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Old 01-03-2012, 11:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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hi all, just joined and this is my first post and I am sure it has been answered a million times but I couldn't find the exact answer.

I have had my new hedgie for a week and a half. During this time she has been drinking plenty, going to the bathroom every/every other day, using her wheel and everything else I expected but she has only eaten 3 pieces of Ferret kibble!

She is kept at an appropriate temp and has been active and I have been using the same brand of kibble that they were using where i bought her. I have tried a couple of pieces of cooked chicken and some dried mealworms to try and tempt her to eat but nothing.

The guy where I bought her doesnt seem alarmed saying they have major fat reserves and as long as she is warm, drinking and defecating she should start eating but this doesnt feel right.

Any suggestions, feedback is greatly appreciated,
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner advice

Welcome to HHC! Ferret food is high in protien and not very good for hedgehogs. Most of us feed a blend of dry cat foods, here is a link to a list of OK foods viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15 , there's alot of other good foods that are not listed. Protein should be around 30% or so, fat from 8-20% or so depending on hogs size and activity level. I like to feed something with Meat as the #1 ing.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner advice

Well, ferret food isn't good for them. That's one of the possibilities why she isn't eating. I use Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul. Also, dried meal worms are a no-no. Their tummies can't digest the freeze-dried exoskeletons.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Christemo
Also, dried meal worms are a no-no. Their tummies can't digest the freeze-dried exoskeletons.
I think they are OK if you only give a few ever so often? too many can cause problems, I do prefer live mealies so easy to farm.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I really really like feeding live crickets and mealies. It gives you the chance to gut load the little bugs before feeding them to your hedgie, this way you can sneak in some nutrients from veggies and fruits. Marvin actually chirps in between bites when eating crickets. They're just so tasty after they've eaten a mix of carrots, sweet potato, lettuce, peas, orange etc for a few days before he eats them. If your hedgie isn't a hunter you can gut load crickets for three days then freeze them in the freezer overnight. Freezing them will kill them and allow you to hide them around the cage without any cricket escapes.

Do switch to a dry cat food from the cat food list. Your hedgie will most likely gobble it down and have a bit of an upset tummy for a few days but it will definitely be better for her (& make her poo less stinky)
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner advice

thanks everyone for the quick responses and just shows what misinformation I was getting from a so-called expert!!

so, should I just offer her a bowl of catfood as well to see if she goes for it?

how long should she not be eating for when going to a new environment
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Mine started eating the first night he was home. I would assume (but I'm not 100% sure) they should be eating by at least the second night they are home.

I would count the kibble before you put it in her dish so you can get an idea of how much she eats. Some of the cat foods on the list also offer wet cat food that is acceptable to feed hedgies. If she doesn't go for the kibble tonight you could offer her some wet cat food it is a little more stinky and therefore more attractive to hedgies

Along the lines of smell do you notice any nasal discharge, sneezing, excessive nose licking? Hedgies rely on their sense of smell to find food and if she can't smell she might not realize there is food in front of her. Upper Respiratory Infections (URI) are common with hedgehogs that haven't been housed properly in their former homes. No worries if she is, a visit to the vet and some antibiotics will clear this up.
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I wouldn't say that I see a nasal discharge but she does sneeze a lot when walking around (not when she is sleeping although she does snore) - again when I spoke to the pet store I bought her from apparently that degree of sneezing is normal?

should I take her to the vet?
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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one other thing, she is also on aspen chips as she was in the store
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Old 01-03-2012, 12:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner advice

-What bedding do you use?

- Sneezing all the time when awake or mostly when she first wakes up?

A wellness exam is always good to do. I waited a little longer so I knew Marvin a bit better and could answer questions the vet had. I would offer the food tonight and see what happens if she eats and continues to be active I wouldn't worry too much. If you do want to take her to a vet I would suggest referring to this list (I should've) viewforum.php?f=37. I took mine in the other day and had a bad experience because although it was an exotic vet they didn't have very much experience with hedgehogs and didn't clear treatments with me before doing them (Ivermectin injection -- search the forum for more info & know NEVER use Ivermectin on hedgehogs).
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