Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

*I want to start off by saying: she's not cold, this is not a hibernation thing or an emergency, just a chronic issue that has taken a turn for the worse*

So as you may or may not know, my hedgehog Puff got ill last spring and developed a head-tilt to the left. She was examined for an eardrum rupture and nothing was seen and she was put on antibiotics for a month and a half and got better but the head tilt never went a way. Both of my vets concluded it was either a permanent head tilt from the ear problems (rabbits get something similar sometimes) or possibly a stroke or possibily the early onset of WHS.

Puff has been fine since then, still has the head tilt ever so slightly but was eating great, wheeling great, walking farily normal too.

However she's suddenly getting worse now (gradually over the past month - but when we saw the vet 3 weeks ago she was walking fine when I tried to show her - of course!).

Tonight was the first night I've had her out for a prolonged period in the past week, and she was walking in circles, VERY tilted to the left, dragging her hind legs a bit, falling over once in a while. She also seemed to have a hard time controlling her movement, when I offered her crickets and mealies she'd try eat them but would toss her head side to side multiple times before being able to catch them.

I will post videos tomorow (I got some good ones of her walking and doing her weird head spazzy thing before eating) it's super late here and I'm exhausted from doing a full cage cleaning for all three of the hedgehogs.

My question for now is CAN wobbly hedgehog syndrome be one sided like this? Or is it more likely that she's had a (another?) stroke or that her ears are having problems (again?).

I am calling my vet in the morning (Chloe needs to go back to have her swollen gums rechecked anyways) and wll set up an appointment.

I also noticed Puff's stool was quite green today and a little mucousy so I sprinkled some acidophlius on her food. Not sure if this could be related?

She is still eating and drinking and wheeling but I counted and weighed the kibble and am sprinkling flour on her wheel tonight to know for 100% sure if she does tonight.

Thanks everyone.
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Old 04-15-2011, 06:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

Sorry I have no helpful advice to offer just wanted to say i'll be praying for you both.
Hugs larry
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Old 04-15-2011, 09:42 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

I'm so sorry she's not doing very well. I really hope it's something that's temporary. I'll be thinking about you both.



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Old 04-15-2011, 11:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

With the green mucousy poop and walking in circles I'd have her ears checked again and probably put her on antibiotic just to rule it out. Do an ear swab and check for bacteria but it could possibly be a middle ear infection.

She may be walking in circles because with the head tilt and what's going on with her legs it is easier to only walk one direction.

Yes WHS can affect one side only at first until it progresses. WHS can also stay at one level for some time and then suddenly get worse, only to stay at that level for a while.

If she has an ear infection it could be the cause for the yucky poops because she is sick. Sick can also cause mobility issues that can resemble WHS.

Poor Puff.
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Old 04-15-2011, 12:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

can't offer advice but sending big hugs to you and Puff...
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Old 04-15-2011, 02:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts

Nancy - I am suspecting (hoping) it's something ear-related. My dog Buddy who we recently had to euthanise due to liver/kidney failure (RIP ) actually had his ear drum rupture last summer and he was falling over to one side similar to how Puff is acting now. He did recover fully recover after about a month's worth of antibiotics but he did have to be force fed because he was too dizzy to eat.

I am kind of angry that my vet wasn't able to give me a clear diagnosis when this happened last spring and I fear that the same thing will happen again. She did look in Puff's ears last time but said she couldn't see anything. My dog/cat vet was able to SEE Buddy's ruptured ear drum with the ear-scope so I'm really going to push for the vet to look closer this time.

Another thing I should mention actually is that Puff's ears are really tattered. I haven't treated anyone with revolution yet because I don't think it's mites and Chloe was still on antibiotics and I didn't want to treat her until she was done (and there's no point treating one hedgehog and not the other or the mites just don't go away). Is it possible she has ear mites of some sort and that they have caused damage inside her ear?

I just find it curious that it's only the one side and that it's the SAME side as before.

Puff did NOT eat any food last night or use her wheel. I had removed all litter boxes last night and replaced them with paper towel, as well as lowered my CSW but it doesn't look like she even left her house.

I am now syringe feeding her (This morning she had: 5ml Medical Recovery cat food / 4ml pear baby food / 1 ml Turkey baby food / 4 ml pedialyte + some canned pumpkin and acidophilus) and will continue to do so.

I called my vet first thing but of course they were booked solid and can't get me in until monday afternoon. I'm not sure if I should attempt to find another vet, but honestly no one else around here has a clue about hedgehogs and all insist they MUST always be put under for every exam - so I'm kind of thinking no way - that would probably kill her at this point. There are emergency clinics but once again they really aren't great and the two I know of were really only there for TRUE emergencies in my mind, because honestly I don't think they know enough about hedgehogs.

Puff is still eating her bugs however and had crickets and mealies last night and today. She didn't drink any water last night but after syringe feeding her this morning (and giving her pedialyte) she ran over to her water dish and had a BIG LONG drink to wash it all down. So that's a good sign.

My videos are taking FOREVER to upload on youtube but I'm going to try photobucket as well and will post the links shortly.

Thanks for all of your guys' help
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

Here are the videos:

Puff walking last night (camera was placed on the floor so that it wouldn't create any angles):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HlTJcRLo_yc

Puff shaking her head side to side trying to "catch" a mealie:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1B8ev2rjWkY

Puff this morning (it seems worse than last night):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0R4LmB2raA


I should also mention that Puff has lost 50g this past month (gradual weight loss), while the other hedgehogs have stayed constant on the current food mix I am feeding them.
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Old 04-15-2011, 04:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

I'm not an expert but that doesn't look like WHS. I think you're right to suspect ear problems.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

Doesn't look like WHS to me. If it were, she would be tipping over as she does her circling. My thoughts would be another ear infection or tumour.
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Old 04-15-2011, 05:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Puff's headtilt has gotten MUCH worse - WHS or stroke?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Judi
I'm not an expert but that doesn't look like WHS. I think you're right to suspect ear problems.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy
Doesn't look like WHS to me. If it were, she would be tipping over as she does her circling. My thoughts would be another ear infection or tumour.
I have actually been watching wobbly hedgehog syndrome videos on youtube (from someone who posts them after the hedgehog has been euthanised, necropsied and confirmed with WHS) - they are so awful but you're right Puff doesn't exhibit any of the standard WHS movements.

I never even considered a tumour... If it's not her ear - what's the best way to diagnose a tumor? Bloodwork? X-rays? Both? I just want to know what I should ask my vet for before I go in on Monday. In the mean-time she has perked up and is doing better since I've been forcing food into her so I feel comfortable enough waiting until monday to see the vet.

I also remembered a had a bottle of Booster (from the makers of sunshine factor) that my vet gave me back when all 3 hedgies were sick and told me to use if I ever suspected illness in them again as a pre-cursor to anitbiotics. So I will use that on Puff once a day until we see the vet.

Thanks guys, if anyone else has any more advice / insight, please let me know!
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