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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 3 1/2 month old female hedgie, and have become very concerned over what I've been finding in her litter box. Louise is my first hedgie, and ever since I purchased her (the week before Christmas) I took no notice of the green colored mucus that I often found alongside her very normal-looking poops. I figured it was just the way hedgie poop looks. Then, the week before last, my husband found a considerable amount of completely clear mucus in her litter box (perhaps 2 or 3 times the size of a regular poop). He also found vomit on her blanket. I didn't know what to make of it when he told me, and figured I'd just keep and eye on her. Then, last week I found another clump of the clear mucus, a bit smaller this time. Obviously is isn't coming from her mouth or nose since it is in her litter box, and I'd imagine it must be coming from her rectum (rather than out with her pee) simply because of the size/amount of it. I then began to wonder if the green mucus I'd been seeing earlier with her poop wasn't normal at all.

Louise has been eating different dry food than what her breeder had been giving her, but it has been a month and a half now for her system to get used to it. She is eating lots of healthy food, having lots (and LOTS!) of perfectly normal poops every day, running on her wheel whenever she can, living in a quiet, stress free and very warm room, not losing any weight, etc... Could the clear mucus be part of a female cycle, the occasional green mucus nothing to worry about, and the vomit just a fluke? Or, does this sound more serious, perhaps an infection, lung worms... that sort of thing. I'd rather not bring her to the vet simply because we really don't have the money. What do you think, and what would you do?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Stephanie76 said:
I'd rather not bring her to the vet simply because we really don't have the money.
This really bothers me. You need to take your hedgehog to the vet.
Money is tight for us right now; I didn't say that I wouldn't take the hedgehog to the vet. I just said that I'd rather not if I don't have to. Hence my request for advice. If I didn't care about the animal's welfare, I wouldn't have bothered posting on this board.
 

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Hedgie123 said:
Stephanie76 said:
I'd rather not bring her to the vet simply because we really don't have the money.
This really bothers me. You need to take your hedgehog to the vet.
Money is tight for us right now; I didn't say that I wouldn't take the hedgehog to the vet. I just said that I'd rather not if I don't have to. Hence my request for advice. If I didn't care about the animal's welfare, I wouldn't have bothered posting on this board.
I'd recommend the vet too. Normal hedgie poos should be long, solid & a dark brown colour. Toothpaste consistency when fresh & cement like when dry.

As for the money comment, please don't take offense to someone raising concern over a posting about money concerns and going to the vet. There have unfortunately been too many owners in the past on this forum (and pet owners in general) who don't have the 'emergency' funds set aside for medical care. This isn't to say whether you do or not (or whether you were ready to go to the vet or not) but many people are naturally on edge when hearing that money concerns are a reason that a pet may not get the medical attention they need. As for you, it is clear that you are concerned about your hedgie and looking for good advice to help them get better. I agree that the best advice right now would be a visit to the vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you everyone for the advice. All of you seem to think it is serious enough for the vet, so I guess that's where we're headed.

I just wanted to mention one last thing, in case it didn't come across clearly in my original post. Louise's poops are all perfectly normal in size, consistency and color. It's just that these very healthy poops are sometimes accompanied by tiny, green mucus/jelly-like clumps. Do you think it's possible that it could just be a manifestation of her getting used to a new home (don't forget that we only got her a little over a month ago). I think our home environment is different than that of the breeder's house - we have little kids, a noisy bird, etc... It's not a stressful house (I hope) for her, but perhaps all the new noises, smells, voices, and routine could be affecting things. Also, the breeders we bought her from said that they fed her things like ice cream and potato chips (she was a bit overweight), whereas I don't feed her any junk food. Her diet in our house consists of dry kibbles, super-worms, and fresh fruit and veggies. So there's been a change in diet, as well. Finally, I've been wondering if the clear mucus could have something to do with her female cycle.

She really seems so happy and healthy in every way that it's hard for me to believe that she is sick! She runs all over our house when we let her out, chomps down everything we feed her with great vigor... all the things I mentioned before. If she needs to go to the vet then of course that's where we will go, but I'm just wondering if these things sound like they could simply be normal responses to a relatively new environment/diet, perhaps coupled with the onset of a female cycle. I'd just like to get a feeling if this could possibly be normal hedgie stuff v.s. we should be rushing off to the vet tonight!
 

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Hedgie123 said:
Her diet in our house consists of dry kibbles, super-worms, and fresh fruit and veggies.
I'd switch to plain meal-worms, super-worms are stronger, more aggressive and have been known to bite the insides of hedgies mouths and even insides of the stomach if they happen to not get chewed thoroughly. ;)
 

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Hedgie123 said:
Finally, I've been wondering if the clear mucus could have something to do with her female cycle.
To my knowledge hedgies don't have a 'female cycle.' I've had my female for a year & 1/2 and never had any mucous-y stuff in her litter box. Ovalation for hedgehogs is induced (I think) when near a male, which is the reason for keeping males & females housed separately unless intending to breed.
 

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silvercat said:
Hedgie123 said:
Finally, I've been wondering if the clear mucus could have something to do with her female cycle.
To my knowledge hedgies don't have a 'female cycle.' I've had my female for a year & 1/2 and never had any mucous-y stuff in her litter box. Ovalation for hedgehogs is induced (I think) when near a male, which is the reason for keeping males & females housed separately unless intending to breed.
That is what I have read on this site as well.

To Hedgie123: Sometimes green stool accompanied with normal stool is just adjustment but mucus isn't normal in any amount. If you had a male I would say it's probably seaman but for a female there shouldn't be any bodily fluids that look like mucus. I know that if you are stressing over finances the last thing you need is a vet visit (I was in the same situation when my hedgehog got sick last month) all I can say is good luck and hopefully it is cleared up after one visit without too many extra expenses for tests and meds etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks again everyone, all of this is very helpful! We'll get her to the vet right away before things get worse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok, so I brought Louise into the vet, and he was almost positive she was suffering from parasites/worms. He gave her two types of medications and we left a stool sample behind for testing. She has completed her first medication, the fecal test came out negative and yet she is still having mucous in her stool and last night I found more blood than I have found yet along with some diarrhea. Louise is also not eating a whole lot. She has only taken one dose of the second medication and still has two more (they are only to be taken once every 10 days). Do you think that second medication might do the trick? The vet said that if the fecal test comes out negative it doesn't necessarily mean that she doesn't have the parasites, but in that case wouldn't the medication have worked? What do you think about all of this?

Another question, on a slightly different note - when we brought Louise into the vet he voiced a concern that I had been worrying about myself. We purchased her the week before this last Christmas when she should have been only 8 weeks old. She seemed to have been full sized at that point ( a little overweight, but also just full grown). She has not grown at all since then, and never really went through the regular quilling that they do when they're young. Do hedgehogs ever reach their full size by 8 weeks? Do you think the breeders may have lied to us about her age, and sold us an older hedgie? I'm also wondering if this could at all factor into her symptoms, since if she is an older hedgie she would be a great candidate for cancers, etc... The vet didn't know of any way to discover her age, do you know of any? We've tried to get in contact with the breeders, but they won't return any of our calls which seems even more suspicious...
480 gr. is full sized for a hedgie, isn't it?
 

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Some 8 week olds can be almost full size. It depends on how fast they grow. Some babies grow really quickly. At 8 weeks, she still would go through a quilling. Depending on what type of bedding you use and how fast she quilled, you might not see much evidence of it. If you happen to use shavings or Carefresh, quills aren't noticed as easily and if she didn't drop many at a time, you might not have noticed too much. Except for quilling and growth, there really is no other way to tell their age. There is no size for full grown as they can range from low 200g to over 1000g.

What food is she eating. My Yuri gets an upset stomach with blood, mucous and yucky looking poos if we give him certain foods. It took a while to figure out. He was on meds and cleared up but then my daughter accidentally gave him the suspect food and back it came. He has a sensitive tummy.

You should probably start syringe feeding her to make sure she is getting enough food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you for the advice, I'll go out right away and get new food! I've been using the Purina Kitten Chow, what do you use? About the size/age, what you said here was also very helpful. Her breeders seemed to indicate that she was a huge eater, so maybe she did just reached her full size on the earlier side! I did notice a few quills falling off here and there when I held her for the first several weeks, and yes she does use the shavings in her cage which might have hidden the others.

BTW, I've heard that some beddings are toxic to hedgies. I'm currently using the Aspen shavings which do have a lot of dust and a strong smell - is this safe for her? I know the paper shavings are better, but wow are they pricey! Do you have any other suggestions here if the Aspen is no good? I actually made her some cloth pads for the cage, but haven't used them since I've been worried that they would just soil way too fast to keep up with (She always goes off the side of her litter box). Are the paper shavings a must have?

Back to the food though - The symptoms you mentioned are exactly what she has, and, like I said in my earlier post, she seems happy and healthy in every other way. In fact come to think of it, she has often been skipping the dry kibbles and eating just the fresh veggies and worms... hmmm! You have given me new hope, thank you!
 

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I switched totally to liners for my guys. Much cheaper and easier to clean the cages that way. Ender either poops/pees in the wheel or the plastic behind it (my liners don't cover the whole floor of the cage for this reason).

When I got Calvin I'd already given up on the litter. I put an extra layer of fleece on top of the liner until I figured out his pee spot (in front of the wheel). I put a couple layers of folded paper towel there and he'll pee on that. I have to change his liners a little more often, but its not that bad. No litter all over the house which is great. He's also a sneezy guy (no URIs, just sneezy) I can't imagine him with litter.

Parasites don't even always show up in people. I've been through that myself. Just make sure she takes all her meds, which could be upsetting her tummy too. It can take a bit to clear up, with humans at least.
 

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I was told purina is not good for the hedgies. I switched over from meow mix which is generally the same cost, to royal canine for the indoor lazy cat. EGON LOVES IT! I have been mixing meow mix with the royal canine for a week just so he can adapt to it. He usually picks around the cheap brand and eats the expensive stuff.

I would recommend doing the same thing. Mix some of the old food with some of the higher end stuff. I did try this previously with wellness but he got really sick from wellness. The royal canine is 20 bucks for a small bag but well worth it. I also give him large mealworms 2 or 3 times a week...depending on how many trips to the basement I take with egon with me. He knows when we are by the fridge ... its hilarious.

Try using more expensive food and mix it with the cheaper stuff. I got the lazy cat royal canine bc he sleeps most of the day and it seems to be working great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
So I went to the store and got a much better, more expensive cat food, as suggested. When I arrived home I found poor Louise and her cage were literally covered with vomit and diarrhea, even the inside of her hut :( ! The poor thing was so terribly sick and unhappy! She was due for that second dose of medication, which I gave her and moments later she vomited up again. Oh, I felt so bad for her! I cleaned out her whole cage, and gave her a much needed bath. I put a mixture of the new food in with the old, and waited to see what would happen. I noticed that right away she began to eat the new stuff, and completely ignore the old. I found her eating the new food four times (don't forget that she hadn't been eating well at all recently), so I just ditched the old kibbles entirely.

The next morning she had finished off the contents of the bowl, had obviously been playing and active all night, plus there were lots of perfectly normal poops without the hint of mucous, blood or diarrhea, and all of which were in her litter box!! I'm going to continue to give her the last bit of medication she has left just to be sure, but I have to say I really believe this new food is going to be the answer! Wow, it just goes to show how important it is to eat the right foods! Thanks to everyone for helping me work through this!

As a side note, I took the advice to use the liners in her cage, and have completely converted to them now! I just lay a piece of newspaper and paper towel under her litter box to catch what goes off the sides, which can so easily be tossed and replaced without having to refresh everything! Louise really prefers it as well! So thanks for that good tip!
 

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How wonderful! So glad Louise is doing better! I'm glad you all are liking the fleece liners at your house, too.
 
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