Elena won't eat after baby died - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Elena won't eat after baby died

I hope I'm putting this in the right spot.

Thursday the 13th my hedgie Elena suddenly gave birth to 1 baby. We didn't know she was pregnant, we did think she was, but we weren't sure and we didn't know how far along she could be. So unfortunately her mate Damon was still in the enclosure with her. As soon as I found out there was a baby I took Damon out, but obviously it had allready caused a lot of stress. Elena seemed to take care of her baby, but unfortunately she didn't and her baby died the next day.

Since her baby died she has stopped eating and drinking. On Saturday I took her out and she did take 1 morio and Sunday I took her out again and she took 2 mealies, but that was it. I cleaned out her enclosure, just in case there might be a smell in there that bothered her. But last night we took her to the vet and he gave her some fluids under the skin and a shot of antibiotics. We also got antibiotics to give her the next few days and some Hills A/D and Convelescence Cupport to syringe feed her.
I've fed her twice today, but she hasn't tried to eat herself yet.
She did poop and pee today, so her intestines work.
She's doesn't appear very ill, she is active when I take her out, moving around and if I do something she doesn't like she huffs and puffs as Always. She's not wobbly or weak, her eyes are bright, her belly is soft, there's no discharge from her lady parts, everything is clean.

Does anyone have any experience with a situation like this? How are the odds, do they start eating themselves mostly or are her chances slim?
We are going to get xrays tomorrow just to make sure there is no baby inside anymore.
I really hope she will get better and that any day I'll find her worm bowl empty.
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Old 02-18-2014, 02:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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If she was with a male than that is a huge stress within itself. Constantly being pursued can be exhausting and even cause fights. Females are known to kill babies when stressed, never mind with a male in the cage. If you have a male and female she will get pregnant, and there is always a risk you won't notice. I would suggest keeping them in separate cages as they are solitary animals.
Hopefully the vet will provide some more answers tomorrow. For now you're just going to have to keep syringe feeding her food and water. I've heard of people using a large tub and having females who had a complicated birth swim for therapy, so that may be worth a try. Just keep pushing fluids and food, and make sure she is passing them regularly.
I will keep her, and you, in my thoughts!!
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:20 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Unfortunately when I got Elena I was informed wrong. The previous owner had alwaya kept her with the male and even when she had 2 boys they were all together. Damon has his own bachelor house now, they will never be put together again because we don't exactly know Elena's age. And I don't want to risk something like this happening again.

When I wanted to syringe feed her again tonight I put the bowl of morios and mealies in front of ger just in case and she actually ate 5 morios in a row, even 2 that were trying to crawl away, she went after them. I was so glad to see that. So I just gave her the meds, but didn't want to over feed her so no syringe feeding tonight.
Let's hope she keeps it up and I won't have to stress her out more with the syringe feeding.

Should I still go and have xrays taken or should I see if she ate more overnight and then maybe cancel the appointment?
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Old 02-18-2014, 05:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I have had wonderful advise prom people in regards to syringe feedings. Keep feeding her the a/d by syringe until her appetite kicks in. try to get 16 cc of food into her in a day, at this point her appetite should be stimulated. count and/or weigh dry food so you know how much she is really eating. You will know when she is ready to eat on her own, she will snarf the food down! Syringe feeding isn't much fun, but it is necessary.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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She keeps giving me mixed signals.
Last night I woke her for some syringe feeding, but she actually went after some morio's in her enclosure, they were underneath a towel and she went under there to catch them, so she ate 3 morio's. I didn't want to bully her with the syringe feeding after that. She also went into her toilet and made a nice poo and pee. Was very happy with that.
But this morning when I checked her feeding bowls, she didn't eat anything anymore. So I took her out and then she took another morio.

The only way I can syringe feed her is putting her feet in water and the scruff her. Feel so sorry for her that I have to do it like that, but if I try it any other way she curls up.

I'm also keeping her weight.
at 15/2 she was 395
16/2: 385
17/2: 378 (we took her to the vet this day)
19/2 374
20/2: 366

So she is still losing weight a bit.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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What else besides the Morios and mealies is she eating? She should be eating more I think. Have you tried a kibble or wet food? Maybe she has teeth or mouth issues going on and it hurts to eat. Can you look in her mouth? What did the vet say ?
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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She always has kibble as well. Royal Canin 32 or somethinf. I tried eggs before but she wasn't interested.
I've put 2 pinkies in her cage with her. She did smell them, but hasn't tried it yet. But she does always eat better when it's darker. So I'll try again as soon as the light is turned off.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:27 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If you aren't already, put her kibble in her sleeping area with her. Sometimes they will nibble on food during the day if it is in bed with them. I'd also add a seperate dish that has slightly moistened kibble.

To me this has been going on too long though, there is something going on. I think she needs to go back to a veterinarian for a recheck. I know her enthusiasm for insects has confused you, but I've seen plenty of hedgehogs over the years continue to eat their bugs when they are sick.

Another thought, and its already been mentioned, but I want to highlight it again, did the vet check her mouth? Perhaps the baby loss and this is coincidence.

You shouldn't have to fight with her like that to make her eat. That's stressful and if she is fighting that much you are running the risk of her aspirating on food. Aspiration of food will make this a much worse situation.

I'd get her back into a vet to have her rechecked.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I did check her mouth when I fed her this afternoon. Everything looks normal, her gums are nice and pink and her teeth are white, non broken.
I'll call the vet again tomorrow to ask advice.
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Old 02-20-2014, 01:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I would go for a full work up at the vet at this point and cover all of your bases, along with the other ideas Kalandra mentioned.
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