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Old 11-06-2018, 05:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2018
Posts: 45
Default Am I missing something or worrying over nothhing?


I am new to the forum so apologise if I am posting in the wrong section.

We have had our hedgie, Holly, for two weeks and I am a little worried. She is 4 months old.

We have her in a cage with a heat lamp, wheel, litter box and various hiding places/beds with a few toys. We have a camera on her so we can see what she’s been up to when we aren’t there.

For the post part she is very friendly, but has days here and there when she is grumpy. She seems to like snuggling when out of the cage.

My concern is she doesn’t seem very active, or to be eating a lot. Last night we weighted her and she has lost nearly 49g in two weeks! She eats about 1 teaspoon of dried cat food a night and we leave a couple of meal worms or other treats in their cage (only 2-3 treats). When she wakes she eats, drinks, uses wheel and goes toilet. We then have up to an hour snuggle time. When she goes back in to the cage she hides and most nights stays there all night!

When she goes to the toilet all appears to be as it should. She scratches a little when she gets up but that’s it and we have found a few quills.

We are using the same brand of food as the breeder but think it might be a different flavour as the colour is slightly different.

Could she just dislike the food? Is she just lazy? Is she quilling Or could there be something else going on?

Thanks in advance
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Old 11-06-2018, 06:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
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Hi and welcome

Do you have her on a light schedule? As in providing artificial light during the day using a desk lamp or ceiling like for approx 12 hours, then is the room where her enclosure is completely dark during the night (approx 12 hours)? it is usual for them to eat less when first coming home but using a light schedule helps them know when to be awake and when to sleep. It helped increase my boys appetite once I started to do it.

What is the temperature inside her cage? Does your heat lamp emit light? If it does this most likely is disrupting her night time activity levels. Or if it is too cold this also makes them want to sleep more.

Quilling could also be a factor and if the food is not exactly the same this could be the main cause. If changing food it needs to be done very slowly otherwise they can food strike. If it's a different flavour that she is not used to, the sudden change could be causing her not to eat as much. I'd contact the breeder and ask exactly what food it is (the name of the range, eg chicken grain free, Turkey senior range etc, have em send a photo so you know exactly what to buy. If the food is a different colour and the breeder gave it to you, it could be a little stale, I'd buy a new bag.

Hope she settles soon and starts to maintain weight. If she refuses to eat or eats very minimally, you'll need to start syringe feeding her. They need to eat approx 20mls a day to stay healthy, otherwise they quickly deteriorate. They can get sick as quickly as 24hours with no food or very little food. There's a tutorial on here for syringe feeding If it does come to that, but hopefully not.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:30 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2018
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Thank you for the reply.

The food we have been giving was purchased from the breeder so although it is a different flavour to what we bought home it should be one she is used to. However I have bought the original flavour to give tonight. I have tried wet cat food but she didn’t touch it nor did she touch the apple. I have bought some live mealworms to tempt her with at playtime.

I have a lamp in her room on a timer so she gets 12 hours of light, the only light that may be disturbing her at night could be from outside (street lighting) so I’ll shut the blind tonight and see if that helps. She is very good at getting up at roughly the same time each night just not so good at staying up.

Room temperature is usually 22-24oc but can drop to 18 when heating goes off hence the lamp. The lamp is ceramic so I am assured it doesn’t give out light no have I noticed any light from it. I am working on getting a thermostat to help control the temperature so she doesn’t over heat.

I will defiantly keep an eye on her weight, I have booked her in the vets to be checked over at the end of the week just to be safe.

I’m hoping it’s just because she is settling in an will eat at little more in the next day or two.

Thank you again for your reply
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Apr 2017
Location: Tokyo, Japan
Posts: 814

That's good you already use a timer for a lighting schedule. If the street light is bright it could be effecting her still. See how she is tonight with the blind shut.

That's also great you already have a ceramic heat emitter. It really is a must to use it with a thermostat to avoid overheating and it not being a fire hazard. 22C is a little low, I personally don't allow the temp to drop below 23.5C. I would aim for 24-26C especially with a young hedgie, they tend to prefer it warmer than cooler. When you get your thermostat, you can set it to 25 or 26C so it will come on when the temp goes below this. It also turns it off when the required temp is reached. You can easily find a reptile one in Amazon. Just make sure it can be used with the maximum wattage of the CHE. I'd probably use your central heating all night or a space heater for her room until you have received the thermostat.

Also good you got the original flavour, hopefully she eats more of it. I'd count out the kibble pieces and recount the next morning so you know exactly how much she eats and If she is eating more. I wouldn't offer her anymore different foods this week. She probably won't eat anything new until she is more settled. Try the mealworms during bonding time though and see if she'll them at least.

That's a good idea to take her to the vet even just for a wellness check. If she loses anymore weight or refuses to eat you can get some hills ad food from them to help kick start her appetite again
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Old 11-07-2018, 02:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Nov 2018
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The street lighting may have been taking an effect as she was not active last night with the blind shut. I also noted there is a mirror on the wardrobe as we covered that in case that was reflecting light.

I put both food in the cage last night, the one we bought home and the one they gave me when I went back for more. She completely turned her nose up at the one we bought home and tucked in to the other. May have wasted my money yesterday changing the flavour but it was defiantly worth a try and I will keep them both in there for a few days in case she changes her mind.

She appears to have eaten at little more over night but will contunue to keep an eye and I’m going weight her again before we go to the vet to see what’s happening.

She loved the live mealworms which is good and she willingly took them from us.

We are keeping the heating on for the time being as I’m not brave enough to turn it off at night in case she tries to hibernate but we might have to eventually as it’s to hot for, but i’ll Get the thermostat first.

Thank you for your help.
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