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Old 12-21-2018, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Obese Hedgehog many questions little answers

Hello

We have an 8 month old female hedgehog. We found her to be a bit on the heavy side after comparing with others. August 20th she was 760gr and she was eating Nutrience Infusion adult weight control cat food (2 table spoons) and the occasional 1 or 2 mealworm a week. Sept 20th 784gr, Oct 3rd 814gr, Nov 11th 837gr, now is around 855gr steady. 2 Months ago, the Vet told us to give her 1 tablespoon of Mazuri Insectivore diet , 1 table spoon of the cat food and 1.5 table spoons of vegetables and the 3 to 5 mealworms a day!!!

She doesn't seem to exercise much. she has a wheel that she uses during the night, but for the most part she sleeps, her cage is approximately 38" x 23"

We would really like to get her down to her normal healthy weight but are out of luck with the help around here. My daughter keeps her room temp at 26 deg celsius and there is a heat lamp in the cage to keep it around 28 during the day. The light is a red heat lamp so we close it at night because the time we let it open during the night we notice that there was about 4 times less poop in the wheel than normal. So she woke up less often with the heat lamp on. I could not find anything else that does not emit light.


We found blood in the urine a few times and we gave her antibiotics which didn't really help the first time, we are giving her some again and will have her neutered on Jan 2nd because the vet told us they often have ovarian cancer and that the blood could come from the uterus. So instead of spending a fortune in tests, I think this was the best option to give her the longest life possible without complications.

Any help or advise would be greatly appreciated as we do not know what else to do and everyone around here seems to have a different opinion. So we thought best to ask people that have experience with hedgehogs over here.

Thanks for any help
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Old 12-22-2018, 03:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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There are bubls that only emmit heat, I found them very easily on amazon
Also if shes not in complete pitch black then she may not be as active.

The weight thing though it is pretty high, does she still have like a tear drop shape to her ?? Can she still ball up completely so you cant tell wich end is her head and which isnt ??
If you want you can scatter the meal worms and a bit of the food this makes them more active.

I cant help with the other things mentioned sorry
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Old 12-22-2018, 12:05 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I am dealing with an obese hedgehog right now as well. She came to me this way about 6 weeks ago. My vets biggest concern is fatty liver disease. So far she has not had symptoms but I have been warned that dropping weight to quickly can triger it.

I was advised to switch from mealworms to crickets as they are less fattening and have more fiber and to increase fiber in the diet as much as possible.

I just received my order if Mazuri hedgehog diet and Mazuri insectivore diet. I'm mixing it equal parts with her old cat kibble and another brand of low fat high fiber cat kibble for weight management.

Im giving 2 - 3 crickets a day and free feed food until we are sure she is eating well and not just picking out her old food from the mix.

Her old food will be gradually eliminated from the mix and the the amount will slowly be reduced over time.

We are doing this because she initially went on a hunger strike when I brought her home and lost a dramatic amount of weight in a short time which could have easily triggered FLD. So far she is back to eating normaly with no symptoms. We allowwd her to gain back some of the lost weight but now she is stablizing and dropping very slowly.

I hope this helps.

G
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Ours is about the same age and only eats 2 meal worms and maybe 1 teaspoon of shredded baked chicken hand fed till shes full at bonding time and then she eats about 1 teaspoon of her free choice mixed dry cat food over night. We have to keep the room very dark or she will reduce her wheelin time. On full moon nights we even have to close the blinds or its to bright for her. You may want to check for long toe nails as that can reduce activity . Useing a ceramic heat emitter will provide heat without light and you might try raising the cage temp a little and see if that helps also.
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Old 12-22-2018, 08:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Also you might play with the tilt of the wheel a little. Sometimes more or less back tilt will make running more comfortable for them. At first our wheel was tilted down to much and she would go around twice and run herself right out of it. Night vision camera really shows what they are up to at night!
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Old 12-23-2018, 08:56 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ria:
I found a ceramic bulb on amazon but sent it back cause it heated up about 3 inches away from the bulb. I am looking in another one that is stronger. She has more of a cylindrical shape I would say when walking. Can't really tell which end is which when she balls up. although she doesn't really ball up when she is on her back in our hands.

Glenna:
As of today we will try switching the meal worms for 2 crickets a day and see the outcome.

Belties:

I don't really have any tilt control on the wheel but that doesn't seem to be the problem. My daughter trims her nail regularly. I will look in the ceramic heaters unless the new ceramic light we will try will do the job.

All the help or comments are welcome, the more info the better. It is our first and like I said where we live not many people can help us or they all have diverting idea's of what to do. It bothers me that from one vet to the other everything seems to be opposite.
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Old 12-23-2018, 09:04 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Finally figured out how to upload a picture in my photo album for you to see her size

Last edited by lesterjet; 12-23-2018 at 09:12 PM. Reason: uploaded a picture
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Old 12-25-2018, 05:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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here is what she looks like. On the chubby side
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Old 01-15-2019, 07:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're using a bedding you can pile it up under the stand-part of the wheel to get it to tilt back or forward or however you need it. If you're using fleece, I assume you can just fold it and put it under the front/back of the stand to manage the tilt that way but I use bedding so you'd have to experiment with that yourself.
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