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Old 05-09-2018, 11:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Eye-mergency!

I'm sorry, this is a long post, but I am in South Korea where (as you will read, if you have time) that I do not have access to decent health care options for my hedgie - any advice will be welcomed!

On Friday, 4 May 2018, I came home late and noticed that my little hedgie, Professor Moriarty - who has been living with me since 2014, was scratching himself more than usual. He was doing it in his house, and I didn't think much of it.

On Saturday, 5 May, I was out of the house most of the day, but when I came home, at night, Moriatry's eye was a mess. It was huge and clotted over. I tried calling the local exotic pet specialist, but they were closed and not open on Sunday. This is South Korea and animal health is not a very high priority here... also I live in a pretty remote area, so I had to wait until monday to take Moriarty for proper help.

In the meantime, however, I turned to this forum and got ideas about what to do, so, warm saline compress and complete change of housing: out with the shaving and grit on the floor, and in with warmed towels. I also put a heating pad under the floor of his home and turned it on. When I took the compress off, there was a stream of blood and pus from the eye. The clot came away easily, leaving a very angry red and white eye blob.

Despite his zombie eye, Prof. seemed completely unphased. He was running, he was eating, and drinking as if nothing was wrong for the whole night.

On Monday we went to the vet. I asked the vet how old he thought PM was. I don't really know because I rescued the little guy from a pet store where I had seen him living in a tiny glass box for about a year. The vet said 6 months. My faith was a bit shaken, but, having no alternative, I just had to stick with this doctor.

We got eye drops and a pink antibiotic powder to feed via syringe for one week. And the vet said he'd recommend surgery if there was matter still left in the eye socket, but he has never performed surgery on a hedgehog before, and thinks it would be very risky.

Now (10 May) we've been taking our meds well enough, I hope, for three days. The swelling around the eye is all gone and there is still a mass in the eye-socket. Prof is doing some things that are concerning me:
1. He walks around his enclosure, and suddenly drops onto his injured eye and rubs himself against the floor. It seems as if he is trying to scratch the whole side of his face. It might be because his eye is itchy, but I don't know.
2. He is not eating much at all.
3. He seems to be constipated and can only be induced to poop in a tub of warm water.
4. He is wheezing and foaming at the mouth. I thought this might be a kind of self-annointing behavior because of the medication, but it looks and sound a lot like URI (judgin by the videos and other stuff online).

What can I do for my little guy before I need to entrust him to the hands of a vet who admittedly does not know what he is doing?

The next vet option is two hours away and I am not sure that it is any better. I have asked a few of my friends who are vets if they know of any REAL specialists, and they all speak rather lowly of Korea's exotic pet doctors...
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Screen Shot 2018-05-10 at 11.07.03 AM.png
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Old 05-09-2018, 11:59 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hello, I live in Seoul currently. If it were my hedgehog, I would not let that doctor do surgery on him if he has no experience with it. Is this an ordinary vet or an exotic vet? I have had regular vets in Korea think my hedgehog was constipated when she was not (took her to a exotic vet after and he said she was not). I would 100% not trust an ordinary vet with your hedgehog. For something this serious, I would venture to Busan or Seoul (where I know there are good exotic vets). It might take a lot of time and money, but I think it is worth it if you want to put your hedgehog's life in good hands. If you want, you can tell me where you live and I can try to help you find an exotic vet. Your best bet would probably be Seoul, though. The place I take my girl to is in the Gangnam area (Acris animal medical center) and I have seen even racoons and meerkats in that place. They were also super gentle and knowledgeable about my hedgehog.
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Also, I would like to mention that the use of a heating pad is not recommended. It can end up burning your hedgehog.

Hedgehogs have a high pain tolerance so even though he may not be showing signs of suffering, he could still be in a great deal of pain.

Tip for giving medication: Many hedgehogs will try to anoint with their medication, which means they aren't actually swallowing it. Follow up the medication with some water via syringe so that it will help clear his mouth and hopefully won't feel the need to anoint.
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the info. I am near the bottom of line 1 on the Seoul Subway map... I can get to Gangnam by a single express bus, I think. I should be able to make it up there today even... Do the doctors speak English?

And thanks for that water tip - actually I tried that this morning. The heating pad is set to only "two bars" - its my winter electric blanket for my bed... and it is below two towls and outside the actual enclosure... the floor of of his house is only mildly warmer, not actually hot.

The previous vet was Snoopy Vet in Sanbon, but I will find the number for one in Gangnam and head on up after work! Thank you so much!

[please forgive the typos in these posts - typing from class...]
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:13 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes, there is a doctor who speaks English. I would definitely visit them asap. Go to bongeunsa station, exit 5. If you need any more help please feel free to message me on here. I will check regularly today if you need help.
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Old 05-11-2018, 12:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Did you end up taking him to the vet? How is the little guy doing?
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Old 07-02-2018, 09:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hi everyone;

a little update on Moriarty's great Eye-mergency of 2018:
After back and forth to the doctor a number of times, weight gain, weight loss, and weight gain - again; and after numerous courses of medicine including atropine for excessive mucous and saliva production, DMG to boost the immune system, various digestive and appetite stimulants, and super exciting pain killers, yesterday was time for surgery.


The doctor gave me a super good deal because I really do not have much money lying around at the moment after all the other bills and we went ahead and sedated Prof. Moriatry with gas.




They took xrays first. The doctor seemed a bit concerned with the xray results because of enlarged lining of her airways and lungs.


Prof. Moriarty's injured eye - the right eye - was removed and the vet sutured her eye-lids. In total, the whole procedure took about an hour and a half (including a short pre-op consultation).


IMG_8498.JPG


Following the surgery the vet had some more bad news for us, however. Moriarty's breathing difficulty seems to stem from Bronchiectasis. He's not sure what has caused it - there are many possible causes, even in humans... but it is permanent and serious.


I do not recall her ever having foamed before her eye-injury. Was it the medication that caused this development? Perhaps her eye injury was the result of discomfort in her lungs?



I'm a little apprehensive about the road ahead and have done some research into how to build an oxygen tank for her to help her with breathing. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old 04-09-2019, 06:59 AM   #8 (permalink)
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What happened to the little one? What was his problem?
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