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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi I thought I'd start a new thread for my other concerns.

I'd like to take Yuki for a general health check this Friday (I've had him for 7 weeks and he is almost 7 months, bought from an exotic pet store here in Tokyo).

He does potentially have a few issues too, like very dry skin and patches where quills haven't grown back and dark green ink-like stools (always done this since bringing home and it normally follows from a nice looking healthy one but recently he now does little hard black ones and I find dried green crystallised poo on his wheel ~ I have been trying to change his diet). He also always sneezes a lot, in his bed, whilst he's out and eating, at least 10x plus a day followed by licking his nose (wet but not runny and doesn't look irritated). He's on fleece liners washed in non scented detergent and a bit of white distilled vinegar. Then on top of all this he is possibly underweight and doesn't finish a 15ml scoop of food which is always available for him (raised in another post)

My questions are, I'll be going to a Japanese exotic vet so will be difficult as it is with language issues ~ should I mention all these issues or are these just normal things to happen with new hedgehogs even though I've had him almost 2 months and nothing is improving? Also medication, I'm worried if the vet prescribes a tonne of medications and theyre too strong/bad for hedgies.

Is there an approved list of medication for hedgies and ones to avoid anywhere or would someone mind sharing their own knowledge pls? Are there alternative treatments I should try first? I tried giving oatmeal baths with coconut oil and it gave him severe dandruff/made scratching worse. I'm hesitate to put any oils on his food as I've already disrupted his diet by trying to change it to recommended cat food from Mazuri Insective Diet with not much luck >.< or could this help?! ;-)

I just want to be prepared, in case the vet prescribes something bad or too strong and I can ask for a certain type instead (to treat any the above issues). I don't want to make his issues worse with heavy medication :/

Thanks for the help! :)
 

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It could be mites or it could be a skin infection, especially as it got worse after putting oil on him. A skin infection will call for getting a skin scraping & culturing it to see if it's fungal or bacterial & what's best to use to treat it. Fungal gets antifungal, bacterial gets antibiotics. Mites should be treated with Revolution, called Stronghold in the UK, not sure if it'd be named something else there. The main ingredient is selamectin. As said above, don't let them use Ivermectin (also called Ivomec sometimes). The medicine should just be a liquid applied to the skin on the back of his neck - Ivermectin comes in oral, topical, and injection, & injection is the most dangerous.

The poop may need a fecal test done - it could be due to stress, but it might also be due to intestinal infection, so it'd be good to check.

Agreed that the sneezing is likely a URI, which also need antibiotics. A note for the future - URIs are dangerous and have the potential to quickly turn into serious pneumonia, so if you see him sneezing frequently again in the future, a vet visit is needed ASAP.

With the likelihood he'll be getting antibiotics, also try to get some probiotics. I don't know if the vet would have them there, but you can usually get them online - Bene-Bac is a common brand. Probiotics help replenish good intestinal bacteria when antibiotics kill all bacteria, good & bad. Don't give them at the same time as the antibiotics, but giving them throughout his course of medication & for a week or so after can help keep the meds from messing his body up more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Matvei for the reply and advice :)

Thank you Lilysmommy for all the detailed advice and help, I really appreciate it! :)
I was also thinking maybe a skin infection as read on another post how if oil makes it worse it could be a skin infection since oil would prevent the skin from breathing... He also makes me come out in hives all up my arms everyday (so something is going on or I'm just super sensitive to his quills ~ my boyfriend doesn't get any reaction from him so maybe it is just me! ><).

Thanks for the suggestion about the green poo, I'll take a sample from tonight/tomorrow morning with us but no doubt he'll leave us some in his carry case from the traumatic walk to the vet (5-10min walk down the road) ~ it came out both ends last time he was in the case from walking him home from the pet store, also about the same distance! ><

Re sneezing, thanks for the advice. I'm still not completely sure if it's always sneezing or just puffing/clearing his nose, sometimes he'll do a really big sneeze or puff but all the frequent ones are small puffs (or little sneezes ~ I don't know it there's a difference?) theyre always followed by him licking his nose. I don't know if this is just normal behaviour, as he does do it wherever he is... Again I'll get it checked out to be on the safe side! Can they tell just by listening to this chest? Also are any antibiotics ok or any specific ones to avoid?

Hoping to get an appointment in the morning so will post an update afterwards :)

Also do you think he is underweight/not eating enough or can hedgehogs just sometimes be smaller and eat less than a typical hog? He's 6.5 months, weighs 284g and eats 3/4 of a 15ml scoop of dry kibble (currently Mazuri which I'm trying to ween him off!).

Thanks again! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Oh boy, we had him out for bonding time and he seemed more active again which is good to see, he ended up doing his business on me and a massive wee, which when I wiped up with a tissue has a little bit of blood in it, as in fresh bright red blood! Just a tiny bit clotted together... We turned him over and think his urethra does look a bit sore/bloody inside, but around the penis looks fine. Could it just be from scratching/too much boytime (he does that weird stretch/cat shaped bend so much not always tucking his head under though, and looks like he can't control it when it happens)?! I'll try mentioning it to the vet tomorrow as well! ><
 

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There is no way to tell if he is underweight without posting a picture of him. However, 284g does seem on the small side for a male hedgehog at 6.5 months.
What do you mean 15ml? He should always have food in a bowl, you are supposed to free feed them.

Sneezing/licking the nose is not normal. He needs antibiotics for the URI.
And now also for the potential bladder infection.
Most likely they will prescribe Enrofloxacin aka Baytril for the URI.
I don't know about the bladder infection, probably something else.

Between the possible mites or skin infection, URI, and possible bladder infection it sounds like you have a lot to discuss with the vet.
 

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Yeah, they tend to be pretty easy about poop samples. :lol:

Unfortunately your hives may mean you're allergic to him. Sometimes it's hard to tell - people with sensitive skin can react to the quills in general, but never have it get worse, sometimes people that have a lot of other allergies will react because the quills poke the skin & open a path for allergens to enter.

It's hard to tell sometimes re: sneezing & huffing, but from what you're describing, it does sound like he's sneezing. They should be able to tell by listening to his chest, yes. Baytril and Clavamox are both commonly prescribed antibiotics. No specific ones to avoid, but they're both strong antibiotics, so be prepared with the probiotics if you can. One of them (or maybe both? I can't recall which & you should be able to ask your vet if they prescribe the meds) should be given with a bit of food as it can cause an upset stomach on an empty belly. Giving it mixed with some baby food is a good way to help with that, and also helps disguise the taste.

Let us know how the visit goes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi, sorry for my late reply ~ thank you both again for your kind advice.

UPDATE post vet visit:
So we took Yuki last Friday for his first vet visit but since he was displaying symptoms we spoke only about those issues rather than had a general checkup. The vet was pretty thorough and had a massive textbook about Hedgehog veterinarian care which he used to show us example photos of illnesses. Hedgehogs are quite popular pets here in Japan and he said he's treated many before.

Re the skin issue, he examined Yuki and ruffled his quills which made a fair amount of dandruff come off him. He agreed he did have dried skin but said he has seen far worse cases and didn't think it was anything to worry about. He checked the dried skin flakes and confirmed there were no mites. He said if we were worried we could treat for mites as a preventive measure but I said Id prefer not to give him medicine if it wasn't completely necessary. He had both ivermectin and resolution available which was good to know. He said the resolution was stronger (again showed us all medication used to treat hedgehogs) so suggested ivermectin but after hearing of everyone's experiences on here using it there's no way I would risk it! I asked about a possible skin infection but he said there would be no point in doing a skin test since it would come back showing some bacteria as it's completely natural to have some bacterial present (it's only if the levels of bacteria are too high that it might cause a problem). He said he'd most likely have mites if he had a skin infection as they usually come hand in hand. He just told us to keep an eye on things, if he starts loosing a lot of quills suddenly then to bring him back in.

Re the green stools, I took in a load of samples lol (Yuki kindly did some before we left for the vet which looked normal and I also had a couple green ones which he'd done during the night after running on his wheel!). He looked at the samples and again said they looked normal and fine. He said some green poop is normal and ok ~ since he does it generally when he is running it is kind of like an anxious / excited poop! He said provided he is doing normally brown poop as well then it's nothing to worry about. If he starts only doing green poop then to bring him back. ~Lilysmommy do you think I should still give him some probiotics or should this only be given if giving medication?

Re sneezing and nose licking, he again said this is normal to some degree. Provided there is no discharge or blood then it's ok. My boyfriend explained in Japanese that his cage is in our open plan living/kitchen area so he said laundry, cooking smells, dust and cleaning products could all effect his little nose, causing him to sneeze. He didn't check and listen to his chest though, which I was a bit annoyed about but I guess he didn't think it was necessary ><. Again just told us to keep an eye on it.

So all in all, according to the vet he is fine! :) I must have looked like a complete paranoid new pet owner bringing up several issues and all was ok but hey it is best to get things checked over if there are any doubts or worries. We didn't bring up the blood in pee issue, since everything we brought up was ok and we were in there for over half an hour. I will of course monitor it and look out if it happens again, but I think either he strained or scratched himself (or was too vigorous during boys time!).

I hope this will help any other new pet owners ease their mind if they are experiencing similar issue but of course, it is always best to get things checked if in doubt or symptoms get worse, our situations may be slightly different after all. :)

Lilysmommy ~ I think you're right about the allergic reaction. I generally have sensitive skin anyways. They've calmed down a bit this week which is good, so horrible constantly having them all over my arms. Since Yuki has his wheel now, he's just sleepy and cuddly when we get him out now so he's not crawling all over my arms and wanting to run around. My hands don't seem to get affected so much luckily! Let me know about the probiotics if you think it is worth giving him some or just leave it for now since I am trying to change his food without much luck ><

Matvei ~ I will try getting a pic of yukis body to see what you guys think. I weighed him on Monday night so 8 days after first weighing and he's lost 4gs so now weighs 280g. I do free feed him, there is always food in his bowl, what I meant was every night I put one tablespoon (15ml) scoop of food and he never finishes it, there's at least always a quarter to a third left in the bowl in the morning so I don't put more than 15ml as to not waste food. I leave this left over food in his bowl all day until I clean his bowl and refill again in the evening. Should I be throwing out the leftover food and putting fresh food in the morning instead? When we first got him he would come out during random times and eat but recently he now just sleeps all day until late evening. As I mentioned before I am trying to change over his food, I'm doing it really gradually now, adding only 4 pieces of cat food kibble and crushing them up so he is more likely to eat some of it but I see some pieces always leftover in the bowl in the morning. I'm also offering a wet mix of his food with a little bit of new cat food but he barely touches it. When we bought him from the pet store they even said to us he is a bit small for his age so he's always been like that, could he just be a petit size hedgehog? I've noticed the last few nights he pulls his bowl closer to him and even last night he took it under his bed! So I don't know if he's just a bit lazy or what?! The vet also didnt comment on his weight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ok thank you! Yes we were doing that too (just topping it up) but there would always be some left every day so then I'd end up chucking a load out after a couple days to give fresh. I've just been emptying leftovers now and giving fresh every night then using the leftover to make a wet mix (which he doesn't really eat) but just trying to offer more food! The cat food seems to go so hard (not softer as it gets stale)? I don't know how these little hedgehogs can eat it lol I have to put so much force on them to crush them with a spoon ><
 

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You should be removing any left over food every day. The left over food has crumbs and bits of food that has fallen off of the kibble your hedgie has eaten in it. This means there is saliva in the old food. This can encourage mold and bacteria growth so any left over food should be thrown out daily.
 

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If it lasts that long, then you're putting in way more than you need to. The idea is to give them enough to where they can eat their fill, but you only have a bit left in the morning. Then a) you can ensure they're eating enough (it's easier to keep track of their eating amounts when you can see that most of the food is gone versus a small portion of a full bowl), b) they have a bit extra for extra hungry nights, and b) you're not wasting too much food. Food does need to be changed daily. Too many people treat kibble like it's sterile because it's dry & doesn't get as visibly gross as wet food. It can still easily grow bacteria & cause problems, especially for animals that tend towards sensitive digestive systems like hedgehogs.

@Yukidama -

Pictures would help re: body weight & shape. :) He's probably just a small boy though, hedgehog sizes seem to be trending to small in recent years.

I'm honestly a bit iffy on the vet. It bothers me that he didn't bother to listen to the chest & didn't think that the skin was an issue, especially if there are spots with quills not coming back. I can understand not wanting to push a skin test because vets often have people get angry when paying for expensive tests that come back totally clear. But listening to the chest would've taken very little extra time, and honestly, that's something that should be done during a normal exam. And hedgehogs can have URIs, especially early stages, before there's actual discharge. It really bothers me that he would say it's not an issue without discharge or blood (especially the blood part? It should be treated well before that stage?).

Fair enough on the poop issue though. Since you're switching foods, adding probiotics every other day or so wouldn't hurt, as it can help with coping with the switch. But it's not as important of an issue in that case.
 

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I can say from experience that the quality of animal care in Japan is way below western standards.

It might be tough, but I'd try getting a second opinion as well, just in case.
 

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Adding to the food bowl discussion...
Totally agree that you should only put enough in for just over a night (love the "extra hungry nights," lol! so true).

It's also important to remember to wash both the food and water dishes regularly. I try to wash mine every other day with soap and water, and then wipe them out with a wet paper towel on the days they don't get washed. Bacteria can grow quickly, and it's not worth the health risk.
 

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Easiest way I found to handle the dishes was at least 2 sets. If I wasn't feeling like cleaning right away or a dish contained enough "presents" I could let the dish soak and not have to stress a timeframe. Also in the event a dish were to break, I could pick one up on the next trip to the store as opposed to making a special trip.


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Twobytwo, that's a great idea! I may have to pick up an extra set. Usually I'm pretty good about washing them every other day, but just in case there is a hectic span of days...that's an awesome option. Thanks for sharing!
 

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At one point the entire house had the worst flu. Ok, all but one teenage boy and a developmentally delayed toddler at the time and animals had to still be taken care of. A couple plastic wash basins and a collection of dishes made a task that was difficult so much easier.
*note to self* buy more heavy non-tip dishes at the farm store... why does everything have to break after normal business hours???


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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
@lilysmommy hey so sorry for the late reply. Thank you for getting back to me, I really appreciate your advice and totally agree with you to be honest about the vet, I didn't completely agree with his diagnosis or lack thereof! But he didn't seem to have a lack of care per say more that he just didn't see a need to do further checks ~ but I agree it wouldn't have hurt to put my mind at rest by just quickly listening to his chest. I definitely plan to look into another local vet but for now I just want him settled and putting on weight so don't want to stress him but taking him out anywhere unless his condition worsens.

An update on his health:
- Green stools are still present but much less (some days more than others or even none so I'm not worried too much about this).
- still has the odd patch of loss quills but quills are definitely growing back through. I haven't given him a bath in over a month but giving regular foot baths for his mucky feet and a quick wipe down with a baby wipe if needed and the scratching has significantly reduced.
- sneezing is still present (just whilst writing this I heard him sneeze 3 times in a row in his bed ><). He is in our main living space so I don't know how much general smells just bother him sometimes. Still no discharge but nose feels very wet to the touch.
- weight is still low and is my main focus at the moment. I'm going to start a new thread about this as I'm really at a lost what to do, Ive failed multiple times to get him to change foods so now I'm giving one Superworm a night with his crap hedgehog food (cut up and head disposed of) but I'm worried this is too much to digest every night? He's an avid runner on his wheel and isn't putting on any weight / struggling to maintain existing weight. All I want for him is to be healthy and happy :/
 
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