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Old 02-01-2017, 12:37 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Biting Off Toes, Getting Desperate

I apologize in advance for the long winded post. I am just feeling at a loss and want to try to cover as much information as I can.

My Hedgehog Hauntling first bit one of her back claws (inside claw on the left hind leg) down to the point of bleeding back in October. To make a very, very long story short right at this time she also had some urinary bleeding which after many, many tests and treatments and switching vets it was found to be cancer and she had to undergo more treatments to calm the bleeding before she could have surgery by a wonderful exotics specialist in the area. During this time she was on various treatments and had to be kept from some of her usual freedoms (she normally gets to run around my room every night) one day she chewed on her claw a bit again and when I checked on her later that day she had totally chewed off her toe. Of course she went back to the vet and we determined it was most likely due to the stress of not getting to venture out as much and possibly because her tumor was causing her pain. We cleaned up the wound and gave her antibiotics. About a week later she was ready for her surgery (as I said, we had her on various treatments to calm the bleeding before she could be operated on) the surgery went well and about a week later she was given the go ahead to start coming out for some light adventuring again. It has now been about two and and a half weeks and she has begun to chew her feet again. It really seemed like a direct response to stress for awhile as she would stick her feet in her mouth if we disturbed or angered her with too much handling. I thought it would stop if she got to run around again and I have spent countless hours trying to do everything I can to make her as peaceful and happy and stress free as possible. I literally have no idea what to do. I am going to take her back to the vet though I am not sure if they will even know at this point (I cannot even begin to describe how many times we have been these last few months ) I feel like there is nothing I have not tried to help my girl and it has been such a difficult few months for her. Please, if you have any ideas of what may be causing this, ideas of what may help, etc. Let me know. There is a high chance I may have already tried it but I am so desperate for advice from wherever I can get it. I am terrified to leave her alone because she does so much damage so quickly.

She is currently on an anti-inflammatory pain medicine from her surgery called Metacam. She was not on this when she first chewed her foot but nonetheless I plan to ask if this could be causing any reaction. She is mostly focused on this back left foot but I have seen her chew others a bit too.

Living Conditions and further info

Bedding: Fleece blankets cleaned using vinegar and hot water in the washer (she has some issues which require us to not use regular bedding) the blankets are changed about every day to every other day.
Food: Grain Free Blue Buffalo Duck and Potato cat food (we will be switching to a new food after some updated advice from her newest vet)
Treats: None aside from the occasional pumpkin of I suspect constipation. She unfortunately refuses to eat anything but her food.

Any other questions please feel free to ask!
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:41 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Have u thought about getting her a new toy or something if ur allowed she might just be bored
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:51 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Have u thought about getting her a new toy or something if ur allowed she might just be bored
I have tried a lot of toy ideas and things to entertain her and nothing like that has worked :/ Her favourite thing seems to be to run around and explore which I allow but she has been chewing nonetheless which makes me think it must be a combination of boredom and may some kind of pain or irritation.
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Where was her cancer
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:56 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Where was her cancer
It was in her uterus with a tumor extending out into her vaginal canal (apparently fairly common in hedgehogs but not always as easy to detect due to the pelvic bones kind of disguising the mass)
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Old 02-01-2017, 01:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Would the vet allow you to place her in water? Some hedgehogs become very relaxed while swimming in a couple inches of warm water. It might burn some of her energy and maybe relieve some stress.
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Old 02-01-2017, 07:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Does she have a wheel in her cage?
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Hello everyone,

Just an update, Haunting saw the vet first thing this morning and we still are not sure what the exact problem is. Thoughts thus far are a possible arthritic pain, a potential slipped disk, possibility for a spinal tumor (praying not…) or just some continued pain from her surgery as she did have to have a catheter in the same leg she is focused on chewing and it was inserted into her bone (there was a very good reason for this, my mind is just so cloudy I cannot remember exactly what it was not) so it could be causing some aches. She looked normal and healthy overall other than the fact that she has lost a bit of weight and neither of us are liking the posture she was standing with (possibly due to the foot pain)

We are going to try another small round of a different pain medication in conjunction with some calming treats that may or may not work but will at least not hurt her. If things do not improve within a week we will start send out her removed uterus for some further testing in case any other signs of trouble can be found there.
In the meantime I will continue to try to give her as much enrichment as I can to keep her occupied and stress free. Thank you so much for the help thus far. I will continue to take further advice in case this does not resolve it.
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Does she have a wheel in her cage?
Yes she does She used to run on it all of the time until the problems got so bad. I am thinking of getting her a new one of a different design in case it might be easier to use (she has a flying saucer wheel right now which may be more difficult than the "Cakewalk" type wheels?)
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Old 02-01-2017, 05:11 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Would the vet allow you to place her in water? Some hedgehogs become very relaxed while swimming in a couple inches of warm water. It might burn some of her energy and maybe relieve some stress.
This is an excellent suggestion! Unfortunately Hauntling HATES water. Even foot baths offend her but other baths truly seem to stress her out. The vet suggested this as well and pointed out how different hedgies can be with their water preferences. Unfortunately Hauntling is not a water lover.
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