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Old 02-22-2010, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New hedgie not eating/drinking

Hi all! I posted on Saturday about getting my new hedgie. On Saturday night she ate her kitten food that I got from the breeder and some cat food as well and only left a couple of pieces. Yesterday (Sunday) I woke her up for breakfast and played with her for a bit but she only ate 2-3 pieces of food. I put her back in her cage with the food dish and left her alone for the rest of the day until that evening. I added her dinner portion to the breakfast (she hadn't eaten any more) and took her out and had her out all evening but she only ate about 4-5 more pieces. I put her and her dish back in the cage at my bedtime but when I got up in the morning it was still full. This morning I changed her food and put fresh food in but she still hasn't eaten any. I've got her out now and she's very playful and curious and did poop a little bit (normal colour and consistency) but she still won't eat. Also her water bottle looks like she hasn't had anything to drink, maybe 1 sip, but I've never seen her drink. When I got her out of her cage this evening her belly felt cool but she's warming up now that we're playing.

Should I be worried or is this normal?
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie not eating/drinking

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly3007
Yesterday (Sunday) I woke her up for breakfast and played with her for a bit but she only ate 2-3 pieces of food. I put her back in her cage with the food dish and left her alone for the rest of the day until that evening.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal. I would expect her to eat much in the morning. Myself, I don't wake Sylvie up in the am past cleaning her cage & just a quick 'check' on her. Think of it as someone waking you up a hour or two after you've just fallen asleep.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly3007
I added her dinner portion to the breakfast (she hadn't eaten any more) and took her out and had her out all evening but she only ate about 4-5 more pieces.
Many hedgies won't eat infront of people. I think this is normal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly3007
I put her and her dish back in the cage at my bedtime but when I got up in the morning it was still full.
Try counting the amount of kibble you put in in the evening and the amount left over in the morning. Eyeballing can be difficult.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly3007
Also her water bottle looks like she hasn't had anything to drink, maybe 1 sip, but I've never seen her drink.
Search the forum on waterbottles. While some people do use them, there's many posts about why bowls could be better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dragonfly3007
When I got her out of her cage this evening her belly felt cool but she's warming up now that we're playing.
Watch out for cool bellies. What is the temperature of her cage? The temperature of her sleeping area?
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie not eating/drinking

Alot of hedgies won't eat in front of anyone. The best way IMO would be to fill her dish with food and count the number of kibble. They need free range of their food and it shouldn't be portioned out, it should always be available. If you find the next day after counting that none is gone then you can try putting some in her bed with her or drape one of her small blankies over the door and the dish to make a tent. Many don't like to feel vulnerable out in the open.

I don't take mine out during the day unless for cage cleaning purposes and to do a quick once over in the morning to make sure mine is ok. Hedgies are nocturnal and need to be able to sleep when they want to sleep. Mine comes out to play around 10 or 11pm. Its different for every hedgie but its important not to mess with their natural sleep schedule too much because it can weaken their immune system.

I personally don't use a waterbottle because of injuries that have happened to other members hedgehogs, I won't take the risk. I use a small heavy crock for my water bowl. Many believe hedgehogs drink more comfortably and more water if given in a dish.

About her belly being cold it could be a sign of a hibernation attempt. I'd make sure that the cage is at least 75 degrees, its possible it needs to be a few degrees higher. Hedgies attempting to hibernate will slow down like that and it can kill them.

I hope you find out the culprit to why she is doing that, they do like to keep us on our toes with worry
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Old 02-22-2010, 07:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie not eating/drinking

She's nearly four months old now (on Feb 28) and the breeders I got her from fed her in the morning and twice (meat/veggies and then kibble) in the evening, so she's used to being fed breakfast. On the first day I put in about 25-30 pieces and she ate almost all of them (some in front of me, some overnight), but last night I definitely had at least that much and this morning honestly all that could've been gone would have been a maximum of 10 pieces. I spoke with the breeders about how much she regularly eats when I got her and it's definitely more than that. I'm thinking it's because she's in a new environment? I just don't want to leave it too long on an assumption. Also she drank out of a water bottle at the breeder's but I'll try putting in a dish to see if she takes to that better here. I just am not sure if it's ok for her to be so fussy for a few days or if I should be worried. I'm going to try to tempt her with some cooked meat tonight, but like I said I didn't want to just assume all was well.

The temperature of the room is usually fairly warm (I'm comfortable in a T-shirt and no socks) and her cage is usually pretty warm too (we don't have a thermostat in here). The bottom of the cage is metal though and she had dug all the way down to the bottom (I did line the cage with newspaper) but maybe it was because she was sleeping on the metal instead of on the bedding. Perhaps I will invest in a heating pad I can put under the cage just to ensure that it's warm enough for her.

Thank you so much for your help.
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Old 02-22-2010, 08:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie not eating/drinking

Okay, so I put her back in her cage because she was getting sleepy (after 5pm she comes out for a little play, maybe an hour to two hours then takes a nap until about 10pm or so). I put her food dish back in with a few pieces of cooked chicken and her kibble just in case she was hungry. I placed the dish in the back corner of the cage (behind her little cabin). I've left her upstairs alone now but I plugged in my electric space heater. It does a room temperature reading and the room was at 70F (usually it's warmer than that) so I turned on the heater and put it by her cage so it's not blowing directly in but so she will benefit from it. I turned it up to 75F so hopefully that will prevent the cool belly feeling she had earlier.

Tonight before I go to bed I will count the number of kibble in her dish and count them again in the morning. Also tomorrow after work I will pick up a ceramic dish to put water in to see if she takes to that any better, although I don't know why she won't drink out of the bottle since she used one at the breeder's

I felt so knowledgeable and well-prepared before I got her but now that she's not eating hardly anything I feel so dumb!
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Old 02-22-2010, 09:15 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie not eating/drinking

Don't feel bad, you are doing great Its just that there is so much information and it is constantly changing. What is good today may not be tomorrow. Its great that you are coming on here to learn as much as possible and asking questions, I still learn new things all the time on here
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie not eating/drinking

Well I am happy to report that Bellie (nickname for Aribelle which I finally decided on ) seems to be getting more on track. I picked up a water dish on the way home from work and when I put it in her cage she wandered over and then sat there drinking for about 3 minutes straight. Last night I did witness her drinking from her water bottle but she hardly drank anything from it. I guess it was frustrating her? Anyway, after she drank from her bowl she went over to her food dish and ate 15 kibble from the 30 I had put in there. I played with her this evening and just put her back in her cage and heard her crunching some more kibble so maybe she was just dehydrated?

Also I have started to keep the door shut as much as possible to this room to keep the heat in. I share the room with my grandmother (I moved in with her after my grandfather died in November) so I can't always keep the door shut because she likes it to be open, but when she goes downstairs in the afternoon I get my mom to shut the door and turn on the heater to ensure the room is warm. Also in the evening the door is shut and all night the door is shut. It's only really in the mornings from about 10am-1pm and then from about 3pm-6pm that the door is open and the temperature only drops to about 72F in that time. Otherwise it stays between 75F and 78F. Since I've been keeping it warmer in here her tummy hasn't been cool (it was only that 1 time).

Thank you so much for all your help!!!
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Old 02-23-2010, 11:51 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New hedgie not eating/drinking

I'm glad things are going better for you guys. I'd recommend getting a thermometer & a heating system that's independent from the room. I recently did this myself & find a huge reassurance that I can turn my living room heat up or down without bothering my hedgie's.
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