Do you have Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 09-12-2020, 11:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Do you have Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome?

I've owned 4 hedgehogs and Durin is the first one that I lost to WHS. Now that he's gone I'm leaving his record here just in case someone is googling the disease and needs some guidance.

First off: WOBBLY HEDGEHOG IS A TERRIBLE NAME FOR THIS DISEASE WHO CAME UP WITH THAT??? Hedgehogs wobble for almost literally anything. I used to work at a pet shop that I'm certain euthanized two hedgehogs because they were wobbling. They guessed that that meant that they had wobbly hedgehog, but I'm pretty sure they were in the middle of a hibernation attempt. If your hedgehog is wobbling, for the love of god, warm them up first!

When Durin started showing symptoms I took him to the vet and was determined to rule out all other wobble-inducing possibilities. I got him some antibiotics just in case he had an ear infection, I got him an X-ray to see if he had a tumor growing somewhere that interfered with his spine, I got his blood worked to rule out a tumor that X-rays missed, before COVID shut down all medical buildings I was going to get him an ultrasound to investigate for internal bleeding.

Eventually Durin was suffering too much and had to be Euthanized. I sent his body to get a proper necropsy and it came back confirming that it was in fact Wobbley Hedgehog Syndrome. THat's another pernicious trait of this disease: it can only be confirmed by cutting open the animal and looking at its nervous system. It's not that you can't diagnose it before death, but no matter how expert the opinion, it will still be a guess. And unfortunately because of that STUPID NAME, inexperienced vets will tend to guess WBS too early based on way too few symptoms.

If you suspect your baby has WHS first, NEVER DESCRIBE THEM AS "WOBBLING." Say that they're shaking, weak when they walk, tremble, etc. but don't plant the phrase "wobble" into your vet's mind. Make them come to that conclusion on their own. After that, try to do your due diligence and rule out other possibilities. It'll be expensive, it'll be a long painful road, but a "wobble" is not a diagnosis.
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diagnose, necropsy, wbs, wobble, wobbly hedgehog syndrome

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