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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Britney's first vet visit is coming up in a month. She's 6 months old and I want her to get an overall check up. She's in perfect health and she's socialized really well, but I want to make sure the diet I'm feeding her is good or if I need to adjust anything (like how much calcium, protein, etc. I'm currently feeding her).

I would like for the vet to do blood work, urine sample, poop sample, and a skin scrape to make sure she doesn't have any hidden infections or any other hidden issues that will become a big issue in the future. Basically preventative measures. Money is no issue.

Is this overkill for a first time visit? I see that hedgehogs are susceptible to multiple health issues and they don't always show signs of being sick or in pain, so I want to be proactive about her health. I know I can't control if she gets cancer or WHS, but I can at least control her diet to prevent other long term illnesses.

Should I get bloodwork, a urinalysis, poop sample, and a skin scrape done for her? Or would this be overkill and too stressful for my hedgehog during her first visit? I want these tests to be collected the least invasive way ass possible so that hedgehog won't be traumatized or in pain afterwards.

Also, how are urine samples collected from hedgehogs? Do any of you have personal experience with a urinalysis? If the vet wants to collect urine via a needle in her bladder, then I won't get it done for her.

Thank you!
 

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You can definitely bring in a poop+urine sample to check for any intestinal parasites and/or bacteria/crytals in her urine!

Last time I had to bring in a poop sample the vet asked me to collect a fresher sample as the one that I brought in was not fresh enough to use, so I had to watch Porridge til about 12AM to collect the sample and refrigerate it as soon as I could so that it was viable to send out to the lab.

As far as urine, you can try to find "Nosorb" at a vet's clinic. It's a type of cat litter that doesn't absorb but repels urine so that it could be collected through a syringe when you tip the litter box to one side. BUT, I'm not sure how sterile that sample would be if your hog will pee/poop on her wheel and you would be collecting that way. Also, for cats/dogs - the clinic that I work at requires urine samples to be collected AND received within the hour in order to run a full panel+sediment exam to avoid crystallization. A cysto - collecting sample via a needle, may be the most sterile way to get it.

Skin scrapes done at my clinic are done with blades so the patient would have to be incredibly still in order to get a good sample - when my hog was presented for possible mites, my vet said that whether or not the scrape was positive or negative for mites, he would have treated with Revolution as a precaution, so he was kind enough give us the prescription, save us a little money, and her skin got better! Her vet is awesome and very minimally invasive, he did say that she may need to be sedated in order to do a scrape if her skin has any other issues in the future.

Also at her last visit, she was being presented for being lethargic - she ended up feeling better, but in the event that she did not, my vet only wanted to recommend bloodwork out of necessity since he mentioned having to sedate. Porridge is about 8-9 months old now so I'm thinking I'll get bloodwork done for her when she's about to hit a year hold just so that I can have a baseline of where she's at.

I also provided my vet with the brands of foods (+ their nutritional values) that I give her to get some feedback. He thinks she's on a good mix of cat/kitten/hedgehog food (seems to help her poop better) and approved Phoenix worms as treats (I had concerns about MBD (metabolic bone disease) with mealworms and he was kind enough to email back with other alternatives and websites to read up on). I hope she has a good visit next month! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You can definitely bring in a poop+urine sample to check for any intestinal parasites and/or bacteria/crytals in her urine!

Last time I had to bring in a poop sample the vet asked me to collect a fresher sample as the one that I brought in was not fresh enough to use, so I had to watch Porridge til about 12AM to collect the sample and refrigerate it as soon as I could so that it was viable to send out to the lab.

As far as urine, you can try to find "Nosorb" at a vet's clinic. It's a type of cat litter that doesn't absorb but repels urine so that it could be collected through a syringe when you tip the litter box to one side. BUT, I'm not sure how sterile that sample would be if your hog will pee/poop on her wheel and you would be collecting that way. Also, for cats/dogs - the clinic that I work at requires urine samples to be collected AND received within the hour in order to run a full panel+sediment exam to avoid crystallization. A cysto - collecting sample via a needle, may be the most sterile way to get it.

Skin scrapes done at my clinic are done with blades so the patient would have to be incredibly still in order to get a good sample - when my hog was presented for possible mites, my vet said that whether or not the scrape was positive or negative for mites, he would have treated with Revolution as a precaution, so he was kind enough give us the prescription, save us a little money, and her skin got better! Her vet is awesome and very minimally invasive, he did say that she may need to be sedated in order to do a scrape if her skin has any other issues in the future.

Also at her last visit, she was being presented for being lethargic - she ended up feeling better, but in the event that she did not, my vet only wanted to recommend bloodwork out of necessity since he mentioned having to sedate. Porridge is about 8-9 months old now so I'm thinking I'll get bloodwork done for her when she's about to hit a year hold just so that I can have a baseline of where she's at.

I also provided my vet with the brands of foods (+ their nutritional values) that I give her to get some feedback. He thinks she's on a good mix of cat/kitten/hedgehog food (seems to help her poop better) and approved Phoenix worms as treats (I had concerns about MBD (metabolic bone disease) with mealworms and he was kind enough to email back with other alternatives and websites to read up on). I hope she has a good visit next month! :)
Thank you so much for answering my question 😭. I feel much less anxious now. The reviews for the vet I'm taking her too are really good from hedgehog owners so fingers crossed.

Was your hedgie groggy all day after sedation?
 

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Thank you so much for answering my question 😭. I feel much less anxious now. The reviews for the vet I'm taking her too are really good from hedgehog owners so fingers crossed.

Was your hedgie groggy all day after sedation?
That’s good to hear! Porridge has never been sedated yet since her vet is very minimally invasive. She allows him to do a full physical exam (minus oral exam) so he hasn’t found the need to yet. He did mention that for bloodwork she will have to be sedated, so for that she’ll have to be gassed down through a mask.

I’ve heard that other hogs recover fairly quickly from sedation but do get a little grumpy but that’s only from what I’ve read!
 

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(I had concerns about MBD (metabolic bone disease) with mealworms and he was kind enough to email back with other alternatives and websites to read up on).
Aveline014, can you share the alternatives and websites? I only today learned about the possibility of MBD due to too much phosphorus in a diet so I'd love to read those!

To the original post: when my gal was about 8 months old she started peeing blood occasionally. I took her to the vet but she was Not Having Any Of It so I agreed that she could be sedated. The vet did some tests and to get a urine sample she put a needle right in to the bladder. That particular sample was almost too small to test as my poor bean had stress-peed during the journey to the vet, but it was enough to go on. She ended up getting an ultra-sound on her belly to see what the issue was and they found a tiny 2mm lesion on her bladder; she's been on regular anti-inflammatories ever since. My hog has been anesthetized twice now and whenever I went to pick her up (both visits during stricter covid measures so I sadly did not get to see her all doped up) she was a little groggy but basically her old self and had no issues recovering.
 

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Whoops I just noticed that you didn't want to go for the needle route - I think that's AOK if there aren't any issues presenting! Just wanted to share my experience, my hog didn't seem to have any adverse side effects from the procedure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Aveline014, can you share the alternatives and websites? I only today learned about the possibility of MBD due to too much phosphorus in a diet so I'd love to read those!

To the original post: when my gal was about 8 months old she started peeing blood occasionally. I took her to the vet but she was Not Having Any Of It so I agreed that she could be sedated. The vet did some tests and to get a urine sample she put a needle right in to the bladder. That particular sample was almost too small to test as my poor bean had stress-peed during the journey to the vet, but it was enough to go on. She ended up getting an ultra-sound on her belly to see what the issue was and they found a tiny 2mm lesion on her bladder; she's been on regular anti-inflammatories ever since. My hog has been anesthetized twice now and whenever I went to pick her up (both visits during stricter covid measures so I sadly did not get to see her all doped up) she was a little groggy but basically her old self and had no issues recovering.
Omg poor thing. Did they say what caused the lesion 😢?

And this will technically be her 2nd vet visit because I took her in to get treated for a minor URI (she's all better now). I'm praying we can get the stool/urine samples easily. Hopefully she'll cooperate 😅. I mostly want the blood samples, so if it becomes too much trouble to get a urine sample I'll just stick with the blood sample. Thanks for replying!
 

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No, no idea what caused the lesion. They said it was likely either fibrous tissue or a mineralised blood clot. When it's that small it's so hard to say! Thankfully she's doing really well now and I haven't seen blood in about two months! Fingers crossed it doesn't come back.
 
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