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Old 12-14-2011, 12:26 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Paranoid hedgie mama! Help!

I brought my baby Nutmeg home on Saturday. She's just nine weeks old and acting so strangely. Or maybe it's normal and okay, but since I'm a first-time hedgie mom I don't know.

Since she's only been here a few days, I know she doesn't yet know me so all her huffing and puffing makes sense. The first two days or so she's been really active, running around her cage, and eagerly exploring when we took her out of the cage.

Tonight she has me worried! She sleeps a lot in general and I know that's normal for babies. She eats, drinks, and poops normally as well (at least I assume it's normal). But when I took her out of her cage today she hardly moved. And then she started stretching out weird on the floor (back legs stretched behind her, belly on the ground like a cat almost). I'm freaking out thinking she's trying to hibernate. Our apartment includes heat, so since we got her we've had the heat cranked to about the 73-75 degree range. I ordered a thermostat for her cage but it's not due to arrive until Thursday, so I don't actually know the temperature inside her cage. She does have fleece blankets she cuddles up in, and my husband is currently at Wal-Mart picking up a space heater. I might just be paranoid but I don't want to take any chances!

Also, when I move to pick her up she usually puffs out, freezes on the spot and huffs, but allows me to scoop her up and then calms down. But tonight not only did she huff and puff, but she tried to frantically scramble away from my grasp which is something she hasn't done before. Maybe she's quilling and her skin is feeling sensitive or painful? I keep hoping that's the case and not hibernation.

Also, when I pick her up, her belly is warm. Not very warm, but not cool either. Help? :\
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Old 12-14-2011, 01:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paranoid hedgie mama! Help!

Update:

We now have an oil-filled space heater set several inches away from the side of her cage. I also threw a fleece blanket over the cage to make it darker in there for her, and sure enough! She went to town on her wheel for the first time ever. So it would seem she's more active, but whether it's the space heater's doing or the blanket's, I can't be sure.

Anyone ever use an oil-filled space heater? It unfortunately has no thermostat, only a MIN-MAX dial that I have set somewhere in the middle. My cage thermometer will be here on Thursday so then I can start truly monitering her temps. In the meantime, if anyone knows how far away my space heater should be from her cage and what settings I should have it on, please let me know!
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Old 12-14-2011, 02:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Paranoid hedgie mama! Help!

Many here have the oil filled heaters...you might want to set a tray on top of the cage to capture the heat. See the last post end of this thread how mine is set up https://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/vi...hp?f=2&t=14894 I have a black fleece I also throw on top at night if I have the light on.

I set my heater switch on medium 1000watt and temp dial cranked to max which on my unit is 6 (mine has power 2 switches, with 3 settings plus a temp dial) 700watt, 1000watt or both switches on at once is 1500watt.

This setting (in my environment ) keeps her cage above 75 at all times even in the coldest part of the night but generally sticks between 77-79 ish.
I keep mine set up like this with a tray on top of the cage to capture the heat there which relieves me of having those temps in the room where I am The room itself stays about 70ish...while Hazels cage stays her balmy temps.
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