When Geraldine was brought indoors nearly three weeks ago we didn't think she was going to live through the night. Her right eye was so clogged up with mucous that we couldn't tell if she still had an eye, a marble-sized swelling had distorted the right side of her face (quite possibly causing the pus-like discharge), one of her hind legs had ballooned up severely and couldn't be tucked under her body, and she was bleeding from an unknown source (which, turned out to be a hole in her swollen leg).
Despite her fatal seeming condition we immediately started her on a course of antibiotics and pain medication (we have above average experience dealing with sickly mammals), and with constant care, a sterile "hospital bed" and around-the-effin'-clock medicine she not only lasted the night, Geraldine's still alive nearly three weeks later and has begun the long process of recovery (although she isn't exactly out of danger yet).
The two images above depict Snufflesaurus's leg wound when it was at its absolute worst. The limb was tremendously swollen, and to cope with being stretched the skin allowed itself to split - much like what happened last year when I contracted a very serious infection in the deep tissue of my fingers - which allowed the leg to finally deflate and begin healing. I'm relieved to say that the open wound hasn't gotten infected, it doesn't seem necrotic, scabs are finally starting to form and Geraldine's begun growing soft tissue back.
The most astounding thing is how quickly her eye healed; within 48 hours the hedgehog's duct was absolutely clear from discharge, and revealed a still healthy'n'working eye. The bump on her face, though, did continue swelling until recently, but with constant application of topical medication we've now got that under control, too. Geraldine's now hissing, snapping and making a break for it whenever she gets a chance - i.e., when I'm disinfecting her bathtub home - which are all very good signs.
In this area rescue centers and veterinary practices are inundated with wounded or sick wildlife, and it's common practice to put an animal down if its aftercare requires more resources than the establishment can afford. I understand the necessity, and I understand that in many cases it's more humane to euthanized a severely wounded animal than perform surgery and provide room, medication and attention (for free) until it's healthy enough to release. However, due to multiple personal experiences, I feel that our local centers and practices swing more towards "euthanasia" than "rehabilitation" when indigenous wildlife's concerned.
Geraldine's responded so effin' well to medication that we strongly feel she deserves a fighting chance, and we feel obligated to provide that chance to her. In the past week it's become increasingly clear that she's begun mending, but she's still at a point where a local professional would prefer to put her down. We fully intend to pass on the responsibility of care - and are willing to pay for surgery and/or aftercare - but Geraldine's health needs to be brought up a few notches so she doesn't fall victim to the euthanasia bias we've encountered.
People have been very generous with their energy and words, and we really, really appreciate it. Geraldine's care is taking up most of my time, so I haven't been able to thank folk for keeping her in their prayers, thinking good thoughts and lighting candles for her. While I love Snufflesaurus dearly, her prickly posterior's ruined almost every towel we own, so even if she doesn't require surgery I'll still need to run a Secondhand Sundays sale to replace the damaged towels.
In the meantime, though, good thoughts are still very much welcomed, and any advice or suggestions on care from professionals who aren't euthanasia-biased are still appreciated.
DISCLAIMER: Please don’t strip the content from this entry and reblog the photos without the correlating information. Geraldine and her wounds aren’t artistic gore, they’re her painful reality we’re trying to fix.