Big Fat Boy Won't Exercise
Hey yall !
Cecil is 2 now and fat as HECK. His dad was one of breeder's biggest hedgies (in the 800-900g range) and his mom wasn't the tiniest thing (I think somewhere bt 400-600g), so a bit of it is genetic.
Cecil weighs ~740g. Vet did a physical (not an Xray though, hesitant about anesthesia bc he's so fat), and adjusted the amounts in his diet (1 tbsp dry food, 1 tsp wet food/protein, and 1/2 tsp fruit/veggies).
He stopped running on his wheel maybe 2 months ago now (?), hence our vet visit. I've got a Carolina Storm, the same he's had all his life, in perfect working condition. No temperature changes/other major changes. He's never been one to care about light but I tried eliminating all light sources too. He has the average 12 hour light/dark cycle in his room. No litter changes, no food changes.
The only other behavioral changes are that he completely stopped using his litter box (he was born potty trained but now he will go anywhere and everywhere) a little while before he stopped running, and about a week before he stopped running I noticed him itching his side a lot (vet checked a skin scrape and no mites though).
My vet suggested a (chinchilla sized) hamster ball. I had reservations about those in the past but I tried it and it worked fine for several weeks. He'd run all around the living room in it. However the past several days I've put him in his ball and he won't move. He settles in and goes right to sleep.
I know it can be hard for tubby fellows to exercise because it's such a strain on their breathing and little bitty legs. But all he does now is sleep and get up at 10pm to immediately nosh on the food I set out. I can tell he's up a little in the night but still no running. If I set him out on the floor to walk around, he just immediately finds somewhere to go to sleep.
Anyone have any thoughts or any other exercise tricks ?