Splenomegaly (Inconclusive Test Results) - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 12-08-2014, 03:45 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Splenomegaly (Inconclusive Test Results)

My 3 1/2 year old hedgehog, Ace, was scheduled to be neutered due to what was thought to be an enlarged testicle. Well, I decided to cancel the surgery and get a second opinion from a more experienced exotic/small animal vet as I was feeling less than 100% confident with that diagnosis as well as the vet's surgical abilities never having performed said surgery. On Tuesday November 18th he had an appointment with another vet who was able to quickly determine that the enlargement was not an enlarged testicle but rather another organ. Knowing this, he took radiographs which showed the enlargement but were inconclusive as to which organ was enlarged. So the next step was an ultrasound. Ace had his ultrasound on Tuesday November 25th with an ultrasonographer who determined that his spleen was greatly enlarged (some thickening on the intestinal wall was also observed) and once I was notified of these findings and gave consent, they went ahead and did a fine needle aspiration of the spleen to obtain a sample. At that time, the probable causes for the enlargement was an infection or cancer/lymphoma but the test results (which were in the next day) showed otherwise.

The sample collected from his spleen was inconclusive; they did not find an infection nor did they find cancer cells. So the next step was to monitor his weight for 2 weeks while on antibiotics (doxycycline) as the vet mentioned that blood parasites could also cause an enlarged speen so just to be safe, this was the next course of action.
Well, the only change I have seen whilst he has been on antibiotics is that his spleen actually looks slightly larger. I will be giving the vet a call first thing in the morning to address this but figured I would see if anyone has dealt with or knows of someone who has dealt with a similar situation. I feel like at this point, the best thing to do would be a splenectomy (spleen removal) if that is even possible.

I should also note that aside from an extremely enlarged spleen, everything else is normal with Ace. He maintains a consistent weight, eats/drinks, defecates/urinates, runs on his wheel, etc. It appears as though he just has a bad case of splenomegaly and it probably bothers me more than it bothers him!
With that being said, I think my biggest question is do you think a splenectomy (if possible) would be in his best interest?

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Last edited by SamatranTiger; 12-08-2014 at 03:48 AM.
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Old 12-08-2014, 10:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Bumping up, hoping someone with experience or advice will see this.
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Old 12-10-2014, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default my hedgie had something similar

Hello!
I am on the other side of the continent from you, otherwise I would recommend that you take your hedgie to my vet. My hedgehog, Daisy, was also diagnosed with anemia and splenomegaly. In her case, her spleen is only slightly enlarged. We did a fine needle aspiration which also showed no cancer, only a lot of white cells. The final diagnosis was a "non-regenerative anemia". She was experiencing diarrhea on and off which was why I had initially taken her in. Removal of her spleen was never suggested, but like I said, her spleen was only slightly enlarged. It is my understanding that the spleen plays a large roll in the immune system, so if it were me I would re reluctant to remove it. In the end, I did nothing re: the spleen and only changed her over to a primarily bug diet - which seemed to resolve the diarrhea.
Is your hedgehog anemic? Perhaps his enlarged spleen is due to anemia. Have they done blood work on him?
If you would like, maybe your vet could consult with mine....His name is Dr. Stewart and he is at the Avian and Exotic Pet Clinic in Roanoke, VA.
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Old 12-10-2014, 07:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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They did not do nor suggest having blood work done otherwise I would've. They also did not say anything in relation to anemia being the probable or possible cause of his enlarged spleen but I will definitely bring this up with the vet at Ace's next appointment!

The spleen playing a significant role in the immune system is why I was reluctant to have it removed and is why I have decided not to do so. After some thought, I do not believe that removing his spleen will be in his best interest.

Thank you so much for your reply. It is much appreciated!!
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Old 12-30-2014, 11:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Update:

Ace had a checkup today which included doing more radiographs to see if his spleen had decreased in size. Not only did it decrease, but it is normal size again (no more splenomegaly)!! Although he did not show signs of having an infection, he likely had something along the lines of one, causing his spleen to work overtime and enlarge. Luckily, the antibiotics cleared up whatever it was that his spleen was working to fight off. His slight decrease in weight is definitely the result of the reduction in spleen size as well as some loss of body mass likely due to his body having to work a little harder to recover. Now the interesting thing is that it was initially thought that the significantly enlarged spleen was pushing down on the penis/male reproductive structures, causing them to bulge out a lot more than normal for him. But, despite the spleen returning to normal size, that bulge is still there and a tad larger. The good news is that the vet thinks the probability of this being the result of a malignant tumor is highly unlikely as the x-ray showed a very symmetrical and smooth structure. Because of this, he does not think it is necessary at this time to do a biopsy. What he thinks is that Ace is probably just a really mature male hedgehog and that his male structures (including the glands) have enlarged as a result. But just to be safe and to rule out inflammation, he is on Metacam for 7 days.

So now it’s simply a matter of feeding him a little more to get his weight back up and so long as he maintain a consistent weight and that 'bulge' doesn’t get significantly larger/more prominant, he is good to go!!
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Last edited by SamatranTiger; 12-30-2014 at 11:18 PM.
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:57 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you for the update and for taking such good care of your Ace.

Hoping all goes well for the little guy.
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