Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Razzle's Ultrasound

Right now, Razzle is at the vet hospital. I'm sure he's scared...well actually probably more annoyed that his regular sleep routine is being disturbed. I'm sure he's giving the doctors a run for their money with his fierce quill-attacks and hissing. Today is the day he has his ultrasound to find out what is causing his enlarged heart. I am here at work nervously awaiting the results. We are hoping the news is, "We can treat this without any problems!" and send us home with some medicine that will completely cure Razzle and all will be well again.

Waiting is the worst....

I'll post with updates as soon as I hear.


I have literally been on edge the entire day waiting for "the verdict...". And here is it:

Razzle has hypertrophic cardiomyopahty - basically heart disease. Typically this is a genetic condition. It's not curable, but it is manageable w/meds. He will be on meds for the rest of his life (Enacard and Lasix). He can still live a normal, happy life...hopefully for a long time. He might get tired easier (I've already noticed this). Good news is, he's not in advanced stages at this time. It's still a pretty serious condition....but....it's not the worst that it could have been so I am grateful. Razzle will be 3 years old in May.

One hurdle down....now for the next - the lump they found on his belly. We can't deal with that until after his heart condition is stabilized. Steve is going now to pick up "our son" and take him home. I wish I could leave work right now! Poor Razzle had a very long day and I'll probably just let him rest tonight....after a couple snuggles. Ok...after a LOT of snuggles...

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Thinking inside the Box

Although Razzle doesn't consider himself to be very fragile, he was recently caught frolicking in the below-pictured box:

Hiding in the corner:

Peeking out.....

Oh! A mealworm! Don't mind if I do....

The Coy Look...

That's it folks! Hedgehog in a box. Now you've seen it all.

A tough day....

A few days ago, I noticed that Razzle's nose seemed a bit runny, so I made him a vet appt for this morning. His nose actually appeared to clear up as of last night, but I still wanted him to go to the vet because I just thought "something looked wrong". Turns out, there was a bit of fluid in his lungs so they took X-rays. According to the X-rays, Razzle has an enlarged heart. There was also a suspicious lump on his underbelly.

Razzle has to have an ultrasound next Tuesday so we can figure out what is causing the enlarged heart and what our next steps will be. He might have to be on heart meds for the rest of his life. I hope it is as simple as that and not something more serious.

It isn't until we get his heart issue under control that we can deal with the lump to determine if surgery is the next step. In the meantime, the vet gave me some meds for Razzle to help with the congestion in his heart/lungs.

Poor little baby....he's been such a trooper. But this heart condition may have been a long-standing condition. In fact, he might have been born with it - there is really no way to tell. His hospital stay back in November due to a respiratory infection might even have been caused by this underlying heart issue.

But a weakened heart does not stop Razzle the Rowdy. He was a fiesty one this morning! He does not enjoy going to the vet, and apparently he associates his travel case with the vet. I arranged his blankies in his travel case and put Razzle inside. He wanted no part of it. He kept coming out. I hated to zipper up the door and make him feel trapped, so since we had a few minutes before we left, I put his travel case in his cage with the door unzipped so he could feel free to walk around if he wanted.

Sure enough, Razzle bolted out of his travel case. He walked around his cage, even took a minute to run a few laps on his wheel as if to say, "See? Look at me! I'm not sick! Why do I have to go to the doctor's?"

Then he went back into his travel case, only to emerge with his blankie by his teeth!!! Using all his might, he yanked the blankie out of the travel case by his teeth and proceeded to wrap himself up in the blankie making his point very clear: My blankie and I are going nowhere! Unfortunately, I had to put him and his blankie back into the travel case - but Razzle would not let go of his blankie! He had it clenched in his strong little jaws and would not let go, even when I tried to take it from him. He kept on it like a dog playing tug-o-war!!

He's home now...resting in his igloo....and I am so worried for him. He'll start his round of meds tonight and hopefully by next Tuesday, the fluid in his system will have diminished.


Hedgies in the News

Tue Feb 20, 4:16 PM ET
An albino hedgehog in captivity. A death sentence hanging over hedgehogs on a remote Scottish island was lifted, after conservationists agreed to end an annual cull that has become a prickly issue among animal welfare groups.(AFP/DPA/File)

LONDON (AFP) - A death sentence hanging over hedgehogs on a remote Scottish island was lifted, after conservationists agreed to end an annual cull that has become a prickly issue among animal welfare groups.

Hundreds of the creatures on Uist, in the north-west Outer Hebrides island chain, have been given lethal injections since 2003 because of the threat they pose to rare wading birds and their eggs.

But Scottish National Heritage (SNH), which has carried out the cull, unanimously agreed at a meeting Tuesday to end the practice and instead relocate the mammals to the Scottish mainland to be monitored.

"An agreement to go ahead with a trial translocation was reached," an SNH spokesman said.

The SNH had previously maintained that removing the hedgehogs to the mainland would lead to many of them dying, or suffering en route.

But the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and the Scottish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals said it was possible to transfer them -- but only in the right way.

Among the celebrities backing the animal charities were Queen guitarist Brian May and the actress Joanna Lumley.

Support also came from the St Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital, which is named after Mrs Tiggy-winkle, the maternal hedgehog character in author Beatrix Potter's children's books.

More than 600 hedgehogs have been culled and more than 750 saved since 2003, according to the Uist Hedgehog Rescue group -- a coalition of animal rights organisations on the island.

Spokesman Ross Minett welcomed the decision but said it was "disgraceful" it had taken so long.

"We sincerely hope that lessons will be learned from this experience and that conservation organisations will incorporate a respect for animals and their welfare into future policies," he added.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Happy HEDGEHOG Day!!!!!!!!!!

Razzle's cousins, the European hedgehog

Will Razzle see his shadow today? Stay tuned to find out!

Update: Razzle DID NOT see his shadow today which, according to folklore, predicts an early Spring! YAY! Of course, Razzle did not see his shadow because he is sleeping in his igloo. Does that count?

In the popular media are often found references to Hedgehog Day. It is said to be a precursor to Groundhog Day, a minor holiday in North America on the second of February. On that day, groundhogs are said to emerge from their burrows. It is claimed that, if they see their shadows, they return to their burrows and six more weeks of winter are to be expected. According to the history page of groundhog.org, the groundhog day tradition is a transformation of a European—presumably German—tradition, which relied not on groundhogs, but on hedgehogs. German immigrants to North America, finding no hedgehogs in their new land, substituted groundhogs. Tracing the tradition further into the European past, groundhog.org claims:

The Roman legions, during the conquest of the northern country, supposedly brought this tradition to the Teutons, or Germans, who picked it up and concluded that if the sun made an appearance on Candlemas Day, an animal, the hedgehog, would cast a shadow, thus predicting six more weeks of bad weather.