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Old 12-11-2015, 04:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi, I usually go to school during the week and come home on Thursdays and I noticed that my hedgehog's food was still full. My mom and sister usually take care of him and keep his food and water filled while I am gone and I took him out to clip his nails and I noticed he was acting strange because he was letting me clip his nails. I then sat him on my bed to look at him walk and he couldn't walk much at all and he was very lethargic. I placed him in blankets and put my heater on to keep him warm and he didn't seem to have a cool stomach but he did later. I also fed him a piece of his food, and he ate it but then threw it up that same day. That following Monday, I brought him to the breeder I bought him from. He was very wobbly and unstable when he walked and fell down on his side. She said he seemed to be dehydrated and said that he's just getting old and they can sometimes have trouble walking. I got him some new food and he seems to eat it a little bit, but he still isn't eating as much but he's drinking a lot of water. I also put half of his cage shavings and the other half I put down pillowcases so it wouldn't be so uneven for him. When I set him on the floor, he seems to walk fine. He doesn't wobble anymore like he did on Monday, but he does fall over sometimes on his side. It's almost like it is his right back leg. He is three years old so I don't know if this is just old age or not. Thanks for the help.
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Old 12-11-2015, 07:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Lets start with the basics:

What is the temperature inside his cage? What is your cage heating setup?

How much light does he receive, and do you have a light schedule/setup.

If all the above are fine then I'd suggest making a veterinary visit instead of a breeder visit. There are many other things that could be going on besides old age that may require a veterinarian to treat. For example, ear infections can cause wobbliness and falling over. Arthritis in the spine can cause them to stiffen. Etc.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your advice. I took him to the veterinarian today and he diagnosed him with WHS.
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Old 12-14-2015, 11:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Did the vet rule anything else out, or just say h has an unsteady gait and so it must be WHS?
Let's look at the basics like Kalandra suggested. Cage temperature and light schedule. Rule out hibernation attempt and other physical issues that a vet can actually determine. WHS is only be diagnosed by findings in a necropsy.
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Old 12-14-2015, 12:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by twobytwopets View Post
Did the vet rule anything else out, or just say h has an unsteady gait and so it must be WHS?
Let's look at the basics like Kalandra suggested. Cage temperature and light schedule. Rule out hibernation attempt and other physical issues that a vet can actually determine. WHS is only be diagnosed by findings in a necropsy.
His temperature is fine and he gets lighting from the window outside and I keep a light at night for him. I thought maybe he did try to hibernate because it may have gotten cold in my room. I'm usually gone four days out of the week and my family usually makes sure it's warm, but I think maybe it may have gotten cold? Would this cause him to walk off balance? It's been a week and he hasn't gotten cold again. And now he can barely walk and just falls to his side.
The vet didn't rule anything out. He didn't look to see how he walked. I set him on the table and he just fell on his side and He just automatically said he's diagnosing him with WHS and gave me some steroid liquid to give to him. And then pricked his ear to check him for diabetes and he didn't have it. Thanks.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It doesn't sound like the poor balance/walking is linked to being too cold if he hasn't attempted hibernation again & you're sure the temperature is high enough. But it wouldn't hurt to boost it up another couple of degrees & see how it goes.

I would suggest finding another vet. It's a shame when they want to jump straight to the easiest diagnosis that also has no test or cure. Added to that, with as fast as it's been, it's very unlikely to be WHS anyway. I would see if another vet will check him for ear infections, spinal injuries, and check into other possible causes of paralysis before going along with this diagnosis.
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Old 12-14-2015, 08:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Going to try to be brief as I'm on mobile and I hate typing a large amount on my phone.

It's not unusual for hedgehogs to become Ill after a hibernation attempt. He could have a uri and since it hasn't been treated he's weak and showing it. He could also have an ear infection which can cause them to be off balance.

In short, either get back to the vet and make him actually try to figure out what is really wrong, or find another vet that will. Very likely this could be something treatable, but the longer it takes to figure it out, the harder it will be.

Also, your hedgie doesn't need a light at night, only during the day. You're just trying to create a consistent day/night cycle. You didn't specify that I saw what light schedule you have, so wanted to make sure that was clear
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