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Old 12-12-2014, 01:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Anesthesia Help Needed!

Quick background: I have a rescue that came to me just skin and bone, nearly starved. I realized he couldn't eat hard food and when I added water he gobbled his food down like a champ. Fast forward 2 months, he's up to a healthy weight and eats a healthy amount but still can't chew, even through a mealworm. Now a tooth broke apart.

We went to the vet for a dental check. She gave him Sevoflurane (anesthetic gas), but she said it seemed to have little effect on him, she gave him more and he did not relax or cooperate. Said he must have a very quick metabolism. She then injected him with Butorphanol (a pain med), but he still didn't relax enough for her to work with him. Next she injected him with Telazol (a sedative). At that point she was able to inspect his mouth. He is missing a few teeth and have a few loose ones. She was not able to extract or take x-rays because he never fully passed out.

It's now been 9 hours and he is still extremely 'drugged' and out of it.

She wants us to come back so they can use a different drip anesthetic that she thinks will work better so she can do the extractions and get x-rays.

My question is.... Does anyone know what anesthetic and doses are typically used and work well? I'm scared to put him through this risk any further, yet I don't like that he is dealing with teeth issues.
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Old 12-12-2014, 01:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am not sure what Tinkerball was given when she needed to be sedated for an exam and to be rehydrated, but she was okay after less than an hour. She didn't seem drugged up or anything, and she was given an anaesthetic and a painkiller too. She was drowsy at first, but then she seemed pretty hyperactive for about two hours afterwards. I don't think what's happening to your hedgie is "right" -- it can't be his metabolism, can it?
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Old 12-12-2014, 02:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for responding!
Yeah, I think the doses or the anesthetic were definitely wrong. She said she had to consult her 'manual' and that was what was recommended. Thankfully this morning he finally seemed a little more 'with it' and lively. It was a scary night for me, he was so out of it and his eyes looked lifeless.

Anyone know the name and dose for anesthesia that is typically used on hedgehogs? My vet said she'd be open to suggestions if I find out anything. He still needs the extraction done
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Old 12-12-2014, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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UM... I would probably find a different vet that already knows this information. The vet sounds like she doesn't have enough experience to be doing a procedure like this on an exotic animal. Anesthetic and the metabolism really aren't related. It isn't food, it's a drug that has the potential to be very harmful.
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would PM Nancy and ask her, she's had a few hedgehogs who have had surgeries.


Oh and anesthetic and metabolism are related, all drugs are affected by metabolism. Metabolism is how our bodies break down the drug and excrete it from our bodies. Someone which a high metabolism will clear a drug from their system faster than a person with a slow metabolism. There are other factors as well but metabolism is a big one.
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Old 12-12-2014, 05:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just PM'ed her

Someone else said Isoflurane gas is the gas used at their vet clinic.

The vet I went to is indeed young and new. But she specialized in exotics, and is very caring, friendly, and 'workable'. She's open to ideas and learning and isn't afraid to admit when she doesn't know and needs to research more.

It was a difficult decision to use her... the other vet I was using is experienced and knowledgeable and recommended. Has lots of hedgehog experience, including surgeries. But she didn't have the best 'bedside manners', used some outdated information and wasn't open to new recommendations, was difficult to get appointments with, and twice as expensive.
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Old 01-08-2015, 03:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Update (in case someone else comes across this post looking for help):

After asking around and consulting with vets, * Isoflurane gas * is the anesthetic recommended for hedgehogs needing anesthesia.

I went to a different exotic vet (farther away and much more expensive, but lots of hedgehog experience) and that is what they use for anesthesia on hedgehogs.

Pinecone had his dental work done there with no problems and by the evening he was very chipper and seemed to be feeling better already
Much different experience than with the other anesthetic that was tried! I'm just thankful nothing went seriously wrong!
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