Rescued Girl Has A Bunch of Issues ; Extremely Weak ; Please help me!


Teen 'Mum' of Four
Aug 5, 2016
Some background information:

I'm a student, but I do small animal rescues as a 'hobby' and out of my passion and love for animals. I usually take in guinea pigs and chinchillas, as there isn't a shelter here that does that.

In my country, hedgehogs are illegal and should not be owned as a pet. However, 2 weeks ago, I received a call from a fellow rescuer who passed two girls to me, surrendered by an owner who 'did not find it interesting anymore and they were too prickly'.

Luckily, the pet supply shop owner I'm familiar with was willing to deliver all the items I needed within the day - cat food, water dishes and bottles, Critical Care and Carnivore Care, etc.

When I got them, they were in a really bad state, poop stains everywhere and one of them was extremely weak. While one was extremely grumpy (kept huffing, curling into a ball etc.), she's now tamer and though she curls when I touch her forehead, she's willing to let me hold and cuddle her. She seems to be quilling too, as she lost 3 quills within a few minutes, and I can see half-emerged quills growing on her back. The other was extremely calm and weak. She walked and ran a little around my room, and fell asleep on my palm in less than an hour. She had no problem with me handling her and even till now, she sleeps in my palm always. I do think her 'relaxed' behaviour is also due to her weakness, such that she doesn't have the energy to curl into a tight ball, but is able to curl nonetheless.

They're currently supposedly 2 months old, although one of them weighs 60g and the other 220g according to the vet. I'm aware that one of them is severely underweight.

I never had any prior experience of taking care of hedgehogs, and neither of us knew who could help with them. Many of the vets here only tend to dogs and cats, a handful who are able to care for rabbits and guinea pigs, and far lesser who are exotic-savvy. (We have chinchillas here.) I felt like I turned into a hedgehog care 'expert' overnight due to me staying up all night reading forums and possibly every single reputable hedgehog care site.

I would really appreciate and need everyone's help in guiding me more on how to care for this two lovely girls. Correct me if I'm wrong and please do advise products which I can get for them.


Housing: I've made a 2x2 C&C cage with 10" walls to house them. I used piggy bedspreads (fleece) as bedding for them before I realised they had mites. Worried that the mites might infest on the fleece, I moved both hedgehogs into a glass fish tank with wood pellets as bedding, to house them till they're free of mites.

Food: I followed the list of recommended food as much as I could, but brands like Blue Buffalo, Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Natural Balance are all not sold here. I got Acana's Wild Prairie Cat, Solid Gold's Katz-N-Flocken, and Wellness' Trufood Indoor - Chicken, Chickpeas & Chicken Liver Recipe. The weaker one, Ponyo, is currently on Hill's Prescription Diet a/d™ Canine/Feline Critical Care. She is able to eat on her own and I feed her every 4 hours, through the night too. I let her eat till she shows disinterest, and depending on how much I've seen her eat, I'll syringe-feed another 1 or 2 mL. She refuses to eat anything else - dry cat food, Oxbow's Critical Care and Carnivore Care, even if it's mixed into the a/d canned food. She can't be on a/d forever due to the high protein and fats and I'm worried she won't eat anything! So far, despite the high protein and fats, she lost some weight. The other eats the dry cat food just fine and I think she's put on some weight since I got her...

Heating: I live in a tropical country and the temperature never drops below 26C/80F, and is usually 32C/90F. However, I do sleep with air-conditioner and it's usually adjusted to 25C/77F on high power. The past few weeks, I never dared to turn on the air-conditioner as I'm worried it might cause them to be unwell. I can't move them to another room either due to space restrictions. I've ordered a heatpad off Amazon (https://www.amazon.com/Snugglesafe-Microwave-Wireless-Heatpad-Fleece/dp/B0014LJKUA) in hopes that I don't have to suffer in the heat at night, while they won't have to suffer in the cold.


Now to the most important part, Ponyo's health issues! :(

When I got her, her skin seemed flaky and her right eye wouldn't open. She was sneezing and scratching, and it just rang so many alarm bells in my head.

The day after I got them, I was able to convince a vet to treat Ponyo. She said Ponyo had mites and possibly upper respiratory infection. Ponyo was given a dose of Revolution and the vet provided me a few cans of Hill's Prescription Diet a/d™ Canine/Feline Critical Care. I then made an appointment to review her in two weeks. (Check: The vet said a dose of Revolution (Puppy/Kitten) for Ponyo, who was 60g, was 0.006mL.)

In the next week, Ponyo a little more active and very much less scratching, but she is often asleep, even in the night. The other girl (which I haven't given a name to) was more active, ate really well, but was sleeping most of the time too. She would frequently knock down the water bottle holder, trying to escape the cage. I tried giving them a water dish but they would always end up stepping in it and playing with it instead of drinking any bit of water.

Their poop were always soft and gluey, sometimes even watery. While Girl (temporary name :p) always had a consistent brown poop, Ponyo's was of different shades of green. Although green seemed off, I've seen so many varieties of poop I don't know which one is normal! So... What consistency is hedgehog poop supposed to look like?

Anyway, a few days before her next appointment, Ponyo's condition went downhill and she could barely stand. Her genital area started swelling and the skin on her forearms started peeling off. (See images below.)

At the vet's, they didn't know what was wrong with Ponyo but gave her a single dose of a medicine, to deworm her. List of Ponyo's prescribed medications:
- Metrogyl, antibiotics (Diluted 3x) - 0.1mL twice a day.
- Bacidin, antiseptic - used to wash genitals and forearms before applying cream.
- BNP + Ketoconazole - applied on genitals and forearms.

So, here I am, extremely confused and worried about Ponyo... The following images are of Ponyo's condition now and mostly what I'm worried about.

(http://i.imgur.com/sUghLu8.jpg) Weak, weak Ponyo.

(http://i.imgur.com/jSFHs5L.jpg) Initial state of Ponyo's genitals.

(http://i.imgur.com/O5pJM27.jpg) After applying cream. You can see her wound on her forearm here too. The q-tips are there to prevent her from curling up and getting the cream all over her, as well as to prevent her from licking the cream.

(http://i.imgur.com/BBqM1MZ.jpg) Eyes - they seem sunken and unclear. Is this a cause for worry?

(http://i.imgur.com/BBqM1MZ.jpg) Teeth - do they seem normal? Could this be a reason why she's refusing dry food?

(http://i.imgur.com/codG7XH.jpg) Poop - while I'm typing away, here's what she left in the 'observatory' I made. It's actually just a huge lunchbox with fleece bedding.

(http://i.imgur.com/CdhxH0x.jpg) Posture - she seems to crouch and always tuck her tail underneath her... It may be because of the inflammation of her genitals making her uncomfortable, but I'm unsure.

(http://i.imgur.com/SrY81Pc.jpg) Just curious... What colour is she? Some tell me pinto, some tell me salt and pepper?

Thanks so much in advance for all your help! I really really really appreciate every single response I can get.

Just for LOLs - Ponyo the altar sacrifice!