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Old 11-15-2012, 05:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog Problem? Drinking?

Ok guys so i got my hedgehog yesterday. Since then He has eaten his food and has generally been a very outgoing hedgie with a good temperament. There is one thing though that worries me greatly. Since I have gotten him I have not seen him drink any water. He has a water bottle yet the water level has stayed the same since I filled it so I know he isn't drinking when I am not around. I thought that maybe he just didn't understand the bottle so I also filled a bowl of water and placed it near him but all he did was walk away from it. He is eating regularly his food so I am unsure of what could be the problem? Should I be worried? Please help
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:42 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Problem? Drinking?

Im not an expert but i have read and heard that a lot of hedgies prefer a water dish, try taking the bottle out and just putting a small dish of water in th ecage to see if your hedgie likes it more
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:51 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Problem? Drinking?

If he didn't come from somewhere that had him using a bottle, then he doesn't know how to use it. If he was using a bottle previously, it may be related to the transition, but also check to make sure the bottle is working properly and that water comes out when you tap the nozzle. If a bottle is what he's used to, I wouldn't take that out, because when a bottle is what they know they can be puzzled by a bowl. Keep both in there until you know he's drinking from one or the other. You can test for dehydration by lightly pinching the skin and tugging it away from the body (such as on the stomach or side). If it returns quickly to its normal state he's not dehydrated; if the skin takes its time going back and isn't showing elasticity, that's a sign of dehydration. Also look for signs of urine on the wheel or litter tray - using paper towels in the litter tray is best for this. If he's urinating regularly, it means he's drinking. It should be pale yellow, yellow tinged, or fairly clear (in a very well hydrated animal). If it's really bright/dark yellow that points to dehydration as well (basically the same as in humans). If you don't have any visual confirmation of him drinking in the next day or two (from seeing normal urine, the bottle's level goes down, or you see him drinking) you should syringe water to make sure he's getting some. Watery fruits and vegetables, if he'll eat them, are a good option too - watermelon and cucumber (without the peel) are at the top of that list.
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Old 11-15-2012, 08:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Problem? Drinking?

Thank you very much for the feedback. He seems to be sleeping right now in his igloo so I will check about the skin test when he is awake and I am playing with him. As far as water levels and such, I have both the bottle and a small bowl in there for water. I know he can reach both because I saw him once attempt to put his mouth on the bottle but not drink anything and when I put him towards the bowl he sniffed it once then left. I looked all around his cage but was unable to find any traces of it in his dry area, exercise wheel, or blanket. His bedding seems dry and no visible signs of urine the only place I couldn't check was under his igloo right now since he is sleeping in there. If all else fails I will attempt to feed him the high water fruit. I tried using the water bottle in hand to show him but he isn't the most accepting of rolling onto his back or being held like that just yet. I will attempt the syringe if I don't have any signs of drinking soon. Could cold weather have anything to do with it? I never realized how cold it got overnight until I woke up this morning so he spent the night in about 65 degree weather but i brought in a space heater for his area so its around 72-73 right now. Also he is seeing the vet on Saturday for a general check-up so hopefully everything works out. if theirs anything else to add please let me know and I greatly appreciate everyone's help.

P.S. I also know that he was being hydrated through a water bottle from the place I got him from
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:48 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Problem? Drinking?

If he was using a bottle before, he might just be a little "off" from the transition. The temperature could have something to do with it as well. 72-73 should be fine, though the ideal temperature is higher (more like 75) for some hedgehogs. Definitely don't let it get below 72. Do you have a thermometer in the cage with him or are you just going by the temperature reading of a wall thermostat? Definitely get one for the cage if you don't have one already.

My method of introducing a hedgehog to a bottle is to nudge them so they're near to it wherever it's positioned in the cage, and tap the end to get water to dribble out. You can also put the bowl underneath the water bottle, rather than in a different location. It seems like he knows the bottle but isn't drinking for some reason, so if the water bowl is right there, he may "discover" the bowl more quickly as another source of water.
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