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Old 03-11-2015, 03:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Stroke?

This is my final call for help on my hedgie, Luna. I've been to the vet three times without a definite answer. I'm almost certain she had a stroke. her symptoms involve: not walking (or trying to get up? just laying as still as can be on her side), leg spasms every so often, head shaking, biting (but only before i feed her? but she never used to bite before), bubbly nose (which we treated for pneumonia with no results), lots of hair loss, back legs dragging (when I sit her up and support her), she does stretch her legs and arms, and she hasn't hissed in almost 3 weeks(she used to hiss when I walked into the room or had the lights on, which was her thing, never aggressive). This occurred very sudden, I noticed when her food bowl wasn't empty (her and her sister are notorious for emptying it). It's been four weeks and everyone is telling me it's about time to put her down. I'm not ready for that? she hasn't stopped eating or drinking. She eats and drinks twice a day (she's on a special diet for her health [oxbox]) I would say over fifty mL, I syringe feed her because she cannot walk to her food and becomes tired when I set her up to eat on her own so she lays her head in the food or water. During the first week of this, she would wobble then fall but never tried to stand up, she was diagnosed with mites and pneumonia. her pneumonia was never fixed but her
mites were. She had crusty eyes, which had prevented her from opening them. That's no longer a problem. The rest of the weeks have been the same up until Sunday when I noticed her hair loss. My vet suggested it were from the mites but that would be over two-three weeks ago. I really do not want to lose her, She's on two medications, an anti inflammatory (Trimeth/sulfa) and a pain reliever (Meloxidyl). She has a heat lamp for 73 degrees f. Please anyone? Is this a stroke? Can this be fixed? Or will I be nursing her for the rest of her life with no improvements? Thank you in advance. Attached are recent images and then images of her at the beginning.
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Old 03-11-2015, 05:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not 100% sure but it dose sound like wobbly hedgehog syndrome. me and my girl friend just lost our little one to what we believe is was WHS. I do hope this isn't the case for yours. If it is our hearts go with you.
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Old 03-11-2015, 07:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't think it sounds like WHS. WHS is not sudden - it usually takes months to progress and become this bad.

Can I ask how old Luna is? To be honest, I'm not sure I'll tell you anything you like either. While it's good that she's still willing to eat and drink, you do need to think about her quality of life. I know you're not ready to let her go, but remember that it's not about you. It's about helping Luna and making sure she's not suffering more than she needs to. One of the best things we can do for our pets sometimes is to help end their suffering before it gets very bad. Think about the different things that Luna enjoyed before she got sick. Can she do any of those things anymore? Does she fight you on eating or does she still seem eager to eat and seem to enjoy your feeding sessions? Does she like any of her special treats still, if she has any?

Hopefully someone with more health experience like Nancy, Nikki, and Kalandra may have some other advice for you. This is just my opinion. Good luck with Luna.
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Old 03-11-2015, 09:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Whether to stop fighting or not can be an extremely emotional decision to make.

Is your veterinarian recommending euthanasia? What are his thoughts on her chance of having any kind of quality of life? Has he done any tests to determine what is causing her pnuemonia? When was the last time a veterinarian saw her?

Has she had any improvement at all since day 1? How is her weight holding up?

Look into her eyes. Are they dull and tired looking? Or do they still have some gleam when she sees you?

Talk to her, ask her if she would like help to let go, and let her know that its ok to go on her own if this is too much for her. I know that may sound odd, but Ive often gotten the answer I needed by looking into their eyes and talking to them.

Looking at your images, Im a little confused by them. What dates were those taken? In particular Im looking at images 2 and 4. Two has a hedgehog who seems fairly alert, eyes as shiny, ears perky. #4 Im assuming is from the beginning as her eyes are crusty and her ears are looking sore.

I know I have only posed more questions at you, but they are questions for you to think about.

As a note though Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole is an antibiotic not an anti-inflammatory.
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Old 03-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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una is a little over two, when I got her she was retired. She doesn't always fight me on eating, just when she gets too full, but usually she seem eager to eat. My vet and breeder told me to think about euthanasia. My vet told me if she wasn't walking within 48 hours she won't ever walk again. Which is really upsetting. My breeder is asking for a necropsy and to test for WHS to help anyone else in case this is new symptoms. I just want to make sure I am doing everything I possibly can before calling it time. I took her to the vet last Monday and three weeks ago Friday then that Saturday. I don't believe they did any test to find out why she was having pneumonia only that she had crackle in her lungs, but this last Monday there was none. She's had a ton of improvement. She used to be extremely lethargic and in pain. At that time she had just started biting too. She's definitely gained weight, but I do not have a scale (probably because she can't run on her wheel). Her eyes. They don't always seem dull just before she eats. They are usually wide open and she looks happy. The first one was taken last Saturday, the second one was taken March 2. The third was taken February 15th (the first day) and the fourth was taken February 16th. The fourth and third was just the very start of all this, I wanted to show that she had progressed. She most likely had mites then, but I didn't know that was the case until that next Friday. Thank you to everyone who responded. My vet had told me they were giving me an anti inflammatory? guess not, thank you. Also, I don't think she has paralysis at all. She still moves her arms and legs but when i sit her on them she collapses them. I don't think she has the strength to pull herself up as if she's not getting any strength there. My breeder had told me she had no hereditary chance of getting WHS this was before she fell ill. She has a sister, they used to live in the same cage but in case it was contagious or her sister would get frustrated we separated them. Good thing because I would be so upset if they both had mites. Thank you again.
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Old 03-11-2015, 12:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I had to look up Meloxidyl. Its meloxicam, which is both a pain reliever and anti-inflammatory, so the vet didn't lie, they just also gave you an antibiotic. Which makes sense.

I don't want to tell you what to do. I haven't seen her to determine what I would do. I tend to be one of those who as long as they aren't in pain, and are trying to fight I'll help them fight. But once its clear they are in pain and are giving up, we stop fighting and let go.

I will suggest taking video as well as more photos to monitor her condition. Sometimes a video will tell you more than a photo when comparing their behaviors. I'd also rub her legs, move them, and try to help her to walk. If she is trying to use them but is having balance or strength issues she may need help from you.
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Old 03-11-2015, 01:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What sticks out at me is the part where you say the heat lamp is at 73. That is really too cold for a sick hedgehog.

Do you have a thermometer in there so you know what she is feeling? If it's the thermostat is set to 73 then crank it up.

73 is low for a well hedgehog, try it a little warmer and see what happens.

By the way Kalandra is absolutely right about asking the hedgie if they are ready. Remember that animals are more in tune with their bodies then we are. They are always in the moment. To them death is just natural and most are not afraid, they may be in pain, but they don't seem to be afraid.
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Old 03-11-2015, 02:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MomLady View Post
What sticks out at me is the part where you say the heat lamp is at 73. That is really too cold for a sick hedgehog.

Do you have a thermometer in there so you know what she is feeling? If it's the thermostat is set to 73 then crank it up.

73 is low for a well hedgehog, try it a little warmer and see what happens.
Good catch. I completely missed that number. I typically will increase their temperature to see if they improve. One of my more recent ailing quilled kids did best at 78.
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Old 03-11-2015, 06:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It doesn't sound like a stroke at all. With a stroke you see definite one sided mobility issues. Not both sides like you're seeing. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.
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Old 03-11-2015, 08:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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By any chance was this hedgehog treated with Ivermectin? Ivermectin works by paralyzing the mites. It can also cause paralysis of the animal being treated. If you're unsure I would confirm this with the vet.
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