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Old 02-11-2012, 11:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Jan 2012
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Unhappy Constant Hibernation Attempts

Lucy just turned 1 yr old in January. Her and my 4 other hedgehogs live in loft that is maintained at 72 degrees. In late December she tried to hibernate on me. I got her out for her daily interaction and she was cool to the touch and wobbly on her feet. I put her under my shirt to warm her up, she was fine the rest of the day. This kept happening everyday for several days, so I jumped on the internet for info on hibernation. I was reading about temperature and light control. Although, the room stayed 72 degrees, I didn't have the 12 hour light source. I also read that 72 degrees may not be warm enough for all hedgehogs. I didn't want to raise the entire room temperature because this is where I exercise, sew, and teach my son. So I moved all their cages to a corner, I purchase a 150watt heat bulb that dangles from the ceiling (is on a timer for 7am-9pm), and a small space heater. Their corner stays between 78-80 degrees now. I also purchase a small animal heating pad for her cage. Even after all this, she is still trying to hibernate. She will sleep on the heating pad for a while then go to another part of her cage, where she wants to hibernate. I took her to the vet 3 wks ago. They found nothing wrong, but gave her antibiotics (just in case he said), which I gave for 10 days. Still no change.

She is eating (although not as much) and pooping (not different consistency, but not as much). I've seen her drinking water too. She is not active much, sleeping the day and night away. Although she does get excited about live meal worms. I had been giving dried meal worms (which I recently read can cause digestive problems), but stopped. I have read that once a hedgie tries to hibernate, they are more likely to try again. My problem is I can't get her to stop trying. I have made a habit of getting her up first thing in the morning to warm her up. Does anyone having any suggestions of a underlying problem that I missing?

Also, I feed a mixture of Chicken soup light (appx. 75%), Iams adult (appx. 20%) & nine lives (appx 5%).
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Old 02-11-2012, 11:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
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Default Re: Constant Hibernation Attempts

They need a consistent whole cage temperature. Heating pads are no good because they don't heat the whole cage. A heating pad will also make a hedgehog feel the difference in temperature even more as the heating pad is very warm, and the cage is cooler.

Overnight is when they most need a warm cage as night is when they are up and active and most at risk for a chill. If you are turning the heat bulb off over night, the change in temperature is most likely affecting her. Using a ceramic heat emitter with a temperature controller/thermostat is a better option than a bulb as it produces heat with no light and stays on all the time.
* * * Nancy * * *

Retired from breeding

Rescue contact for both the Hedgehog Welfare Society and the IHA
Rescued over 70 (and counting) hedgehogs needing a new home
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Old 02-11-2012, 03:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Constant Hibernation Attempts

Thanks for the reply. I have one of those temp controllers, I'll run out and get a ceramic bulb. Also, I have my hedgies in cages that have the plastic bottom and wire top (like for guinea pigs), I've been thinking about switching them to the sterilite tubs. Do you think this will help with temp control?
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