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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So Holly is 3.5 years old.
I found a lump - Which turned out to actually be a string of 3 small lumps!
And then once she was under the vet found another lump in a different place, which was much bigger.
They have all been sent off for testing, will get results of what they are in 1-2 weeks time.

So she was seen this morning for examination and then they kept her and she had her surgery today and has come today to.

So anyway I didn't think to ask the vet (and they are now closed so I cant call them to ask) is loose cardboard bedding (made for pets) okay to use still? Or should I be using something else while she is recovering? Will the loose cardboard aggravate it?
I can easily sort something out before putting her away tonight I just need to know!

Also one of them seems pretty messy so whats the best way to clean that - again something I should have thought about at the vet and didn't!

This is the first time I've had a hog with surgery so sorry if these are stupid questions!

I know that replies here can take ages but I'm really hoping that someone knows and can tell me in the next few hours!!
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Okay so I have decided to just change to fleece as its softer and probably safer just incase the cardboard could irritate the wounds.

And I have found to boil water let it cool and add a little salt to use to clean it up a bit- being gentile obviously.

But if anyone has anything they can add to it I'd still love to know.
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jaw Finger Fawn Beard Ingredient


This a photo much easier than trying to describe it!
The vet said she only made small incisions.

I only wanted to clean around the top one, shoulder area I think the vet called it, as she seemed to be trying to lick it clean and I didn't want her to accidently hurt herself - Holly loves to be clean and is always cleaning her own feet ect.

The vet said she used disovable stitches under the skin, as she thought it would be better for her and easier than trying to remove stitches after recovery.

Holly only likes loose bedding, I tried her on fleece liners before and she got really mad about it, so I have gone with long loose fleece stripes, that are light in colour.
So nothing to really get stuck to, soft, and probably a whole lot better than the cardboard bedding she normally has.

I use white kaytee clean and cosy as litter, which I have left in for tonight but if something like paper towels or puppy pads would be better for the next week then I will swap it out for that in the morning.

She likes 26 degrees c at normal times and the thermometer is reading 26.7 degrees c.
And I have checked on her just now and she doesnt seem cold, she has been back in there for about 3 hours now to, so should be okay the rest the night, my room is pretty warm and her thermostat shouldnt let it drop either. If anything it always heats a little more than its set to!

Being the first time doing this I just want to make sure I do it all right, and with making sure I got everything I was told by the vet they both slipped my mind!
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Those incisions look so precise and clean! Really nice work by your vet. I haven't dealt with hedgie surgery but I had skin cancer removed from my lip last year and my surgeon suggested a damp q-tip gently rolled over the stitches to clean dried blood off the wound, and then I put a sort of polysporin ointment on for the first couple weeks to fend off infection. If you don't have or don't want to use q tips, a clean, damp gauze would work to clean off any excess dried blood. Main point is to be gentle and not aggravate the stitches or any open wound. If your hog is licking the wound a lot I'd say call your vet. I've never seen a hedgie in a cone but could be cute if nothing else!

I'm impressed that Holly let you take pics of her belly like that! Good luck to the both of you.
The vets have done hog surgeries a lot, they also werent to deep which might help!

She was doing it but was very good at stopping, I generally think she was trying to just clean it though, because she was also doing all her feet at the same time so was having a bit of a cleaning session and was just going back to it through that, so thought if I cleaned it up then she will leave it be after.

We always have q-tips because they are always coming in helpful so I can gently roll a damp one of those over it.

I think once its clean she will likely leave it alone. But yea if after its cleaned she still licks it I will call the vet up.

Holly is very chill girl, so I just held her and then my took the photos, and she was just still for about 3 mins for us.
I have pictures of the lumps, although only one can really be seen.
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When I got her up to give her the meds she needs, she licked it a bit, and it looked a bit more red than yesterday. So I used a q-tip very gently and cleaned it up a bit getting moat if the blood off, and the skin looked a bit red, - I'm not sure if licking it can do that? I am guessing becauase the other incision isn't red at all and she hasnt touched that one.

So anyway about an hour ago, I went up to check her on her, she was out doing her business, then went for a drink, and ate a bit. I pretty much just watched her and then when she stopped and just looked at me I decided to stroke her and see if I can get a look, and it didnt look very red anymore like this morning.

I do have one more question, is it normal for the skin around that are to like bag a bit? I've add photos to try show what I mean!

Hedgehog Erinaceidae Domesticated hedgehog Organism Rodent

In this one its pretty clear to see
Sorry she is in the litter which is now a puppy pad not the loose paper litter in the photo.

Hedgehog Erinaceidae Domesticated hedgehog Rodent Whiskers


Hedgehog Erinaceidae Domesticated hedgehog Rodent Pink

And then these 2 you can see the line of the skin bagging, but different positions show it a bit differently.

I can call the vet I know, but they can be very busy so if unless its something thats not really normal/no one knows if its fine or something to be concerned about then I would rather not add to the busy phone line.
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Okay great thank you.
I just wanted to make sure that its not really anything.

Yea the vet mentioned most of that to watch for, she also said that one will probably bruise because of where it was near a muscle.
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ria- thank you so much for posting this. We will be going to the same thing here in a few days and I have so many questions. You helped me think of things to ask the vet for postop. Please keep us posted on how you’re managing the recovery and any other little tidbits you may learn. I know I will superduper appreciate it! Speedy recovery to your sweet prickly pear. I have to admit I’m super impressed by the incisions. Looks like you found an awesome vet.
My vet came highly recommended by other hog owners they are main one in my area - though have to travel about 30mins they are 100% worth it!

This is probably a totally normal thing, but the skin where the fur is gone feels very weird! Just so that you already know and are ready for it, I knew it wouldnt feel the same but didnt know it would feel like that.

She doesnt like going from the loose litter to the puppy pad
Plant Comfort Art Wood Linens

This is the second morning I have found it this way😂

And this is her incisions this morning, 3 days after the surgery.
Jaw Gesture Finger Whiskers Fawn

They both have a little bruising, but they both look like they are doing well.

Ignore her messy nails they will be cleaned and trimmed tonight!
She was having non of it the last few nights.
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ohh I do have one more question, the vet said she only needs the meds and now wheel for a week.

She should be fine to travel about 3 hours, in the car, to some of my family (she has been there twice since lockdown) on the 21st October?

This might seem totally stupid I just want to make sure its fine for her.
I don't have anyone I can trust to leave her with so if its not a good idea then I will cancel it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yea she travels with no stress she just sleeps the whole way there, and then settles fine once she is in her holiday set up.
So thats great! She is doing really well other than not liking that she hasnt got loose litter anymore.
Thats great information to know to.
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Since Friday evening I have had to fight to give her the meds instead of her taking them great like she was before!

She has also been totally trashing her viv the last 3 nights, so I think she is missing her wheel to!

Its been a week tomorrow, so her last doses of meds are tomorrow, and I can give her wheel back that evening.
Would it be bad to give her wheel back a day early instead of her totally trashing her viv?
She is only ever on her wheel 40 mins to 1 hour and half throughout the night.

This is her incisions currently, photo was taken last night
Gesture Finger Fawn Fish Human leg
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I decided to wait the last night, partly because by the time I saw this she was already back and I need to fiddle around to get it in, but also because I feel like she could use the extra night before getting it back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
This is from last night, one week after her surgery
Carnivore Fawn Whiskers Terrestrial animal Snout

I think that they are looking good and healing well.

She no longer needs her meds, and she got her wheel back Monday evening and ran just over an hour Monday and Tuesday night. She is really loving having her wheel back.

Still waiting to hear from the vet (week 2 of waiting) to see what the lumps actually were. If I have heard nothing by Monday 18th then I will have to call them to find out.
 

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Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Called the vet this morning to see if the results came back.

The lumps turned out to be 2 different types of cancer.
One is spindle cell sarcoma, she said its fast spreading and tough growing.
The other is salivary adenocarcinoma.

So we are going back on the 4th in the afternoon to talk to the vet in more detail about the results, and she told me the vet said its best to give her some steroids to help prevent anymore growths.
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
No I hadn't thought about searhing the group, they did seem pretty positive that they got it all after the surgery.
The person I spoke to wasnt a vet and only knew what the vet had left her to tell me, so I'll learn more when I talk the vet on the 4th November as well.

I'm not really sure which one came from what place though.
The one under her arm was just one lump which wasnt small but wasnt too big either, while the one higher up was a string of 3 small ones. Its not really important I guess just I like knowing things like that.

Oh and I was going to add a photo of her healing and then I forgot to add it!
This one was taken last night.
They are pretty much gone!
Dog Carnivore Felidae Fawn Dog breed


The other great thing is that she is as active as ever, eating great still and seems bright in herself so is doing really well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
Okay so Holly had the vet again today.

The one under her arm is the spindle cell sarcoma and the string of 3 from her neck is the salivary adadenocarcinom

The histology report says this about the sarcoma, "This lesion is likely to display invasive growth and be locally reacquaint without a wide margine of excision. Sections suggest a very narrow shell of connective tissue around parts of specimen"
So I guess thats not a very good thing really because its more likely to come back then, thats what it seems right?
It also says that its "poorly differentiated spindle cell sarcoma with mixed differential, subcutaneous tissue" which really doesnt sound good at all. So I'm think this is really bad.

The report also says "the salivary gland adenocarcinoma is also poorly differentiated and can be seen to have displaced clusters of neoplastic cells in the adjacent connective tissue. Metastasis is considered more likely to be risk for this tumour"
Which I think is also really bad isnt it?

So seems both are poorly differentiated which I really dont understand what that means and I am struggling to find out.

Anywayyy so the vet has said that all we can do is slow down any potential new growths with kemo, and to start with she will be on a type of steroids once a day, and I need to get more each month.

The vet said that if she gets anymore lumps, then we can remove them to make her more comfortable, but it wont stop her getting them or anything.

So I'm thinking that if she gets another lump I wont put her through the surgery or week of no wheel that she hates, when its just going to come back anyway and probably wont even help.
I love her and I want to do anything I can, but if removing the tumor isnt going to really help then I dont see much point putting her back through risky surgeries when it will just keep coming back again anyway.

Hopefully she has at least 6 months.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thank you, thats great to know so I understand it!

From the description on the tumours and how much seemed to be intertwined into the tumour this time, and how risky anesthesia is especially with the older they get, and the areas they are likely to appear again are really risky places to do surgeries. Which really worries me about her having to go through it again, and then loose her wheel for a week, only for another to come back.
And most the time cancer will come back faster each time, even with kemo.

The vet and histology report both make it very clear it doesnt matter how many time I remove it, its just going to keep coming back.

I mean Holly had high grade tumours and the only thing she did was start drinking double the amount of water the week leading to when I took her to the vet. Which the vet seems pretty impressed with given she had 2 different high grade tumours.
To be honest now I know that I'm super impressed with that!

Thank you for your really kind words, makes me feel a whole lot better to be honest.
I want to thank you so much for all the help with her weight back when I needed it, because if it wasnt for you, she would probably still be overweight and those lumps would have been much harder to find, and a lot more risks to remove them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
From what I read about the spindle cell sarcoma, if they dont get all of it and they miss any, it will grow back quicker and more aggressive, and I think thats the biggest thing thats scaring me about another doing it again.

Holly bounced back really quick after her first surgery, she threw hissy fits towards the end of the week about not having her wheel and taking meds because she felt batter, and then her insicions recovered really well which is brilliant.

But each surgery is going to mean a whole day in the vet, a week of no wheel, and then even more meds and I can't see her being happy about that.

The vet said he wouldn't rule out removing it once or twice more, it could buy her more time but it also might not, and it will definetly make her more comfortable as she dies with it.

From what I understand about the spindle cell sarcoma is that when it comes, its going to be much worse than the last time. So with each removal its going to get worse, faster and more aggressive, which to me sounds worse than not removing it.
And the one on the neck was only found by the vet, I hadnt even seen or felt it! And thats likely to come back in the same place which is a super risky surgery.

The vet seems to think that from now she only has 6 months, and that removing any more will only be to make her more comfortable and wont help with her lasting any longer. So it makes me really question about if its worth that at all.
He never said it like that, but when my mum said "we might get another year" he seemed to be very doubtful, but when I said "even if she just makes it to 4 years old in 5 months maybe a bit after that would be brillant" he made it clear thats the more realistic thing with or without removing more tumours.

My vet is great really, very understanding, realistic and clear. I know the next step for the kemo if the steroids arent working well and everything.

I am going to hope and wish that with the steroids, it takes 6 months to even come back, and then asses and go from there.

I wish there was more I could to help her fight it and go for as long as possible, but I dont think there is unless theres anything diet wise because thats only real thing I can control.

One thing for sure I am likely to spoil her a lot more from now. People thought she was spoilt already! But who cares she can be more spoilt haha.

Thank you so much! But I would never have found out so much if it wasnt for you, oh in the end we have got her down to 450-440g. So she really came far from where she was 700g back in March 2019 at 10 months olol
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
To be honest, I am basing my decisions of no more surgeries a lot on the worst case what ifs and fears of that.
Like what if the next time they do it bad because they know they arent curing her. Bad thought of such a great vet but I suffer with anxiety and I dont control those ones only how I react.

Can I ask, with Riley, how long after was it before the new tumour in his next was found? I know its likely to be different with Holly but it might help with a rough period.

The vet said that he is fairly sure its all gone, but with very narrow margins and the type of cancers they are, theres a very high chance they will come back.
He also made it very clear that all the steroids will do is help to slow new growths down, predominately on the salviary gland one and not so much with the spindle cell sarcoma.

He was very happy that there was no new feelable or seeable lumps yesterday when he checked her over. So I guess thats a good sign they didn't aggravate the sarcoma!?

While I'm making the decisions that I done want to put her through surgery again, it doesnt mean that at the time of a new lump I wont change my mind depending on everything at the time.

I'm only on a short way in and already finding this really hard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Okay thank you, Holly is really easy going so its pretty easy to feel around her for anything. Its good to know it could be up to 3 months though.

Honestly she could have it, and say have 6 months without removing it, let's say they remove it, but they don't get all of it, ten it begins growing a lost faster, that surgery cuts the time she had to live because now its going faster, I don't think I want to risk that at all. Thats purely based off that one cancer.

She is my first pet, so also first hedgehog, to go through cancer with (although wont be the first one I love to die with the horrible thing)

I've always cherished her and the time I get with her, from the moment I got her and that will never change. I will never get another hog as funny, and strange as she is which is great, she truly is an amazing little girl and I couldn't have got a better first little hedgehog!
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
So we have to give the steroids once a day, I chose to do the evening because I think its better for us both.

So far we have done 4 doses, the first 1 was fine, the second one wasn't to bad, but the least 2 she has been really fighting.
If I try with her wrapped up in the blanket like the last meds to help her feel more secure when I hold her to give them, she will find a way to bury her head, no matter what!
Moves her head doesn't matter what angle I try to come from.
She uses her paw to try and push it away!

Each day I have managed to get her to take it, but I dont want to fight her! Will she get used to it? Is there a way to make it easier it - my mum can help some nights but a lot of them she is working so I really need a way that only requires one person.
Or should I call the vet to see if theres another way? Maybe I can do it like inject an insect with it and make sure eats the whole insect?
 
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