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Old 11-07-2019, 06:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tongue swollen and bleeding


Recently I was letting my hedgehog roam around and suddenly found that he was violently chewing on his tongue and it was very swollen. I managed to get into his mouth and pulled out a foreign object, which I have no clue how he got into his mouth as he's watched pretty strictly in a clean place when he's out of his cage.

He can't eat his kibble now because of the swollen tongue, so I syringe feed him daily and I've also been giving him amoxicillin as an antibiotic.

Does anybody have a clue why he started chewing on his tongue? Was it because he was choking? I was told by a vet that as long as he's taking the medicine and eating from the syringe his tongue should heal, but I noticed it still slightly bleeds and it is quite chewed up from one side... can this really heal without removal of his tongue?
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to ask your vet about this. We can't answer that question as we can't see everything the vet saw. The vet needs to be told that it`s still bleeding so that if it needs a different treatment he can take care of it. You only want to remove a tongue as a last resort as it will make it hard, if not impossible, for him to eat or drink properly after.
Retired breeder and active HWS rescue station
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Old 11-08-2019, 12:18 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Is it common that the tongue is removed for a hedgehog with a damaged tongue? I really don't want him to go through that, and I'm only a student and wasn't even expecting any vet fees for this pet so soon as he's only a month old...
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Old 11-08-2019, 09:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Unfortunately sometimes those vet fees happen even with the very young.

You need to work closely with your veterinarian. If it isn’t healing as fast as it should be or you are still seeing blood your vet needs to know this as the treatment being given may need to change. Call your veterinarian’s office and give an update. Call and ask the questions you are asking here. They will determine if they need to see the animal again or may just give you new instructions on how to treat.

Are tongue injuries common? Yes, No, Maybe? They can and do happen obviously. 20+ years ago we used to see more postings of them from hedgehogs who had water bottles, but those don't seem to get posted as often as they used to.

How the tongue heal has too many variables for anyone to tell you what to expect. I can tell you that I have unfortunately experienced a badly bitten tongue (hedgehog got a little overly excited when offered a mealworm), and the outcome was great, but it required a lot of work/time/attention on my part to get that result.

You mentioned antibiotics, is she also on pain relief of any kind. NSAIDs may help with the swelling too, something to ask your vet. Does your vet have you flushing her mouth? Mine had me doing that after each feeding and again a couple of additional times a day to keep the wound clean.

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Old 11-09-2019, 03:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I got back from the vet today and he's on a new antibiotic as well as a painkiller and "Carnivore Care" so that he gets all his nutrients. The vet says the hard part of his tongue will naturally fall off, and hopefully the antibiotic helps with the infection or else he'll need surgery
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