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Old 06-30-2015, 02:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Anti fungal medication?

Okay, so Liam was said to have pneumonia about 3 months ago. He's had X-rays done, nebulizations, antibiotical shots, 4 different antibiotics (baytril, tribrissen, amoxicillin, and clavamox), anti parasite medicine, and he still isn't any better. He sneezes frequently, has a fairly wet nose, and also has the occasional wheezing. We've tried just about everything, and at this point his vet believes it may a fungal infection, tumor (although he has plenty of doubts about this because he is a pretty young hedgie), or a chest abscess. And out of those three, only a fungal infection would be treatable, but we are both pretty hesitant to try anti fungal medication, as one of the major side effect is liver damage. There is no way that he mentioned to culture the infection and see what it might be, and X-rays don't show it either. My question is, has anyone had experience with an anti fungal medication, and should I go along with giving it to him? Also are there any ways to possibly try and go against the side effects? I just want him to get better, but at this point I just don't know what to do.

I should also add that besides the symptoms that I mentioned, he eats and drinks normally, and I was also given the okay to put his wheel back in but will most likely take it out again if he doesn't improve.

Last edited by liam1; 06-30-2015 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't understand why he cannot do a culture. What was his reasoning?
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Old 06-30-2015, 02:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't understand why he cannot do a culture. What was his reasoning?
He said that unlike with humans or dogs that could be put into light sedation then have something stuck down their nose to culture it, that couldn't be done with a hedgehog because it's too small of an animal, at least that was his reasoning.
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Old 06-30-2015, 03:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Interesting. I have a friend who I know had a nasal swab done on both of her hedgehogs and possibly more than once while they were battling a MRSA based URI. (ADDED info) I think it was fairly easily done the first time as the hedgehogs had runny noses, but I just went into my old email and found that she did have them done later to verify the MRSA was gone. So, it can be done, its likely difficult, but not impossible.
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Old 06-30-2015, 04:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Interesting. I have a friend who I know had a nasal swab done on both of her hedgehogs and possibly more than once while they were battling a MRSA based URI. (ADDED info) I think it was fairly easily done the first time as the hedgehogs had runny noses, but I just went into my old email and found that she did have them done later to verify the MRSA was gone. So, it can be done, its likely difficult, but not impossible.
Thank you, I'll call to set up an appointment and see if this can be done. Hopefully it can and it's something that can be easily done with little discomfort to my little guy. I think you just saved me from going crazy!
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Old 06-30-2015, 06:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Good luck. By all means, I'm not saying its going to be easy. If your hedgehog is very uncooperative and very sick, it may be at a great risk. But if there is snot, and you can collect a sample, I'd certainly be questioning why not at least give it a shot. It may be considered contaminated because its not from within the nose, but if a resistant strain shows up, it may at least give you some guidance.

I've had samples done that weren't exactly "pure" and when the results came back we eliminated those that were highly susceptible to all antibiotics. But at least we had a chance to look for something "odd."
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I wonder if the vet was thinking of samples right from the lungs and that's why he said it wouldn't be possible?
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I wonder if the vet was thinking of samples right from the lungs and that's why he said it wouldn't be possible?
Yes, i got off the phone with him earlier and he said that collecting a sample from the lungs was impossible as there wasnt a tube small enough to fit into the trachea AND allow him to breathe. I mentioned the nasal swap, and he said it was not the best way to approach as the infection was mostly localized in his lungs and might not even appear on the culture. But I have decided to get the nasal swap anyways with the hopes that we can get a better view of what were dealing with.
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Old 06-30-2015, 08:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think more info at this point is better than not having it. Your poor baby has been dealing with this for too long. Hopefully this shed some light on the situation and you can find the right solution to make him feel better!
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Old 07-06-2015, 06:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hi guys, I just got back from the vet and wanted to give an update on Liam's condition. I went in to have a nasal swab done, but opted to get more xrays done instead. I had a bad feeling going in, but tried to remain positive. His vet did the xrays and came back with horrible news. He informed us that the infection, although not as bad as his original, had spread into his right lung as well when originally it was only in his left. He also said there were balls in his lungs which could be abscesses, or have been caused by a fungal infection. In the case they are abscesses he is unwilling, as am I, to cause him much more pain by performing open chest surgery and trying to remove them all. So we have decided to try an anti-fungal medication for six weeks to see if he gets any better, and in the case he doesn't the best thing to do would be euthanasia. I am so heartbroken and can't keep back the tears because I tried to give him a good life and I feel like I failed him. I love him so much and although it would hurt to let him go I don't want him to be in any pain in his last moments. Just stopped at petsmart and bought him 500 mealworms because I want him to be the happiest hog in case this is the end. I'm preparing for the worst, but am desperately hoping for the best.
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