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Old 09-17-2019, 10:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Back leg issues

Hello!

My 7 year old hedgehog, Barry, has been having some very bad back leg issues lately. He constantly flops over or gets stuck on his bum. I’ve taken him an exotic vet where they did an examination and x-ray. They found no tumours, breaks or fractures so they weren’t able to sort out what has been troubling his legs. His legs are not paralyzed but he can’t support himself well to walk normally.

He’s been very lucky to have no heath issues during his life, but very hard to see him struggling.

I replaced the bottom of his cage with some fleece that I secured with Velcro to give him a less slippery surface to walk on. He’s always been a big digger and even with his leg issues, he manages to move everything around his cage each night and has a great appetite.

I’m considering bringing him to another exotic vet for a second opinion. If his issues might be related to arthritis, can I sprinkle some glucosamine in his food?

Any recommendations would be helpful, but in the meantime I’m going to seek a second opinion from another exotic vet.

Thank you!
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Old 09-25-2019, 07:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If it is arthritis, the kindest thing to do may be to start anti-inflammatory medication. My 5 y/o gradually lost use of her back legs, which made it harder for her to access her food, and since we weren’t in the habit of weighing her (we are now!!) and she’s very old, we had chalked it up to aging and frailty. We had a wellness checkup only about 6 months ago. She was always thin but in the last week or so I was coaxing her to eat out of a spoon. She was becoming emaciated even with no other signs of illness. We made an appointment when she stopped eating altogether last week. We were bracing ourselves, thinking it was her time to go, but the vet couldn’t observe any signs of illness, jaundice, or palpable masses. She was diagnosed with arthritis and now eats soft food and gets daily anti-inflammatory drugs and she’s gained back her mobility and almost half of the body weight she lost.

I’m a fairly attentive person and caretaker, and I have had tiny gerbils and rats all the way up to goats and horses. I would never knowingly allow an animal to suffer such pain that they weren’t willing to eat. Our poor little hog is doing much better, but had I suspected arthritis, she would have been on pain meds much, much sooner.
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