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Old 02-22-2014, 12:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 301
Default Pearl has oral cancer

Hi everyone. We haven't posted on this forum for a long time but yesterday we received the heartbreaking news. Pearl has squamous cell carcinoma of both the upper and lower jaw. It is not very noticeable at all from the outside but the vet showed me inside of her mouth and she definitely has a mass on the top too. It started to bleed just from him using his fingers to open her mouth under anesthesia. The vet prescribed an antibiotic to prevent secondary infection.

We haven't noticed any behavior changes other than a few months ago she was eating less so we started moistening her kibble and she's been doing well. Her weight is stable. ..A bit on the plump side. She turned 3 years old in January.

My questions are. .. any ideas on how much time she has before she starts having trouble? We do not want her to suffer. And is there anything else we can do to help her? Should we feed her anything different?
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Old 02-22-2014, 02:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Chicago
Posts: 14

I'm sorry for your unfortunate news. It's so sad how these adorable creatures are so prone to cancer. Although I don't know much about hedgehogs, because I'm a new owner, I know a little about comforting terminally ill pets. Just give her all the snuggles and love you've got, really. Make her as comfy and happy as possible. Baby food might be better if she starts having trouble eating. It would be softer and easier on her mouth. I wish you two the best of luck.
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Old 02-22-2014, 04:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Aww sorry for what happened.

Try offering her some softer foods to ease with her chewing and swallowing.


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Old 02-22-2014, 07:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan
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Did your vet prescribe piroxicam for her? If not, you may want to ask your vet about it to see if it would be appropriate for Pearl.

Piroxicam is a NSAID, which would help with any pain she may have now and in the future. But there are studies that show it may help slow the growth of SCC in dogs/cats. I have used it with SCC hedgehogs, as have others. Of course whether it helped or not is hard to tell, but I can tell you the NSAID part of it does help.
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Old 02-24-2014, 03:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 34

Oliver was just diagnosed with oral cancer as well. The vet prescribed him four medications, some of which are herbal remedies. They are meant to slow the spreading of the tumor. She also prescribed meloxicam for any pain he might be experiencing. It's so hard to tell if they're in pain or not!
She also recommended adding water to his kibble and mashing it up to make it easier to eat, and I've also been feeding him baby food which is much easier for him than his regular hard kibble.
It's heartbreaking, because the vet told me there was nothing else that could be done except make him more comfortable and prolong his life for a bit longer.
Did your vet recommend any medications?
Hugs to you and Pearl.
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Old 02-24-2014, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 301

Thanks for the suggestions. .I have a call into the vet about meds. My daughter is also wondering about prednisone for Pearl. I will ask him. So far she is just on the antibiotic. Poor little thing. ..She seems mostly Ok and is so sweet. We hate to have her go through this. .. hate to lose her but her needs have to come first when that time comes. And I'm so sorry about Oliver.
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