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Old 04-29-2012, 12:10 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

I just picked up my first hedgehog from a family who no longer had time for him. He is 7 months old and the most adorable thing i've ever seen. I have his cage in my room and he himself doesn't give off any odour and he's nice and clean but it is either his feces or his pee but there is a smell emanating from the cage. The smell is very sweet, almost sickly sweet like maple syrup. Is there anything to be worried about? I've never seen him drink but he's obviously alone sometimes and I feel that when he's most active (still scared of me) so I hope he is not dehydrated. Any advice would be appreciated, Thank you!
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

in humans thats a sign of diabetes. the sweet smell comes from the excess sugars being excreted. id keep an eye onit.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

I have no idea what it could be, though like Lilliana, diabetes was my first thought. I don't know whether that would be a sign of the same thing in a hedgehog, though, as I've never encountered it personally. I suggest calling your vet to get their opinion.

What kind of water source do you use (bowl or bottle)? What kind of food is he on, including treats? Does he seem to be a normal weight - can he curl up fully into a ball? Just some info that might help.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

I am googling diabetes in a hedgehog and the only symptom ever listed is excessive drinking so I will monitor his water intake. He drinks from a bowl so this could be challenging. I will also try to collect a urine sample and check for excess sugars with a test strip (I know it is random that I have some). He is definitely not under weight, and I wouldn't say he is obese. The previous owners didn't even have a wheel for him, so I bought one today (his first full day with me) and he's already loving it. I hope that it's not something equivalent to.. say, type 2 diabetes in humans!

He is also on some crappy hedgehog food (nutrient rich hedgehog diet) but I bought Innova low fat adult cat food today and mixed a little with his old food. Surprisingly he only ate the new food! He also has some ultra bites treats that the family gave to me. I bought him mealworms today so i'll be starting those soon as well.
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Old 04-29-2012, 12:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

ive also heard that diabetes can cause this but ive never heard of a hedgie with diabetes? either way id go to a vet because could also be an infection or something metabolic
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

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Originally Posted by vogue
Surprisingly he only ate the new food!
Not surprising at all. Commercial hedgehog foods are full of fillers, and don't have much nutritional content, so hedgehogs will often go right for something new and better when they have the chance.

I would still recommend contacting your vet for a professional opinion. Good luck with your new boy!
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:51 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

I'd also recommend taking him in to see a vet, just in case. Other than checking for diabetes, maybe check for some sort of infection or illness.

The main 2 signs in my girl was the sickly sweet smell, it was super strong! She also drank a ton, it was like she was constantly thirsty.

If it is diabetes, you'll need a special diet and will need to keep a close eye on his weight. I have a list of foods on my other computer, if you need them let me know!

Good luck!
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Old 04-29-2012, 01:24 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

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Originally Posted by greenbeansrabbitry
If it is diabetes, you'll need a special diet and will need to keep a close eye on his weight. I have a list of foods on my other computer, if you need them let me know!
Is she on any special medication and did she gain or lose weight because he's not underweight at all, or even too pudgy. i'm going to start weighing him daily, i just need to know what i'm looking for
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Old 04-29-2012, 02:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

No medication, just a very strict diet. She did have a problem gaining weight very easily. If he's at a normal weight, I wonder if he has an infection like a UTI, not sure if it would smell like that though.
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Old 04-29-2012, 10:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog pee- sweet smell?

even if your tracking his wait i would take him to a vet ASAP if hes got diabetes you need to treat it before it becomes a problem and he starts losing wieght
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