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Old 09-18-2020, 09:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to let a hedgehog die gracefully

Any guidance or advice from others who have helped a hedgie die. (Please no sympathies "Im sorry")



Pain and palliative care...how to help another hedgehog understand....What course of events happened for you?



My Sonic is developing tumors on her body fast. Surgery is not an option.


Started with (looked like sprain with swelling) but no pain and very hard. She has tiny marbles of growth (about 3mm balls) on her underside. These developed with in 1 month. She has lost a little weight due to tooth loss, but is still cuddly and not in pain that we know of.



She is not dying tomorrow, but until she is ready to die, what do you suggest.
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Old 09-20-2020, 05:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think that the best way to let her live out the rest of her days in peace is to let her be comfortable and give her treats, make her feel loved, etc. As for how to help another hedgehog understand, I don't know. I know that animals are very intuitive, so maybe your other hedgehog knows osmething is up or that she is unwell. Just let them spend time together (if they are friends and normally already do) and good luck.
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Old 10-13-2020, 02:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Well fortunately hedgehogs don't understand "tumors" so she won't actually know she's dying until she's dying. At that point, well tumors can be a slow painful death and it may be kinder to euthanize her at that point. Until then keep her warm and safe and happy in a blanket. That makes every hedgehog happy.
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Old 10-24-2020, 12:36 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't know where you are at with your hedgehog currently as your post was from September, but I am in the same boat. My girl has a large GI mass and a large, protruding uterine mass. She is taking Meloxicam daily for pain (NSAID), Omeprazole (an oil suspension to coat her GI tract and avoid peptic ulcers from the NSAID), and starting today Lactulose (to treat the constipation caused by the uterine tumor). I am also syringe feeding an omnivore critical care that she loves. I have set up a camera in her cage so I can assess her day-to-day degradation and determine when a peaceful transition is in her best interest. Meloxicam has worked well for Leila in the past, and also perked her up substantially after the first few days she was on it this go around. I strongly suggest it if that is an option for you. Otherwise, I have upgraded her food and water bowls to ergonomic living world bowls so she can remain on all fours to eat.
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Old 10-25-2020, 09:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alyandgus View Post
Otherwise, I have upgraded her food and water bowls to ergonomic living world bowls so she can remain on all fours to eat.
Just curious, what bowls were you feeding her from earlier that she didn't remain on all four feet?
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Old 10-25-2020, 06:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Honestly, I am not sure what company produces her old bowl. It was a plastic bowl that her breeder gave me when I picked her up. Similar height, if not the same height as the ergonomic living world bowls, but a thicker edge, so she had the habit of climbing fully in. She does still mostly climb into the living world bowls, primarily because I mix her live meal worms into her dry food to make it a little more stimulating for her when she eats/"hunts." Any other bowl I attempted (ceramic primarily), was flipped instantly. She has slept under the plastic bowl without fully tipping it back when her bedding was paper (now she sleeps on fleece), I suspect due to its size more than anything. I stuck with the plastic so she wouldn't injure herself with her aggressive snooting about.
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Old Yesterday, 12:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alyandgus View Post
I don't know where you are at with your hedgehog currently as your post was from September, but I am in the same boat. My girl has a large GI mass and a large, protruding uterine mass. She is taking Meloxicam daily for pain (NSAID), Omeprazole (an oil suspension to coat her GI tract and avoid peptic ulcers from the NSAID), and starting today Lactulose (to treat the constipation caused by the uterine tumor). I am also syringe feeding an omnivore critical care that she loves. I have set up a camera in her cage so I can assess her day-to-day degradation and determine when a peaceful transition is in her best interest. Meloxicam has worked well for Leila in the past, and also perked her up substantially after the first few days she was on it this go around. I strongly suggest it if that is an option for you. Otherwise, I have upgraded her food and water bowls to ergonomic living world bowls so she can remain on all fours to eat.
I have learned a lot of my emotions are nothing to do with her. It is unfair to put my fear and hurt on her. I need to feel my despair and pain, but not ascribe it to her.
Sonic is enjoying life still. End of Sept she developed a uterine bleed dt a neoplasm. I find her in 4" puddle of clotted thick blood and she would bleed only sometimes when urinating. My heart comes into my throat every time I see and it breaks to see her hurting.
The vet tried antibiotics and meloxicam. The antibiotics were useless, but the nsaid actually slowed the bleeding and made her more comfortable. She is starting to get a bit of her strength back (anemia)
The turning point for me was the decision not to give her a hysterectomy. We decided not to for 2 reasons. 1)This would cost $500+ and only an out of state vet could do it. 2)with all of her tumors what would her quality of life be after?
This is what I know…
This is Sonic’s death not mine.
Throughout her life she has ALWAYs told me what she wanted and needed. I have trust if she is ready to die she will tell. Eg not eating foods, not moving, becoming unconscious, screaming pain. She will communite. She is sick not dumb.
I have done absolutely everything I can to help her. (including not having a hysterectomy) She is dying and I am deciding to allow her. I do have white cloth/ pads to see how much she is bleeding because having a time frame makes it easier for ME not HER.
I discovered that the pain and sick I feel has NOTHING to do with Sonic. It is all my stuff.
I will NOT let her die alone. So she is either with me or the other hog (who is now really protective of her)
I have set aside money now for if she does need euthanasia don’t have to worry (I only ever needed to with my cat) also how and where I will bury her body,
I find comfort sharing my hurt with others who get it. I also know where to go if I need help.
I have to remember, this is her life and death not mine, I accepted a 4-6y life when I adopted hurt.
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