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Old 01-29-2012, 02:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Not wheeling

Ok, I just got tonka from a rescue about a week ago. He is a year and a half. He hasn't been wheeling at all the past three nights and there is no way this is normal. I keep reading something about a lighting schedule. If I don't have one of those is he just confused as to if it's day or night? Could that be the reason he sleeps all the time? Also, because he sleeps all the time he isn't really eating or drinking that much but there is poop and pee in his cage. I asked the lady I adopted him from if she had him on a schedule, but I was wondering if anyone could fill me in on how to start one and how long it will take before it becomes affective.
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:53 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

Lighting can definitely confuse a hog and trigger a hibernation attempt, as they can think the seasons are changing. Because he's sleeping to the point that he's not eating and drinking normally, plus not wheeling, there's a chance he is attempting hibernation. Take him out of his cage and put him in a blanket and hold him up against your body to warm him up just in case he is chilly. If he isn't too jumpy, you can also put him between layers of shirts on your chest/stomach. His tummy should feel warm once he warms up and he should become a bit more active (like trying to crawl away from you, wiggling around).

You can pick up a light timer from a home improvement store (Lowe's, Fleet Farm, Menards, Home Depot, etc) or Wal Mart for $5 or so. You'll want a 12-14 hour light schedule. Lots of people set it up so the light turns on at 8am and off at 8pm. I personally do 7am to 8pm because that works with my morning schedule a bit better. You can use a desk lamp, floor lamp, aquarium light, really anything works as long as it's bright enough to simulate sunlight. I don't think it would be a big deal to start him on a light schedule right away.

Also check the temperature of his cage. I don't know if you have a heat set up, but it needs to be around 73-78 degrees F in the cage. Lots of people shoot for 75-76 degrees as that allows for 1-2 degrees of fluctuation.

Let us know how he's doing! Good luck.
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Old 01-29-2012, 04:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

Ok awesome. I can just keep my overhead light on. However, I am a college student so my schedule changes day to day depending on homework and class. If I need to be in my room studying after his lights are supposed to be out can I put a blanket over tha cage? Also, if I get him out at night to play with him should all of the lights be off as to not mess up the schedule?
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Old 01-29-2012, 08:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

If you aren't using a CHE heat lamp for heating his cage, a blanket over the top would be fine. Use a dark colored one that doesn't let light through. You may want to consider using a small desk lamp or something of the sort for light to study by so you don't disrupt his night time activity.

Make sure that using a blanket to cover the cage doesn't affect whatever heat source you're using. Like I mentioned before, they have temperature requirements that are higher than what most people are comfortable being in and being chilled can trigger a hibernation attempt, which can be deadly.

Using a dim light for night time bonding would be good. I've noticed that my hedgie is much more adventurous and curious when I have just a small, dim light on rather than the bright overhead light.
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanhan27
If you aren't using a CHE heat lamp for heating his cage, a blanket over the top would be fine. Use a dark colored one that doesn't let light through. You may want to consider using a small desk lamp or something of the sort for light to study by so you don't disrupt his night time activity.

Make sure that using a blanket to cover the cage doesn't affect whatever heat source you're using. Like I mentioned before, they have temperature requirements that are higher than what most people are comfortable being in and being chilled can trigger a hibernation attempt, which can be deadly.

Using a dim light for night time bonding would be good. I've noticed that my hedgie is much more adventurous and curious when I have just a small, dim light on rather than the bright overhead light.
Yah, I use a heating pad so covering up a lamp isnt an issue. However, I have noticed even if I have a slight light on he won't come out unless it's pitch black. I guess I will have to find some other place to study! Thanks for the info!!
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Old 01-29-2012, 09:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

Most heating pads only heat a small area, the rest of the cage may be to cold for him.
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Old 01-30-2012, 12:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryT
Most heating pads only heat a small area, the rest of the cage may be to cold for him.
Well I'm not to worried about it because we keep our house at around 75. He never feels cool to the touch or at least that I have noticed. He is still pretty timid with me.
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Old 01-30-2012, 07:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by kshadbolt
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryT
Most heating pads only heat a small area, the rest of the cage may be to cold for him.
Well I'm not to worried about it because we keep our house at around 75. He never feels cool to the touch or at least that I have noticed. He is still pretty timid with me.
The reason he's not coming out to wheel may be because the cage is to cold as heating pads just heat one spot and not the entire cage. Do you have a thermometer in/around the cage?
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Old 01-30-2012, 04:40 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryT
Quote:
Originally Posted by kshadbolt
Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryT
Most heating pads only heat a small area, the rest of the cage may be to cold for him.
Well I'm not to worried about it because we keep our house at around 75. He never feels cool to the touch or at least that I have noticed. He is still pretty timid with me.
The reason he's not coming out to wheel may be because the cage is to cold as heating pads just heat one spot and not the entire cage. Do you have a thermometer in/around the cage?
No, I don't. In your opinion what is a good type to get?
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Old 01-30-2012, 06:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling

You definitely want a digital thermometer. A lot of people use two thermometers in their hog's cages, because the temperatures can be so different at different spots in the cage. I have this thermometer and absolutely love it: http://www.amazon.com/Chaney-Instrument ... 061&sr=8-5 It records the highest and lowest temperatures recorded since the last reset. I reset mine every morning and check the high and low temps recorded before the reset.

Heating is a very important part of a hedgehog's cage set up. It's good that your house is kept at an unusually warm temperature, but you really should use something as a back up in case what you use to heat your use happens to break/fail. Like Larry said, heating pads are great, but they aren't doing anything for your hog when he is up and on his wheel, eating, exploring the cage, etc. It's the temperature of the air that needs to be monitored. Some hogs attempt hibernation at temperatures as warm as 76 degrees, so as hog owners, we should never brush off this reality.
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