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Old 06-30-2017, 11:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default URI and mouth sores

Been worried about my little Akita. When I came home from work Wednesday night she seemed to feel really sick. She had some phlegm and stuff around her mouth and nose and she was lethargic. I hardly slept that night and I took her to the exotic vet the first thing in the morning. The vet was really concerned and even mentioned quality of life and euthanasia. I asked her to do what she could that day and I would be back in the evening to make a decision. They did oxygen, warmth, antibiotics, glucose, and fluids. When I came back at 5:30 she looked maybe a tiny bit better. The vet was still keeping euthanasia on the table but I said I thought she should have a fighting chance. The vet sent us home with a critical care food and Baytril drops. I set her up at home with blanket instead of the Carefresh in her cage and a heating pad at one side with two sleeping places, one on the heated side and one on the other side. I put her food bowl with a tiny bit of her kibble and I counted the pieces so I can see if she ate any. I put her water bottle in there and later when I came in she was drinking out of it. She slept on the heated side and seemed to sleep more comfortably than the day before, with a more natural body position and breathing rate. Before, she was sort of sprawled out and breathing hard. Now she's curled up and breathing looks much more normal. This morning she was on the non-heated side, so she might not need the heating pad anymore. She hadn't eaten any kibble, but I got her Baytril in and fed her some of the watered down urgent care food through the syringe. She didn't want it, but I got some in, as well as on her chin, chest, and front feet. But some food went in. Now she's resting again. She has a tiny bit of snot on her nose, but it's cleaner. It's still touch and go, but I think she has a chance. I wish I knew why she got sick in the first place. Oh, and the vet also saw some mouth sores. I can't really see them myself, but maybe they are inside and the vet managed to get her mouth open to see them. She has some kind of raised red area toward her hind end on the belly. I wonder if it is an allergic reaction. I wonder if it is the Carefresh. Allergies can turn into bacterial infections, I think. I've heard of people who have bad sinus allergies that turn into sinus infections. What do you think?
Keeping fingers crossed my baby looks better when I get home from work today.
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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How is she doing now?

I would get rid of the heating pad. They can be dangerous because they can cause burns, even at low temperatures, due to length of exposure. Hedgehogs aren't always good at moving off them when they need to. You need to make sure the temperature of the whole cage is warm enough for her, especially while she's sick. Turn the heat up in the house, use a space heater in the room, or make sure you have a ceramic heat emitter set up for her (emits heat only, no light).

If she's not eating, you'll need to keep syringe-feeding her regularly to make sure she's getting enough calories to keep fighting. There's more information on syringe feeding in the Health FAQs.

As for the sickness & why, it sounds like she probably has a bad URI, respiratory infection. They can happen if they get water in their nose or if they're not staying warm enough. So make sure you have some kind of heating worked out for her cage, and that you have a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature. Hedgehogs are really good at hiding illness, so she was probably sick for a bit before you noticed, but was hiding it. Once she couldn't hide it anymore, it was at emergency status.

While she's still sick, you can clean the food off her with a warm wet washcloth, but avoid giving her a bath or getting her very wet - you want to make sure she stays warm and dry to help keep her from getting worse.

The mouth sores are a concern too. I would ask the vet more about them - what they think they are. They will need to be addressed once she's feeling better from the URI.

The raised red area sounds like it could possibly be something like urine burn if she's unable to move around well. If they're peeing and laying in it, it can irritate the skin. Gently wipe it down and keep an eye on her to make sure she's staying away from where she potties. You may need to check her throughout the day (when you syringe feed her) and move her sleeping area around or change her bedding more frequently to help avoid the issue.

Let us know how she's doing and if you have more questions. Fingers crossed that she's doing better!
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