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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple days ago I noticed that Buddy hadn't eaten as much as usual and I assumed it was stress and then today I realised that he couldn't reach the food because his foot was trapped in a thread coming from a piece of fabric i had placed in his cage.

It's obvious he tried to reach his food but couldn't because he couldn't drag the fabric around but he could just about rach his litter box which he has been pushing around with his head.

I cut off the fabric and say that the bottom half on his foot is now much darker and smaller than the rest of his feet. He also has a large red wound where the thread was. It was wrapped pretty tightly.

I contacted a vet and he told me to massage the foot in order to attempt to return blood to the foot and put salt water on the wound. I have done both but it seems like a lost cause. It's too late now to visit a vet. I'll have to wait until tomorrow but I was wondering if i could get some advice.

He's dragging that foot behind and it appears to be numb. He also hasn't eaten or drank water since i untied him. I've tried my best but I was really hoping that maybe someone could help me.

I'm 14 and I've only had Buddy for 2 weeks and I know that if its anything serious my parents will give him away because I've been too stupid this time.
 

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1. Tell your parents. Tell them you made a mistake, that you're trying to fix it, and that you need their help.

2. Get syringes from the drugstore. Use them to feed Buddy food (babyfood or ground kibble mixed with water) and water. Hedgehogs that have stopped eating are less hungry, and go downhill fast. You need to get him to eat.

3. Clean the wound. Make absolutely certain that no more thread is tangled. Use a magnifying glass if you need to. If you're sure it won't make him chew at his leg, use some normal-strength polysporin (NOT extra strength) on the wound. (You can offer it to him on dabbed on your fingertip first to make sure he won't anoint with it or try to eat it.)

You will probably need to remove his wheel for a few days while his foot heals, to make sure he doesn't damage it by running. If he's very energetic and will hurt himself trying to escape, you might need to come up with other options for him to get exercise.

This is why you absolutely need to make sure that any fabric in the cage does not have loose threads. If you can't sew to hem all the edges and hide them away, use fleece, which can be cut to size without unravelling. This is also why it is important to handle your hedgehog every single day, picking him up, checking him out, looking for any stray threads or hair, giving him foot-baths.

Read through this thread here: it covers someone finding thread wrapped around legs, and the recovery process. Keep circulation going in his foot, he can still recover.

Download and read this book. It's an amazing resource, and will help you give Buddy the healthiest, safest life you can so you and he can be happy together.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much. They are aware of what happened to him I'm just hoping that it hasn't been too long. It's late here and he's managed to fall asleep but I'll buy the syringes tomorrow and take to to the vet asap. Thanks for the help. I'm going to do my best to handle him more often and put everything else aside for an hour a day. I'm just so worried but I might just be over reacting. I'll post what the vet says to me tomorrow as a reference and a bit of help to anyone who may need it.
 

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Do you have an eyedropper at home? You could use that as a syringe instead for tonight. Or a late-night pharmacy or 7-11 or anything that might have something you could use?

You really, really need to get him to eat and drink. I don't have huge amounts of experience, but waiting another night when it's already been more than a day since he last ate or drank don't sound like a good idea.
 

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I'm not certain I'd put medication on the wound if it's deep - I know Kalandra has mentioned before that Polysporin is sometimes used when it shouldn't be, and that it can be a drawback for deeper wounds. Definitely at least keep the foot clean until you can get him to the vet. I agree completely with Annie on telling your parents, regardless of what decision they may have afterwards, and with getting food into Buddy. He needs food, and he needs vet attention, and you need your parents for both of those things.

Edit - Like Annie said, he needs to eat now. You need to get the syringes or something to feed him with tonight - it's entirely likely he may not eat on his own tonight, and he needs food and water ASAP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys! Luckily enough Buddy ate more than usual tonight so he's filled himself up. However he hasn't drank enough water so im going to try my best to feed him that using an eyedropper.

He's going to the vet tonight and considering the state of his foot hasn't improved at all, it might not be good but my say they won't give him away as long as its not too expensive, which I doubt it will be but you never know.

Thank you sooo much!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
We got anti-inflammatories and pain killers for buddy and in about 5 days he's gonna get another check and and will probably need surgery. Luckily its below £150 so I'm allowed to keep buddy but he'll definitely have a stump by the end of all this. He's at a healthy weight for his age (17 weeks) and I have taken his wheel away. My only problem is that once i give him his anti-inflammatories he self anoints and I don't know if thats a waste.

I ordered him a new cage as well as a 12-inch wheel (the one i was given is 6 inches), a litter tray and shallower food and water bowls. I was wondering whether it's a good idea to change his home at a time like this or if i should wait?
 

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I would try to keep him from annointing with the meds if you can. Distracting him or picking him up when he's about to might work - I know making a noise or poking her would keep Lily from doing so if I caught her early enough. It may not be as important as with antibiotics, but it'd still be a good idea to make sure he's getting all of the dose.

Personally, I'd wait on the cage change until after he starts recovering from surgery. If the cage is smaller, that'll help keep him from moving around too much while he heals, hopefully, and you won't stress him out with a huge environment change on top of medication + surgery.

Glad to hear that you can keep him! Keep us updated on him. I hope he starts feeling better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I won't be hanging his cage or diet for now. He still currently eats mainly mealworms, coriander and a tiny bit of cat food as well. I can't find any with the right nutritional values so I'm giving him a very little amount until I do.

My only issue now is that he won't take his medicine. Yesterday, after being awake for a while, he still managed to be lively and accept the syringe but now after spending all day and a good part of last night sleeping, he refuses to even move. As soon as he woke up, he went to his litter tray, peed and then sat in the front corner of his litter tray for about 1 hour. He has just balled up but I don't think he's attempting to sleep because he always sleeps in the back corner with his fleece next to his food and water bowls.

Now that he's right at the corner of his cage and refusing to move, I can't feed his his medicine. When I do get the syringe near him, he just licks it and then looks away. I don't want to force it to him because yesterday he was much more willing and bit the syringe.

I'm worried that the grumpiness and stillness is caused by discomfort or pain but if i can't give him his medicine then it won't improve. I was just wondering if anyone had a way around this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I had to keep the lights off for a while in order to calm him down but this meant that a) i didn't give the exact amount of baytrill (0.05ml) and had to give him his metacam bit by bit instead of the full 2ml at once which just resulted in more of it lost in his attempts at anointing. The vet said that the inflammation isn't as big of an issue and there's no infection but she'd rather this was used in order for her to get a better look on tuesday. So I'm not very worried but I'd much rather if there was a way for me to relax him without turning the lights out or waiting too long.

He has seemed to trust me and hasn't raised his spines when I try to pick him up since we released his foot. My only issue is that he hates interaction in the light.

He's also gotten into the habit of eating a bit more than usual after having to fill himself up. Considering his wheel has been taken and he can't do any running until he's has his surgery, is it a good idea to limit his food. I normally leave enough food to last 2 days but he eats about 3/4 of it now. Sorry If this is a lot but I'm worried about him.
 

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Try using dim light -- a nightlight, a light in the hallway with the door open, some sort of compromise so you and him can both be comfortable. Giving him a blanket to hide under can also help.

Sometimes the stress of having to intimately care for your hedgehog can increase bonding trust. It's a bad situation, but has a silver lining!

Try to get into the habit of offering fresh food and water every day. This will help make sure you interact with him each day, and make it easier to spot problems (like not eating) sooner than later. He might be gorging himself after his starvation-scare -- he was trapped away from food, so now he's going to make sure he eats enough to survive if he gets trapped again. I haven't experienced that, but it seems logical. If it ends up being a long-term problem, you can ease into lower-fat foods to keep him from gaining weight without restricting his diet.

Be careful about how much coriander (also known as cilantro depending on local linguistics) you offer him. It actually has a biochemical impact on hedgehogs -- I don't remember what, sorry -- so it's ok for anointing, but not so fantastic a regular treat.

Good luck! Keep making the updates; we're all sending you good vibes that he recovers quickly. Be optimistic about his foot recovering -- keep getting blood flow into it by doing the massaging the vet instructed you about along with the various pain and anti-inflammatory medications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You are all so sweet and helpful and I know I've been going off topic but I don't feel like I need to start a new thread. Thank you so so much! I'll cut down on the coriander then. Buddy has never actually anointed when eating coriander. He only really does it after having some catfood or metacam. Is rocket fine? Also, the catfood I have is low in fat but even lower in protein. What could I feed him in order to solve this. I've been feeding him small amounts of cooked meat but as a vegan I have to get someone else to do the buying, chopping and cooking of them meat. Are there any veggies that would give him enough protein and not be such a hassle?
 

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The cat food brands in North America are different than those in the UK. I'm assuming you're in London, UK? (It's a popular city name!) Here's a discussion about brands available in the UK, with the various percentages.

If you've got him on a steady diet of catfood as a base, you can supplement with all sorts of treats. Here's a list of safe fruits and vegetables.

If you haven't seen it, this book is an amazing resource on caring for hedgehogs. And on the topic of food, although hedgehog nutrition is one of those confusing topics with no clear right answers, here's a guide to get you started on thinking about it.

Rocket is called arugula here, I think? Looks like this?

If so, yup! Arugula, and other types of lettuce, are safe foods. Weirdly, they're a nicely wet food, so are a good treat for hedgehogs who don't drink much water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yup.London,UK. Thanks for all the links they've been really helpful. Arugula's exactly what I mean. That's perfect for buddy as he refuses to drink water and instead walks through his water bowl. I just sneak a tablespoon of water into his food.

His last owner fed him Spike's and has given us a bag full of Spike's Semi-Moist Hedgehog Food. He seems to prefer this to anything else and only ate a little bit of it when he started eating again. Is it a good idea to continue feeding him Spike's and make up for the rest of his nutritional requirements in bits of other foods?

As for his foot, it hasn't changed apart from the swelling which has gone down. Therefore he is definitely getting surgery. We couldn't ake him to the vet yesterday or today due to my brother being held up at work and I would need to take a car there. He's walking on it fine and has now completed his course of baytrill. He shows no signs of being in pain.

Also I quickly had to get him a new litter tray because the last one was a)too large and didn't give him enough space in his cage b)just light enough for him to get himself underneath it. I got him one of those small, corner litter tray. He refuses to use it. There was no hassle what so ever when it came to teaching him to use his first litter tray. He began using it on his own and it only took a bit of effort to teach him that that was the only place for him to poop. However with this one, he's been much more reluctant to use it and has pooped in the area his last tray was. I'm not going to try too hard until his foot has healed.
 
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