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Discussion Starter #1
My husband and I were on vacation for a week, and my parents followed my instructions explicitly for caring for our two hogs. They were fine when we got back. My dad said that the oldest didn't eat as much as the youngest, and that was typical, so I didn't think anything of it.

We had to travel 5 hours to get home (we travel during the day so we don't disrupt their sleeping cycles), and now they're in their original cages (2x3 C&C cages). I'm freaking out now because my oldest has not eaten at all since we got back on Sunday, and hasn't had much to drink from what I can see. Last night she pulled a bunch of pieces out of her bowl (I feed them blue buffalo adult formula), but only two or three seemed to have been slightly chewed. I tried softening the food...nothing. I tried syringe feeding her the soft food...spit it all out. She peed and pooped, but her poop is pretty dark green and slimy. Probably a red flag.

I just spent six months and hundreds of dollars on my youngest's mystery skin condition (which we still don't have answers for) so my vet fund is slim right now. I want to take her in, but I'm worried that our vet will leave me with no answers again. They're an exotic specialty veterinarian, and the only one in my city....I don't have too much else of a choice.

I'm going to try meal worms and crickets today and hope for the best. I also want to buy some Benebac to hopefully aid with any digestion issues, as we've used it before (prescribed by our vet during a previous URI) but if anyone else has any suggestions, I'll take them.
 

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It's Thursday, so if your hedgehog hasn't eaten since Sunday, you are in an emergency situation. A visit to the vet is not optional.

You absolutely must call your vet, let them know what's going on, and have them see her as soon as possible.

In the meantime, you need to get some food into her. Don't worry as much about nutritional value as you do appeal. High fat, wet cat food is a good place to start. Chances are, Blue Buffalo makes a wet version of your current kibble, but you don't necessarily have to start with that. You also need to syringe water if they're not drinking (though wet cat food will help with dehydration, as well).

To be very honest, since it's been 4-5 days, your hedgehog is most likely extremely ill, and you may want to prepare yourself for a lack of recovery. But the most important things are getting food into them and getting to the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
She has an appointment for 1:30 today. Thanks for the brutal honesty...I love being told to not expect my hedgehog, whom I've had for over three years, will likely not recover, or have extreme difficulties trying. Makes me feel like a real winner.
 

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Ok, how are you determining your older hedgehog isn't eating? Counting kibble, weight, or eyeballing it?
Reality of the situation if in fact she hadn't eaten since, at the earliest, Sunday she is in rough shape. There isn't a gentle way to put it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
She normally leaves plenty of crumbs in her bowl, and it's obvious when she eats. This time, barely anything has been touched. Last night, nothing at all.

I shouldn't have posted. The last time I posted, I was ignored, and when I posted in another thread out of desperation for answers, I was chewed out by an admin. I'm done here. She has an appointment at 1:30.
 

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I apologize if honesty wasn't what you're looking for.

To be honest, I could have been much more harsh, but it wasn't necessary. It wouldn't have helped your hedgehog, and that is my primary concern. I wasn't because I know that life happens. I get it. I'm not perfect; no one is.

But at the same time, your hedgehog is probably in bad shape, and I was trying to kindly prepare you for that.

At any rate, that has little to do with the topic at hand. I'm sorry your experience here hasn't been the best, and I'm sorry your feelings were hurt.

She has an appointment for 1:30 today. Thanks for the brutal honesty...I love being told to not expect my hedgehog, whom I've had for over three years, will likely not recover, or have extreme difficulties trying. Makes me feel like a real winner.
 

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I shouldn't have posted. The last time I posted, I was ignored, and when I posted in another thread out of desperation for answers, I was chewed out by an admin. I'm done here. She has an appointment at 1:30.
I don't know what you're expecting of us. I took a look at your post history and you seem to get upset if no one answers within a day. This is a niche forum with few regular members (I can only think of four off the top of my head). If it's urgent enough that you need an immediate answer, you should see a vet. If it's not, be patient.

As for this thread, what did you want people to say? "Your hedgehog will recover on its own and everything will be fine"?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
There would be no point in me posting if my expectations were to be told that nothing is wrong. I wanted help deciding if this was urgent enough to take her in, or if anyone had any advice on what I could do myself.

All anyone had to say was "This sounds urgent. Take her in." The part where I was practically told that I shouldn't be hopeful for hee recovery wasn't needed.
 

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The issue with just saying yes she needs to see a vet is it leaves room for a reader to debate if it's warranted. Or... ok, she needs to see the vet, I'm off work next Friday I'll schedule an appointment for then. A person needs to understand the severity of a situation in order to make fully informed decisions.
 

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First off, Mel didn't say anything wrong. She was right with what she said - hedgehogs do badly without food for more than a day or two. Sometimes they do perfectly fine & bounce back once the problem is taken care of or once they're syringe-fed. Sometimes it's been too long, they're very weak from not eating, and they have a much more difficult time regaining their strength. If they are actually ill & that caused them to stop eating, the lack of eating can really hurt their chances of overcoming the illness. All she was trying to do with her post was explain the severity of the situation, confirm that yes, a vet visit is needed quickly, food is also needed quickly, and what to expect from the situation. There was no shaming in her post - she was simply informing you what the level of seriousness is with this situation.

And I'm going to preface this next part with no offense, but... It's really hard to tell tone with text! It really is. And when there's nothing to go off from with the text, people tend to read into it & sometimes will have their own emotions influencing the text. You're upset & worried about your hedgehog, so you were upset at being told how severe the situation is. We understand that - but it's not the fault of those who are taking the time to answer your question & try to help. We're not the bad guys, and we're not trying to shame you. I'd love for you to stay on the forum and continue to be part of our community here, but everyone who's on the forum needs to keep in mind that people are here to help. We don't have to help, and we're not paid to spend our time on here & answer questions. When you post on the forum, you need to understand that. You won't get an answer right away. Sometimes the answers won't be what you want. That still doesn't give you license to snap at those who are trying to help, or get upset because you don't like the answers.

Regarding your previous post, you were not chewed out. Again, reading too much into the text. Kalandra let you know what the rules were, shut the thread, and let you know what to do in order to receive advice - bump your original thread. And I mentioned in another thread of yours that the forum should not be relied on for health issues. No one on here is a vet (or if they are, I don't know about it). We can't see your hedgehog, we can't diagnose. If you're concerned, the best thing to do really is to just call your vet & see what they think. The forum is here for second opinions if you're unsure, but there aren't always people qualified to answer around, and it's not a good idea to rely on the forum for that, or to get upset when it doesn't meet your expectations.

(And to be perfectly honest, this forum is by FAR the most active one I've been on. I've been on a bearded dragon forum, budgie forum, quaker parrot forum, betta fish forum, and I'm currently on a hermit crab forum. None of them have nearly as many posts per day or people answering questions as this one does. I actually have a lot of pride in how many people are on this forum each day, getting and giving answers, and how quickly most threads receive replies.)

That all said, if this forum isn't right for you, then that's that. We'd love to have you here, but as I said, you cannot snap at people if you don't like their answer, and you cannot expect instant answers. Sometimes it takes a day or two to get an answer. If it's an emergency, call the vet. If you're pretty sure you need the vet, but you're not convinced, call the vet. If you're upset, it's probably best not to check answers on your thread until you're in a calmer frame of mind. I do hope that you decide to stay part of the forum, and I hope that your vet is able to help your hedgehog. I'll keep her and you in my thoughts that she will recover quickly.
 

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Meant to add...if you were feeling defensive because of how long she went without eating, no one was shaming you over that. You wouldn't be the first person who didn't know that hedgehogs shouldn't go more than a day or two without eating, and you won't be the last. For some other animals (like dogs, which are one of the most common pets), they won't have a serious health issue with not eating for a couple/few days in a row. But for other animals, like small mammals, it's just not safe. They're designed to eat frequently & they need that constant energy input. That's why it's such an issue for hedgehogs to go 4-5+ days without eating. It starts to cause health issues & can make existing ones even worse. It's just something to be aware of for next time, so that you know to start syringe-feeding after the first night, maybe two, of not eating much or at all, and to stick with the syringe feeding even if the hedgehog resists.

Edit: If you're unsure about what to have your vet check out, since "not eating" as the only symptom can be pretty vague, I would personally have the poop checked for an infections/issues, and have the teeth/mouth checked in case there's a mouth issue making her not want to chew. While you're at the vet's, I would also ask for either Carnivore Care or Hills A/D. Both are foods meant for syringing to sick animals & usually they're well-received. If you're not sure which she might like better, you could try getting some of both so you can see if she'll eat better with one over the other. See if your vet will give you a variety of syringe sizes too. Some hedgehogs do better with larger syringes since they get on a roll & then fuss when you have to take it away to refill & stop eating. I had better luck using 1ml syringes with Lily & just having 3-4 prepared at a time so I could quickly switch. I couldn't control the amount of food that came out of the larger syringes very well & would shoot too much in her mouth, she'd choke a bit, then (understandably) get upset & not want to eat more.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What is the point of the forum, then? What is the point in having health and medical threads if we should only take advice from a vet? I saw this forum as a group of hedgehog owners that I could ask for advice in areas where I don't have experience. I wanted to see if there was anything else I could try before I took her to the vet, and I got a condescending response and was told that I should have only consulted a vet.

I'm just going to delete my account.
 

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I will post this for others who come across this thread in the future.
Yes it's nice to have the health section on the forum. However some times the only advice am experienced owner, breeder, or rescuer has is that the animal needs taken to a vet. It is no different than calling your mother or grandmother for help with a sick baby, they might mention that it's time to go to the emergency room.
 

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*shrugs* Alright, fine. Clearly our forum is mean, unhelpful, condescending, and all of that only when we're not deliberately ignoring you. Sorry we wasted our time & efforts only to upset you and be insulted. I hope your hedgehog recovers and starts eating well again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
It's the same as calling my mom or grandmother? Are mothers and grandmothers also supposed to say things that imply that there's no hope even if I do take their advice? I call my mom for help with my baby and she says, "Oh well they probably won't recover even if you take them to the doctor, bye"? I don't think so. Again, I would have had ZERO problem if the response was only telling me it was imperative to get her to the vet. It became negative when I was told to basically give up hope BEFORE I got a PROFESSIONAL opinion. You all said it yourselves. You're not vets. So maybe you shouldn't tell people what the outcome will be if you are not a vet. All I asked for was help knowing if this was an emergency. I didn't ask for a psychic reading of what might happen no matter what I do.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The issue with just saying yes she needs to see a vet is it leaves room for a reader to debate if it's warranted. Or... ok, she needs to see the vet, I'm off work next Friday I'll schedule an appointment for then. A person needs to understand the severity of a situation in order to make fully informed decisions.
I wouldn't have asked if this was an emergency if I didn't have plans to get her in as soon as possible if it was. Like I said in my previous post: I asked if it was an emergency or not. I did not ask for someone to tell me that I shouldn't get my hopes up no matter what I do. If you want to push the severity of an emergency, it doesn't help to say something along the lines of "damned if you do, damned if you don't."
 

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For someone who is "done" with the forum and wants to delete their account, you sure are hanging around to argue lot. Everyone here has explained their reasoning and given you all the advice we can. I realize you're probably very stressed due to the circumstances, but you are flying off the handle and being extremely aggressive towards people who have done nothing but try to help you and your hedgehog. Nobody here is getting paid to help people. You don't get to demand advice from members and then throw a fit when it isn't what you wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
How do you people think someone will react when they ask for advice, and they're told to not get their hopes up for recovery? I'm not entirely sure why it seems so ridiculous to you all that I got upset. I would NEVER say something like that to any pet owner because 1) it's mean, and no one deserves additional stress when they're already worried about something, and 2) I'm not a freaking veterinarian and I know better than to throw my uneducated opinion around as fact.


My hedgehog had a mass in her mouth that is being tested for cancer currently. It came out with no problem at all, and she started eating soft food hours after it was removed. The doctor said it looked more like a scrape that got infected, rather than a tumor. She said I probably don't have anything to worry about, especially now that she's eating. So Miss Dont-Get-Your-Hopes-Up can hopefully learn that she DOESN'T know everything and can't see into the future. And she should be relieved that I won't be back, because I sure learned my lesson from this.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Came back to delete my account and saw I had responses, and I didn't want you to think I had zero reason to be angry, because the impression is that I'm "flying off the handle" for no reason. Now you know. And I hope none of you do this to anyone else.
 
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