Either Hedgehog Constipation or Something Else. Please help. Very concerned. - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 11-16-2014, 12:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Either Hedgehog Constipation or Something Else. Please help. Very concerned.

Our girl Frozone is about 2 years old now, but we've only had her since March. She had her first litter with us in late June, two hoglets, both survived and are very well. Her weight dropped after the litter and never quite went back to the pre-litter level, but she always stayed above 250g so we weren't terribly concerned. She didn't look emaciated, though we did want her to put on more weight. I'll happily post pictures of her now, though her situation has changed.

The past three days (four now) we noticed she was acting increasingly odd. She would wake up throughout the daylight hours.. exit her little igloo "house", wander around, maybe eat a few pellets, and then go back in. This was kind of OCD like behavior, happening a couple times an hour. The last of the three days it turned into more troubling behavior. She'd circle around the cage counterclockwise frantic as if she was looking for something. Over and over and over. The only way we calmed her down was by holding her. All during the day.

Her poop had turned from typical hedgehog logs to very thin short things. They looked stringy almost and when she pooped they tended to curl like a nautilus. It was bizarre looking. Then she just stopped pooping altogether. I felt her belly and felt a very hard lump up a small amount and to the left of her vaginal opening. We made the vet appointment and dropped her off early the next day.

The vet found two masses in her abdomen, one the size of a marble the other about 1/4 of a person's pinky finger. At that point Frozone was no longer moving much. She was lethargic, with only brief periods of her normal busy self. Understand, Frozone is a VERY busy hedgehog. At this point she would start climbing up a leg or an arm and then just freeze. She looked to be in pain. The vet told us he recommended exploratory surgery, but it would be 50/50 if she'd survive since she was so weak. They gave her an enema and gave her fluids. She threw up the food/fluids, but that might be because they gave her too much too quickly.

Anyway, we opted in favor of surgery. As he was collecting her to go into surgery she pooped. She pooped a lot. About two inches of poop came out, and when he felt her abdomen after the masses could no longer be felt. He said it was probably just constipation, judging by that. We picked her up, and now she's back with us.

Today, her first day back, she hasn't been eating very much. She's still doing her circling in the cage, but no longer multiple times an hour. I only saw her do it twice today. We syringe fed her 2 teaspoons of water tonight and 1 and a half teaspoons of pumpkin mixed with warm water and olive oil. I can feel the hard lump up and to the left of her vaginal opening again, and I don't know what it is. The vet said it might just be her kidney.

What do you think is wrong with Frozone? Is this just constipation? I haven't seen her poop yet today, could the hard lump just be poop gathering and not yet out? Should we take her back to the vet for surgery? There was no blood in her stool. I'll answer any questions you might have that would help in a better diagnosis and idea of what's going on with our poor girl.
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Old 11-16-2014, 07:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If you can, I think you should take Frozone to another vet to see what their opinion is.
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Old 11-16-2014, 09:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Most of the hedgehog vets in this area are out of town unfortunately. If she keeps up this way I'll definitely do that, though.
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Old 11-16-2014, 05:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We're taking her in to the vet tomorrow, the same one we previously took her to. Her stomach is light blue down the middle like a hedgehog generally looks when pregnant but I know that she isn't. Blue stomachs generally mean constipation, right? I've been rubbing it trying to help digestion along but it doesn't seem to be helping. She's pooped twice at least now. Both extremely smelly and tar-like. They're either black or extremely dark green. I haven't tested the samples to tell for certain what color they are because I want to be able to bring them to the doctor. The one in the water bowl does appear to be green at least on the edges though. I can take a picture if it would help.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I've never heard of blue stomachs being constipation, so I'm not sure. I'm glad you're taking her back in though...sounds like there's definitely something up, and I'm still not convinced it's just constipation. If it were me, I'd have the vet check the stool samples for any infections. Very smelly poop can point to a GI infection. I'm a little concerned about it being so dark & tar-like though. Black, tar-like stools can indicate internal bleeding. I'm not sure that dark green would mean the same, though, and you haven't mentioned a fall or anything that would possibly have caused internal bleeding or issues. I'd also see how they felt about anesthetizing her for possibly a blood test and maybe some other tests? I don't know if an ultrasound would tell you any more than the x-ray you had done. I'm still concerned about the mass that you can still feel though. Hopefully the other admins can give more ideas or advice. Let us know how the vet visit goes and what you guys find out. Fingers crossed that it's just a simple infection or something.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What sort of blood work should be done in this case? Previously exploratory surgery was recommended, but with the caution it'd be 50/50 odds of her surviving it due to how weak she is. I really don't know what the right thing to do here is. I've posted this on the Hedgehog Welfare Society page too but I'm not getting many replies. I'm really panicked. I was hoping people more experienced would be weighing in so I could go back to the vet with some idea of what needs to be done
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:09 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I've not heard of a blue stomach being from constipation either. Usually it is when an organ is close to the surface or a tumour can show blue through the skin. Can you post a picture.
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:15 PM   #8 (permalink)
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she's been chewing the air a lot, too. amd just had an extremely dark extremely smelly small loose poop
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Old 11-16-2014, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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She just had a very smelly, tarry, dry extremely dark green poop on my hand. I smeared it with a paper towel. The poop looks black but smeared it's a very very dark almost black green.

Last edited by Isokeraunic; 11-16-2014 at 06:22 PM. Reason: added 2 more photos
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