Need help!!: Mother hedgehog from died and left 5 orphans - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Need help!!: Mother hedgehog from died and left 5 orphans

Hi hedgehog owning community and experts


My Punky passed away yesterday after not eating for 5 days and as I learned after her death I discovered the reason, which I contemplated but never imagined to what extent it could be true. There are many questions in my mind right now but i want to first talk about the greatest concern - the babies.

This hoglets are already walking and with there eyes open, they were born May 20 so by now they are exactly a month old, but i find them a little bit small for the usuall size at that age, plus they still don't have visible theeth, so im asuming iIl may need to force feed them with a syringe ? Anyways as recomended in some topics I bought some high quality wet cat food and mixed it with their usual dry cat food. Right now, since they are not to little and close to that age they start tasting food, I opted to try to put this mush food on a small plate they can get to, but out of 5 babies 2 of them are feeding (licking on it) regularly, so im worried about the other 2 or 3 babies and i figured that by tomorrow if i dont see any intrest in them i will proceed to force feed them with the syringe.

Can anyone whos an expert review this and suggest me a course of action or specific diet ??


My second concern, Punky's death. As I previously stated, she loss her apettite from aproximately 5 days ago, and in the last 2 days even wasnt intrested in water. I tried to remember or think of anything difrent I saw or did by those days, and the only 2 posibilities i could make out were that she was either sick after i started using a new air conditioner (wich i turned off when she got sick) or that It as realted to some strange behaviour that i noticed involving her constantly chewing on her pine bedding.

I was more inclined towards the chewing, and boy did it turn out to be shockingly true!!
First off, about veterinary care, unfortunately I am not in such good money situation right now
as to be able to pay such high bills as they usualy do, and finding an expert in such pets may even be harder here in Puerto Rico. The fact that I was imagining the probable cause of the problem made me hesitate even more to seek a vet because it would probably involve a $urgery.

As I felt so guily of not seeking help, I had to find out and proof myself that my suspision was right. So being not particulary disturbed by blood or related things and knowing my good anatomy (Im a Radiologic Technologist) proceeded to make a quick autopsy. I first checked her oral cavity to see if se had any piece of bedding or food stock in her palate, as i red it could happen. It wasnt the case, so i proceded to open her abdomen, checked her bowels and everything seemd ok,,, but, when i reached to the stomach,,,,even without opening it I realized how terribly right I was,,, It was swolen and huge , not to mention solid rock to the touch.

My worst fear was realized, when I cutted the stomach it was COMPLETELY and UTTERLY filled with her pine bedding chips!!! Im talking about 1 inch pieces the lenght of her stomach and I just can understand how she managed to swallow all those chips without chocking!! It defies logic.

So, apart from helping the babies survive, my other question is, how to prevent this from happening in the furute?? I wish to avoid this and wish to understand what posible logic and reasons drived my hedgehog to do such insane act as to swallow whole bark chips to her death. What is the logic??? Please if theres any one expert or has had any similar experience in this please help!
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Old 06-20-2011, 08:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help!!: Mother hedgehog from died and left 5 orphans

At one month old the babies will most likely be just fine. They still should have milk for the next week or two. Goats milk or puppy milk is best. If you get powdered it will last a long time as you only mix up what they will eat at one time. At their age, they will most likely lap it from a bowl so mix up a small amount numerous times per day and give it to them in a dish. I imagine it's very hot there so only leave it for a couple of hours and then throw it out. Once mixed, it goes bad quickly so don't mix more than one serving at a time and do not mix more and keep it in the fridge to use later.

Poor Punky. I can't imagine why she would eat the shavings. Is it possible she was lacking something in her diet. That's about the only thing I could think of.
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Old 06-20-2011, 02:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help!!: Mother hedgehog from died and left 5 orphans

I wonder if it's possible for hedgehog's to suffer from Pica? Pica is a disorder where you crave and eat non-nutrivie items..ie ice, dirt, metal, paper, or, in this case, the wood bedding. It happens particuallarly often in pregnant women and I know some animals, like dogs, can get it too. Cause can sometimes be linked to specific nutrient deficiencies, but sometimes is linked to a mental disorder.
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Old 06-20-2011, 07:13 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help!!: Mother hedgehog from died and left 5 orphans

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarahg
I wonder if it's possible for hedgehog's to suffer from Pica? Pica is a disorder where you crave and eat non-nutrivie items..ie ice, dirt, metal, paper, or, in this case, the wood bedding. It happens particuallarly often in pregnant women and I know some animals, like dogs, can get it too. Cause can sometimes be linked to specific nutrient deficiencies, but sometimes is linked to a mental disorder.
I was wondering this too, I know it can be found in dogs and cats but I'm not sure about hedgehogs. I always crave paper, ice, and a few other things. So does my aunt, we can go through a pack of computer paper in no time I know, I'm weird haha.

As for the babies, I agree with Nancy!

I'm sorry for your loss! Hugz.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Need help!!: Mother hedgehog from died and left 5 orphans

I'm sorry for your loss.

Could you remove the shavings and lay down a fleece blanket in the cage for a liner to prevent this from happening again? If fleece is too hot where you live you could try hemmed flannel.
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