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Thread: URGENT HELP! Swollen feet, raw skin, not healing! Vet's are clueless! Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-19-2013 12:28 AM
HannahG Cookie is booked in to the vets next week and I will push for a scraping. The Epsom salts are doing wonders already. Her skin is now flesh colored and she seems to be more comfortable with walking, so am relieved she's not in any discomfort. But I will have to wait till Wednesday for the vets.
10-17-2013 08:29 AM
Kalandra Necrosis just means that the skin cells are dying. I consider it more a symptom than a diagnosis because there has to be something underlying to have caused it... like an infection or trauma.

A biopsy would be nice, but often they want a fairly big sample when they do that. Ask if they can take just a skin scraping. If she will allow you to hold her feet still, I don't see why they would need to anesthetize her for a skin scraping. For a biopsy yes, as they may want to put a stitch or two in the area after they remove the skin sample.

A simple skin scraping of the area may work. The lab typically likes larger samples, but I've had skin scrapings done before with success. The downside of the culture is that if the hedgehog is taking oral or topical antibiotics, your vet may want you to stop for a few days to ensure that if there is an infection there, that they get a good sample of it.
10-17-2013 12:10 AM
sarahspins I would strongly suspect it's fungal based on what you have described, especially since it got better, and then returned when you stopped with the cream. A fungal culture can definitely be done without a biopsy (you'd just need a skin or nail scraping).

I would push the vet to do cultures, both bacterial and fungal, before going as far as a biopsy. I could only see a biopsy being necessary if they were wanting to look for the specific abnormalities that would be present in something that is inflammation related (like any number of auto-immune diseases - many of which would respond well to steroids) but it wouldn't really be helpful in ruling out bacteria or fungus.
10-16-2013 06:42 PM
HannahG Thank you for your response, I shall put the idea's towards my vet. I presumed that a skin scraping would be the first thing she would do but it was never put forward as an option. I don't know if you will know but after taking to a breeder I know and trust she says that the symptoms and gunk like skin that falls off sounds like Necrosis on the feet? She suggested giving Cookie a Epsom salt foot bath.

I rung my vet today and explained the current situation, unfortunately she was fully booked. I was told I could come, sit and wait but she called out to a local zoo on a emergency. So because there is not another exotic vet for miles she wrote Cookie a prescription for some more Metacam and a course of Enrofloxacin that I was able to pick up.

But I am still not getting any clear answer on what she has. Again I was offered a biopsy and I would if I could but I find it ridiculous that it would cost in the region of 300 and more if she had to be monitored over night, which is dependent on how well she would sedated.

If you know anything on Necrosis please let me know, the vets are as vague as ever.
10-16-2013 06:31 PM
HannahG She was on some cheap branded food when I got her so I have formulate my own food of a mixed kibble diet, to make sure all my hogs were getting the right fat content and protein, but maybe I should try and keep her diet bland? Her bedding was vetbed but with the open sores I changed to fleece liners which are changed every day, but I will try using a vinegar wash.

I have not tried Benadryl only the F10 - Germicidal Barrier Ointment. I will nip into my nearest chemist tomorrow and pick some up. What sort do you suggest?

After mites were ruled out Allergies was the next on my list, but after going through her diet and cleaning routine she did not suspect anything, especially since the wounds were only located on her feet. She said if it was allergies she would more likely be seeing wounds around the face and mouth and even on her back.

I did persist with my vet that it did seem like a fungal infection, just because her nails are dis-formed, discolored and are thick yet soft?

I spoke to another breeder I have brought off in the past and she says it could be Necrosis on feet? I don't know if you have heard or know anything about this condition but I am going to ring my vet tomorrow and discuss with her.

Thank you though, I think the vinegar wash is a smart move.
10-16-2013 09:20 AM
The only treatment I was given was F10 Cream which did help with the wounds but once I ran out the wounds re-opened and I was back to square one.
This line is making me wonder if your vets have done a skin scraping and tried to culture it. If the wounds got better while on F10 and then got worse when stopped or over time makes me wonder if you are dealing with a bacterial or fungal infection that is medication resistant. Maybe the F10 cream is helping for a while but isn't fully killing off the infection, or the infection is building up a resistance to that medication. A culture & sensitivity test would tell you if you are dealing with a bacterial or fungal infection, what type, and what drugs are the best to use to fight it. Something for you to consider.
10-16-2013 07:52 AM
Lilysmommy What kind of bedding is she on now? Have you tried her with just no bedding to see if that helps? It doesn't really sound comfortable, but might be worth a try for a night or two. Try washing her liners with no detergent at all - just a bit of vinegar.

What about food? What kind of food is she on & have you tried changing that at all? I know my dog's food allergies present with ear infections, itchy skin, and itchy/sore/swollen feet (she starts licking them). Have you guys tried dosing her with Benedryl at all to see if it gives her some relief?

If it turns out to be food, it may be that the best way to try and clear her symptoms up & figure out what it is is to do a basic diet with just plain chicken & something for carbs (maybe sweet potato?) and see how she does on that. Perhaps your vet can suggest a good vitamin supplement (and dosage) if you try that - I would think perhaps a dog supplement might be appropriate, since their dietary needs seem to match up pretty well with dogs/cats. But that'd be a better question for your vet, probably. If she clears up while on that kind of diet, then you could start adding in new foods & see if she reacts to anything.
10-16-2013 02:58 AM

She last went to the vets about 2 weeks ago. I brought some more F10 cream so that's why her feet look greasy. They usually get better to the point where they look normal in colour, but the size and chunky peeling skin remains.

I have given in and given her some metacam and she seems more comfortable for the time being.

Here are some pictures. She has just had a bath and a spot on again. Her feet are usually bad after the skin falls off.



The last picture. I have just noticed, not sure if it's to do with the foot problem - she has, what looks like, a small white pimple. No discomfort with it.

Never have I had such an unlucky hog with so many problems. If you have any information that might help Cookie, please let me know.
10-16-2013 01:12 AM
URGENT HELP! Swollen feet, raw skin, not healing! Vet's are clueless!


My hedgehog Cookie is just alittle over a year now and I have been experiencing problems since the first week I brought her.

I believe the cause of this problem is to do with the breeder. I brought a male previous to buying my little girl and within the first week he was taken to the vets for mites. Luckily he has never had a occurrence since. However even though the vets visit was so early into owning him, I was slightly annoyed, but I didn't count her as a irresponsible breeder.

That was until I brought Cookie and her sister Biscuit.

Again same as before I brought the hedgehogs into my home thinking they were fine. I had asked her about the mites and she had told me they were vet checked and had a spot on before coming to my house and even had a mite bath (which now seems weird why you would give a hedgehog a bath with 'mite shampoo' if they didn't have mites). All my hogs are thoroughly checked weekly and giving preventative measures to ensure no parasites are spread through my herd. Unfortunately I had to take not only the who girls I brought but a few of my other girls to the vets because they had mites again.

Biscuit recovered as well as my other hogs but Cookie didn't fully return to normal. Ever since I brought her, she's constantly been to the vets. I have changed her bedding numerous times thinking it could be allergies and even buy washing detergent for sensitive skin just to be safe. But this has not improved.

In total she has been to 3 different vets and has had 7 trips altogether. Even as a breeder my hedgehogs are treated as pets, so money wise I was willing to make sure she returned to my healthy little girl.

The vets I have been to are stumped. I have even dealt with someone who treats everything. Specifically from hedgehogs to lions. Previous to my visits I did make sure she was able to treat the species and she confirmed that she has and continues to treat Pygmy Hedgehogs.

I am running out of money and options at the moment. The last option suggested to me was a biopsy, yet this was going to come close to 300 as sedation is required. I have already spent over 300 for dead ends.

If anyone can shed some light I would deeply appreciate it, I don't want my hedgehog to suffer.

Her symptoms take on some characteristics of mites and she is on a course of 'Revoluiton' - and has been for about 6 months. She is on the one for kittens and puppies? Do I need to buy the adult version?

Her Symptoms -
She used to have really bad dry skin but this has reduced,
She is constantly scratching,
Her feet are very swollen,
The skin around her feet peel off in clumps and leaves raw, un-healed skin underneath.
Another thing I have noticed is her nails are abnormally thick (this makes me think it could be fungal?)
There are no scabs on her feet! (Whenever I have had a hedgehog, say run to far in the wheel and cut the pads of her feet, there is usually a scab but with her, skin just heals over the top then falls off and never properly heals.)
She is eating fine, drinking fine and is still active.

I will try and take some pictures tomorrow and post them so you can have a clearer look.
I have spoken to a american vet (apparently they deal with quiet a few hogs) that I should put her on a course of metacam to help reduce the swelling. I have metacam but I am abit worried to give her something my vet hasn't prescribed but my vets are lost and have no clue what's wrong with her.

The only treatment I was given was F10 Cream which did help with the wounds but once I ran out the wounds re-opened and I was back to square one.

If you have any idea's or think you can help, please reply! Thank you, Hannah.

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