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Old 03-23-2013, 03:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
Lilysmommy
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Default Re: First Vet Trip - Wellness checkup - What to expect/ask?

They will likely observe the outside (skin, quills, feel for lumps, abnormalities in limbs, etc.), as well as looking more closely in ears and eyes, if possible. Listen to heart, etc. They may try to get a look at the mouth if hedgie cooperates - they can do this with a wooden tongue depressor or a long q-tip sometimes and get a decent look at teeth & mouth just in general.

Things I would watch out for - keep an eye on how the vet handles your hedgehog. How is their manner, are they gentle or very abrupt and impatient? Obviously vets tend towards the business-like side of handling, to get things done and checked, but they should still be somewhat gentle and patient with them, especially if the hedgehog is nervous and huffing. They shouldn't be trying to wear thick leather gloves - I would expect maybe the usual latex gloves, though. I would also be hesitant if they want to go straight for anesthetizing the hedgehog for a check-up rather than trying it with hedgie awake first, and maybe using a bowl of warm water if they're being a bit uncooperative. Drugs should be avoided if at all possible for wellness exams unless the hedgehog is downright uncooperative, even with water.

Personally, I wouldn't allow Ivermectin to be used either - at least not injected. Topical and oral methods are slightly safer, but regardless, I would still choose Revolution as the first choice for mite treatment if necessary. If Revolution can't help, then other medications could be discussed, but there's no reason not to go with the safer method first.

I would also see how open the vet is to answering questions, explaining their views on surgery, pain relief, etc., ask if they allow for payment plans from regular customers in the event of a huge surgery bill, stuff like that. Keep in mind that many vets like to recommend hedgehog food instead of cat food, simply because there's tests done for hedgehog food with hedgehogs, but not cat food. Not a deal-breaker, really, but they should be willing to leave it alone if you explain that you feel good quality cat food has healthier ingredients and prefer to use it.
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