Necrotic toe - amputation and price question - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 08-19-2019, 01:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Necrotic toe - amputation and price question

Hi everyone,

Long-time lurker here, and I finally have a question (the circumstances, sadly, are not ideal).

Our little guy has what is likely a necrotic little toe. He got some hair wrapped around his foot the other night (we noticed in the morning). Thanks to some helpful threads on this website, we were able to do all the right things: cut off the hair right away, soak his foot in epsom salt, and get him to the vet ASAP. However, it looks like one of his toes might be dead. Our vet gave us some pain meds for him and told us to keep soaking his foot for a week. We have a follow-up appointment next week to check in, and possibly for him to have an amputation.

My question is a tough one to ask. All in, the surgery would cost us (according to this vet) about $1,000 (Canadian). This seems quite high to me. If this is indeed a correct cost estimate, there is very little chance my partner and I can afford it.

So I suppose I have two questions:
1. Does this seem like a high price for an amputation? Should we see if we can find a less expensive vet?
2. How necessary is it to amputate a necrotic toe? Will hedgies manage if it doesn't get amputated? Will it just fall off on its own?

I really appreciate any help and advice folks are able to offer! Thank you!
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I’d highly encourage you to ask around at other vets. I’ve never dealt with an amputation, so I can’t speak for certainty on the price, but for the fact that it is just a tie, it seems steep. Even phone calls to vets simply explaining the problem they should be able to give you a rough estimate over the phone.

Necrotic tissue can easily spread to other areas of the body or even into the bloodstream, so I’d be diligent about making a decision.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Looking at today's exchange rate, it could be a little on the high side of what I'd expect to pay. However, I've never had an amputation done on a hedgehog, but I have had many tumors surgically removed over the years. I don't know if it helps but....

On average I expect to pay about $500-600 USD (looks like that is about $660-800 Canadian at today's exchange rate) for a tumor removal. That includes all medication, and a histopathology report which makes up about $140 of the USD total. I've paid a lot more than that for surgeries that required more time and were a more complicated procedure though.

Ask the vet what that quoted amount includes and if there is anything that can be removed (like a pathology report) to reduce the total.
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aj.t View Post
Id highly encourage you to ask around at other vets. Ive never dealt with an amputation, so I cant speak for certainty on the price, but for the fact that it is just a tie, it seems steep. Even phone calls to vets simply explaining the problem they should be able to give you a rough estimate over the phone.

Necrotic tissue can easily spread to other areas of the body or even into the bloodstream, so Id be diligent about making a decision.
Thank you so much for this advice! I'm calling around to other vets in the area now. Logically, it seems very steep - all that for a little toe?

That's helpful to know about necrotic tissue - no one has ever actually explained the danger to me before, so I wasn't sure how seriously to take it. Now that I know the urgency, we will definitely be going through with a procedure (but, hopefully at a more reasonable price!).
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Old 08-19-2019, 03:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Kalandra View Post
Looking at today's exchange rate, it could be a little on the high side of what I'd expect to pay. However, I've never had an amputation done on a hedgehog, but I have had many tumors surgically removed over the years. I don't know if it helps but....

On average I expect to pay about $500-600 USD (looks like that is about $660-800 Canadian at today's exchange rate) for a tumor removal. That includes all medication, and a histopathology report which makes up about $140 of the USD total. I've paid a lot more than that for surgeries that required more time and were a more complicated procedure though.

Ask the vet what that quoted amount includes and if there is anything that can be removed (like a pathology report) to reduce the total.

Ooof! I know vets in Canada are generally a little more expensive than in the US, so maybe we aren't too far off the mark with this cost estimate... Thank you for doing those cost estimations!

(Interestingly, folks here will often cross the border to see an American vet, because of the price difference!)

I did actually get a breakdown of costs from our vet, and it includes a few things that I would probably inquire a little more about. E.g., the price includes an X-Ray, which I don't quite understand the necessity of. Also, a bandage would cost $80
It looks like the bulk of the cost actually comes from anesthesia - which is obviously necessary, but I had no idea that was so expensive!

Thank you so much for your response! I will update this post with the rest of my findings soon.
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Old 08-21-2019, 09:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The x-ray is probably to see if there is any infection that has spread into the bones from the toe.
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