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So, I've got a bit of a situation going on. My little Elijah started having trouble keeping his balance in about August/September of last year. I got him in for a vet visit and the vet immediately suggested WHS, which I know is a red flag. She told me straight up that there was "no sign of ear infection", and told me that if I wanted a more in-depth sedated exam, that was an option, but I should only do it if he gets worse. Trusting the vet, I listened to her. She didn't give me anything, not even antibiotics in CASE it was an ear infection.



So he started getting worse over a couple months. That whole time, I was sick with the thought of WHS and that I couldn't do anything for him. The weird thing was, to me, he wasn't having any weakness or stiffness in his back legs. He was still able to climb up and into my shirt just fine and would angrily thrash during bath time, which was normal. But, he couldn't balance himself when trying to walk and would fall over.


So I got him the sedated exam. Surprise surprise, he had infections in both ears. Despite this, the vet continued to say they couldn't "rule out" WHS. He was put on antibiotics for 2 weeks and I've noticed a slight improvement in his walking - IE, he's not tumbling to only the same side (where the infection was worse) anymore. They did a swab and everything to make sure he was on the correct antibiotics, which he was. Great!


He went back in for his checkup after 2 weeks and had to see a different vet - though one who had seen him before. He said he was "very concerned" with the balance issues and said it looked like WHS to him, despite the ear infection. I couldn't help but feel a little frustrated and made sure to mention that he hasn't had any weakness or stiffness in his back legs. But he believed me when I said I'd seen improvement, so he put him on another week of antibiotics.



I should mention at this point that right now, this vet isn't even allowing people in the building with their animals, so I'm only able to explain the situation AFTER the vet has already examined him. And I should also note they're the only hedgehog-specialized vet in my area...


Am I wrong to be a little frustrated and annoyed with these vets? They told me there was "NO SIGN" of ear infection in the beginning, so now I feel like I failed him for letting it go for so long. I wanted to trust in the medical professional, but from the research I've done on WHS, it doesn't seem to be it at all. At the very least, I haven't noticed any significant progression at all since last August. He's still eating and drinking just fine, and can walk perfectly if I just support his butt very lightly or give him walls to lean against. Other than the stumbling he has had NO change in behaviors at all.



My personal theory is that the infection got really bad, so it's going to take extra time with antibiotics for it to clear up, and he's sort of "learned" that he can't walk right and doesn't try as hard to get up. But the vets seemed ultra concerned that it hadn't gone away completely after 2 weeks. Anyone have thoughts on this? I spent so long in total despair over possible WHS (the breeder I got him from has a lifetime guarantee against it, which makes me think they're very confident that it's not a prevalent issue with their breeding lines). Now I'm just sort of confused and don't know what to think.
 

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I'm sorry to hear about your hedgie! Wow! Those vets seem like they might just be out for your money if I'm being honest. I'm sorry that you don't have many options, but I would consider doing some research to see how much they actually know about hedgehogs. That seems super frustrating and I hope they can get it cleared up! Many wishes.
 

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WHS is confirmed diagnosis when deceased. Therefore, they should know it is important to eliminate other similar looking causes like ear infection. It's hard to find a vet where they claim to have experience with hedgehogs. My hedgie passed away yesterday and I feel absolutely powerless as there is not much exotic vets in my area for hedgehogs.

I'd say finish the course of antibiotics since there has been an improvement. If no improvements, the only medication I believe to slow the process of WHS are steroids.
 

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So, I've got a bit of a situation going on. My little Elijah started having trouble keeping his balance in about August/September of last year. I got him in for a vet visit and the vet immediately suggested WHS, which I know is a red flag. She told me straight up that there was "no sign of ear infection", and told me that if I wanted a more in-depth sedated exam, that was an option, but I should only do it if he gets worse. Trusting the vet, I listened to her. She didn't give me anything, not even antibiotics in CASE it was an ear infection.



So he started getting worse over a couple months. That whole time, I was sick with the thought of WHS and that I couldn't do anything for him. The weird thing was, to me, he wasn't having any weakness or stiffness in his back legs. He was still able to climb up and into my shirt just fine and would angrily thrash during bath time, which was normal. But, he couldn't balance himself when trying to walk and would fall over.


So I got him the sedated exam. Surprise surprise, he had infections in both ears. Despite this, the vet continued to say they couldn't "rule out" WHS. He was put on antibiotics for 2 weeks and I've noticed a slight improvement in his walking - IE, he's not tumbling to only the same side (where the infection was worse) anymore. They did a swab and everything to make sure he was on the correct antibiotics, which he was. Great!


He went back in for his checkup after 2 weeks and had to see a different vet - though one who had seen him before. He said he was "very concerned" with the balance issues and said it looked like WHS to him, despite the ear infection. I couldn't help but feel a little frustrated and made sure to mention that he hasn't had any weakness or stiffness in his back legs. But he believed me when I said I'd seen improvement, so he put him on another week of antibiotics.



I should mention at this point that right now, this vet isn't even allowing people in the building with their animals, so I'm only able to explain the situation AFTER the vet has already examined him. And I should also note they're the only hedgehog-specialized vet in my area...


Am I wrong to be a little frustrated and annoyed with these vets? They told me there was "NO SIGN" of ear infection in the beginning, so now I feel like I failed him for letting it go for so long. I wanted to trust in the medical professional, but from the research I've done on WHS, it doesn't seem to be it at all. At the very least, I haven't noticed any significant progression at all since last August. He's still eating and drinking just fine, and can walk perfectly if I just support his butt very lightly or give him walls to lean against. Other than the stumbling he has had NO change in behaviors at all.



My personal theory is that the infection got really bad, so it's going to take extra time with antibiotics for it to clear up, and he's sort of "learned" that he can't walk right and doesn't try as hard to get up. But the vets seemed ultra concerned that it hadn't gone away completely after 2 weeks. Anyone have thoughts on this? I spent so long in total despair over possible WHS (the breeder I got him from has a lifetime guarantee against it, which makes me think they're very confident that it's not a prevalent issue with their breeding lines). Now I'm just sort of confused and don't know what to think.
Hi Nuke,

I'm having the same issue over here with my little guy Pippin.

Have you had any updates?

Here is my post with a video. WHS?

Pip's back legs don't seem to be stiff. He just wobbles all the time. The vet wants to do a neurological exam and immediately wanted to go to steroids before even trying Antibiotics. The past 3 days he's been shaking his head and he scoots backward like he's trying to get to his own ears... which makes me believe it's an inner ear infection.

I'm picking up antibiotics this afternoon after convincing the vet to try that first. I have 2 other vets in the area I will be contacting if nothing changes.
 
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