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Old 04-22-2013, 11:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sick Hedgehog, really need advice

Hi all, I apologize in advance if this post is really long, I just don't know what to do/what could be causing this.

Thisbe is about 3 1/2 months old. She weighs ~110 grams and is very small. Her bedding is fleece, she gets about 12 hours of light daily, and I have a heater in my room that keeps it just about 78-79 degrees (she seems to prefer warmer temps, not active when it's 75-76). She is not very active during day or night, and she has never used her wheel though I've tried a few times to encourage it.

When she was about 8 weeks old, I took her to the vet for sneezing. She had been in pine bedding, which I switched for fleece, but she definitely was still nasaly after. I definitely messed up and didn't finish that round of antibiotics, as I went out of town and my roommates did not give them to her as I thought they would. She was fine for a while after that, though I think there may have been one hibernation attempt about a month ago. Since then, I've kept the room much warmer and monitored her food intake more closely. She was eating Royal Canin light indoor cat food. On top of all that, she seems rather unsteady on her feet most days, and sometimes falls over.

I took her to the vet last Tuesday because she seemed to be eating less and was a bit more sniffly. I told the vet about not finishing the first antibiotics, and they prescribed me a different antibiotic. (I can't remember the name of the first, but it started with a C and had to be refrigerated. This one I believe is called Trimeth and I'm supposed to give it to her for up to three weeks.) Additionally, she lost about 20 grams since her last visit, so they gave me Carnivore Care powder that I mix with water and give her daily. She eats it, but I have started to syringe feed her to make sure she's getting enough.

I'm concerned because it's been a week and no real weight seems to be gained. Additionally, it's really obvious that she's still just "off". Her poop is normal, but she seems to be pooping a little less frequently. She's pretty much ignored her cat food in lieu of the fatty Carnivore Care.

The vet said that if she hasn't gained at least 10 grams by tomorrow, which I'm pretty sure she hasn't unless their scale is way off of the one I used today, that I will have to do X-rays which are super expensive. While I'm not opposed to spending the money, is a week too soon to resort to X-rays? Also, has anyone else had similar experiences with their hedgies? I've gone from thinking she has allergies, to an URI, to wobbly hedgehog syndrome to pneumonia, and the vet can't seem to confirm anything.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions, advice or insight. Also, let me know if I've forgotten any details.

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Old 04-23-2013, 01:11 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Hedgehog, really need advice

Wow, poor little girl is really having a rough time.

How long have you had her and did you get her from a breeder? If you got her from a breeder, since she's so young, you may want to check with them to see if their hedgehogs have good backgrounds or if they have any suggestions.

Has the vet tested her poop for bacteria/parasites? Have they done any bloodwork?

Have they checked for anything in her mouth that could be preventing her from eating, like an abscess?

I think an x-ray is probably one of the next steps, but I would also think they'd be testing other things as well. I'm sorry I can't be more help. I hope all goes well. Please keep us posted.
Hedgie Mommy to little Piglet
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Old 04-23-2013, 04:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Hedgehog, really need advice

Thank you for your concern, Abbys!

I did get her from a breeder, and I will contact her tomorrow to see if she has any insight. The vet hasn't tested for anything yet, so hopefully tests will yield better results...I just feel so bad for my little one.

I will definitely keep you updated on her status, and hopefully whatever's going on with her gets fixed soon! I thought I was just being overly paranoid at first, but I'm so happy that I didn't write off her symptoms.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sick Hedgehog, really need advice

It sounds to me like she still has a respiratory issue and possibly pneumonia. The vet should be able to listen to her lungs and tell if she has pneumonia or respiratory.

An antibiotic starting with C and has to be refrigerated was probably Clavamox which is a good drug for a mild respiratory infection but it does need to be given for the full length of time. She may need a stronger drug than what she is currently on.

Allergies shouldn't cause them to be stumbly on their feet. WHS wouldn't have respiratory symptoms. If her poop is normal colour and texture, it probably would not be a parasite or intestinal infection.

You can try giving her Royal Canin Baby Cat and see if she will eat it on her own. Continue to syringe feed her though just to be certain she is getting enough food and count whatever kibble you give her.

110g is very small for her age. Do you know how much she weighed when you got her? At her age, she should be gaining weight and getting larger in frame size. Do you think her body structure has gotten bigger which would mean she would be getting larger but skinnier.

Xrays might give you some answers but usually they are hesitant to gas them if there is a respiratory issue. Perhaps they can do the xrays without gassing.

Poor little girl.
* * * Nancy * * *

Retired from breeding

Rescue contact for both the Hedgehog Welfare Society and the IHA
Rescued over 70 (and counting) hedgehogs needing a new home
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