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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

One of my two hedgehogs, Prickles was out running around last Thursday when she went number one on my floor. Unfortunately there was blood in the urine. :( After freaking out a bit, we called the vet and arranged for my fiancee to drop her off at the vet the next day where they did a basic examination. Although the vet wasn't sure the exact cause of the blood, she thought that it was most likely a urinary tract infection, and she prescribed .47mL of Sulfatrim Pediatric susp twice a day for 10 days; with the instructions that if she didn't improve in the next three days (i.e. by last sunday) that we should bring her back in and then she'd progress to more testing. (Namely putting Prickles under, getting a blood sample, and a urine culture).

I moved Prickles into a separate caged area, unfortunately a little smaller than the area she shared with her sister Sonic (that one is ~15 sq ft, this one is only ~9sq ft). I put down white fleece and noticed that by Saturday, she was urinating with much less blood. By Sunday it appeared that all went back to normal. This past Thursday, only a week since the initial bloody urine, I moved her back with her sister and all continued to appear normal.

I've continued the medicine, but this evening, while we had Prickles running around she once again peed bloody urine. I'm freaking out a bit, as it would appear that it wasn't a UTI (Otherwise the meds would have fixed it).

Here's my question: Does anyone have any experience with a similar case? Where bloody urine appears, then is fine for over a week, then it re-presents? Looking online it seems the worst-case scenario is uterine cancer... and the least-case scenario is a UTI. I'll be getting her into the vet first thing Monday (Unfortunately there isn't any place that will see hedgehogs open tomorrow). In the mean time, I've been keeping up with her meds as prescribed.

Once again I'm freaking out a bit... this is one of my girls and I hate to think that she's not well. From what I can tell, her appetite is just as strong as ever, and her mood appears to be unchanged throughout this whole ordeal.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!

- Brian
 

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It could be uterine blood which means she would need to be spayed. When the hedgehog squeezes the muscles to pee, any uterine blood can also get squeezed out.

How much blood is there. Is her urine just pinkish, or quite red? Sporadic blood can also be a kidney stone. If she were mine, I'd have her gassed and some urine pulled directly from her bladder using a needle. If there is blood and/or bacteria in the urine then you know the problem is either a UTI or stones. If there is no blood or bacteria, then it is uterine. This is the only way to know for sure where the blood is coming from.

If there is blood in the urine, they should check for crystals in the urine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the quick reply Nancy. (I was a member on this site before the redesign, but I think my account got lost a while back)

It appears to be quite a bit of blood (seems like a 50/50 mix of urine and blood), and its very red. I don't think she had been bleeding long before we noticed Thursday, Apr. 9th (there was a little blood in her corner when we looked for it); and like I said, she'd be doing fine since last Sunday.

According to the vet, the next step will be to gas her and get a blood sample. I'll ask if they can't test the urine directly from the bladder. I'm a bit concerned because my vet has never spayed a hedgehog before... not to mention I'm not sure I can afford a thousand dollar procedure. :(
 

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If you are working on a budget... aren't we all... I'd go straight for gassing and pulling urine. It is the best way to narrow down what is going on. If your vet has spayed other small animals such as guinea pigs, rats even bunnies, a hedgehog is really no different. A spay should not cost a thousand dollars but of course that depends on where you live? Spays here are around $300 - $400 and some areas not much more than $100. It really varies widely depending on your location.

We have dealt with numerous blood in the urine scenarios both uterine and urinary. I always recommend that people go right to having the urine pulled directly from the bladder. Trying antibiotics without a diagnoses is nothing more than a gamble and may seem like the cheaper solution but almost always ends up being a waste of time and money when the bleeding returns and you still don't know why.

We've had massive amounts of blood here for both uterine and urinary and have had sporadic blood from bother urinary and uterine. Our Kenya had stones and she would bleed what looked like pure blood. Stones and crystals irritate the urinary tract which can cause infection. The bleeding happens both when the stone is being passed and when the infection has set in. Antibiotic was a short term solution with Kenya and cured the current UTI until the next stone passed. The cure for her was to go on a maintenance amount of Dissolution kibble which dissolved the stones. No stones, no problem.

Our Emma was having massive quill loss to the point of being almost bald. Long storey short, even though all skin testing was negative, she was put on a dose of antibiotic. While on antibiotic she started to bleed. Since it is highly unlikely to develop an infection while on antibiotic, we were just about certain it was uterine and pulling her urine proved it was.

While your girl is gassed, the vet can get a real good feel around and see if there is any lumps or enlarged organs. If there is blood and bacteria in the urine sample, he can have it grown to see what type of antibiotic will best work to cure it. Perhaps the antibiotic she is on, isn't working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
All good information Nancy... :) I'll be sure to let my vet know on Monday. The situation with Kenya sounds pretty similar to Prickles (lots of blood, goes on antibiodics, no blood... then more blood later). Can the vet tell from bladder urine if it's that?

Also, are there typically any behavioral changes with kidney stones/uterine issues? Prickles seems just fine as if there's nothing wrong with her urine being bloody (If only that were the case).
 

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Kenya with her stones would get very grumpy right before she passed a stone. We actually found one in a pool of bloody urine, poor girl. Then she would be fine for a few days and then would get uncomfortable I imagine as the UTI was setting in.

More coming shortly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Taking Prickles into the vet today at 10:30. I figure I'll ask them to take a urine sample directly from the bladder... and also do some blood work?

Any other suggestions? How could they test for kidney stones?

Edited to add:

Not really sure why I'm still posting, its not like I have questions. Maybe just so other people can search and find what I did for my hedgie.

Just got back from the vet, they put her under, got a small urine sample, it was clear of blood. Took an x-ray and ultrasound, nothing definitive... no kidney stones, and there was a slight shadow by where the uterus would be. She's going on Enrofloxacin for the next week... we'll see if it helps. The vet *still* doesn't know what the heck it is, and I'm feeling like we're playing House M.D. (i.e. treating to eliminate potential causes rather than actually knowing what we're treating).

The x-ray showed a clear chest area, meaning if there is cancer it hasn't matasticized in the chest yet. There's also a chance it could just be a uterine infection, although I don't really know how likely that is.
 

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OMG! when Jade had pee in her blood, where were you to tell me that nancy! :x
 

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pezlin said:
Not really sure why I'm still posting, its not like I have questions. Maybe just so other people can search and find what I did for my hedgie.
Actually, we do like to keep updated when people post questions on something like this. It's comforting to know that the hedgie is being taken care of, and people are always eager to celebrate good news or lend a comforting word if it's bad news. Not to mention there's always the chance that someone else has gone through something like this and can offer advice. Here's hoping that whatever Prickles has isn't serious! :)
 

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If there is no blood in the urine and they are seeing a shadow on the xray where the uterus is, seems to me like a spay is in order. Uterine infections are usually the precursor to uterine cancer so even if she does have a uterine infection, go for the spay before it turns to cancer.

Kenya never showed stones on the xray but she passed them. This was a few years ago so I don't remember exactly, but I know they tested her urine which showed crystals and bacteria. It was a couple of months later after repeated UTI's that we found the stone and then started treating her with dissolution formula. The stone looked like a tiny grey/brown stone about the size of a pin head. An xray might not show the stone but an ultrasound should have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks Nancy. I think the plan going forward it to see how the broad-spectrum antibiotics work while I save up enough to get her spayed (Estimated at ~$400). I've already exhausted my monthly hedgehog budget with her past two vets, and I'm looking at alternatives for payment (the vet had information on a payment plan I may go for).

Sonic goes into the vet on Saturday... she's not showing any negative signs at all - its just her yearly checkup. Hopefully there'll be improvement in Prickles by then, otherwise I'll schedule the procedure. :(

Thanks for the help/support.
 

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I don't know where you're located but ask the vet if they participate in CareCredit. It's for emergencies just like this. And it is an emergency. There is nothing curable by antibiotics that causes uterine bleeding. The two main causes of uterine bleeding are tumors and hormones. Pyometra, an infection of the uterus, would show an enlarged uterus (not a shadow) and pus, as well as an elevated white cell count.

I know times are tough (my husband lost his job last May) and the last thing you need is a big vet bill but delaying this can make things much worse, even a delay of a week or two.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well I left her new antibiotics out all day yesterday (they're supposed to be refrigerated). I picked up a refill at the vet today and had a pretty lengthy discussion with our original vet. We're going to hope that these new meds work, but just to be safe, Prickles is scheduled for a spay next Wednesday (Actually we'll drop her off Tuesday, they'll operate Wednesday, and we'll get to bring her home on Thursday). Cost estimates begin at $300... but since I get paid this week, I'll make sure to keep a little out to cover it.

What an ordeal. I just want my hedgie to be back to normal. :-/
 
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