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Old 12-30-2014, 11:48 PM  
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Exclamation Sick Hedgie on baytril

Hi everyone!
My hedgie Tulip is 3 years old and on November 14 my hedgie seems to have gotten sick. She kept sneezing and was less active than usual. I figured it would have went away but after 2,3 weeks I got worried and called up a vet and told me to pass by.( my track of time hasn't been great this past month with the final exams in college) They prescribed me baytril 0.1 ml dosage every 12 hours for 28 days. I have been giving her the medication for about 2 weeks,so 14 days in and the bottle of baytril is done which I found strange since they told me to give it to her for 28 days. I last gave it to her on Saturday, and its been three days since the medication ran out. My vetinarian came back from her holiday today but I haven't gotten a call from her regarding my hedgie. Im worried that the treatment hasn't helped her because I noticed the past two days her nose has been running a lot but shes been sneezing less since I have given her the baytril, but she sounds abit more congested. I also noticed her stools were green inbetween the medication period but today I checked her stools and there is barely any green, but it looks abit sticky and gooey, im not sure if this is because of the baytril, her urine or the respiratory infection which worries me a lot. Tomrrow im going personally to the vet to get a feedback on Tulips treatment. My question to you guys is should I continue using baytril to treat her infection? and does it look like shes getting better or worse? the green in her stools worried me a lot and today seeing her runny nose and congested breathing made me question the treatment. Sorry if this was long, im really worried about my hedgehog and I don't want her to get worse.
Thanks for the help!
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Old 12-31-2014, 12:27 AM  
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It sounds like the Baytril has not helped her, whether it's due to not a long enough course of the medication or the infection needing a different medication to treat it. I would wait and see what your vet thinks and make certain that they give you enough of the medication next time that it will last the full treatment period. It may be useful to have your vet do a swab & culture of her nose to see if that helps at all with identifying the cause of the infection and which antibiotic would be best to get rid of it.

Green poops while on antibiotics is normal. Antibiotics kill bacteria, which includes the good bacteria in the intestinal tract. That causes an upset digestive system in general, and green poops. You can help her out with that by getting probiotics. You can get small mammal Bene-Bac from your vet or from pet stores, or you can get acidophilus from human pharmacies, found near the vitamins. Give them to her a few hours after she gets antibiotics, and they can help minimize the upset done to the digestive system. You'll want to continue them for a week or two after she's done with antibiotics.

Just for future knowledge, and for anyone else reading this thread, if your hedgehog gets sick like this again, she needs to go to the vet immediately. As you've found, URIs do not go away with time in hedgehogs. They can get worse, sometimes very quickly, and progress to pneumonia, which is deadly. Sneezing & a running nose wouldn't be very concerning for humans, but they're signs of a serious problem with smaller animals and need to be treated right away.

As a side note, what temperature is your hedgehog's cage? Do you have a thermometer in the cage, and do you have a heating system for it? Do you have a daytime light schedule of 12-14 hours for her? Often being too cold can cause a URI, but sometimes it's not connected. Just thought I'd check, just in case.

Good luck and let us know what the vet says tomorrow.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:01 AM  
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Thanks for the help! The pet shop I bought my hedgie at was very misinformed in taking care of hedgehogs, they made it sound like they were hamsters which I later found out was extremely false. Its amazing to find out that many pet shops don't know how to take care of hedgehogs and its even worse for the owners because they don't understand this exotic animal! They also informed me that hedgehogs prefer being in dark rooms and don't enjoy much sunlight so I prepared a room for her so not much light would bother her! A few months after I learnt this was false I put her in my room on my desk where there would be sunlight in her cage for most of the day but unfortunately she always hides in her blanket in the day and ive been stimulating her daily to get out of the blanket but it seems as if she prefers her midnight strolls. I would take her out for an hour in my arms and let her stroll around, I would know when she wanted to go back in her cage when she would look for something to hde in or when she pushes her nose on my leg. unfortunately she hasn't been active lately but on a positive note she still comes out regularly for water and meals I also give her a worm a day so I make sure she still gets food in her body. I was also thinking of buying a heating pad for her. Before the room she was in was pretty hot around 26-28 degrees so I never needed a heating device. I recently moved which may also explain how she got a URI, I left her in a room that droped below 20 degrees during the night which led her to go into hibernation but I luckly got her out of the process. It was during that time were she got the URI. At first I expected her sneezing to be becaue of the new house but after a few weeks it worried me. I cant seem to accept the error I made of placing her in the room without checking the temperature.

Its a relief knowing the green in her stools isn't dangerous. Does rice help out with digestive problems for hedgehogs? a pet shop recommended mixing rice with her food. also is it true that baytril is the best antibiotic to use when a uri might lead to pneumonia? because my vet said that and it brought some doubts when I didn't see much improvement over 14 days. She had another medication to try if Tulip continued to throw up the baytril ( which she has only done three times). Also my vet didn't see the need to do an xray to see if her condition has worsened, possibly because they wanted to test the antibiotics first. Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions! I'm willing the learn more about hedgehog caring through experienced hedgehog owners!
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:07 AM  
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I also wanted to know how many years do hedgehogs live for? The numbers never seem accurate, ranging from 3-5,4-6,5-7 years on websites.
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:59 AM  
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Yes, it's very unfortunate how many pet stores are so wrong about hedgehogs. We get lots of owners on here who have received misinformation from pet stores, sometimes very dangerous misinformation.

It's not a big deal if they're hiding from light during the day, but as long as it's on, they'll know and it'll keep them regulated. So I'm glad you have that straightened out! You don't necessarily have to get her up during the day, but if she's used to it and you're not keeping her awake too long, it's not going to hurt anything either.

I was wondering if it was a hibernation attempt that sparked the URI. That often seems to be the case! Try not to beat yourself up too much - it's easy to forget about heating set ups if you've never had to worry about it before. You're getting her the care she needs now, which is the important thing. You do want to make sure you have the heating situation fixed though. Do you have a thermometer in her cage? A digital thermometer with a probe is the best kind for getting an accurate number.

For the rest of your heating supplies, it'd be best to not get a heating pad, actually. They don't do enough to heat the air. A ceramic heat emitter set up would be best as they heat the air of the cage, but don't give off any light. Here are the things you would need:
A heating lamp -
Amazon.com : Fluker's 10" Repta Clamp Lamp with Switch : Reptile Clamp Lamp : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Fluker's 10" Repta Clamp Lamp with Switch : Reptile Clamp Lamp : Pet Supplies
You want to get a 10" lamp as it will be best at spreading the heat out evenly so the whole cage is the same temperature. If you have a very large cage, you might need two lamps to make sure the cage is heated evenly.

A CHE bulb -
Amazon.com : Fluker's Ceramic Heat Emitter 100 Watt : Pet Habitat Heat Lamps : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Fluker's Ceramic Heat Emitter 100 Watt : Pet Habitat Heat Lamps : Pet Supplies
100 watts is usually enough. 150 is sometimes needed, but usually if 100 watts isn't warm enough, it's recommended to try doing two lamps with 100 watts in each of them. 150 can work for some set ups, but it can also make the area below the lamp much warmer than the rest of the cage.

And a thermostat -
Amazon.com : Zilla 11939 Temperature Controller, 1000-Watt : Reptile Thermostat : Pet Supplies Amazon.com : Zilla 11939 Temperature Controller, 1000-Watt : Reptile Thermostat : Pet Supplies
This will turn the lamp on & off as needed to keep the temperature steady (which is just as important as having it be warm). I usually recommend the 1000-watt thermostat over the 500-watt one because the price difference isn't very large and the 500-watt thermotat only has one outlet. The 1000-watt one has 3 outlets, so if you do need two lamps or end up needing more for a larger cage or something, you'll be all set.

I wouldn't worry about mixing rice in with her food, especially if she's not used to it. New foods can cause more stress for the digestive system and even more green poop. I would stick with the probiotics and if she does end up with very loose poops or diarrhea, pumpkin/squash is usually the preferred food to help with that. I wouldn't give it for just green poop though.

Unfortunately I'm not sure about the two medical questions. I haven't personally dealt a URI in a hedgie before, and I can't recall if I've read anything about if Baytril is the best or not. My suggestion would be to see if Nancy sees this post, or PM her if you're very worried. She's one of the best on here for health issues and could hopefully help with that part. And hedgehogs typically live 4-6 years, but recently it's seeming that many are passing around 3 years, sadly. They do have a pretty short lifespan, which is unfortunate for those of us that get so attached to them.

Don't worry about asking lots of questions! That's what the forums are here for and I'm glad you found us. You can also use the search function that's in the upper right hand corner, and sometimes that can turn up answers that are in other threads. You might be able to find more information on URIs and Baytril that way.
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Old 01-01-2015, 10:25 PM  
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Thank you soo much for the information you gave me! I will be buying a thermostate to put in her cage. Yesterday I got in contact with my vetinarian and she told me shes worried that her infection hasn't lighted up and that I should come in for a visit on the 6th of January for a check up and an xray to see whats going on. She didn't like the sound of the runny nose and that she was still lethargic. I was prescribed a new medication during the next week called doxycycline. I started the treatment last night and I hope its working its magic on her! I also called an exotic vet not far from my regular vet and they said the the runny nose could either be that its getting better or that the treatment didn't help. None the less im still glad she comes out to eat and drink regularly. I just don't understand why she wont go to the bathroom in her cage anymore... I find it strange that she will only go when I take her out of the cage! I hope for the best, and thank you again for your time! Happy New Year!
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