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Hello everyone!

Today I am taking Charlotte and Wilbur to the exotics vet here in the lower mainland of BC (Dr. Sharon Prus of King George Bird and Exotic Animal Hospital) for "wellness" visits. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them that I am aware of, but I am going away for 7 days at the end of the month and want to make sure that they are in excellent health before leaving them in the care of a friend.

Is there anything specific that I should ask? Or do I assume because she is an exotics vet that she knows what she's doing?

Does anyone else take their hedgies to the vet when nothing is wrong with them? I work in a small animal veterinary clinic (cats & dogs) where annual visits are recommended for healthy pets (bi-annual for seniors) so I figured my hedgies should get that too.

I'm not optimistic about my Charlotte being very co-operative for the exam (see my post under Hello! I am new and love this forum in the guestbook) but Wilbur will be an excellent patient I am sure.

Anyways, this is their first visit since they've lived with me. I got them late March and they were about 8 weeks old then. So I guess they're around 4 months or so now.

I am really looking forward to it!

If anyone has any advice or thinks of any questions I should ask, please let me know.

Thanks!
Lane & Charlotte & Wilbur
 

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I'm on the side of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it". The stress of a vet visit for a less-than social hedgehog isn't something I'd want for a healthy animal. When you get the vet, they can't do anything without gassing and I'm not in favor of gassing unless there is a diagnostic need. All the vet will be able to do is look at her skin and you can do that at home.

Even if one does unball, unless there is a palpable mass in the abdomen, there is little else a vet can check. Most don't like the stethescope and ball up and click, rendering a heart/lung check nearly impossible.

About all that the vet can do is check fecals. And many fecals come back positive but the animal is asymptomatic, in which case I wouldn't treat it.

Typically a hedgehog illness comes on suddenly, so getting a check a week before you go away won't prevent them from becoming ill while you're gone. In fact, the undue stress could be a contributor to a potential mite bloom.

You as an educated owner are the best 'wellness' checker your hedgehogs can have. Checking weight, appetite, etc. you are most familiar with what is normal for your hedgehog and you'll know first if something is wrong.
 

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While I cannot say anythign to getting regular 'wellness' checks, last time Sylvie was at the vet (until the moment of the tortured skin scrapings) she was actually great & there was no 'gassing' involved. To check her heart and lungs the vet let her stay on the table and just slipped the stethoscope under her belly.
 

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I recently took Ziggy to the vet for his first Wellness check (right when he turned 4 months old). Nothing was wrong, I just wanted to let the vet meet him and sort of scope the place out. I asked a lot of questions to see how the vet feels about certain things (like food, heat, wheels, life expectancy, what diseases he could pick up from playing in the grass, etc), and asked what we could expect if we have to come in for certain emergency situations.

He did not gas Ziggy or anything, and just picked him up (bare hands and all) and checked out his skin, teeth, feet, eyes, listened to his heart, and watched him walk around the table. This may not be as easy with a hedgehog that balls up the whole time, but in my opinion it's good to know how the vet will handle the hedgehog now, instead of figuring that out when we come in for an emergency or something. I did bring mealies that I gave him during and after the appointment, which I think was why he was such a good sport about it.

So, even though he was perfectly healthy, I feel much better now that I took him in and I have an idea of what to expect if I find myself having to take him back for whatever reason.
 

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I took my hedgie as he'd lost weight and up until recently he really wasnt the friendliest hogs and I was dreading the vets visit and it was a true test of his tolerance - MY! I shoudlnt have worried - he'd decided he was going to be mr sociable hog of the year - the reception girls didnt know what an APH was and asked to see him - I did explain they might only see a spikey ball - how wrong was I? trust your pet to show you up - he was right out of his ball run everywhere enamoured all the reception girls sat him down for a cuddle thought oh he's going to go back to sleep now - nope run all over me and the random person next to me who was also enthralled and all over the seats and he was excellent with the vet - he was weighed, picked up, light shone in his eyes (he has always HATED bright light in the house) had a stethescope against his chest,let the vet feel his tummy and look at his bum and he did do a fecal on the sample I brought also - I nearly fell down in shock as I was dreading it but he was completely the opposite typical huh?!!!
 

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I actually just recently took my hedgehog to the vet for just a check up.

Like you I am going away at the end of the month and wanted the vet to meet him in case there was an emergency that my friends had to deal with. Also I got him as an adult and I know that he has never had a vet appointment in his life.

The vet did have to gas him to do a proper exam but it was a very low dose and Quigley was up and running around again in five minutes time. My vet said that he has never had a problem with a hedgehog reacting to such a low dose of the gas even if it was sick.

The experience was not very stressful for either of us. As soon as it got warm enough Quigley and I got in the habit of taking short walks and trips during the day. He's come with me to various pet stores and the park. He also comes with me to the laundry room in the apartment building. I think that short trips are important to do first that way you can both get used to whatever mode of travel you are using (I just carry Quigley every where but you might be driving or carrying your hog in a pet carrier).

I'm lucky because the steady motion of walking or driving seems to calm Quigley and he's very curious about meeting new people. He'll poke his little head out to sniff them and visit. He's also indifferent to other animals so I don't have to worry about dogs or cats at the vet scaring him.

I'm sorry this was so long but there is a lot to consider about how your hogs will react to being on an outing and specifically being at the vet. For me it was worth it because we got to meet the vet before an emergency.
 
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