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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm waiting for my vet's office to open so I can call for a followup, but I though I might have a chance of getting experienced opinions here.

Quinn is 4 years and 3 months old.

Quinn has had blood in her pee since last monday. I'd find drops only in her litter (a corner box with paper towels), amids the pee. Sometimes I'd only see a few drops in the pee puddle, but sometimes there seem to be more, or it was more mixed up with the pee. So last wednesday my boyfriend took her to a vet.

The vet told us of course that it could be either a UTI or an infection or cancer of the uterus. She decided to have us give her antibiotics (novolexin) for 2 weeks but that if we didn't see change in a few days, to go ahead with a hyserectomy. Basically I think she went with a solution that would skip expensive tests and echographies because of how likely it'd be for a girl hedgehog to have uterine problems at that age.

When she checked her out she gave Quinn a clean bill of health. She's in great condition, lively, curious, she kept running around the table to explore and she barely resisted the vet's handling. The vet was surprised, she seems to be used to less socialised hedgehogs, but I was also surprised because she never loved being touched, though yeah I'm not surprised she was more interested in walking around the new place than froze up in a ball.

I have to give her two doses a day. So this morning I gave her the 6th dose. At this point Quinn is still very active, showing absolutely no sign of being sick. For a while I though she might have not been drinking enough, possibly because peeing hurt. She was going often in small amounts. But since yesterday it looks like she's drinking more. And peeing in larger amounts. Which would be a great sign if it wasn't that the pee is completely mixed with blood now. Great big bright red stains on the litter towels. It's also the first morning I see blood on her, in her privates area. But then I suppose since she moved the towel and peed directly on the box, she probably sat on it.

I sort of want to think that if the blood is mixed with the pee it'd be a sign that the blood is really coming from the urinary track. Also because I have never seen any traces of blood outside her litter. I have fleece lining in her cage. If her issues were uterine, wouldn't she be bleeding all the time, not just when relieving herself? Wouldn't I find some drops of blood in her sleeping area, in the spot where she sits when eating?

If she was younger I think I'd have gone ahead with the hyserectomy right now, in the mindset that if it wasn't the current problem, taking it all out would just take an eventual problem away.

But she's 4. I'm not sure I should go through with it.

It isn't even a money issue, though it will be expensive (around 450$ if we go with it without doing an echo first, then it'd be 760$ total. On top of the hundred it cost me for the checkup and the antibiotics). I do have that kind of money saved and it wouldn't put me in trouble to spend it. My boyfriend even offered to pay for half when he though that was the problem.

I have no idea how long she has left. I don't want to get my hedgehog through a big surgery only to have her die from it, or of something else in a few months. I know it says everywhere that hedgehogs live about 3-6 years, sometimes even up to 9. But I don't think I've ever heard anyone ever talk about an hedgehog that was older than 3. So I'm wondering if I'd just be struggling to keep a pet alive that's is already past her time.

I had prepared myself for this. Telling myself that when she'd get sick it'd be over, and it'd be okay, because she had a long life. But now that I actually have to deal with it, I feel like I'm doomed whatever I decide. She doesn't look sick. The vet told me she was in great health. How can I pull the plug on that?

I'm going to call the vet later on, hopefully she's in on saturdays or someone else in there knows enough about hedgehogs. I want to know if how stuff has progressed is an indication than the bleeding is really from a UTI (can it look worse before it clears, when the hedgehog seems to be peeing more? Is it possible she needs something stronger?), or that she really has a uterine infection and I need to decide between surgery or euthanasia. I don't think we can afford to go through the entire 2 weeks of antibiotics if the problem isn't a UTI...

I was just hoping to get opinions from people who migth have seen what it looked like when a girl hog had any of the two conditions. And get her opinion on surgery or death when her age is taken into account. I know we'd all love our pets and want to keep them forever but I need to make a decision that isn't just emotionnal.
 

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Hazesti said:
But I don't think I've ever heard anyone ever talk about an hedgehog that was older than 3.
*raises hand*
Litchi lived for 6 1/2 years and Tangelo was about 5 :D

If I'm not wrong, the urinary track and the uterine track mixes so that's why it's hard to know where blood come from unless they go with the needle in the bladder. Have they checked that, it would confirm the source of blood. If it's indeed from the uterus and the vet says she has a good pronogstic, I'd go ahead with the hysterectomy, that's what I would have done with Litchi.

Bonne chance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Merci. It's good to know that it is indeed possible that she'll live past this age.

Discussing it with my boyfriend it seems like I have to try what I can to keep her alive no matter the costs or I'll hate myself for it. The main reason for this is that it doesn't look like her life quality has decreased at all, so it doesn't look like it's her time. I'm still wondering why there isn't blood outside the litter if she has a uterus infection. But it's not like it'd be a bad thing to remove it if it wasn't the source of the problem?

Called the vet office and could only talk to a technician. There isn't an exotic pet vet in for the weekend so there's not much I can get right now. She took note of everything I told her and put it in the file, and the vet should call me when she gets in monday night, to see if I should operate and if so, if she can squeeze her in for tuesday.

She tells me that as long as she's eating and drinking and acting normal I shouldn't get too alarmed about the blood. She can't tell me if she should have stopped bleeding by now if it was a UTI.

I'm going to have to give her a bath tonight because she smeared blood all over herself, and change the linings in her cage so that I can monitor for blood better. She seems to have tracked some blood out of the litter this morning. I don't like moving her around like that (and she really hates baths) but I pretty much have to do it if I want to keep an eye out for any change. I'll go with water only, no soap, because I don't want to risk worsening an infection...
 

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I had a girl this spring that developed blood in the urine. Off we went to the vet to have a fine needle urine draw to see if the blood was in her urine. Little stinker pee'd on the way there and had no blood to draw. Based on the fact that she was loosing her appetite and peeing in bed, we gambled and assumed it was a UTI. I've had ones with uterine tumours and they never lost their appetite nor pee'd in bed. She was put on antibiotics and almost immediately her appetite returned and the blood went away and she quit peeing in bed. We thought all was well. WRONG! Two weeks later back came the blood, on a Friday of course. We got more antibiotic with the plan to take her to the vet on Monday. She didn't make it till Monday. Necropsy showed she had a uterine infection and she went septic. Had a urine draw been able to be done, we would have known it wasn't urinary and could have had her spayed. In hindsight, I should have taken her back the next day and tried for another needle draw, but we gambled on it being a UTI and we lost. :(

There is also urinary stones to consider. Perhaps having a fine needle urine draw would be a good idea. Then you would know if it is urinary or uterine. Otherwise, without it, or an ultrasound, there is no way to know for sure where the blood is coming from. If she is a healthy active 4 year old, then it is worth giving her the chance and spaying her. It would be different if she were showing age related issues.

This is only my own observations based on gals here, but if she is smearing dark red blood over herself, there is more chance that this is uterine. The blood when mixed with urine, doesn't seem to show up as dark or thick when they get it on themselves.

Good luck. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Came back home and she put some fresh blood in the litter. She also made two poopies, which answers the question of did she eat last night... They are dark and goopy. I'd seen it go green before and I though it might just be a reaction to the antibiotics, but that is probably a sign that she isn't getting better.

She's still pretty lively. I'm going to hope that the fact she hasn't showed signs of shutting down yet means there's still time. Let's hope it stays that way until tuesday, and I really hope the vet will take her in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I gave her her dose this evening and then put her back in her cage. She kept falling over to her side, like her front right leg wasn't supporting her.

It's the second time I see her like that, it happenned a few weeks ago, before this problem started. It looks like she's been sleeping in a different position that usual lately (she usually slept curled up, now she lies down on her stomach, not completely sprawled but with her head in front of her instead of under), either because it's hot these days or because she's uncomfortable due to the infection... I had assumed her leg had fallen asleep because she had slept on it or something the first time, but now that I know she's sick I'm worried about this.

Both times I picked her up when I saw her struggling (wasn't gonna let her keep panicing and falling on her side), put her on her back on my knees and let her do the wiggle dance for a while, then checked how she stood before putting her back. She walked normally after that both times.

Have you ever seen this happen with hedgies? Can an infection cause a sort of temporary paralysis? Or is there a good chance it really is just that her leg fell asleep?
 

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Hazesti said:
I gave her her dose this evening and then put her back in her cage. She kept falling over to her side, like her front right leg wasn't supporting her.

It's the second time I see her like that, it happenned a few weeks ago, before this problem started. It looks like she's been sleeping in a different position that usual lately (she usually slept curled up, now she lies down on her stomach, not completely sprawled but with her head in front of her instead of under), either because it's hot these days or because she's uncomfortable due to the infection... I had assumed her leg had fallen asleep because she had slept on it or something the first time, but now that I know she's sick I'm worried about this.

Both times I picked her up when I saw her struggling (wasn't gonna let her keep panicing and falling on her side), put her on her back on my knees and let her do the wiggle dance for a while, then checked how she stood before putting her back. She walked normally after that both times.

Have you ever seen this happen with hedgies? Can an infection cause a sort of temporary paralysis? Or is there a good chance it really is just that her leg fell asleep?
I don't want to discourage you. But Litchi was like that, but it got worst so fast. He paralisys was due to a stroke. Here's how she looked the day I found he suddenly had trouble walking.


I really hope it's something else Quinn has and that she can recover from (as you can guess I had to put Litchi to sleep)

Fingers crossed for you both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh God.

She wasn't as bad as that, she just tripped a couple of times and fell on her side but she didn't have as much trouble getting back on her feet, it's just the one foot that couldn't support her. And she got back to normal after I took her off her feet for a bit. When I made her wiggle on her back all of her legs were moving around. After watching your video I went and moved her from her hiding place just to see her walk around and she's walking normally. Then she went to roll around in her litter box (it's a weird habit she's always had, even though I use towels and not litter in the box) before going back in hiding.

I'm really sorry about Litchi. Broke my heart to see her and to hear you in the video :( When she got like that, did she recover her mobility or did she stay that way until you put her to sleep?

Anyway I'll be talking to the vet about everything that's happenned since her last visit, tomorow evening. Hopefully she can get fixed on tuesday. I want her to keep strong until then so she has every chance though... If the vet thinks she's had a stroke or that she's started to shut down I don't think I'll be putting her through the operation...
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Mmm. After I washed her and cleaned her cage saturday night, Quinn pooped in the water and then peed a little in her litter (pink with blood, not as much blood as that morning).

Then for nearly 36 hours she didn't go to the bathroom at all. I was starting to really worry about that. She had been eating and drinking, if not as much as usual.

I gave her her meds this morning (I give her two meal worms with each dose, one before to make her drop her defenses, one after as a reward), she then decided to go sit in the litter... And dropped me two poopies and a very healthy looking pee. No hint of blood at all.

I'm not sure what to think. She did loose a few drops of blood where she sleeps since I cleaned the cage, so I'm even more leaning towards uterine infection, and I don't think she's out of the woods. I'll be talking to her vet tonight. But I can't help but feel better seeing clear pee after a few days of really bloody pees.
 

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Hazesti said:
Oh God.

She wasn't as bad as that, she just tripped a couple of times and fell on her side but she didn't have as much trouble getting back on her feet, it's just the one foot that couldn't support her. And she got back to normal after I took her off her feet for a bit. When I made her wiggle on her back all of her legs were moving around. After watching your video I went and moved her from her hiding place just to see her walk around and she's walking normally. Then she went to roll around in her litter box (it's a weird habit she's always had, even though I use towels and not litter in the box) before going back in hiding.

I'm really sorry about Litchi. Broke my heart to see her and to hear you in the video :( When she got like that, did she recover her mobility or did she stay that way until you put her to sleep?

Anyway I'll be talking to the vet about everything that's happenned since her last visit, tomorow evening. Hopefully she can get fixed on tuesday. I want her to keep strong until then so she has every chance though... If the vet thinks she's had a stroke or that she's started to shut down I don't think I'll be putting her through the operation...
That video was taken on June 16th and we put her to sleep on the 22nd. She didn't get better, only worst and fast, she also had seizures which seemed painfull. I was devastated because she just got a clean bill of health a month before at the vet and compliments on how she was doing good for and older one.

If Quinn's leg is back to normal, I think it's a good sign. Let us know how it goes tomorow
 

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It could be the illness that is causing her mobility issues. When they are sick they can get wobbly and unsteady on their feet. Also, it could be coincidence that some other issue has started at the same time.

If you do go ahead with the spay, when your vet opens her up, he can do a look around and see if there any obvious tumours or something going on other than in her uterus. A couple of times with ours going into the surgery we had it that if once opened up things look really bad, to let her/him pass and not continue with the surgery.

Uterine infections rarely clear up with antibiotics and do require a spay. They can be either open, or closed. Open we see the bleeding. Closed we don't so the infection continues to build while we have that false sense that it has been cured. That is probably what happened with my Brie. We thought she was getting better because she stopped bleeding.

Sending well wishes and prayers to her and you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I think I'm going to go ahead with the operation even if suddenly she isn't bleeding, because the blood looked really, really scary on saturday and I'm really not convinced she's better just because she hasn't bled for a day. And with what you tell me, yeah maybe the infection 'closed' and now she's not bleeding anymore.

And I figure that if she opens her up and sees nothing and that it only was a real bad UTI or that the antibiotics managed to clear the infection of something, it's not like it'll be a bad thing to spay her anyway. It might buy her a couple of years.

Although yes, I'll tell her to let her go if it looks really really bad. Since her behavior hasn't changed that much since she started being sick (she might eat, drink and run a little less than usual, but she's far from being lethargic either), I think her chances are good...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
She's getting fixed today. Apparently she lost 12 grams since her visit last wednesday. I guess she hasn't been eating as much as usual, I hope it's not too much of a bad sign.

Other than that, she still hadn't bled since Saturday and I heard her wheeling when I woke up through the night, so I really want to believe she'll make it though...
 

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Sending lots of good wishes for her that she will have an easy surgery and fast recovery.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It looks like she's going to be fine. She had a hard mass in her uterus, so it was most likely a tumor. Everything else looked fine.

The vet also removed a sort of polyp in her mouth that she had noticed during the exam. It isn't something that was worrying her, but as she was asleep she removed it, in case it bothered her while eating.

Quinn woke up soon after the operation, and was almost immediately running around her cage. They're keeping her overnight to make sure she's eating and everything, but it's looking good.

The vet is asking if I want the mass analysed. I don't think I'm going to. It'd be an extra 140$, and all it could tell me really is if there's lots of chances she'll have more cancer. It's not like she can do chemo. And really, she is going to get sick again and die eventually, I can't do anything to prevent that. Does that make sense?

Thanks everyone for your advice and support. :)
 

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That's wonderful news. :D

I don't often have the tumours sent for pathology. In most cases, it won't change the outcome as there's nothing that can be done. You could start her on IP6 which is an immunity booster and cancer fighter. I am certain it helped my Peaches after her aggressive mammary tumour was removed. Her prognoses was poor but she lived over 3 years afterward.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
What is IP6? I am due to buy food so I was thinking of reevaluating her diet.
 

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It's capsules that you can get in a natural vitamins store. A normal grocery store probably would not have it. IP6 with Inostol. Break open the capsule and sprinkle a pinch on her food nightly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll look for it! I suppose there's not any cat food that already have it?

And should I look into senior cat formulas? Stuff with omega-3 for joints? I will try to ask the vet tomorow when I get her.

Right now my only focus was real meat as the first ingredient, high protein low fat. I was going with Pro-plan.
 

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I'm glad to hear she's doing better after the spay.

Hazesti said:
I'll look for it! I suppose there's not any cat food that already have it?

And should I look into senior cat formulas? Stuff with omega-3 for joints? I will try to ask the vet tomorow when I get her.

Right now my only focus was real meat as the first ingredient, high protein low fat. I was going with Pro-plan.
Pro-Plan isn't the best food. I used to feed Innova, Chicken Soup light and Wellness and Royal Canin senior indoor.
 
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