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Hi everybody, I've actually been a lurker for almost three years and finally got the guts to join when the new board was created. This is an awesome website and has been the best resource for learning about hedgies.

Quick background, my boyfriend and I have two hedgies, Ivy, our little girl who will be 3 this fall sometime and Reese, Ivy's surprise! :shock: baby who is now 2 1/2. We've never really had any huge issues except for last fall when Ivy started bleeding and had to be spayed. But this one is new to us, and I've never really seen anything like it on the forums.

A week or two ago, we noticed Reese was holding one of his front paws in the air when he stood still, he wouldn't put it on the ground. He still seemed to be walking and putting weight on it so we thought maybe he just tweaked it running one night. A few days later it was bath and nail time, and while clipping his nails we found one that was starting to curl under on that foot, we thought maybe that was the problem. Another couple days pass, no improvement. In fact he was dragging his foot while walking. So off to the vet we went.

Vet did a preliminary examination, then took him in the back to sedate him, do a thorough exam and do x-rays. When she came back, she didn't really have good news. She took films of both legs to compare, and there was a huge difference. Reese's left leg looks as normal as can be, but his right elbow is completely messed up. Some of the bone seems to be missing, and there was cloudy matter surrounding the joint. The vet thought it may be from a previous infection and the bone didn't heal properly (he did have a sore on that leg at one point, but we treated him with antibiotics and it healed) or it could be bone cancer. She's not completely convinced about the cancer, as it's surrounding the whole joint and she said cancer normally only affects one side. O, she also said that during his physical exam his elbow is completely fixed, so its useless. His shoulder and paw still work, he just can't bend his leg.

So our options are as stands: We can treat him with pain meds for the rest of his life (she put him on metacam for now), or we can amputate the leg and see how he does with just 3. The vet didn't mention putting him down, and we haven't discussed that option yet.

I'm curious as to what you guys think. Has anyone ever met a 3-legged hedgie and did they get around just fine? Reese doesn't really use his leg now as it is, he'll put it down to walk, but he doesn't put much weight on it. I know dogs and cats adapt really well, but I don't know how well Reese could adapt and live a happy life. He's always been a grouchy guy, but we still love him and want to make sure we do whats best for him.

Thanks for putting up with my long post, any advice is welcome! :D
 

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What a brave trooper Reese is! I don't really have any advice when to comes to hedgies, but I do know several three legged cats and they are all great :) They only thing I could think of is when you do remove one leg, it puts a lot more pressure on the others, so that might make his others worse sooner if it is something degenerative. Poor guy, please keep us updated on how he does!
 

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I've never owned a 3-legged hedgehog (touch wood), but I have met a couple over the years. To be honest, except for an odd gait, I couldn't tell they were handicapped. They ran just as fast as any other hedgehog I've seen. Including on their wheels.
 

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I too have heard of numerous 3 legged hedgehogs. They have had no problem what ever. :)
 
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