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Old 02-17-2011, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Oh shi- She fell! Help!

Oh my god, I feel like such a bad hedgie mommy! I've only had my darling Pepper for about a week, and already I've done something bad! I was sitting at my computer with her in my lap in her much-loved hedgie-hoodie when she decided snuggle time was no more, she was going to explore! So she was crawling all over the place and I scooped her up into my hand for some kisses (which she usually tolerates). But this time she wiggled around and slipped out of my hand and onto the floor, about a two foot drop! I'm still shaking as I type this. She landed on her feet and seemed to be okay and she's acting normal, but dear lord! I'm still worried she's hurt and is just masterfully hiding it! What should I look out for? Should I take her to the vet for a checkup right away? There's no bleeding and she's walking normally. Augh! Help!
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:36 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

Just breathe.

Give her some time to chill out, as I'm sure she's had as much of a scare as you have. In about an hour or so, take her out and check her over. Try to get a feel of all her legs, make her walk around on solid, flat floor, and try to get a good look at her underside and see if there are any types of bruising(you may have to put her into a clear glass or plastic dish and look up to really get a good look).

I say wait an hour or two because the fall probably caused an adrenaline rush. And when there's that much adrenaline going, most of us don't feel much pain. It's once the excitement subsides when the pain actually shows.

It's possible that she may not show pain until tomorrow, so just keep a close watch on her for the next few days, especially watch for bruise development.

Is she an avid wheeler? Depending on how she seems in the next few hours, whether you take it out or not will be your call. However, if she would freak out without having a wheel, starts doing stupid things like climbing, then keeping her wheel will be better for her mentally.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

That's what I'm doing. I've put her back in her cage for now, and I'm checking on her regularly. I'll do a full checkout in about an hour, then again an hour after that. As for avid wheeling, I'm not really sure. She seems to do it, but not huge amounts, and I just got her a new wheel so I'm not sure how she's going to react to that. Also her back toenails seem a little long, which may be why she's not running as much. I tried to clip them earlier today but to no avail. Will she wheel even if it hurts? If so, I think I should take it out.
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

What Immortalia said.

I did the exact same thing with Snarf a couple weeks ago...was holding/petting him just above his cage and was just about to set him down and...HOLY CRAP!...he rolled himself off my hand and bounced off my chest as pressed myself against his cage to break his fall...he bounced into his water dish...then bounced out...then got up and wandered away like nothing happened while *I* had a coronary. Little rotter.

I just left him until my heart stopped thumping, then checked him over about an hour later. He was in much better shape than me. My BF says he never wants to see that look on my face again. Apparently, I looked pretty freaked!
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Old 02-17-2011, 06:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

Yes, they will wheel even if they are hurt. It's happened before. A hedgie here on the board broke her hip, and she loved her wheel. If her owner took it out, she would retaliate by climbing anything and everything. So her owner HAD to give her her wheel and let her run, even on a broken hip.

And a few hedgies have wheeled until their feet bled, and yet will still continue wheeling.

However, if she isn't showing any signs of being hurt at the end of the night, I don't see the harm in letting her keep her wheel. But like I said, it's your call, as you know her best.
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

So it's about three hours later and I've been checking on her regularly. I see no bruising on her tummy and I felt her legs the best I could and they seem to be fine. She's scuttling around as usual. I'll check her again tomorrow, but I think for now I'm out of the danger zone, and my heartbeat has almost slowed back down to normal. Just to make sure, hedgie bruising looks like human bruising, right? Purpley-bluey spots?
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Old 02-17-2011, 11:23 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

I think at some point, every hedgie owner is going to have a dropped/falling hedgie. I know for a fact that my brothers were all dropped as babies. Mostly by me.
For the most part, they will be OK. As was mentioned, watch for signs of injury. Don't beat yourself up too much.
Obviously, a responsible hedgie owner won't let the hedgie wander around on a table or counter top by themselves & get close to the edge (or video it - stupid you-tubers). But accidents do happen, and it's many a hedgie that thinks they are superman. The trick is to prevent as many accidents as possible.
We know you love Pepper very much. Let us know how she is.



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Old 02-18-2011, 07:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

Okay, day two and she seems fine. (Besides being pissed off mommy keeps waking her up to look at her legs and tummy.) No bruising, she's walking normally, eating like a little pig as usual. <3 What a scare, but I'm pretty sure she's okay. Snuggle time will be held on the floor from now on! Thanks everyone for helping me out!
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Old 02-18-2011, 07:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

What you have to watch for is internal injuries and they don't often give visual symptoms. Keep track of her food intake by counting her kibble. Watch for any lethargy, feeling cool or a hibernation attempt in the next 7 - 10 days. Often internal injuries take a few days to show up. Also watch for any blood in urine or stool.

She is most likely fine but don't assume so yet and keep close watch on her.
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Old 02-19-2011, 06:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oh shi- She fell! Help!

Sandslash had a fall around Christmas time and I cried I was holding him carrying him somewhere and suddenly he unleashed the mother of all poops ALL over my hand and he started squirming and slipped right out of my hand due to the massive quantities of liquidy hedgepoop. I burst into tears but he trundled right over to hedgie-grandpa to play. Chubby little jerk
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