be on the cards just to rule out anything internal!
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Is she still on pain meds? If not, perhaps she is feeling pain.

I'd start syringe feeding her immediately. When they stop eating or aren't eating much they start to feel yucky which makes them less feeling like eating. I'd also call the vet and have her checked to try and find out why she stopped eating in the first place.

Is she warm enough? Recovering from surgery, she might feel better if she is a bit warmer than normal.
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Old 11-04-2014, 06:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply

Yes she is still on pain meds, and antibiotics, she gets 0.1ml of metacam and 0.1ml of baytril twice daily.

She has a heatmat currently, i think sometimes she is a bit warm as she splats right on the edge of it or in her litter tray at the opposite end.

I have actually just ordered ceramic heat emitters and accessories today to change from heatmats to see of this encourages her to be more active as she never wants to do much but sleep so i think a heat emitter might be better for increasing/maintaining the ambient temperature in general. She used to be a crazy wheeler but she has had her wheel removed for several weeks now, so wondering if this has had am effect on her. Even in her playpen all she wants do to is sleep now.

She had a single mealworm today but that was it, nowhere near enough.

Are there any mixes you would suggest for syringe feeding? I had to syringe feed another hoggle recently who had mouth cancer and couldnt pick up food even though he'd try, id always just blend his own food with water, and also made a seperate chicken blend which i think is healthier, but any better suggestions are welcome!
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Old 11-05-2014, 11:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Baby food works well for syringe feeding.
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Old 11-05-2014, 12:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I like baby food best for short-term syringe feeding or just getting food in until a vet visit, for a hedgie being picky, etc. For a very sick hedgie or long-term syringe feeding, I'd go with something more balanced, like Hill's A/D. You can get it from your vet, it's a canned food meant for syringing to sick pets. Adding water to crushed dry food works too, it's just more of a pain to me with crushing the food up, then having to double check for chunks too big to go through syringe, etc.
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Old 11-05-2014, 05:18 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hi,

My hedgie is called Kiwi

I have syringe fed a good quality cat food today a few times and also tried baby food, she screwed her face up at the baby food and refused that but was fine with the cat food, still not eating much on her own though. Managed to get her to take a few mealies on her own but only about 5.

Have three bowls of food in with her tonight so hoping something tempts her! One has her usual biccies and live worms, one has mushed up good smelling wet cat food (now they aren't supposed to get this, but its to try tempt her to eat and i chose the best quality one i could find) the third bowl has a spoon on baby food and some pieces of diced chicken to try tempt her, so hoping she tries something, if not, continuing with the syringe feeding and i think i will pay a vet visit, also get some hills A/D if that is the best quality food for keeping her condition until she feels better enough to eat something on her own.

The baby food smells awful! Is baby food more nutritional/better for hedgies than wet cat food for syringe feeding, if so i will switch to syringe feeding that, even though she seems to prefer the wet cat food
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Old 11-05-2014, 09:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Nope, the wet food is better. It's nutritionally balanced versus the baby food, and if she likes it, stick with it! Not sure where you read that the wet food isn't allowed for them, but it's perfectly fine for them even when they're healthy & eating well. Some people give wet food as a major part of the diet or the diet itself (especially for hedgies with weak jaws or missing teeth), some people give it as a nightly treat. The main concern is that it's usually higher in fat. Higher in protein as well, but that's offset by the higher moisture content.

A vet visit wouldn't hurt, just to check up on her the surgery area and to see if the vet has any ideas for the reluctance to eat. The Hills A/D is up to you - you could get a can to see if she likes it, or you can stick with the wet food you're doing now. The vet may have an opinion as well. Good luck & keep us updated on how she's doing. I hope she starts eating again for you soon!
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Old 11-30-2014, 02:45 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Kiwi has passed away

She had started eating on her own again for about a week and was off her meds, then i found her passed out over her food bowl with a biccie in her mouth. Then found blood all over her bed which i think she may have wee'd out

She was fine in the previous days up to then and even had cooked chicken the night before i found her, i am thinking she had some kind of internal bleeding from either her op or as result of the suspected stomach ulcer caused by pain meds, so unexpected as i thought things were going well

Gutted

Run free Kiwi
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I am so sorry for your loss, I'm sure Kiwi will run happy and free in the great Hedgietopia. If its not too soon, I would suggest calling your vet and letting them know what happened. Again, my dearest condolences.
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