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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I am new to this forum and I seek help! (Please read the whole text even though it's a little big.)

I have had my hedgehog for a year now and everything has been alright, except for a small lump on his back right foot which has been there for months and no one could help me with it..

Two days ago I found my hedgehog on the side and I thought it was cute, but when I held him he was not responsive to touch (you know like 'getting angry' or moving his quills), his nose was dry, his eyes were 'frozen' with no contact and he would open and close his mouth without sound like he couldn't breathe. He also was very unstable and he was stretching like he was dying.
He hadn't swollowed anything and as I watched him his mouth wasn't bruised as if it should be if he had trouble breathing..

I thought maybe he was going in hibernation, even though he had done it again in the past and it wasn't the same (I woke him up soon). I wet his nose, rubbed him, left him near the fireplace so that he would get warmer and left the house for several hours for work, expecting to find him dead. :sad:
I was so so sad all day..

When I got home he was fine, responsive to touch and his nose was better, so I thought that whatever this was had passed.
Today he did something like it again but not in that degree. His nose was dry again, he was opening and closing his mouth like he had trouble breathing and he was very weak, I also saw him shake only a little bit and he had trouble walking. He was more responsive and became a ball everytime I touched him. I wet his nose, held him and left him near his food and water in warmth. Now he seems better.

What is wrong with him? What can I do to help him? I hate seeing him being tortured like that and here in Greece the veterinarians have no idea in how to help hedgehogs!
Please give me some advice regarding what I can do when this 'crises' occur and if I can treat him somehow. Is it WHS???
Waiting for responses:-|
 

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It sounds like he is sick, but not with WHS type of symptoms. Is he eating his normal amount? What about his urine and feces? Does he sneeze?

From your description, I wonder if he is having seizures?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He probably hadn't eaten for 2-5 days (I can't be sure because my friend was taking care of him during these days because I was working a lot) and yesterday I fed him with a syringe. Also, his fecies were normal colour but very very small in size.

I heard him sneeze a lot 1-2 weeks ago and it stopped quickly. Yesterday he was sneezing a lot in the afternoon, NOT licking his nose which seems irritated and one of his nostrils is red but not bleeding.

I haven't changed anything in his cage, neither his food. I wish we could rule out whs but he seems unstable during these incidents and has trouble walking, loses balance etc.
I would also like to mention that in his first big incident he had exopthalmia, which returned to normal as soon as he felt better.

I'm doing my best to keep him warm and leave an electric heater in the room when I'm not home. However, sometimes he was left in a cold house for several hours, didn't go into hibernation but could he have caught a cold? Or pneumonia?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I uploaded 2 pictures of his nose because yesterday it was very irritated. Please check then out in my profile album :)
 

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I think you can rule out WHS...WHS is slow, and I've never heard it described with the symptoms you're describing, unless maybe at advanced stages. I don't have personal experience with WHS, but from what I know of it, this doesn't sound like it, despite the unsteady walking. Many other things can give that symptom, and honestly, a lot of people are too quick to jump to WHS instead of considering other options that may be treatable.

I agree with Nancy that those spells that you described sound like seizures. If he was cold after one of the episodes, that could've opened him up to another illness causing the sneezing...but I'm not sure if it'd definitely be an URI with a dry nose?

Is there any veterinarian at all that would be willing to see him? I really don't think we're going to be able to do much over the internet other than coming up with illness ideas. He needs medical attention to see whether what he's experiencing are actually seizures (which I would think a vet would be able to diagnose regardless of inexperience with hedgehogs), and why he's suddenly having them out of the blue. They could also listen to his lungs to see if he has an URI or pneumonia. Do vets there see small animals of any type? If you can find one with some experience with rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. they'll at least have experience with small mammals and some of the differences in running tests/treating them versus larger cats/dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I finally found a veterinarian who agreed to take a look at him without using sarcasm...
Of course he has never heard of whs so we just checked for pneumonia. Good news: he doesn't have pneumonia, and he gave him a medicine for a respiratory infection and he said that if this doesn't help him then nothing will.

I think he's feeling slightly better because he came out of his resting area on his own for a few seconds, but I don't see any fecies or urine. He still doesn't want to eat but I managed to give him a small amount with a syringe.

It's driving me crazy, it's all I can think about. I have never seen an animal that sick and I hate it that I have limited medicine knowledge. You can definitely understand how it is to see an angry and full of live hedgie become a practical zombie non responsive to touching (you know this awsome angry sound that says 'leave me the **** alone I want to sleep some more!")
:'( :'( :'(
 

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Do you know if the vet you went to would be willing to correspond with a vet that someone on here is on good terms with? Perhaps they can brainstorm ideas & suggestions for tests to run and other things to check for. It seems like it may come better from another vet rather than you giving him treatment/test suggestions that you were advised to get from the internet.

Does anyone have a vet that they think would be willing to email back & forth with this vet or something? It seems like there's gotta be some tests that can be run that might give more ideas as to what's wrong and how to help, but I have pretty limited knowledge myself of hedgie health problems. All I can think of is perhaps bloodwork & scans of some kind...not terribly helpful.

If he's not eating at all on his own, make sure you keep up with feeding him yourself. He needs to keep food in his system or he'll go downhill even more quickly. I know it can be difficult to get them to cooperate, but this thread might have some ideas for making it easier on you both - http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...yringing-tutorial-syringe-feeding-sticky.html Make sure he's also staying hydrated if he doesn't seem to be drinking either. Also, the thread mentions probiotics, and since I'm guessing the medicine for an URI was an antibiotic, if you can get probiotics to put in his food, that'd probably help his system out with dealing with the medicine too. :)

Good luck and keep us updated on your little guy. I hope he feels better soon! I agree, it's very hard to see them so sick. :( Hang in there with him...He's lucky to have you taking care of him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Every morning he is very bad and then he gets a little better. I have been keeping him very warm all day, his tummy is finally warm but he is still bad. He doesn't eat on his own, he doesn't swollow food when I feed him with the syringe and he's always tired and not moving a lot. He still acts like he can't breathe several times a day. He also trembled a little again today and doesn't use his back limbs a lot, even though he has feeling of them and uses them rarely, probably because he doesn't have any energy.

He's been eating cat food and now I give him crushed cat food mixed with water and canned pedigree so that he'll like it more and have a motive to eat. I have also added some pure olive oil for energy and calming down his stomach.

What kind of probiotics do I give him? What else can I feed him in order to make him stronger? I read somewhere that tea has helped and when I gave him a little yesterday he got better but how much can I give him? It could be toxic in big quantities. Also, my dad said that professionals give a quarter of aspirin to small birds and it quiclky makes them better, but can I use it with a hedgie? Has anyone tried it?
 

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Can you see if the vet you took him to has a food called Hills A/D? It's a canned food meant for dogs/cats, and meant for syringing to sick animals. That'd be a good thing to feed him with if you can get it. Carnivore Care is another option, if they have that instead.

For probiotics, it'd probably be easiest to find acidophilus, since you can find it in a human pharmacy. It should come in capsules, you want the highest count they have (it should say on the front of the bottle). Adding a large pinch to the mixture of food when you feed him may help his digestive system out a bit. Try to give it a couple hours after his doses of medicine - if you give them at the same time, the antibiotics will kill the good bacteria in the probiotics along with any bad.

What kind of tea are you giving him? Make sure it's at least non-caffeinated...Caffeine isn't good for small animals. I'm not sure how much you should give, but unless it's non-caffeinated, I wouldn't give any more.

I'm not sure on aspirin, but personally I don't think I'd try it. I've not heard of anyone giving aspirin to a hedgehog before, I don't think, so I'm not sure what the effects would be. Maybe one of the others more experienced with health issues can help with that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I gave him chamomile from dried chamomile flowers which is the purest thing ever! It's not caffeinated I'm pretty sure because it has soothing and relaxing effects and they also give it too kids too when they are sick.
He seems slightly better, he even walked a little bit but he keeps losing weight! 11 gramms less than yesterday. I noticed some redspots on his legs today, could that be associated with an allergy? Or mites?
 

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I'm not sure...are they little red dots, or are they bigger? Are they puffy/swollen, or just a red area on the leg?

The tea shouldn't be too bad, I remember hearing about other people occasionally giving it to hedgies. I'd be cautious on giving him a lot though, if only because you want to make sure he's still drinking water too. Too much could upset his stomach as well. I've never given tea to animals before though, so I'm not really sure how much would be too much.

I wish I could help more, but I think I'm reaching the end of what knowledge/advice I have to give...Really the only other thing I can think of is seeing if the vet you went to is willing to network with some US, Canadian, or UK vets experienced with domestic hedgies to brainstorm what could be wrong with him and how you guys can help. I'm sorry you guys are having so much issues with your poor little guy! Please keep us updated on how he's doing...maybe someone else will end up having some ideas/advice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you so much for everything. The little fella couldn't make it... He passed away yesterday, on the 6th day of struggling. I wish I could have done more to help him but at least now his torment is over. :(
I have to say it seemed like he had an allergic reaction to something because he couldn't breathe, the vet's med helped only a little. I changed everything in his cage, washed, it, rinsed it with venegar for the smells but he still couldn't recover. I hope nothing like this happens to other hedgies.
Thank you again.
 

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I'm so sorry you lost him. :( You did as much as you could, and I'm sure he appreciated it.
 
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