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Old 12-30-2008, 05:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Neurological damage caused by cold weather?

My little hedgehog Spike is about a year and a half now, and within the past week he's begun to stumble, having partially lost control of his front legs. After noticing that he was no longer eating or drinking, I took him to an emergency pet clinic where they diagnosed him with pneumonia and gave him antibiotics. He started eating but his motor skills were still off. I took him to a vet that specializes in hedgehogs and he determined that my little guy had suffered neurological damage somehow. I did some research and discovered that excessively cold temperatures can cause neurological damage in hedgehogs. I assume this is what happened to Spike. He seems healthy otherwise.

My question is, has anybody experienced this problem with their pet hedgehog, and if so, can my hedgehog recover from it? I'm praying for him, I really love the little guy.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Neurological damage caused by cold weather?

What temperature are you keeping your hedgehog at? He needs a constant temperature in the area of 72 degrees F. If you are not keeping the room heated at a constant temperature you need to. He could be affected by the cold, that is true, but if you rewarm him on your stomach, and keep a heating pad under 1/2 of his cage set on the low setting (check to make sure it isn't too hot) he should get better.
Let us know if this is the problem. How long has this been going on?
-Susan H.
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Old 12-30-2008, 02:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Neurological damage caused by cold weather?

What temperature is he kept at? They should never be in cold weater. Anything below 70*F, he's probably tried to hibernate (which is fatal).

Did this come on gradually? It may be Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome...

Edit: I was beat! hehe



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Old 12-30-2008, 03:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Neurological damage caused by cold weather?

It's usually about room temp (72 F) in the room he's in. His loss of motor skills in his front legs seemed to happen suddenly. He was running on his wheel one night, the next night he was stumbling. What makes me (and the vet) think it's neurological is that he responded to pressure applied on his back legs, but not on his front legs. I've been warming him up for several days now, but it's hard to tell if he's gotten any better. Thankfully he did just have his first bowel movement in several days.
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Old 01-01-2009, 03:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Neurological damage caused by cold weather?

I am sorry to hear this. It probably is neurological but I don't think it is due to cold weather since you have been keeping him warm and all - although you can continue to try to warm him. It might help. My hedgehog developed a similar problem in the rear end when she was around 3 years old. She started to stumble a lot when I took her outside, although it was gradual decline, she eventually lost most of the use of her back legs.
I don't really understand why the onset was so sudden though. Hopefully someone more knowledgeable will chime in, but I guess you just have to trust what your vet is telling you.
It could be a tumor somewhere pressing on a nerve, or an injury from the wheeling...it's hard to say. Let us know if it improves..somewhere I saw instructions to make a cart, like some disabled dogs use, to help a hedgehog in this situation get around, but I can't remember where it was - maybe on the wobbly hedgehog pages. Hopefully you will start to see some improvement and it won't come to that...Has the pneumonia cleared up?
Why did you think the damage was due to excessive cold? since the room is heated to a good temperature?
-Susan H.
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