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Old 03-28-2018, 05:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Mar 2018
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Default Hibernation attempts at high temperatures in between surgeries?

As a backstory to this issue:
My hedgehog Wynn is a 4 1/2 year old female who about 3 weeks ago underwent exploratory surgery that resulted in her uterus being removed (it contained a relatively large tumor). Before having her sutures removed I ended up noticing a dime sized, flesh coloured lump on her lower back. When she went in to have the sutures removed the vet drained the lump with a needle, said it appeared to be a pustule and prescribed a new type of antibiotic to be taken for 2 weeks (she had been on baytril for about 2 weeks pre surgery and 1 week post surgery). It has now been 1.5 weeks on the new antibiotics with no improvements to the lump, so she has been booked to have the pustule removed surgically this Monday. Otherwise she appears to have recovered really well from the spaying. She has been eating very well and appeared completely healthy to the vet during her suture removal.

With all of this happening I have now been having issues with her stomach becoming cool to the touch, although she has never become very lethargic or had any behaviour changes. This has occurred three times since her suture removal. I keep the entire room she is housed in heated with an electric heater which is regulated by a thermostat. I also use a separate digital probe thermometer to double check the temperature. Post surgery the temperature was kept at 78F. After becoming cool the first time I bumped the temperature to 79F and then 80F the second time which seemed to suit her fine. Today when I noticed her cool belly the digital thermometer and thermostat both read ~79F, both temperature probes are attached to the entrance of the house she sleeps in. I also keep lights on in the room 12 hours a day, although if occasionally I'll turn them on a bit late. I don't think this is an issue as the times I've forgotten it has been light outside during those hours and she has a large window in the room.

I am at a loss for what to do. Every time she feels cool I have warmed her using my body temperature (put her on my lap and covered her with a blanket). She has acted maybe slightly tired two of the times, but nothing very noticeable such as difficulty walking, not uncurling etc. I keep reading that 80F is at the very highest end of what is okay for hedgehogs and that estivation can occur at temperatures that are higher. I am also concerned since she is scheduled to go in for another, albeit more minor, surgery to have this lump removed. The thermostat pretty reliably has kept the temperature +/- 1 degree of what I've set it to since having it so I don't think there were sudden changes or drafts in the room. I don't think she could have anything wrong internally as her original surgery involved a full exploration of the abdomen along with full body x-rays where he looked at her chest cavity as well. She is still on antibiotics and hasn't shown any signs of illness otherwise.

Would it be okay to further increase the temperature beyond 80F? Are there other things I should consider that could cause her to be cool? And would doing the lump removal a few days after this occurring be a bad idea? My vet is out of town until the day of the surgery.

Last edited by Wynn; 03-28-2018 at 05:22 PM.
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