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Old 10-11-2018, 01:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Wobbly like symptoms

Hello,
About 3 weeks ago, I noticed my 2.5 year old hedgehog was acting strange. Very lethargic and wouldn't move much. My vet recommended to warm up his room with a heater and install a heating pad underneath his cage. Since then, he has been more active, but very wobbly now. His left front leg continues to get stuck under him when he's trying to walk.
The most bizarre behavior, he acts like he is starving. I have fed him a couple bowls of food a day with lots of meal worms and he will scarf it down. He has never acted like that before. I have had him since he was 4 months old and have never had this time of behavior. He is still trying to run on his wheel and tries to run around his cage, looking for more food. Today, I checked on him and he was stuck on his left side, struggling to get up.
Do you think it is WHS?
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I hate to say it but there is a possibility.


-Any history of WHS from the breeder when you got him? ( i know its been a while :P)


-Has he always been extremely active (e.x. 5-10km on wheel every day)? I ask because their limbs are prone to arthritis. Your local vet can perform tests to possibly exclude this possibility. Im worried my baby is going to suffer from this when he gets older because he is absolutely addicted to his wheel.


-Vet ruled out any possible injuries through tests?
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Old 10-11-2018, 02:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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He was purchased from a neglected pet store, so the details on the breeder are unknown and that is why I'm fearing WHS.

He has always been active, wheel every night, all night long.

When I spoke to my vet 3 weeks ago, she informed me that there was not much she would do. She would need to put him under anesthesia and was concerned he would not make it since he was so weak and lethargic. She requested warmth and that was about it
I thought the left front paw could have been due to a toenail issue. I noticed there was some fluff and poop under his nail so I soaked it and removed it and did a good trimming on all nails. He continued to drag his foot. This was about 1.5 weeks ago. I have noticed his front limbs are a lot weaker and he's been using his snout to help him get around. He acts lost and confused too, which is abnormal for Spike. From what I read online, WHS starts in the rear legs, but his back legs seem to be fine. He does seem to lift his body up a little higher than normal.

He is also very wobbly when standing on his own..
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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What is the temperature of the cage? Do you have a heat system set up? What's his lighting schedule? It seems best to take him in for a more thorough investigation.

https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...-syndrome.html

This thread is very informative on what WHS is
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Put him under anesthesia.... For what reason?


Did the Vet 100% rule out the possibilities i mentioned above? These can result in "wobbliness" as well. If i had arthritis in one of my legs id be wobby AF too :P



In addition; how is his general reflex/reactions? Reaction to food, reaction to things you know he doesnt like, etc. Have these changed too?
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:32 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I do not have an exact temperature of his cage, but his room is at 74 degrees F 24/7. I have a window that I keep blinds open so he has natural lighting pattern. Nothing has changed in his environment.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Katio, my vet said she would not be able to check him out at all because he could "Ball up". I thought that was interesting and did not want to proceed. My vet is not interested in seeing him without putting him under anesthesia and I'm not interested in doing that to Spike. I will call again and see if she'd be willing to evaluate without anesthesia.
His reactions have not really changed. The one thing that's different is he acts VERY eager for food. As soon as I come near the cage, he tries to get up and go to his bowl. I've been feeding him more since he continues to eat. Before I noticed a change in behavior, he would only eat a scoop a day and sometimes leave some kibble until he's hungry again.

One thing that did happen to me on Tuesday.. He did bite me. He has never bit before, but I did just hand feed him a mealworm, then he bit. Not sure if that is any correlation or if he was just hungry.

He is currently on his wheel, trying to run.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The temperature of the room is different than the temperature of the room. You should invest in a thermometer asap. Have you tried bumping up the temperature? Natural lighting is not sufficient as a light source. You must have artificial lighting like a ceiling light, desk lamp, etc.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:26 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Automatic temperature control & a light schedule are two of many minimum for a healthy hedgie, just like what squirtle said.


I use this to ensure his cage is always at the perfect temperature. Many difference models out there.



https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B01...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 10-11-2018, 09:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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So does he not put weight on the front foot at all? It sounds like he may have injured it. WHS is a very slow progression and like you said is the rear legs that decline first. So more sounds like trauma to the front foot.

If he is eating well and trying to run/being active now, I don't think he is weak and will be ok under anaesthetic, this is just my opinion of course from what you've said and is your decision what you do. I know it's scary having them put under, I didn't for ages with my boy as was worried he would be too weak but after months of trying to solve a mouth issue, we finally did it to investigate further and he was completely fine and back to his normal self the next day. Just make sure they do a lot of tests whilst he is under so it was worth doing it and won't need to be done again. Like I had hem xray his whole body as well as his mouth to make sure his lungs and stomach were also ok.

They generally only give a small dose of anaesthesia anyways (confirm this with your vet though), enough so they can do a thorough examination and tests/xrays etc. Definitely sounds like he needs some xrays done and this will confirm if he has fractured a bone or there are any masses etc. Even if it is trauma, the vet should give you some medication to try to help get it functioning properly again.

If you don't have much confidence in this vet, try finding another one. They should at least be ok to hold him, using gloves as a minimum!

And like the other posts already said, a thermometer inside his cage is a must (they are cheap to buy on Amazon in the reptile section) and a heat set up controlled by a thermostat, or you need to keep the room consistently at the same required temperature. The thermometer inside the cage will help you monitor this. Lighting schedule is also a must, these two things help avoid hibernation attempts and regulate their activity levels. It sounds like this may have been the original cause since he has already improved with the increase in temperature.

You can try looking up old posts about trauma with legs, to try and get some more information on treatments.

Keep us posted, hoping he gets better soon.
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