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Old 07-11-2011, 09:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Oscar's a big boy? :O

Hi there,
I took Oscar to the vet last Thursday morning and he weighed in at 317... that's about 100 grams weight-gain since I got him on May 21st of this year. My vet said he's leaning towards becoming overweight at this weight... but I thought some hogs could get up to 400-500 and not actually be overweight, just big hogs?

Oscar doesn't seem to be getting overweight... although he does look considerably bigger than when I first got him, I think that's only natural. He's a healthy, growing boy . There's no fat pouches on his legs/thighs that I can see, and I'm pretty sure he can still roll into a full ball. He never does that anymore though because he's so friendly, although he almost did with the vet.

I read a thread maybe a month ago about a few owners who have their hedgehogs on a more natural diet. The vet said that we don't want to put hedgehogs on a long-term cat food diet because it can really damage their livers. He told me to start including a lot more insects (which Oscar has never liked before ><) and a lot more veggies and bits of fruit, basically putting him on a more natural diet. He said I should start out by slowly cutting the cat food down by half and supplying more veggies/insects and then eventually cutting the cat food down to only a third of his diet.

I was wondering what are the vegetables you feed your hedgie(s) daily and if there's any insects that would be okay as a sort of staple/every night food. I know mealworms and crickets are high in fat, but are there any others? I don't fancy crushing or cutting off the heads of superworms.
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oscar's a big boy? :O

I would be a bit skeptical of that reduce the cat food diet unless you have a high fat content food? Can you post the first five ingredients and the protein and fat content of his current food? a bit over 300g's isn't that much my Feral is still fairly small and only 30gs under 300gs. It is true though some can be over weight yet you mentioned he doesn't have the signs of a overweight hedgehog.

As far as i know crickets are low in fat and provide good protein and other needs of a hedgehog. Fruits and Veggies can be found Here

I am no expert and would definitely wait for our vets of hedgehog ownership and raising to speak but I would not reduce the cat food diet to greatly that from everywhere I have read is very essential to their diet although I could be wrong :P
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Old 07-11-2011, 09:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oscar's a big boy? :O

Hey Kenzy! Happy to hear that Oscar is doing well. His sister says "hey!"

It sounds like he is a healthy weight. It is a possibility that your vet thinks there's a "right" weight for a hedgehog, like say 400g, when we know that they come in all shapes and sizes. I'd say that as long as he can still ball up fully, and he isn't growing "thunder thighs", he should be just fine.

I've been doing a lot of research on HHC about food today! I've been trying to get ideas for Milly, as I would prefer to have her on a more "natural" diet as well. I just made my first batch of chicken-veggie-fruit-wet cat food ice cubes and I think they will turn out well. Now we just need to find out if Mildred will eat them! You might want to try this, too - it's a great way to make feeding convenient (since you make a batch and have it sitting in the freezer waiting for you), and you don't have to buy a whole piece of fruit or vegetable just to find out that Oz doesn't like it, and have the fruit (possibly) go to waste.

I actually read in several different places that mealies and crickets really aren't that high in fat. I am by no means a hedgehog nutritionist, but hedgies are insectivores... I would assume that as long as you aren't feeding him 50 mealies a night, and that he's wheeling, mealies and crickets wouldn't be detrimental to his weight. Especially since it sounds like he isn't overweight to begin with.

I would love to see pictures of Oz, to compare his size to Milly's.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oscar's a big boy? :O

I am one of those who feeds a more 'natural diet'. When I had Snarf in to see the vet three months ago, the vet suggested cutting down on kibble for the health of his liver, as well. I changed Snarf's diet to reflect that advice and am also changing Sumo's diet slowly.

This is what Snarf would get on a typical night. Snarf was only 300grams and an avid runner, so keep that in mind. Sumo will be getting less fat overall as he is a BIG boy:
- 10-12 crickets (depending on size) - much lower in fat than mealies
- 3-5 mealies
- 1 tbsp either canned catfood/babyfood or cooked meat
- 1-2 tsp of veggies/fruit (only a third of this is fruit at the most)

Some ideas:
- gutload then freeze crickets to make them easier to handle. I hide them throughout the cage so Sumo has to hunt for them
- cook and freeze veggies on a cookie sheet, then put in a container - makes it easier to break off pieces
- ditto for canned/babyfood - i freeze dollops on a cookie sheet covered in plastic wrap, then I can break off chunks

Feel free to PM me if you want more info!
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oscar's a big boy? :O

Oscar is currently on a mix of:
Wellness Kitten Health (weaning him off of this)
  • Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice
    Crude Protein Not Less Than 36.0%
    Crude Fat Not Less Than 18.0%
Wellness Indoor Health cat food
  • -Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice
    Crude Protein Not Less Than 30.0%
    Crude Fat Not Less Than 12.0%
Innova Red Meat Small Bites adult dog food
  • -Beef, Lamb meal, barley, brown rice, potatoes
    Crude Protein (min) 24 %
    Crude Fat (min) 14 %
Simply Nourish Turkey & Oatmeal cat food
  • -Turkey, Turkey Meal, Oatmeal, Rice Flour, Dried Chicken
    Crude Protein (not less than) 32.0%
    Crude Fat (not less than) 10.0%
TWCOGAR, cat food is still going to be offered every night, but I am looking to provide my hedgehog with other means of nutrition.
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Old 07-11-2011, 11:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Oscar's a big boy? :O

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenzy
Oscar is currently on a mix of:
Wellness Kitten Health (weaning him off of this)
  • Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice
    Crude Protein Not Less Than 36.0%
    Crude Fat Not Less Than 18.0%
Wellness Indoor Health cat food
  • -Deboned Chicken, Chicken Meal, Rice, Ground Barley, Ground Rice
    Crude Protein Not Less Than 30.0%
    Crude Fat Not Less Than 12.0%
Innova Red Meat Small Bites adult dog food
  • -Beef, Lamb meal, barley, brown rice, potatoes
    Crude Protein (min) 24 %
    Crude Fat (min) 14 %
Simply Nourish Turkey & Oatmeal cat food
  • -Turkey, Turkey Meal, Oatmeal, Rice Flour, Dried Chicken
    Crude Protein (not less than) 32.0%
    Crude Fat (not less than) 10.0%
TWCOGAR, cat food is still going to be offered every night, but I am looking to provide my hedgehog with other means of nutrition.
Never said you weren't your wording just seemed more towards going away from it, I'd say his mix is good and the ideas presented will be helpful, the mealies are the ones that add the most fat
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