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Old 12-05-2011, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Talking Is she tryig to hibernate?

Hi,

I'm new to the forums, but I've been a hedgie owner for nearly a year now. My little girl will be a year old this month actually! She's super sweet and a real joy to have but I have a major concern! The house has been pretty warm lately. Close to 75 degrees all the time, and she stays wrapped up in her fleece most of the time. I was burning up the other day and decided to turn off her heating pad because I was worried that she may be getting too warm also. Well, soon after she quit eating and drinking. This was about two days ago. I noticed she wasn't eating so I left some ham for her that night that she did eat, so last night I left more ham for her but she didn't eat it. Needless to say, I was getting quite concerned at this point but to makes things even worse... when I got her out of her home today she didn't want to uncurl and when I placed heron the floor she just layed there limp and lethargic like. She wouldn't use her legs or make any attempt to get around. I mashed up some vienna sausage for her and placed it in front of her and she sniffed around at it a little but didn't eat any of it. I moved her into a little dog carrier in the living room so I could keep a close eye on her and put her on top of a heating pad inside of it. I heard her moving around a little bit in there just recently, but when I went over to check on her it startled her and she hid under the fleece. She's not up and running around like her usual self, but I do think she's making some effort to move now. Do you think she was just a little chilly and needed to be warmed up? Would it be safe to move her back to her regular home for the night as long as I keep a heating pad under it, or should I keep her in here directly on the heating pad for the night?
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is she tryig to hibernate?

Yes, she is attempting to hibernate.

Do you have a heat setup for her? If you're gonna turn off the heat, then she WILL need a heat set up as hedgehogs are temperature sensitive. Even temperature fluctuations can trigger hibernation attempts, so they need something constant. Heating pads are ok for supplementary heating, usually for sick or elderly hedgehogs. But it is also important for the air inside the cage to be at least 75F as well, as otherwise you may end up with a hedgehog who wakes up to go eat and drink and gets chilled, thus either going into hibernation, or getting a URI. Or you can end up with a hedgie refusing to leave the warm comfort of her bed. (Imagine you waking up on a cold day, and your blanket is nice and warm. You lift up your covers only to get blasted by cold air and get the chills).

What is the temperature inside her cage now? What may feel hot to you may be the perfect temperature for her. So turn up the temperature, especially now that she's had a hibernation attempt, she may end up being even more temperature sensitive and may need an even warmer environment.

If she is eating and drinking normally, as well as walking normally (without wobbling), then it should be safe to put her back into the cage, with the heat pad. But like I said, she really needs the entire cage to be warm, not just her sleeping area.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is she trying to hibernate?

She returned to normal last night after being on heat, and she is still doing good today. But...gah, I feel so guilty :/
I think the air in her home should stay pretty warm. Her bathroom/eating box has a lid over it. Theres air holes drilled in the lid, but the air circulating through the house is coming from a fire place vent right near her home. The other side of the box is where she sleeps, and I keep the heating pad there and also keep a towel or blanket over the top of that side so that warm air stays in. Getting a heating pad for the other side wouldn't be a bad idea at all. I hadn't thought of that actually. I'm wondering about the heating pad setting, though. I usually keep it set on low and sometimes change it up to medium. Would leaving it at medium or even high be best in your opinion?
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is she tryig to hibernate?

A heating pad isn't enough to be the sole heating source. You need a thermometer so you know for sure what temperature her cage is at. It's too hard to tell the exact temperature just by feel, and hedgies can be sensitive to the temperature being off by only a couple degrees. If you want to keep the heating pad under her sleep area, that's fine, but you need to be sure that the air temperature is staying at a steady temperature that's safe. It's not great to depend on a heating vent, since even drafts of warm air aren't good, and if the heat is turning on/off, the temperature may be going up and down too much and trigger an attempt. There's a couple other options that you can use to keep the air at a steady, safe temperature, like a CHE or a space heater. Heating options are explained more in this thread - viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579

I wouldn't turn the heating pad up too much. It may not feel too hot to you, with your hand on it, but for a hedgehog laying on it for long periods of time, they can still get burned just from prolonged exposure to the heat, if it's even a little too hot.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Is she trying to hibernate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shortsnflipflops
and I keep the heating pad there and also keep a towel or blanket over the top of that side so that warm air stays in.
I'm assuming you're using sterilite bins... If You're covering the air holes... How is there ventilation?
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