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We have an extremely old hedgehog that we believe is dying.

Customer Question
We have an extremely...

We have an extremely old hedgehog that we believe is dying. She eats and drinks very little, her abdomen is swollen and distended, and I think she may have had a stroke (she has begun to hold her head sideways and has trouble walking. Our main question is: How can we tell if she is suffering? Should we let nature take its course, or should we have her euthanized?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'm sorry to hear that. Have you looked to see if there is a wound on their foot?

There are no visible wounds.

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about the hedgehog?

She is extremely old, we believe she may be over 10 years old (not sure). We are wondering if there is a special diet that might entice her to eat.

Submitted: 11 months ago.Category: Pet
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Answered in 6 minutes by:
9/16/2017
Pet Specialist: Dr. B., Veterinarian replied 11 months ago
Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 23,477
Experience: I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

I am very sorry to hear that she is showing these signs; especially as that distension raise worries of a possible tumor, enlarged organ (ie liver), or possibly fluid accumulation (from liver issues, low blood proteins, infection or a bleed). Now in regards ***** ***** question, most of the above I noted are terminal conditions or ones that can only possibly be managed and not cured at her age. So, while you can offer or syringe feed watered down canned food, Hill's A/D, Royal Canin Recovery, meat baby food (as long as its garlic/onion free), or Clinicare Canine/Feline Liquid Diet to entice her and keep her going; I am concerned that it may be time to let her go. If she cannot do the things that have been important to her in life and is showing you she feels unwell (something prey species don't do unless they are too sick to hide their illness); then we would be best to put her to sleep. It would be much more humane for her, since leaving her to nature could mean days to weeks of her dehydrating, starving herself, and wasting away (none of these being nice for her). So, do try these diet options but if she doesn't perk up, then we do need to let her go by putting her to sleep since she is suffering as she is.

Kind regards,

Dr. B.

******************************************************************************

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