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5992 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  hihihishite
Well... turns out that Tex Buckaroo Hufflepuff is a sneaky one. Since I've had him, he's done a wonderful job of painting poop murals on the walls and mashing it into his wheel, so it's been difficult to get a good sample. I had brought what I could find to the vet previously... had to collect for days. And it came up negative. Since what I could see of his poops were nice and brown and he was active and maintaining weight, we figured we were in the clear. I dropped quarantine after a month.

This happy existence all changed when I found giant mushy diarrhea poops in his hedgiebag with him a few days ago. I scooped them up in a jar hoping it was just a fluke. Happened again the next day, so I scooped them up. I checked on Satin as I usually do and found her with messy poops. Scooped those up and called the vet. We made an appointment and I brought in both hedgies with A LOT of messy poo in small jars.

Guess what the vet found in Tex's poo? Yep. A nice smiley face. She noted it's very small and difficult to see, so it *might* not be giardia, but sure seemed like it to her... particularly given the symptoms and the absence of finding anything else. Satin's poo didn't turn up any, but we figure it's likely she has it too. Their poop looks identically bad... smells identically bad...

Poor little fuffers..

So now I'm super-duper cleaning EVERYTHING. And get to medicate two hedgies. Mind you, I've never seen the inside of Tex's mouth... he's just so private in his way (beyond spreading poop crumbles all over his wheel). So this should be a hoot.

They're both on meds for the next 5 days starting in 10 minutes... make that 9...

I tried a quick search for an "idiot's guide to giardia" but didn't have too much luck. Perhaps I'm a poor searcher. Any advice you can offer in terms of making sure I'm cleaning their belongings correctly would be much appreciated.
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Because they are having diarrhea you need to keep them hydrated. I would use Pedialyte.

If you are giving your hedgies tap water, I would recommend getting a filter or using bottled water. Giardia is relatively big and can be removed with most water filters (make sure it is at least 1 micron pore size). I'm actually surprised the water treatment plants don't already remove it. :shock: If you use well water and especially if it flooded recently, I'd say that is definitely the culprit.

If you have other animals in the house, the giardia could have come from one of them. It usually comes from contaminated water/food or fecal matter.

It's good you have medicine. I don't know about hedgehogs, but in other small animals it can be fatal in days (quickly dehydrates from diarrhea).
Personally I think you should only give the tablets when they seem unwell. Too much vitamin C can cause diarrhea and possibly other problems too. I would try to give something with a natural source of vitamins rather than supplements as they don't absorb as well and can be harsh on the body.
Like I said, it's a personal thing. I don't feel comfortable giving a daily dose of X amount of supplements that have not been fully tested or vet approved (I'm assuming you would have mentioned it if your vet ok'd it). Just because they're not having diarrhea doesn't mean it's not too much. For instance, Airborne is pretty much an overdose of vitamins to boost your immune system. If you take it nothing bad happens, but the bottle says not to exceed using it for more than a few days because otherwise you'll trash your kidneys.

There are many other fruits and vegetables that have more vitamin C than oranges, for instance strawberries, papaya, etc. Oranges are an obvious bad choice, as are any one choice since too much of a good thing is bad for you and you want to get a good range of different vitamins, etc.

Supplements don't really work better. They're just the lazy man's way of eating healthy. They have a bigger number to make you think you are getting more, but your body doesn't absorb them as well, leaving your kidneys to filter out the rest.

(Sorry for going off topic of Giardia)
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