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2 days ago (2/23/10) I went to a local pet store and found 2 hedgehogs up for sale, one for $150 and the other for $75. I asked an employee to see them and found out that the cheaper on was only cheaper because she was a "runt" and her left back leg was broken. I was completely appalled that they would actually put an injured animal out on the floor for sale and was even more appalled when I found out they were not treating her in any way and had not taken her to a vet. I had recently been looking to adopt my first hedgehog after doing a lot of research about them, and when I saw this little 8 week old baby in need of obvious help my heart went out to her and I decided that I could not leave her there. I have been to this pet store before, and knew that she would be left out to either be sold or just die and I didn't want to wait for someone else who cared to come save her. I begged my friend to go half-way on her with me, and she agreed so we bought her and took her to my house.
I had a spare little cage, bedding, food/water containers, a heating pad, and a igloo house for her and I left her alone for a while to get calmed down. When I put food in she came over to it and started chowing down on it, which leads me to believe she was bullied before and that is why she was so little, or she was just not given enough food for all. When I did take her out and let her walk around, I saw even more how injured she was: her left back leg stuck out from underneath her and she maneuvered around the bed balancing on her good back leg (she obviously had not been out of her cage because it took her awhile to get the hang of walking). I gently grabbed her around her tummy and flipped her over so I could see her leg better, and there was what appeared to be a bone sticking out just below her knee and there was pus and blood there. The pet store had claimed they had received her that way, and considering they got her on the 17th I could believe it, because this wound was not old. She was very active and bright and wobbled around the area and ate her food and drank, so I assumed the infection had not progressed to a life-threatening stage just yet. I gave her a little bath to try and clean out the wound, and dried her and put her back in her cage. I knew I had to take her to the vet ASAP, but I am only 17 and have no job, and my mom was not willing to pay for a visit (we recently lost 3 of our dogs in less then 6 months on pure horrible coincidence, and the vet bills from those were already very high). Luckily, my boyfriend's mom and I are very close and once I told her the story she was more then willing to help with the vet costs.
So today (2/25/10) after calling around to different vets to see who would look at a hedgehog, we went to Dr. Levenson at Southwest Veterinary Medical Center in Corrales. He looked her over and his out-right diagnosis was that the leg was broken and infected, and would probably need amputation. She only weighed 62 grams (I don't know if that is the normal weight for an 8 week old)and besides from the leg seemed healthy. He got an x-ray and found she did have a complete break right below her knee, and what was also interesting is that both her front legs had very thin bones, which led us to suspect that she has never gotten a proper diet and therefore had not grown a proper amount of bone. He gave me a prescription for anti-infection medicine, but he also told us that an amputation was going to be necessary. I felt very bad for the poor little girl but knew this was going to be the only way to save her, so on Monday the vet is going to give us an estimate of the cost and then schedule the surgery, most likely happening within 2 weeks. The vet was very kind and gave us a huge $100 discount on that examination, with anesthesia, x-ray, meds, and all, and said he would also discount the amputation since this was a rescue case.
So I took Gimpy (a name I had called her at first, and one that now seems appropriate lol) home and washed her wound with a betadine solution and now she is resting. I thought I would tell this story to people on here just to get advice about my situation and help on how to care for her before and after surgery. I am VERY angry at this pet store and the "breeders" who they got her from because I think it is TOTALLY unacceptable for this kind of treatment of any animal to happen. I am trying to figure out if there is a way I can alert any authorities to both the pet store and the place they got their hedgehogs from about the conditions this poor baby was under, and if anyone would know if there is anything I can do then please let me know. I will update on how Gimpy is doing throughout the week and if possible post a pic of her up, and any help with anything would be greatly appreciated.
- Meiyer
 

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I don't know much about this, I'm no big help, but I'm glad little Gimpy now has a loving home and owner!
Poor, sweet baby, I hope she makes a full recovery and lives a long, happy life.
 

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Poor girl, I'm so glad you took her in. It's also wonderful that you have a great vet that knows what they are doing! Good luck with your new baby and keep us updated!
 

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Kudos to you for taking in this poor little girl :D
Sounds like you have found an awesome vet!
Please keep us updated and post some pics when you get a chance!
 

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You should talk to HWS (hedgehog welfare society) and call your local humane society about the pet store. Normally I don't like when people buy animals from pet stores because it encourages them but in this case any other course of action would have been too late for your little girl. I really hope they get shut down and can't sell animals anymore.
 

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This story absolutely sickens me. But you are a wonderful girl. How lucky this baby was that you walked in that day. And what a wonderful woman your boyfriend's mother is also. People like you are what makes the world such a wonderous place. It was easier to walk away and you didn't do that. How special you are!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ok these pictures are after 2 days with me cleaning the wound, looks a lot better then when I first saved her. I should have taken pictures then but it didn't cross my mind.
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s275 ... CN0577.jpg
She is wet because I was just giving her her 3 times a day disinfection wash
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s275 ... CN0581.jpg
it was hard to zoom in and get a sharp image of her leg
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s275 ... CN0584.jpg
it sticks out from underneath her when she walks
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s275 ... CN0592.jpg
that's a toy wind-up horse from Barnes & Noble and she isn't too much taller then it
http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s275 ... CN0598.jpg
she seems to be very bright and a lot happier, and even though her leg is like that she still wants to explore!

She is taking her meds and hopefully will gain ALOT more weight before the surgery if it is going to happen. She has a strong will and personality so I hope all of this will work out and she can be happy and healthy. I love her already and am willing to do anything to help her survive, and I will keep updating whenever I can.
 

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Oh I hope she makes a speedy recovery after her surgery! :D
You are so kind to adopt her and give her a loving, forever home!
 

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Wow she is so tiny. And the poor leg. She does have a gorgeous open face though and looks happy to have been rescued. So glad she's with you now.
 

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Oh my goodness, what a poor tiny little girl! I am so glad she is in good hands. Keep us updated on her!
 

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OH MY, she is so tiny and her poor leg looks so painful.
Its great you found her, in that condition I don't know how much longer she would survive.
She looks like a happy and determined little girl. Its so incredibly nice of your boyfriends mom to lend some money, I thank the both of you for helping her. :)
I hope the surgery goes well!
keep us updated on your adorable little friend :D
 

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that poor little girl i have a hedgie but she (bella) almost did the same thing on her front left leg hpoe she haves fun and you have fun with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I went and picked up the estimate today, but I wasn't able to talk to the vet because he was in an examination, but I gave my questions to the vet techs and they said they would relay them on to him and he would call me. The estimate was a lot better then I had hoped for, ranging fro $140-$160 with the surgery, 1 day of hospitalization, meds, and anesthesia, and my boyfriend's mom is willing to help me with it. I am going to make she it is the last resort we take, because her leg is getting pink back in it and the infection seems almost gone, but I'm not sure if she will get function of the leg back.
She is doing good, feisty when it comes to medicine and cleaning time, and she is getting noticeably bigger, though I still need to get a scale to see how much. She doesn't like the wet food and is eating her mealworms less, but she still favors kibbles and honey. Her diarrhea is going away but it is still a little green and not totally better yet. I haven't let her explore anywhere beyond the top of my bed, and don't intend to until she is better. She is still a little defensive around me, huffing and getting all pokey when I need to take her out of her cage, but I am assuming that is perfectly normal considering I haven't even had her for a week and she has a broken leg. But as far as I have read of their different temperaments, hers is very good. She is adorable and fun to watch, and she even comes over and snuggles on my body to get warmer. I spent about an hour reading on my bed with her sleeping on my neck and shoulder, and whenever I put her back down on the bed she would crawl right back up to that spot :]
 

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Congrats on your new hedgie. I hope the surgery goes well. I'm sure if you contact the Humane society and show them the pictures they will investigate the pet store. The fact that she is getting bigger is a good thing because the pics you put looked like she had no meat on her bones :) Good luck
 

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Sounds like you got a great deal from the vet on the price of her surgery. I'm glad she's behaving well despite her leg! :)
 

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What a gorgeous hedgehog! Why someone would do such a thing to an animal is beyond me.

I'm glad there are still some good people in the world willing to help out. Best of luck to the both of you.


I agree, the vet gave you a great deal. The anesthetics alone cost at least $100.
 
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