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Old 05-24-2017, 01:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Need to vent, but also: humidifier?

Hey there—I'm a longtime lurker of the forums and y'all have helped me a ton over the years without knowing it. So, thank you for that!

Before I get into the current URI issue, here's a bit of (er, rather, a lot of) background:

I've had my little Evie since she was a baby. I brought her home when she was 1 month old; she'll be 4 years old in early September. She has always been an EXTREMELY personable, friendly, curious, and affectionate hedgie.

She's been in good health pretty consistently for her whole life. However, just about 2 years ago, she had a (quite frankly, inexplicable) hibernation attempt. Her cage—as usual—was 78F and got 12 hours of light, 12 hours of dark. She never balled up tightly; rather, her belly was on the cool side and she appeared a little shaky. She had had been wheeling/eating/pooping/drinking totally normally up until then, and resumed normal behaviors pretty much immediately afterward. Thankfully, I caught it quickly and was able to warm her up & get her to her vet (who has experience with hedgehogs and is just wonderful), who was not particularly concerned and simply told me to keep an eye on her.

About 6 months after that episode, though, she had one more like it, despite being even more diligent about her housing in general and raising her heat a bit. I took her to the vet again, who ultimately determined it was a URI (likely due to recently and temporarily switching her bedding to Carefresh from fleece liners), rather than a hibernation attempt. Her only symptom was licking her nose. She was placed on Baytril and it cleared up right away.

Fast forward to this past Friday. I took her out of her cage as I do every night, but realized she was breathing audibly. We rushed her to the emergency vet, who put her on oxygen right away. She perked up rather quickly and was prescribed Baytril again. However, my boyfriend and I had to leave town the next day, so we decided to board her, rather than putting that responsibility on my mom (who is otherwise an awesome hogsitter). The emergency vet is also amazing—they have exotic specialists on staff 24 hours a day and a lab on site—and it's where I normally board her when I go on longer trips, so I don't have any concerns about her care whatsoever. They said no news was good news and I thankfully didn't get any calls while we were away.

When I picked her up about 5 hours ago, though, I noticed her breathing was still quite heavy and she was wheezing/occasionally mouth-breathing. She's otherwise her active, happy, adorable self, and the vet who weighed her daily and monitored her food/water intake (...and output) said she was on the mend. She's been on the antibiotic for 5 days, so the vet suggested that I might need to keep her on a bit longer, should her condition not improve over the next couple of days. He also suggested I try mixing in a new, higher fat food in with her normal Blue Buffalo just to be safe.

I realize that the antibiotic takes time, but I've never seen her like this before and I'm just a wreck over it. Every time I hear her wheeze, my heart breaks. I am absolutely, without question going to take her to her primary vet tomorrow just to make sure she's on the right track and doesn't need a nebulizer or shots. Until then, though, I want to make sure she's as comfortable as possible, since she still seems to be so congested.

A couple of questions:
  • Can I (and should I) use a warm-air humidifier in her room?
  • Should I take the top off of her house? She's in a large clear plastic storage container with tall sides and large holes in the top.
  • In y'alls experience, do you think she's going to be okay and pull through? I'm a nervous wreck whenever I check on her and just need some reassurance.

If you're still reading, I so, so appreciate you putting up with my nervousness! I just love this lil girl with all my heart, and want so badly for her to be okay. Here's a bonus pic because she's just so dang cute:
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Old 06-01-2017, 10:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm a new hedgie owner, so you know way more than I do. I just wanted to offer my support, and I hope she pulls through soon! When are you taking her to primary vet
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Old 06-02-2017, 12:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry you didn't get any responses earlier on this. Is there an update on how your girl is doing?
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