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Old 01-29-2013, 04:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Feeding tips

I have a 14 week old hedgehog named Bananas. She is a wonderful little girl; however, she hasnít been eating.

I took her to the vet and she doesnít have any respiratory problems. They gave her a shot of Nuflor which is an antibiotic and they also gave her an injection of Ivermectin. After reading about Invermectin, I am not going to have the second treatment done; I am going to request Revolution. They also did a fecal test and that came back clean.

She hasnít gone into hibernation. She unrolls relatively fast after I pick her up and only huffs and puffs if I move to fast. She is on a 12 hour light cycle 9am-9pm. Her cage varies in temperature though. It is an open cage so it is hard to keep the temperature consistent. She seems to like a cooler temperature rather than a warmer which is fine for me. The cage varies in temperature from 75-81 degree Fahrenheit.

She was on pet-pro hedgehog food Ėthe food she came with. Now I am mixing Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Chicken with her old food. I have tried wetting her food, separating her food. Mixing wet food with dry food. Nothing. She isnít eating. Actually she eats but itís so little. I catch her at her bowl then she gets scared and I never know if she starts eating again. I weigh her food but when I reweigh in the morning there isnít a difference.

When I took her to the vet they gave me Carnivore Care which is similar to Hill A&D but for exotic pets (according to their website). I put it in a bowl and she free feeds but not a lot.

I handle her every day, she is tolerant of baths, I have even trimmed her nails. Granted I bribed her with mealies before and after but it worked.

She has a fleece liner, igloo cover and snugly sack.

Oh, her poops. She poops every day, but itís green and slimy. It seems gelatinous and it looks like a dark green booger.

I have had her since January 10. When I got her she seemed a little over weight.

Weight: 1/10: 428g, 1/22: 370 g, 1/29: 336g

Am I doing too much too fast, do I need to slow things down? Too many changes? I donít expect her to be a ball of love but her not eating and her poop still being green concerns me. If sheís pooping she has to be eating right?

Was she maybe overweight and now she is getting back to a normal weight?

Any tips would be really appreciated. I have tried to include everything I thought relevant, if you need more information, please let me know.
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:32 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

How do you heat her cage? The range that it goes through is a little bit big, so it might be a good idea to try and steady it - large variations in temperatures can cause issues too. If she likes cooler temps, she might be bothered that it's getting up towards 80, which is on the high end of what most hedgehogs prefer or are comfortable at.

How long has she not been eating much? If it's been more than a couple days, you should try syringe-feeding her and see if forcing some food into her boosts her appetite. When they don't eat as much or at all, their system starts shutting down a bit and it makes them feel yucky, so they eat even less or continue not eating. Syringe-feeding gets them food to keep them going until they feel better and are interested in food again. You can syringe the Carnivore Care - it's made for that. I suggest using either a 3-ml or 1-ml syringe, you can get them either from your vet or from a pharmacy. Try to get 12-15 ml into her throughout the day, or maybe a bit less to see if she starts eating on her own.

How much food do you weigh out? With her eating so little, it might be a good idea to try counting kibble for a little. I'm not sure how small the hedgehog food kibble is, if that'd be easy or not, but NB shouldn't be too bad. That might give you a bit of an idea whether she's at least eating a few kibble or nothing at all.

Glad you're not continuing the Ivermectin - not sure if that could be the cause of this or not. Did the fecal test that was done get done on the green, gelatinous poops or did those show up later? If they did, I'd get another fecal done in case she's an intestinal issue going on. The only other thing I can think of for not eating much is to check the food for freshness - if the NB is new, it's probably fresh, but maybe she just doesn't like it much. If the hedgehog food you've had for awhile, it could be going stale.
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Old 01-29-2013, 03:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

I have a 150watt ceramic heat emitter. I do not have a thermostat, I need one I know, but I do have a thermometer.

The NB kibble is small, not as small as her original food. Should I crush it?

The fecal test was done on the green poop.

As for syringe feeding her, should I wake her up to do it, or wait until her light goes out at night and do it then?

She hasn't eaten regularly since I got her. She'll eat 5-7 kibbles a day. Maybe...

I have what I think are rather tall bowls. I have seen them on this forum, they're the medium ceramic bowls. Should I get lower bowls? I feel like she's reaching to get into them. I've seen her face plant in one.

Should I try to feeding her chicken, or other whole foods in place of kibble? I have a list bookmarked of what lizzardgirl (I think it's her list) feeds her hedgie. Change the NB to something else? I'm glad the pet store by me has 95% of the recommend food from the list posted on this forum.

I tried posting pictures but the size is to big. Once I figure out how to resize them, I'll post.
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Old 01-29-2013, 04:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

Hm...the green poop might be from lack of food or something then, I'm not 100% sure. Hopefully as you start getting some food into her, that will clear up. You can help out her digestive system by giving her probiotics - either acidophilus (found in pharmacy section of stores, with the vitamins) or small animal Benebac (either gel or powder, found at pet stores). That might help with the green poops too.

Yeah, give crushing the NB a try and see if that encourages her as well. If you think the bowls might be too high, you could try putting kibble in a smaller bowl, a dish or scattering it on the fleece to see if she eats more. If she really doesn't seem to like the NB, you can definitely try a different food too. Definitely get a thermostat ASAP too and get the temperature more regulated - that could be what's bothering her as well.

For syringe-feeding, you can do it during the daytime and just wake her up. She'll be cranky, but daytime does tend to work better with human schedules, and it's important to get food into her. Usually to get the recommended amount into them, you have to split it up into 2-4 feeding sessions, especially if she doesn't want to cooperate with the syringe. If I remember right, Carnivore Care is supposed to be pretty tasty for them, so hopefully she'll like it once she gets a taste. I haven't used it before, but I seem to remember something about it hardening quickly or something where it doesn't keep for very long, so mix small amounts and only use it for 1-2 feeding sessions unless someone else who's used it recommends differently. I'm just going off having read something about it on here.

If she's really not liking the Carnivore Care when you try it and it seems to be stressing her out a lot to do the syringe-feeding, you could also try baby food - chicken, turkey, sweet potato, and peas are all common favorites, and you can mix a meat and veggie together to give more variety/nutrients. You can also crush the kibble up very fine and mix it in with the baby food if you want. Just make sure to test it through the syringe, shooting into a bowl, before you start syringing her - if a kibble piece is too big & clogs the syringe, you could end up giving her a big faceful of food, which won't impress her much.
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Old 01-30-2013, 03:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

Ok, so now I know Bananas is just being picky and ornery to me. She eats (again very little) and when I look at her, she stops. I am 15 feet away from her and she always knows when I'm watching and stops eating. I swear she is driving me "bananas", hence her name.

Haven't tried syringe feeding her yet. Getting ready to very shortly.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

I just syringe fed her 1.6ml. It took me a while to get her wrapped up and in a position to feed her but once I got it down I was good. It went ok, but she was shaking after. I gave her a few mealworms after as a reward for being a good girl.
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Old 02-01-2013, 03:35 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

Good news. I syringe feed her again the following morning, both CC and water. Bribed her with mealies. I went to the store and got a smorgasbord of baby food, and fruit. And she actually ate it. She hasn't touched her kibble, not the stuff that came with her nor the NB but at least she is eating something. I found out what she likes and what she doesn't like.

Loves
Earth's Balance Organic Chicken and Sweet Potatoes
Gerber Meat Sticks (loves them)
Cantaloupe
Honeydew

Dislikes
Peas
Apples

I haven't put her on the scale yet, I am waiting until tonight. I do everything at night. Last night she even ate in front of me and allowed me to take a billion pictures and video because a hedgehog eating is the cutest thing in the world.

Her poops are bigger but they still have a green tint to them and one seemed solid and the other more runny. I'm guessing it's the fruit. At this point I'm glad she's eating.

Off to the pet store to find kibble with chicken and sweet potato.

Thank you lilysmommy for your help.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

Just a thought, you say she is overweight. Did she have the typical extra chin, or skin rolls around her arms? Because sometimes 478g for a hedgie isn't overweight. As long has her shape is good, and she can roll into a ball, it might just be that she is a bigger girl.

My Mal is at 253g/3 months old. I was told her parents tend to be right around 450g each, so Mal could potentially be a bigger girl as well when she reaches maturity.
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Old 02-01-2013, 05:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Feeding tips

I'm glad she's eating on her own now! Some of the green tint and runniness may be coming from the new foods and such too. Changes in diet do cause a lot of that, and she's had some big changes. Still though, the important thing is she's eating. While you're out, look for some small animal Benebac, or stop at a store with a pharmacy section and look for acidophilus, found with the vitamins and such. Both are probiotics and they'll help her digestive system get good bacteria going again and may help with the green poops. Just add a pinch or a little bit (if you get the gel Benebac) to her food and mix it in. That should help with all of the diet changes and help get her back to normal. Good luck!
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