The title of this post just says it all....hedgies are not good patients. My little hedgehog Oy is recovering from a respiratory infection right now. A little over a week ago I took him out for some play time, and he started to sneeze like crazy. His nose was running, and his eyes looked a little gunky. He definitely wasn't himself, so I immediately called the exotic animal vet. We went that same day to see the doc, and she became the first human to discover that giving Oy meds is no fun at all!
He did great with the vet tech. He got on the scale and snorted around like a little piggy. He was his usual cutie pie self, that is until the doctor came into the room. He immediately balled up super tight, and refused to let her touch him. He actually tried to ram the doc with his head quills. It took all three of us to just get a minimal exam completed, and she prescribed a week of liquid antibiotics. The tech chimed in to tell me that the medicine is bubble gum flavored, so he should really like it. What makes them think that hedgehogs like bubble gum? His favorite treats are worms for goodness sake. When she handed me the meds she gave me a forlorn look and said, "do you think you will be able to get him to take this for the next week?" I blurt out "of course", take the meds, and head for home. I figure that once we get home he will cooperate with me. Um, yah I was a bit naive.
I had 14 doses of liquid, bubble gum flavored antibiotics to give a very angry and sick hedgehog. Very large doses too. So, for my first attempt I tricked him into biting the syringe and squirted the meds into his mouth. It somewhat worked, but I could tell that bubble gum was not a flavor he particularly liked. The second attempt went horribly wrong, and I ended up getting pink, sticky liquid all over him. The third, fourth and fifth attempts were also bad. I was trying to force him, trick him, what have you. I hid the medicine in treats, mixed it with food, tried a complicated bait and switch maneuver, but nothing was working. He was mad, and he was getting sicker. His breathing was labored, and I had started to read horror stories about hedgehogs not recovering from a respiratory infection. I was crying and feeling very frustrated.
So, I did some research and saw that some hedgie owners inject worms with the antibiotics, and then feed them to the sick hedgie. Well, I did not have the stomach for that procedure, but my husband stepped up to the plate. He started preparing medi-worms, and Oy gobbled them right up! I was so relieved, and now he is finally starting to get better. He has been eating medi-worms 2x per day for three days now, and I am seeing a lot of improvement. He is still very sleepy, but no sneezing at all today. Thank goodness!
Our little Oy turns 1 year old this month, and he has been a member of the family for 10 months now. We love him dearly, and I can't imagine being able to adore him more. He has such a neat personality, and his favorite activity is snuggle time. Here he is curled up in a t-shirt taking a nap in my arms.
He has completely mastered using a litter box, and he knows very well that he gets a treat when he is done. So, sometimes he tries to be slick and jump in the potty and right back out just to get a treat. He is a smart little bugger. Here he is in his litter box playing around.
I am so glad that Oy came into our lives. He is so funny and so loving. He is even starting to warm up to my husband, who up until the last week was his nemesis. I have to say, hedgies make great pets.
Happy Birthday Mr. Oy!