3 y/o f- poss mammary tumor in pelvic region


Chin Lover
Feb 26, 2011
Hello, please read all the way through before commenting. Thank you in advance!

My 3 year old female hedgie (Penelope) has a tumor (1 inch in diameter) in the pelvic region, close to her vagina and anus. I took her into the vet yesterday; she was a "model hedgehog" for her examination, the vet was able to palpate her thoroughly, and suggested we do radiographs to try to determine where the tumor was originating from. It appears to be from the connective tissue, possibly a mammary tumor, and it doesn't appear to be involving any of the organs. Right now it is not causing her any pain, however, I've noticed decreased activity in her wheel, which she loves running in. The vet suggested I remove the wheel as it will cause increased discomfort and irritation. I know it bothers her when she walks.

Here's my dilemma- The vet gave me the option for surgery; risks include: death (obviously), not being able to remove all of the tumor, high risk of another tumor forming, and it's pretty expensive. It sounds like it's very risky with these little guys/gals and they're better off in some cases not to have to undergo surgery. I want her to continue to live a good quality of life. I'm still unsure of whether to do the surgery or not. If I choose not to do the surgery, I can do the wait and see approach. If I do not do the surgery, it will only get bigger, which may impede her movement even further, may obstruct her ability to urinate/defecate, and may get so big that I no longer have the option to remove the tumor.

My vet is being very supportive in whatever decision I make, and will continue to be helpful if I have any further questions, which I know I already have. I want to get an idea of success rates. I'm posting this here, and also with Facebook (I went to vet school, and have many veterinarian friends) I'm looking to see if any of you have faced this specific situation for your female hedgie in the past, if you had your female undergo the surgery (or not, and why), and if the surgery was successful. I'm not looking for your opinion on if you think I should or shouldn't have the surgery performed if you haven't been in this situation. Sorry to be blunt, but I think it's my own decision to make on what I believe is best for my Penelope, and if you haven't been in this situation, it's easy to say what you think you would do, but when the time actually comes, that's what really counts to me.

Thanks for taking the time to read this! :)