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-   -   Vomitting/mouth issue. Wanting to change food. Anyone used Carna4 kibble? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=191124)

Yukidama's mama 04-03-2019 01:01 AM

Vomitting/mouth issue. Wanting to change food. Anyone used Carna4 kibble?
So Iíve been posting lately about Yukiís health issues (periodically vomiting and quill loss). He also has excess saliva and bad breath. Back in October 2018 after months of going to the vet about his swollen lip and excess saliva and then foaming at the mouth issue. We put him under anaesthetic and they did xrays of his mouth and body. They saw he had really inflamed gums (3 of the 4 sides of his mouth). They took a biopsy and it revealed he had gingivitis (inflammation of the gums / gums disease). He was put on medication and at his next check up the vet was satisfied they looked better.

We recently went back to the vets because heís started to vomit quite frequently and then one night he refused to eat / barely ate. Heís also been dropping quills since last fall but has slightly gotten worse, dropping 6-8 quills now per a week.
The vet checked inside his mouth and said it looked much better than it did before when he had the inflamed gums. But he stills has this excess saliva and bad breath. He gave him meds to stop producing excess stomach acids (to stop puking up bile) and another meds to soothe his throat.

The vet also looked at his quills and again wasnít concerned of the quill loss. He gave him a preventative revolution treatment but said he didnít think it was necessary. Yuki is 2.5yrs old so I donít know why it would be normal to lose quills almost daily or a couple at a time. Iíve noticed some of his quills have snapped off which is making him look patchy/not as full in places (he doesnít have actual bald patches). I see on the pet cam I got back at Christmas he constantly scratches, shakes his head and wipes his face against the floor or the side of his wheel stand. The other night I counted 20 scratches in 10 mins! ><
Some of the quills he loses have bulbs but some are just thin follicles only, which makes me think itís mites. The vet didnít bother looking at any of the samples I brought in, he was that convinced he didnít have mites ><

The vet has told me to strip his food to basics to rule out an allergy issue to the kibbles. I currently feed Now Fresh senior turkey/chicken grain free (heís been on this for almost 2yrs) and Blue Buffalo weight management non grain free option (heís been on this since June last year). I started phasing these out already and adding Wellness Complete non grain free but his vomiting hasnít stopped and if anything gotten a little more frequent. Perhaps itís the additional grains??

Heís always periodically vomited since I introduced more insects to his diet 2 years ago but also switched him to cat food. At first I thought it was the hard exoskeleton of insects but heís been insect free since March 20th and thereís been no change. Back then all all of his foods were grain free options. I do still give him guts of a superworm though. So this is the only thing that has never changed.

Has anyone heard of or used Carna4 kibble (I think itís a Canadian brand). It uses no synthetics and limited ingredients, itís a baked kibble so suppose to be better quality. The fat is 15% but protein only 25% but Iím thinking perhaps this would be a good kibble choice to use alongside a commercially prepared raw food (Stella & chewyís freeze dried and Instinct Raw) which have higher protein levels.

Anyone have experience with any of these foods or have any other advice about his symptoms and issues, Thank you!

Ria 04-03-2019 03:34 AM

Maybe hes got an intolerance to grains in the cat food ??
So like a small ammount would be okay but the more grains there are the worse it makes it. Just a thought since you said his vomiting got worse when you started swtich with another non grain free food so thats highered tbe amount of grains.
I could be completely wrong though, just a thought.

Emc 04-03-2019 05:15 PM

Have you only ever tried poultry recipes for his kibble?... This may sound incredibly dumb, but has the possibility of him being allergic to chicken/poultry been discussed by the vet at all? It is a very common food allergy in dogs and cats, and the symptoms are skin irritation and vomiting.

I'm not too well versed on food allergies in hedgehogs, but I don't think it's completely unrealistic to think that poultry may very well be the culprit here if that's the only thing that has been consistent in his diet since his vomiting began. Have you tried him on any kibbles that are poultry-free, and see his reaction to that?...

Yukidama's mama 04-04-2019 12:22 AM

Thank you both for the replies! ^^

Ok I just went through old notes...

I started noticing the red/swollen lip and excess saliva in May 2018.

I didnít introduce the blue buffalo (which is the first grain food) until June 3rd.

In May he was on now fresh (turkey/duck/salmon ~ sorry I thought it had chicken but no chicken!), natural balance (duck & pea), Halo (salmon & white fish) and then only x2 pieces of halo chicken (as was the highest fat and I had to phase it out as he was piling on weight! So originally maybe he had 10-25 pieces of this). He also got Hazuri hedgehog food which I soon realised was rubbish and stopped giving, it did have corn and perhaps soy. So all the cat foods were grain free and hardly any chicken when this all started (the hazuri was made up of mealworm meal and apple, probiotics plus fillers, no meats I donít think), hence why I always thought it was the insects causing the issues.

Another hedgie owner has suggested perhaps a stomach ulcer, she said it would explain the gagging/vomitting and stomach bile issue...
Has anyone heard of a hedgehog having a stomach ulcer and how would I go about getting this diagnosed and treated?

So last night I added 5 more pieces of the Wellness Complete (Chicken with grains) so itís up to x15 now and reduced the now fresh turkey to x15 pieces and heís eaten basically all the food! Iíll see tonight if thereís any new vomit patches but last night we were all good so fingers cross it is ok! Iím going to try keep his paws cleaner and see if it helps too.

Also does anyone know how to upload video clips on here? It says the file cannot be found/read when I try to upload one...

Thank you!

Ria 04-04-2019 02:27 AM

79 Attachment(s)
Alright I think it was just that mealworm shell then. It must have got stuck and then has only just got out.

The way you'd find a stomach ulcer would be an ultra sound done by a vet who knows what shouldnt generally be in the stomatch to spot something odd such as a stomach ulcer
Perhaps when you go to another vet about the lip you coukd ask them about checking for a stomach ulcer.

Oh and I've got no idea how people add the videos, I think they go through the taptalk app but no idea. I was trying to work it out too.

Dea215 04-04-2019 06:47 PM

D Snow
This is a company that does allergy testing for pets, and may let you know which foods your pet would need to avoid, rather than guessing in the dark.

Healing energies

Dea215 04-05-2019 03:19 PM

Have never used carna4 kibble. I do unfortunately have a load of experience with food, environmental, and chemical allergies. I took close to a month to find food that would be appropriate for my Hedgehog that would not trigger my extensive list of allergies. I was killing time on the ASPCA web site yesterday looking up plant toxicity to animals , and they were listing the some of the symptoms of ingestion of toxic plants as excessive salivation, and vomiting. I read a post of yours saying that you were using Blue Buffalo as part of a mix for your hedgehog. I used to use this food for my cat, until they started adding all the spices. (some I am allergic to, and my cat started having issues unable to keep food down) Please consider that some of the spices in this cat food are at high enough levels to cause issues with a 8-10 lb cat, then a 400g hedgehog could be at serious risk.


Just an after thought, I am celiac (wheat allergy), so I keep my mealworms and other bugs in an oat bran based bedding, rather than the wheat bran bedding that most come in. If your hedgie is wheat sensitive this may make a difference to tummy upset.

I hope this is helpful, it can be so frustrating when our quilly kids are ill with no end in site.


Yukidama's mama 05-01-2019 11:54 PM

Thank you Dea for the advice, sorry for my late reply.

Having spoke to some other experienced hedgie owners, we’re not sure it is food related but that’s interesting to hear about the blue buffalo. I’m still in the process of phasing it out as definitely doesn’t sound good for them regardless. Thanks for telling me that.

I have completely taken out the now fresh food from his mix so he’s on wellness x37 and blue buffalo x25 but every day I am slowly increasing the wellness and reducing the blue buffalo. He was actually vomit free for a week after removing the now fresh so I thought I had cracked the issue but it started again. This week I’ve also started introducing Stella & chewies raw freeze dried but he hasn’t really gone for it yet. Doesn’t help he is one fussy hog, who loves insects but he doesn’t seem to be able to ingest them properly!! ><

I’ve noticed he keeps trying to burrow and scratches at his fleece which then gets fuzz caught in his nails and if I don’t get it out during bonding he then grooms himself and must eat it. Twice last week there was a long string of fleece fuzz in his poop, the second time it was dangling out of his bottom and I had to help get it out by giving him a foot bath :(

So at this point I’m thinking the fleece isn’t helping, might not be the sole cause but it can’t be good for him to keep ingesting it. I’m going to try switch him on natural substrate (soil, sand and coco peat). I still worried he might ingest this but it can’t be as bad as ingesting fleece surely. Although I’ve read about reptiles being compacted with sand so I’ll have to make sure it’s not one that clumps.

Yukidama's mama 05-02-2019 12:16 AM

Vomiting update & thoughts on trying natural substrate?
3 Attachment(s)
Vomiting Update:

Yuki has still been periodically vomiting. As I mentioned above, he had one good week of no vomiting which was after removing all the Now fresh food. But then it started again.

On Sunday 21st April I randomly woke up in the night, checked Yukiís pet cam (like the paranoid mum I am lol) and I saw a big vomit pile on his fleece inside the viv! I waited for him to go back to bed, he was actually really active this night, wheeled more than usual and drank a lot, and still ate reasonably well. He dropped 10gs when i weighed him the next day though! >< I scooped out the vomit pile to take to the vet and noticed this long clear thing in it! We also thought there was a speck of blood on the photo I took before I scooped it up but it could have just been the red fleece underneath. I didnít notice it when I looked at it but it was 4am by this point so I might have missed it.

Anyways we were worried this long thing could have been a parasite! My first reaction was it looked like a long piece of stringy semen which I have seen before lol, but when I sent photos to friends they thought a parasite. Whatever it was, most likely is what made him chuck up all his food, it was horrible to watch. I also saw a piece of black fleece fuzz in it. Iíll post photos in case anyone is interested.

We went to the vets, they checked the vomit, clear string thing and a poop sample as he also did a smelly not formed poop early hours that morning. Said it wasnít a parasite and they didnít know what it was (which means it was mostly like semen as I donít think vets realise they masturbate lol).

He didnít seem too concerned again, said his mouth looked good and sent us off with the same medicine as before. Not 100% happy with the diagnosis and just makes me feel like Iím being paranoid but clearly something isnít right.

He vomited a small patch once during the meds week and that night I gave him two mealies. I started mealies again to help get him to finish his meds. Heíd had them 3 precious nights (ate about 2-3 each night with no vomit). I stopped the mealies after the vomiting night and no more vomit until a few nights ago when below happened.

This past week weíve finished the meds and thereís been a small vomit patch two nights in a row inside his hide. I gave him white supers (ones that just shredded their shell so soft skin) and the vomiting happened both following mornings!

Heís still losing quills, approx 5 a week but the week before the last big vomit he lost 13 in a week! I gave him a bath and it seemed to help lower it back to 5 a week. Heís been losing quills since I put him back on fleece. The vet said again his skin looked good and he doesnít think itís mites so no need for another revolution treatment. So I guess think itís stress?

Next step is try changing his bedding to natural substrate. If anyone has any advice then please let me know. If you think itís a bad idea or could make the situation worse. At this point I feel like nothing is changing so I should try changing it...I can also change it back if he gets worse. My main concerns are compaction and also not being able to monitor as easily...

Ria 05-02-2019 03:44 AM

You could try something like shredded cardboard animal bedding they don't try to ingest that, he'd then be on a loose bedding, and you wouldn't be worrying about him ingesting the soil/sand and coco pete. Just an idea for you to think over. But I agree the fleece is not helping especially if he's ingesting it.

I also think if its possible is to find a another vet to look him over and see what they say, for a second opinion. They may find something the current one hasnt.

Yukidama's mama 05-03-2019 12:12 AM

Oh is that the bedding you use? I saw on your Instagram but couldn’t tell what it exactly was... not sure if I can get that here but I’ll check, thanks!

Yeh fleece doesn’t agree with him. He doesn’t seem to mind it for the most part but I do hear him being irritable and trying to burrow sometimes. Seeing long threads of it in his poop worries me so got to try something else...

So after trying to search again, I was so happy to find an actual exotic vets in my area! We have a small zoo where we live so of course there should be one near by! On their website they looked so friendly, had photos of them helping owls, large reptiles and even a fennec fox! So my friend called up and enquired for me but think they got scared we are foreign and couldn’t speak the language well (even though she told them my partner is basically fluent). They seemed to make excuses trying to send us to other places (one too far away and another we tried in the past and didn’t like) and said they mainly treat dogs and cats now. So it put me off going as didn’t know whether they didn’t feel comfortable/knowledgeable treating hedgehogs or it was a foreign/language issue, but they basically turned us away even after we made them aware of Yuki having this vomiting issue. Like they knew it wouldn’t be an easy thing to treat and involve more of their time. What kind of vet turns a sick animal away?! So we left it a couple of weeks but then that night he did another big vomit we wanted to take him in the next morning. We called both our current vet and the new one and they both said they didn’t have any appointments but the current vet said just to come ASAP and they’ll fit us in between appointments. The new vet said it’s best to come later on in the afternoon when they’d have more time, because a hedgehog is an exotic animal so they’ll need more time... kinda making excuses again, even with my boyfriend calling them. So we ended up just going to our current vet and they saw us straightaway. Yuki is really comfortable with this vet now but he does seem less aware of things. Just always says he looks good. He wasn’t even that concerned about the 13 quill loss because I don’t think he’s that aware they don’t really quill past 1 years old.

We will try the new vet out next time we need to go. I guess I’ll try changing to a lose bedding first and see if it helps the situation. I’m still phasing out blue buffalo too so hopefully both changes will help. Fingers crossed!

Ria 05-03-2019 03:37 AM

Yea thats the bedding I use. It generally made for horses !! Its technically a cardboard horse bedding, but its dust extracted and it works. It comes in a huge bag so last a fair while too.
Holly loves it burrows around her cage a lot !! Also helps her regulate her own temp better, but I put fleece strips in during the winter but its up to her to use all of them, some of them or non of them. She's good wont let herself get too cold or too hot.

Holly has always lost the odd few here and there since she finished quilling but never more than like 3 in a day, I was told this is normal for some hogs (not by a vet though) but 13 seems too much for this. Although dry skin can cause quill lose and itchiness sometimes.

I think try the new vet but make sure you take your boyfriend that day so that theres less likely to be a problem, you never know what could happen you could get there and then they are happy to take a look. I found that the reception staff in most vets aren't always on the same page as the actual vet.

Yukidama's mama 05-08-2019 10:54 PM

Ah I see, I’ll have a look but not as many farms around here!

I started using shredded paper towels (1 inch thickness) in his second litter tray and he seems to be using it. It’s good to see the urine colour and can just be disposed off and replaced easily.

Still I’m going to make up a large tote of natural substrate and just see how he does if he still vomits etc. He vomited again yesterday. I put a canned mealie in his breakfast food and by the evening there was a big vomit patch in his hide. I’m sure I didn’t see it in the morning but I could have missed it. Just don’t understand why, but you mentioned before Holly vomited mealies too right? I’ll try a Dubia maybe tonight and see. It’s seems to be a combination of insect shells, fleece fuzz and semen that makes him vomit.

Ah ok, I didn’t think it was normal, just the odd one here and there. That’s 13 in a week he lost. Last week he only lost 2 so that was good. So far this week he’s lost another 2 already.

Yes think we will try the new vet next time. My friend actually spoke directly to the vet after she told the receptionist yuki’s issue she put the vet on and it was him that was trying to discourage us not to come! So makes me feel that he’s not confident or doesn’t want to spend the time trying to help him. It might be the whole language part putting him off so we’ll at least try one time and see...

Dea215 05-15-2019 09:25 PM

If your hog is eating or chewing the fleece bedding what are you washing it in?

I wash everything in unscented sensitive skin laundry soap with white vinegar to disinfect it and remove nasty smells, more for my allergies than sammy's .

The other point one could make is that if you share a washing machine, or other people use scented laundry soap in the machine the scents can transfer to your unscented load. (not so bad in summer, but very noticeable at -40 when your scarf is over your face<enough to trigger my allergies>) Hedgies have way better sniffers than we do.

healing energies

Ria 05-16-2019 03:40 AM

Yuki isnt eating the fleece, when he's trying to dig to get under it little fibers get stuck on his feett, then he's cleaning his feet and ingesting the bits of fleece that were stuck on his feet.
Thats what's been said already.

Yea Holly didn't good with canned mealworms, but she doesn't really like worms at all its very hit and miss with the calci worms I give her.

It could well be the langue problem thats putting him off, incase one of you don't understand what the other said and then it becomes a problem or makes Yuki worse.
Although it could be a few reasons. I think a vet really just needs to look at hit stomach and see whats going wrong.

Maybe try crickets or grasshoppers see if you still get the throw up, it could possibly be the outside of the worm thats not working well

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