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Old 10-06-2015, 10:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default WHS and lumps near genitals

Hi all,
I am new to this forum, so pleas accept my apologies if these questions have been answered previously in other threads.

My 3 year old female hog has been diagnosed with WHS.
She is still eating at the moment but is definately not herself.
I just wanted to know if hedgehogs with WHS are in pain.

The vet was looking to put her down but i advised i would prefer to give her pallitive care until she can nolonger take food.
But i don't want to keep her alive if she is in any pain.

Furthermore, she has some lumps around her genital area.
The vet did not know what they were, but did not seem concerned about them.
Could they be a cause for the weightloss and lack of balance instead of the WHS?

Thanks in advance for your advice
Debz
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Old 10-06-2015, 11:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
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WHS can only be confirmed after death (autopsy). What are her symptoms and why is the vet thinking of WHS? The lumps could very well be tumours, hedgehogs are prone to cancer, but sometimes other illnesses can give lumps as well. WHS is relatively rare but too often vets call something WHS as soon as the hedgehog gets a little wobbly. I'd go for a second opinion somewhere else (an exotic vet with pygmy hedgehog experience)
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for the reply and feedback.

The vet is an experienced one and recommended by my local(ish) exotic pet shop.

Initially he treated her for mites as her ear was clogged and they found some when they cleared it out. but her sysmptoms are worsening 3 weeks and 2 injections later

Symptoms are:
Loss of balance -she cannot walk straight and falls to one side. it started with her not being able to stand up at her food bowl.
loss of weight (she is visibly thinner in the back end now)
loss of appetite (she still eats worms but is off many of the other treats i give her and is only eating custard at the moment)
Lack of energy (for the past 2 nights i have had to wake her up, she eats and then goes straight back to bed)

Could the lumps be melanoma's? Do vets treat these in small animals normally? If the recommended and more experienced vet in the region will not treat them, I am not sure it will do me good taking her to somewhere that hasn't seen a pygmy hedgehog...
I had a mouse with a tumor and they just put him down.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You mentioned she had a clogged ear. Could she have an inner ear infection? An inner ear infection can have the symptoms you described, loss of weight, loss of appetite, lack of energy, falling over/balance issues, unable to right themselves, etc.

WHS hedgehogs typically have a slow onset of balance issues. Typically if the symptoms show up rather quickly it tends to be an ear infection, tumor, stroke, or something else that has caused the imbalance.
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Old 10-06-2015, 04:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What kind of injections did she get?
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thanks for the responses all.
I am not sure if I just missed some early symptoms

The injections were for treating the mites and antibiotics.
Unfortunately the vet didn't give me an itemised bill. But I can ask for one I am sure.

For the passed two days I have found her out of her bed just lying on her side which is also worrying as she doesn't normally come out during daylight hours
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Old 10-08-2015, 12:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I believe Nikki's question is because she is wondering if he was given Ivermectin. Ivermectin is commonly prescribed by many vets for mites. However, hedgehogs can be hypersensitive to it, making it very toxic to them. Which is why we recommend people request Revolution (aka selamectin, or Stronghold in some countries).

In dogs a list of symptoms are as follows. If you read some of the threads on hedgehogs with toxicity symptoms, you'll find similar symptoms.

Quote:
Symptoms for the dog may be acute or mild. Acute signs will become apparent within 4 to 12 hours of the drug's administration. In mild cases, symptoms will occur between 48 to 96 hours after your dog has been treated. Such symptoms include:

  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Dilation of the pupil
  • Loss of appetite (anorexia)
  • Difficulty controlling voluntary movement
  • Disorientation
  • Tremors/Seizures
  • Inability to stand
  • Blindness
  • Slow heartbeat
  • Respiratory distress
  • Coma
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Old 10-09-2015, 07:50 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi,
I just check with the vet receptionist and it was Ivermectin that was prescribed.

How long would it take for any side effects to wear off?
Or should i book her into a different vet ASAP?
The last injection was a week ago

She is holding her head to one side now too
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Old 10-09-2015, 08:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I'd contact a vet now. Ask them about ivermectin toxicity. I don't know that they can do much to help other than provide palliative care after a week, but its a question to ask now. You may even ask about inner ear infection on the off chance it could still be that, but an ivermectin reaction seems likely. There may still be something else going on, but these are definitely worth checking into to rule out.

I don't know that any of us can tell you how long the side effects could last if it is the ivermectin. I think even in dogs it just varies depending on the animal and the reactions being seen. I've seen reports of both hedgehog and dog recovering, and I've seen reports of hedgehogs who died within a day of treatment. It all just depends on how sensitive your hedgehog is to the drug, and how large of a dose she received.

You'll definitely need to continue to provide palliative care, help her eat, help her move around to prevent bed sores, etc. Please keep us updated. We will keep our quills crossed here that she pulls through this.
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Old 10-19-2015, 12:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi all,
I took Piikki to a different vets on friday.
She was not the specialist in the clinic but has dealt with plenty of wild hedgehogs.

She confirmed it looks like WHS

But looked at the lumps and confirmed them to be blisters from where she is dragging herself about.

She has some oral anti-biotics for this.

Can you recommend a less abrasive substrate i can use?
Currently she is on newspaper covered with sawdust.
I am now putting kitchen towel in-between as she was having difficulty getting a grip on the newspaper.

One ear was 'dirty', so the vet took a swab to check for any lingering mites (rather than just injecting with ivermectine again, but it doesn't appear to be infected.

The vet had to gas Piikki for all of this because for once she was holding herself in a ball whilst she was on her back :/
The vet tried listening for the heart rate, but Piikki kept biting the stethoscope

Thanks all again for your help
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