Seeking Help with Unknown Problem - Hedgehog Central – Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
Hedgehog Central GalleryForum Archives Facebook Link

Like Tree1Likes
  • 1 Post By Kalandra
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-10-2020, 07:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Taroon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: New York State, USA
Posts: 41
Exclamation Seeking Help with Unknown Problem

So, I got a number of things going on that could be normal or not. They also could be related . . . or not. I am starting to get a bit worried, however, since things have now been going on for months. I'll just list them below, in no particular order:

The Issues:
1) Reduced running (he used to be a super avid runner) from hours a night to minutes at a night (no more than 1 hour max)
2) Increased sleeping and napping from taking a small nap in the middle of the night to the reverse (effectively sleeping or napping 22-23 hours a day)
3) Increased weight (from 370g on 8/22/19 to 410g on 1/9/20 and, then down to 401g on 2/15/20)
4) Bulb-less quills (always finding at least a half-dozen when cleaning his cage during non-quilling events to now finding usually 0--I've found about a half-dozen broken and bulb-less quills over the months...one at a time)

General Information:
He acts normal
He eats and poops just fine (he strains some times but not too extreme, problematic, or common)
He scratches occasionally throughout the night (always, including while healthily losing quills with their bulbs)
He has no orange crusty junk around where the quill meets his skin
He has tried two different wheels at his preferred angle (his large default one that's a bit beat up and a brand, new one that's a bit small)

His Diet:
1) One tablespoon of Weight and Mature Care by Chicken Soup for the Soul (9% fat)
2) One half teaspoon of Duck a la Veg by Fromm (20% fat)
3) One half teaspoon of Winged Tiger by Solid Gold (13% fat)
4) One half teaspoon of High Protein Grain Free, Natural Adult Dry Cat Food (Chicken) by Blue Buffalo Wilderness (18% fat; junk fiber)
*) I've started giving him less of the 1/2 teaspoon food, particularly the 20% one (eyeing it to roughly half of a 1/2 teaspoon--1/4)

I am particularly getting concerned because these oddities combined seem a bit too much to be a phase. I just pinpoint what's going on (especially since I don't think it's mites). If anyone, strong suggestions and guidance would be appreciated.
Taroon is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-10-2020, 08:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 23
Default

My first hedgehog similarly started napping at weird times and running less. She had an upper respiratory infection that progressed into pneumonia. Never had any nose bubbles or other signs, just suddenly started falling asleep on her wheel. My current girl started losing quills and had mites, even though everything appeared pretty normal (I eventually found them in her Dubia roach box). I would probably do a general visit to the vet to be safe (every behavior change I’ve tracked has been some sort of health related change), but I may be overly paranoid. Best of luck to you and your hedgie!
alyandgus is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-10-2020, 09:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Taroon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: New York State, USA
Posts: 41
Default

I do usually schedule an annual vet appointment in the summer. Knuckles isn't losing quills excessively or showing any other sign.

I discussed the mite concern since he's scratched ever since he's been bought. The vet has assured me he doesn't think he has mites.

Thoughts? (As a side-note, I find it particularly odd that the breaking quills suggest malnutrition but his activity and weight changes suggest overfeeding.).

Also, what about if I put him to sleep to have the vet do a more thorough examination? (That's pretty much what I think he'll say.)
Taroon is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-11-2020, 03:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
Ria
Member
 
Ria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: London-Surrey, UK
Posts: 1,742
Default

Get your to do a skin a scrap. This way he can check for mites and properly rule them out. I don't like vets that go "oh no he doesn't have mites" but won't do the tests to be sure that they are not there! The fact that the quills are falling off without bulbs suggests mites.

Stress can also cause quill loss. So if you've chnaged a lot of things it could be stress, I think it can make them less active (certainly does for us) but you can rules this out if theres no reason that your hog would be stressed.

Poor diet can cause quill loss - you can have a chubby hog and still have a poor diet!
Insects for example contain certain nutrients that you can not replace with anything else, its also the best way to get other nutrients into them when you gut load them. Along with other things like poor quality biscuit as a whole mix. If the fat is high, or they are eating too much then they will get a bit chubby if its not right that hog.
Ria is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2020, 04:17 AM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Taroon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: New York State, USA
Posts: 41
Default

I can understand your position on the whole having an opinion without having much to back it up. Do you think it's worth a visit or should I just get Revolution and address mites myself?

Stress isn't likely an issue. His routine is generally the same as it's always been. We did go on vacation back in December for two weeks so he had a home with my son's mother during that period. But, I doubt he held a grudge since then: He's acting and responding normally (i.e. not any other moods such as his angery or annoyed moods).

Diet is always a concern of mine. He was actually quite thinner until these changes. I did start to feed him gut loaded mealies (occasionally crickets) from the pet store until he started gaining weight. That period lasted for about 6 months (so he was "normal" prior to that and during it).

I prefer dried cat food. Are my choices lacking anything? If that's the problem how should I fix it (and, out of curiosity, why do you thunk it took years to manifest as an issue?)

Last edited by Taroon; 03-11-2020 at 04:20 AM. Reason: Because grammar and spell checking is fun
Taroon is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2020, 10:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
Emc
Member
 
Emc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Dublin, Ireland.
Posts: 468
Default

I agree with Ria; I would ask your vet to do a skin scrape, to at the very least rule out mites. It’s not good enough for a vet to simply say “well I don’t *think* it’s mites” without doing anything to confirm it.

I do think your diet needs to be fixed, too. There’s no insects and too much kibble. For an average hog, one teaspoon a night is plenty - to be fed alongside a variety of live insects. I would cut down on how much kibble you feed, and up your insect portions.

As for why - if it diet related, that is - it’s taken a couple of years to manifest into an issue; that’s what happens. You could eat pizza as your only diet for two years straight and likely have no problems - but eventually, it will catch up with you.
Emc is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-12-2020, 10:10 AM   #7 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,507
Default

Few questions and thoughts that came to my mind.

I could possibly find this in your post history, but I'm being lazy so will just ask it... How old is this hedgehog? And how long have you had him? How long has he been on the current diet?

Assuming you are dealing with an older hedgehog...As they get older they often will slow down. They can also start to suffer from age related ailments. For instance we’ve seen arthritis and spondylosis in some older quilled ones. Hedgehogs try to hide pain for as long as they can and will try to act completely normal, the first symptom we see is usually activity level changes. As it progresses you’ll see evidence of pain and lameness. These usually have required an xray to diagnose.


Have you tried increasing the temperature in his environment yet? What is his normal cage temperature? If he is older, it is also possible that a small bump in temperature may make him feel more comfortable and increase his activity levels.

Less activity with the foods you are feeding could have resulted in the weight gain you saw. You have two higher fat foods in the mix and may have to reduce those to balance his calories out. He won't like that, if he is like mine, he eats those first and leaves the rest for later.

The weight change from 1/9 to 2/15 isn’t that alarming, that could simply be a difference of a poop or a pee. However, if it is trending downwards over time for no reason or if you increase calories and it continues to trend downwards, then that is alarming and can indicate something is very wrong (for example, cancer).

You indicated he has always scratched. Does he do it for a short period of time and stop? Does it sound laid back or frantic? I’ve had hedgehogs who always scratched, it sounded laid back when they did it, and they tended to only do it for the first hour after they woke up. We always assumed it was more of a grooming thing. I've also had hedgehogs that tended to lose quills more frequently than others. Usually those were ones that suffered from some sort of trauma or were on a really inappropriate diet. We saw healthy quills replacing old brittle quills. Some did it in a massive quill loss very quickly, and yet a couple of others seemed to always be shedding quills.
nikki likes this.
__________________

Snuffle!
Kalandra is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-13-2020, 05:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
Member
 
Taroon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Location: New York State, USA
Posts: 41
Default

EMC/Ria:
If a skin scrape is in order, why not just skip it and give him Revolution? The skin scrape can give false negatives and if he's positive he'll just have to be brought back again.

I've slowly built up to the amount i give him as my understanding is that hedgehogs like to graze: they should always have good available to them. I started with roughly half of what I feed now. He eats 80-100% of it, always. I do give gut-loaded crickets and mealworms as a treat. Coincidently, when I stopped giving him this extra treat (roughly 2 meal worms a night) is when he started to gain weight. What specifically do you suggest. (My preference is to stick with dry food but if necessary i can do simple things like meal worms to supplement his diet--anything for Knuckles.)

Kalandra:
Get ready for lots of information.

My exwife picked him up from the pet store the last weekend of June 2018 (pretty sure it was the Saturday without looking for my old cell phone to check the texts). My son brought him home on June 26, 2018. The store told her that he's 3 months old from when she got him; however, I'm fairly certain that he was roughly 6 months old (based on his quilling cycles i experienced and the ones I did not experience). So, we can estimate by saying January 1st, 2018, he was born and say he's roughly 2 years old.

Last year he was hovering around 370g (give it take 8g). So, 400g isn't too bad. His body, however, has gotten much more round and cubby which is what has me worried when combined with not running as much. He can still curb up when my son needlessly stomps around as he--my son--zips from one place to another. Now, he did come home back in 2018 with that horrific pet store good made for hedgehogs. My exwife was duped in to buying that and all sorts of other freeze-dried treats (including some dairy!). Needless to say, September 2nd, 2018, I started to transition him to the 18% food which I still give him. I then learn from this community that I'm particularly dumb and need to give him less fat and a bit more healthy foods so on November 2nd, 2018, I transitioned him on to the other three foods noted in my previous post. I obviously transitioned in steps so all said and done it was December of 2018 that he's been on this spread of 4 different dry foods and by probably by January 2019 the quantity was established by his preference. So, what are your thoughts on the food setup?

Regarding scratching: he only scratched himself when alone, I'm his cage. It's usually a slow scratch periodically. I get the feeling he's like, "okay, I ate, ran, and sat in my litter pondering if there's a God. Now what? How about I scratch before repeating the process". The breaking quills is concerning when combined with the fact I haven't seen a normal quill shredded in months. I only find a lone--single--broken quill within multiple cage cleanings. He feels a little different too. Like, his quills feel less fine or feel more course, if that makes any sense. (I know, I'm making it sound like a humidity problem --which I don't mean to. I track both humidity and temperature 2.5 ways.)

Speaking of heating. His cage is at 75.5 with heating being activated when it falls to 75.0. I have three lamps connected to a two-stage controller, a room thermostat that measures both temp and humidity, and a Wi-Fi thermostat on the other end of is cage to send 4 people mobile alerts for dangerous temperature or humidity high's or low's. I also have 4 of the 6 sides of his cage blanketed with Mylar to better control the thermodynamics within his cage (as the deviation was actually a fairly big issue). Now, often his cage is 76-78 degrees despite the controller being set to 75.5. (For example, the coldest spot of his cage is 74.7 degrees currently.).

If you couldn't tell, I take Knuckles' welfare very seriously. So, with all things noted, what are your thoughts?

(Also, I spy Nancy ninja-liking your post!)
(Oh, and, forgive me on any typos: I'm actually at work and typing on a tablet that has horrible predictive typing which often forces its suggestions upon my typings.)
Taroon is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-13-2020, 06:48 AM   #9 (permalink)
Ria
Member
 
Ria's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: London-Surrey, UK
Posts: 1,742
Default

I was also told that hedgehogs should have biscuit 24/7. But sometimes that doesn't always work!
I was over feeding Holly at one point not on purpose because I didn't know. Anyway so especially now with the decrease of activity decreasing the biscuit a bit might help to just loose it and stable it at a better weight. They don't need biscuit 24/7 you can control it. Also with Holly when I reduced the food she actually reduces how much she ate as well to a better level for hee activity.

Insects are pretty important to have as a staple in the diet, mealworms being the ones with the most poor nutrient wont be good, but if you can get calci worms they are easy. Dubai roaches, crickets, are good to feed if your okay with those.

The skin scrap is good because it can be checked for mites, bacterial infection and other things. So it will be more helpful. Though if you would rather do the treatment for mites and see if does anything or not it won't harm the hog, but sometimes a skin scrap is good to get.
Ria is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-13-2020, 11:29 AM   #10 (permalink)
Administrator
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,507
Default

You are in a tough spot. Lots of little things but nothing really that seems to jive with “this is the problem.” It doesn’t sound like he is in the elderly range yet but more of a middle aged hedgehog. I am wondering if that since he has reached middle age if his caloric needs have decreased, causing weight gain, and the weight gain (like it does with us) causing him to reduce activities.

You do have two foods in his mix that are still high calorie. You may need to further reduce the high fat foods in order to bring down the caloric intake. He won’t like it, but it may be needed to stabilize his weight and get him to lose some of it if he is getting chunky. I’d start with the Blue Buffalo personally. It’s a fairly high caloric food and has a very high protein amount, which can cause issues for some over time.

You describe his quills as course, do you mean they are rough and not smooth or just thicker than they used to be? Baby quills and in my experience malnourished quills can be thinner quills. Nice healthy quills tend to be thicker and should have a nice sparkle when the light hits the tips of them. How is his skin otherwise? Are you seeing flakes at all? If you brush him (get a soft toothbrush and brush him) do you see what looks like a "snow storm" happened on the blanket afterwards or worse do quills start falling out?
__________________

Snuffle!
Kalandra is offline   Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hedgehog Central – Hedgehog pet care & owner forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in





Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -4. The time now is 10:31 PM.



Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
PetGuide.com
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum