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Old 11-01-2013, 03:18 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Halloween Health Scare and First Vet Visit

Well, Meeko and I had our first health scare today.

I had noticed he had not been eating very much the past couple of days, but he does not eat much to start with and I thought possibly since he is quilling it might cause a change in activity, and consequentially in appetite. He had also been very upset and not friendly like he usually is, which I also attributed to quilling.

Tonight I took him out to show a friend, and noticed he had what appeared to be mushy food on the left side of his mouth. I held him and noticed he was drooling, which concerned me. Also there was virtually no poop in his wheel. He was not calming down and all of these signs made me realize something was very wrong. I had never taken him to the vet before, but had found a nearby exotic vet who, of course, was not available until morning.

Rather than risk another night of no eating, I took him to Veterinary Special Services in Ballwin. They were not very experienced with hedgehogs and wanted to put him under anesthesia. I know that can be very dangerous for small animals, so at first I resisted but he was so upset, even when I patiently tried to calm him down he refused to uncurl from a tight ball. (Normally, he NEVER balls up) So I reluctantly agreed to let them use anesthesia, after the vet assured me they have successfully done this with hedgehogs multiple times and never had complications before. I weighed the costs of them not being able to examine him and decided he wouldn't make it if they couldn't, so it was worth the risk. He came out of anesthesia okay (I was sobbing though, so worried that was the last time I would see him alive.)

The vet said they found a cut in his mouth and no idea how it happened, but that it definitely could be causing him to not be able to eat, open his mouth. They gave me Baytril as an antibiotic and Bucenex as a pain killer so he could start eating. I was actually able to give him the meds pretty easily, even though he was extremely agitated and running around like crazy. I made sure his habitat was clean and put him in it and he ate a few bites of food and now seems to be sleeping.

If anyone has any tips or advice I would definitely appreciate it. I am so frazzled and feel so guilty, but the vet has no idea what caused it and neither do I. I just wish I had caught it sooner, but I am so glad that he should be okay.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:20 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Poor little guy.

What type of food is he eating? Is there anything sharp in the food that could have caused the cut? A while back, Spikes Delight had had sharp things in the food which was cutting mouths.

Does he like to chew on things? Could he have chewed something that was sharp?

Soft food would be a good idea until his mouth heals. You can dampen his kibble with a little bit of warm water or give him canned food.
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Old 11-01-2013, 09:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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No advice, but don't be too hard on yourself. You realized so,etching was wrong and got him medical treatment. Now he will get better. He won't hold it against you . The pain mess will help him feel more comfortable. Maybe try a wet food diet for a bit until his mouth heals and he feels like eating his normal food again?
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