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Old 03-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Urgent Newbie Question

We are babysitting a 6 week old hedge hog boy. He has a good cage, wheel, water bottle, food dish, and igloo. WE got him cat food with no corn in it--or very little (Purina One Beyond cat food). The owner had a hedge hog for several years and then it passed away just before xmas. She gave us a new bag of Clean N Comfy litter but I read on here that the small pellets could stuck in baby boy's sheath--which made me nervous. So I just bought Care Fresh natural bedding--made of cellulose fiber. I don't care about the odor control right now--I just want to make sure he is healthy. Will he be ok with this bedding?

I had read on this site that hedgehogs need a temp range of high 60-low 70s so I figured leaving our house at 70 degrees was fine. Then I read the post here about heating for your hedgehog and that it should be 73-75. ACK. He has been at our house for a little over 48 hours now at the 70 degrees temp. He is eating, pooping, and coming out at night. He sleeps all day--but isn't that what a newborn baby hedge hog does? I now have the whole house heated to 75 degrees because I don't want anything bad to happen to him. I tried to find a ceramic bulb at Petco but they were out. He is in a small cage so he wouldn't need something too high powered. We have a large space heater but that would bake him!!!! Can I turn the heat down to 73? We are sweating in here I saw the recommendations for a small space heater but I have a feeling I would have to order one via mail since it is spring and space heaters aren't filing up the stores here. What do you recommend I do? WE have him for 48 more hours--we will sweat it out if we have too. (This is almost as bad as having a newborn baby--I am very anxious!!!!)

Thanks for your help!
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Old 03-24-2012, 04:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urgent Newbie Question

I'm sure he will be fine as long as its above 70. I keep mine around 73. Just keep an eye on him. Good call on getting rid of the litter.

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Old 03-24-2012, 04:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urgent Newbie Question

He did have the other litter for 48 hours. I have no idea how to check his sheath and he is so scared and in a tight ball that I doubt I could even get a look at it. I am hoping it will be ok to return him on Monday and let the owner know to try checking the sheath and/or run baby to the vet to have it checked??
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Urgent Newbie Question

Do you have him in a room where you could run the space heater? And does the space heater have a thermostat? Even if it's a large one, if it has a thermostat, you could use it just fine. You should be okay if you want to turn the heat down to 73, I would just keep an eye on him. It depends on the hedgehog for how sensitive they are to heat. If you notice he becomes less active, or if he gets a cool tummy and/or starts getting wobbly when he walks, you'll want to warm him up and then turn the temp back up.

Carefresh is definitely better than the other litter, but I could still see pieces sticking to him. It's also pretty drying on this skin, and sometimes hedgies will try to eat it. If you can, try suggesting to the owner that she switch to using fleece/fabric liners. They can be as easy as getting a fleece blanket and cutting it to fit the cage, or you can sew your own, or buy them online. We have several members here that make liners to sell. They're just overall much safer and cleaner, and they're also less expensive since you can wash and reuse, rather than continuing to buy bags of bedding.

I would guess that since he wasn't on the other bedding long, he should be fine, but I understand why you want to check. Try putting him in a glass or clear plastic container and see if he'll open up and walk around. Then you can look through the bottom and see if you can get a look at his penis and sheath and make sure there's nothing stuck.

Also, I would suggest to the owner to come take a look around here! The forums are great with LOTS of hedgie info, and we love to get new people on here. You seem to be a great babysitter for this little guy, he's very lucky (and so is his owner)!
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
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