Advice Please!! Is it syringe-feeding time? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Advice Please!! Is it syringe-feeding time?

Hi everyone,

So, Misha had a supposed URI three weeks ago (maybe... though I suspect it might have been something else). Was on a week of antibiotics and carnivore care.

Since then, he's been eating half as much kibble as he used to, or less. Before getting sick he ate about 40-50 kibble (Blue Buffalo adult) a night. Now he's fluctuating between 16-23 or so a night.

Well, kibble plus bugs - he recently discovered that mealworms and crickets are edible. I've been trying to fatten him up, so he gets them every night. So, last night he got 4 crickets, 8 mealworms, and ate 23 kibble.

Is that enough? He's 240-250g, and I weigh him every night. He isn't losing weight.... but he isn't gaining any, either, which I think he should, as he's only 3 months old.

SOooo, the vet office, when they called to check up on him, recommended that I syringe-feed him carnivore care every night to get him to gain weight. But it's just so stressful for him to have to be scruffed every night (he won't eat it otherwise). So, should I do it, or let him eat his minimal kibble? Could he just be a small hedgie that isn't going to gain any more weight, or is this cause for concern?? Please advise!
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Old 07-15-2011, 10:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice Please!! Is it syringe-feeding time?

I'm sorry to hear that Misha still has the URI. I hope he gets better soon! I don't know the answer to any of your questions but maybe you should try what the vet says. I hope your little one gets better soon!
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:23 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice Please!! Is it syringe-feeding time?

Have your tried syringing something other than carnivore care? I never had much luck with it. None of mine ever liked it and they had to be forced even though they would accept a/d with no problem. I'd try syringing something else like A/D or any canned cat or kitten food would work but you have to strain it well or it clogs the syringe. A/D is made for syringe feeding.

You might find he also would like goats milk or puppy milk. You can buy powdered individual serving at the vet and an individual serving for a puppy will last a hedgehog many days. You only mix up what you need each time.

Quote:
So, last night he got 4 crickets, 8 mealworms, and ate 23 kibble.
That's an okay amount. With the bugs I'd consider that a normal amount. He may be in between growth spurts. He will probably go through another couple growth spurts. Some grow super fast, and others grow slow.

Keep track of his daily input and as long as it isn't continually going down then I wouldn't worry too much.
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Old 07-15-2011, 11:50 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice Please!! Is it syringe-feeding time?

Thank you for the replies!

I think Misha just hates the idea of a syringe... when he sees one coming at him, no matter how sneakily, slowly, or gently, he huffs and puffs and even balls up. I did try a/d, and the same reaction. Once I have him scruffed and the syringe in his mouth, he's fine with gobbling up carnivore care or a/d. It's just the getting the syringe in him without the scruffing that's so far proven impossible!

He fluctuates a few grams a night in weight, which I've read is normal. So, he'd be 253, then 248, then 243, then back to 248. I haven't seen him go lower than 243 or higher than 253 yet.

I'll try and get him to voluntarily eat some a/d tonight, without scruffing him. And, if he again avoids the syringe like it's an angry cobra, than I will just continue monitoring his weight and food intake. Maybe he'll just always be a little guy
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:38 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice Please!! Is it syringe-feeding time?

If he really doesn't like the syringe, why not put the a/d in a dish and see if he'll voluntarily eat it? And you can try various babyfoods as well to entice him to eat more and try new things.
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Old 07-15-2011, 01:43 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Advice Please!! Is it syringe-feeding time?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Immortalia
If he really doesn't like the syringe, why not put the a/d in a dish and see if he'll voluntarily eat it? And you can try various babyfoods as well to entice him to eat more and try new things.
Thanks for the suggestion, and I wish Misha showed any interest in it... but, nope! He eats nothing but kibble and now crickets and mealworms. He's rejected different kinds of wet cat food, hills a/d on a plate, about 10 different kinds of baby food, all fruits and veggies I offered (with the exception of watermelon, one time). He annoints with the baby food and the fruits/veggies, then ignores them. I'm going to keep trying, but it seems to be a hopeless cause
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