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Old 02-14-2015, 07:50 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help with tongue injury

Hello. My family and I recently adopted a 4 month old African Pygmie named Meatball. Meatball is the best pet we've ever had. Very friendly and lovable. We immediately took him to the NC State veterinary school clinic for a check up and he was deemed in excellent health. He eats hard high protein cat food, green peppers, and strawberries. He was doing great until one morning we awoke to find his habitat covered in blood (a LOT). He seemed to be okay and I couldn't find any injury on him. I gave him a bath and he was acting normally. We immediately took him to the vet and the said he had severed half his tongue! We later found the tongue half in his habitat. He had 3 hours of surgery to debride and stitch the remaining part of his tongue. The vet said he lost half his blood volume! They also placed a feeding tube in him. We have him home now and he is sustaining weight with tube feeds we give him 3-4 times/day. He is still playful and friendly. The vet says it's possible he was biting down on some hard food and chomped his own tongue. Has anyone ever come across this before? He is due to get his feeding tube out in 10 days and we are all worried he won't be able to eat and drink on his own with only half a tongue. Has anyone seen anything like this before? Any ideas? Thanks.
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Old 02-14-2015, 03:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry to hear about your hedggie! Thats just awful! I've attached a link to a lovley blog I had followed about a heddgie with a necrotic tongue, so you may find this useful. This hedggie owner should be commended for her efforts on feeding him and caring for him. Seriously she's my new hero!!

http://www.got-blogger.com/mytutorli...les/?c=-/&p=11

Last edited by Buttons; 02-14-2015 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 02-14-2015, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you for the link. I'm going to check it out and see if I can contact her. We're worried sick that Meatball won't be able to sustain himself once his feeding tube comes out.
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Old 02-14-2015, 05:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Does he have a water bottle in his cage? Or a bowl?
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Old 02-14-2015, 11:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Bowl. He's never had a water bottle.
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Good!

Does he have any toys in his cage with holes in them? Jingly cat toys etc?

Other than those things, I can't think of what he could have hurt himself on. It's possible he bit his own tongue.

I hope your little guy pull through just fine. While we see hedgehogs as fragile, they can surprise you and often pull themselves through.

IMO, I would stick with wet food from now on as well.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks. We'll see how he comes along once his tube is out.
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Old 02-15-2015, 06:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I sent you a private message with info that may help you get in touch with her ☺
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hey. Really sorry to hear about you little friend's situation. It's crazy. We're still not sure what caused our guy's injury. While his feeding tube was in we could never really get him to eat anything substantial. Our worry was that his half tongue was too small to manipulate food into his throat. We had a difficult decision to make. Either replace his esophageal tube with a permanent gastric tube or just pull the tube and see what happens. So today 3.5 weeks after his injury the vet pulled his tube under anesthesia. As soon as he woke up he started eating!!. He's back home now and very active. Playing with the kids and running around normally. So far so good.

While healing the only thing we could really get him to eat was fruit. Small bits of watermelon and strawberries were the best. I had to put them on a toothpick and my son would pry his mouth open and we'd pop it in. We tried syringe feeding with stage 2 baby food. It worked okay, but most of it just smeared all over his face.

Let us know how your little guy does. Good luck!
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Old 03-04-2015, 07:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Updated pictures.
1) Healed (but stumpy) tongue
2) Meatball EATING after waking up!!!

DSCN6788.jpg

DSCN6810.jpg
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