Hedgehog Central banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

Info
Hedgehog: Quinn
Breed: African Pygmy Hedgehogs
Age: 2 years and 5 months
Sex: Female
Spayed/neutered: No
Litter: Had 2 babies
Purchased from: Breeder (happyhedgies)
Home: Burnaby, BC, Canada

A bit about me
Quinn is my first pet and I love her. I've been poking around hedgehogcentral for over 2 years now and there is just tons of great information here. Thanks to everyone and the admins on the forum!

Two months ago symptom
About two months ago we saw some blood in Quinn's tray that we put under her wheel and we were incredibly concerned. There was only on instance of her pee and we weren't really sure if it was either from her eating some blueberries or some other food. It never happened again so we thought we were in the clear.

Panic attack last night
Yesterday night while holding Quinn she pee'd and poo'ed while I was holding her. And to make matters worse the pee was red in colour, as in she urinated blood. :(:(


This morning at 7:00am
Super worried we took her to Oak Animal Hospital and the vet to have her checked out. The vet held Quinn up via her stomach with fingers and let Quinn walk with Quinn's front two hands. The Vet said that Quinn's bladder felt abnormally solid and it should be more like a balloon. The vet then took an x-ray of Quinn, after putting very little anesthetics into her to calm her down for the x-ray. The results from the x-ray was as follows

heart: looks good
lungs: looks good
Bladder & uterus: from the x-ray it was all grey and the Vet could not tell what was going on. Also they were looking for signs of kidney stones but there was only one spec which was fairly faint.

Also from the X-Ray the Vet showed me that there was a pocket of gas near Quinn's abdominal area. Pockets of gas is normal in the body, near the rib cage, but not that much and not near the abdominal area.

The conclusion from the Vet was she wanted the full lab report for the X-ray to make a better diagnosis. So I'm waiting for their response, but nothing yet after a few hours.

Other possibilities from the Vet
There was some mention here and there about Tumors and cancer in Quinn's abdominal areas as she had an episode of urinating blood before and it stopped but has come back. The vet needs to do an ultra sound to check for sure.

I was really hoping Quinn only has a small case of UTI and not the full out cancer. The breeder, HappyHedgies was really good about their selective breeding to try their best to not have hereditary cancer.

Questions to members here at Hedgehogcentral
Does anyone know what possible issues Quinn could be having that has resulting in her Bladder feeling solid? She's eating well, is drinking water and continues to wheel. I'm feeling really sad about this and would appreciate any help.

Some photos of my baby Quinn



Quinn right now
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,582 Posts
Oh, poor little baby. I wish I could venture a guess as to whats wrong. In situations where there are really bad possibilities I tend to assume it's the worst possible thing that it could be. The downside to that is it causes lots of stress until there's more info, but the upside is that I'm surprised with better news than I was expecting. It also gets me thinking about what I would need to do in the worst case scenario. Which is good in the event it is the worst case because then I at least already have a tentative plan in mind.

I'll keep my fingers crossed for your little Quinn. Hopefully it's something that can be treated easily and she'll be back to her normal self soon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
944 Posts
Did they put her on any meds--just to see if an antibiotic or anti inflammatory would help?

Hoping they can find out what is going on soon.
Quinn is so cute.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey everyone,
Thanks for the quick replies and the kind wishes.

Took her to another vet today (whatcomvet.com) that was recommended by http://www.hedgehogwelfare.org/ and my breeder happy hedgies

Dr Elizabeth Borgmann gave Quinn APO-AMOXI, Amoxicllin for ORal suspension
Dosage of 1.2ml twice a day

Has anyone used this medicine before with success with their hedgehog?

Hopefully it is just an infection and helps Quinn feel better.

Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Got Quinnquinn in for an ultra sound yesterday. She was very good girl and cooperative. The results, are mixed. Good news is that her bladder does not have any signs of tumor growth. They found a large drop shaped tumor.

My vet said that the report says the tumor is fairly isolated. But the bad part is they can't determine how low the tumor goes down her vagina.

So in my interpretation the tumor is not bad to get out, but the issue is that it's not clear if they can remove the entire tumor and cancer cells as from the ultra sound they cant see the entire tumor.

So I don't know what to do here. I don't want Quinn to live with the tumor, shes 2.5 yrs old and is super tiny weighing in at ~320grams. If they open up Quinn and can't properly locate the tumor and or hurt her other organs I'll be very sad about it.

The Vet has not operated on hedgehogs before, but has done one surgery previous to this on a small animal.

So my question is, do you guys think I'm over thinking this? Is it a simple surgery similar to getting Quinn neuter/spayed?

Here is the lab report


Any help and advice is much appreciated!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,950 Posts
Basically you have two options.

You could do nothing but you know the tumour is going to spread, possibly quickly and she may not have much time left.

Or, have her spayed and the tumour or as much as possible removed. This is going to give her the best chance of survival. As far as surgery goes, she is still young and as long as she is healthy otherwise, there is no reason to believe she will have problems with the surgery. That being said, there is always a small risk with any surgical proceedure.

How comfortable does your vet feel about doing surgery on her? If he feels confident and you trust him, then I'd have him do it. If he'es hesitant, can he recommend a vet that has experience?

It's always a difficult decision deciding on surgery. Keep in mind that the tumour is going to kill her. To save her, surgery is necessary but it carries a small risk too. You are weighing a slight risk of not surviving the surgery against no chance of survival by leaving the tumour.

Hugs to you both.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
944 Posts
Agree with Nancy. I was in a similar situation, but my Nara was almost 4 years old at the time.

The tumor was probably a great deal smaller since I had gotten her into the vet the first time I noticed she was bleeding. The vet put her on an antibiotic and an anti inflammatory for 10 days/2 weeks or so, while her surgery could be scheduled.
Surgery went well, she recovered nicely, although I've had to lower her wheel.
Her tumor did end up being an endometrial polyp.
She's doing great, eats like a little piggy.
I was not sure if I should put her through the surgery and not have her recover or just let things take their course. Nancy and others helped me by saying about the same thing---the surgery will give her a chance. I do have to say that the vet office Nara goes to is a huge exotic vet practice and they have experience with hedgehogs and many small mammals.

I know this is a hard decision, but she is on the younger side and otherwise healthy.
My thoughts are with you as you decide.
Hugs to you both.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Nancy

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the replies.

Thank you Nancy and Momlady =) I really appreciate it.

Right now I think the most important for me is to find an experienced surgeon, that will use the right anesthetics, antibiotics and is confident in performing the surgery on Quinn.

I read online and spoke with Dr Gilsleider of Animal Medican Centre in Claremore, OK and he said he uses CO2 laser to perform the surgery. So it sounds less intrusive as lasers are uses to ablate the tumor.

MomLady and Nancy, what type of surgery did your hedgies go through? Regular surgical instruments? Or laser?



I've looked around Vancouver, and various people say Dr. Borgmann is the best. But talking to her she said she's never operated on a hedgehog before. And mentioned that the procedure will be similar to that in a cat.

Does anyone know of any other surgeons I can talk to in Vancouver/Seattle area that have experience in this procedure?

Time is ticking and I really want to help Quinn! =(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
944 Posts
The surgery that Nara had was with regular surgical tools, the surgeon said the they don't use lasers for what might be cancer, because the laser may make the cancer grow more.

I did pay extra for a "healing" laser they used on her incision. It is called "LiteCure Laser Therapy" on the bill. The surgery itself was just a "spay".

I agree with you, you want the most experienced surgeon you can find. I think even if they don't have hedgehog experience, experience with small mammals would be good.

Nancy can probably advise you on any specific doctors she might have experience with.

Have you looked in the vet threads for any comments for the particular vets you are close to? Also the HWS-Hedgehog Welfare Society has a listing on their website of recommended vets. Just Google them. I would find the link but Nara's light just went off and I am here in the dark.

All the best for you and Quinn!
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,950 Posts
Laser is the way to go. It is a faster surgery, less blood loss and quicker recovery time. I can't recall any that haven't been laser. A vet who has done surgery on a small pet such as a rat or guinea pig or even bunny would be ideal.

Time is also critical, especially if she is still bleeding. Blood loss will make them anemic which increases the risks of surgery.

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hi MomLady and Nancy,

Thank you again for all the replies. Made contact with three Vets

1) Elizabeth Borgmann
2) Sharon Prus
3) Kamil Svancara

Dr Borgmann didn't have any experience on Hedgehogs before, but handled Quinn very well. We decided against going to her because she did not have experience. Quinn is a special case since she is a very tiny Hedgie weighing in at 320grams. So we wanted above the norm for her.

Dr Prus seemed great at first, but in the end brushed us off and would not operate on Quinn today as she was taking Saturday off. Instead she opted that Quinn go on medicine in efforts to shrink the tumor first before going in for surgery. Quinn was already on the same medication for two weeks prior.

Dr Svancara, the staff at his vet were not very heartwarming, and he is a very direct doctor. Kept saying no guarantees if Quinn will make the surgery due to its complexity.

All of them use surgical instruments. I guess Lasers is too expensive to afford in small town Vancouver, which is a bummer.

Super worried about Quinn going under the knife, she survived the operation. But the operation was not successful. Dr Svancara opened Quinn up, saw the tumor, claimed it was significantly larger than what the Ultra Sound report stated it to be (1.5cm x 3cm). So either within the last 10 days the tumor had grown significantly or the Ultrasound report wasn't very accurate. Dr Svancara said sorry he could not help, took a photograph of her tumor, and sewed Quinn back up.

Should have, could have, would have. I wish we took better care of Quinn and took her into see a vet right away and got the surgery lined up right away as both of you two recommended. And as a result of our stupidity Quinn now has to suffer with a tumor inside her and face the inevitable date... And that'll be on my conscience forever.

Quinn's home now. But I'm really heart broken, not knowing when she'll start feeling the tumor and feel suffering. All I know now is to treat her like the Queen, because we owe it to her.



If anyone digs up this in the future and wants advice or info from our experience please feel free to message me or directly email me.

[email protected]

Thanks for reading =)

The surgery that Nara had was with regular surgical tools, the surgeon said the they don't use lasers for what might be cancer, because the laser may make the cancer grow more.

I did pay extra for a "healing" laser they used on her incision. It is called "LiteCure Laser Therapy" on the bill. The surgery itself was just a "spay".

I agree with you, you want the most experienced surgeon you can find. I think even if they don't have hedgehog experience, experience with small mammals would be good.

Nancy can probably advise you on any specific doctors she might have experience with.

Have you looked in the vet threads for any comments for the particular vets you are close to? Also the HWS-Hedgehog Welfare Society has a listing on their website of recommended vets. Just Google them. I would find the link but Nara's light just went off and I am here in the dark.

All the best for you and Quinn!
Laser is the way to go. It is a faster surgery, less blood loss and quicker recovery time. I can't recall any that haven't been laser. A vet who has done surgery on a small pet such as a rat or guinea pig or even bunny would be ideal.

Time is also critical, especially if she is still bleeding. Blood loss will make them anemic which increases the risks of surgery.

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
944 Posts
I am so sorry, for you and Quinn.
Love her all you can.
Hedgehogs are good at hiding illness and can eat, drink and wheel as if nothing is wrong for quite a while.

Hugs,
Donna
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
347 Posts
It is NOT your fault. You did what you thought was best and thought about it first. Take advantage of the time you have together now.
Best wishes
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top