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Old 02-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default almost 4 years old...

Hello all.
My little girl is almost 4 years old, and I was wondering if there is anything I should be keeping an eye out for now that she is getting old.

Do I need to change her diet at all? She's currently on Wellness Indoor and Baby cat, because I've never been able to keep weight on her, especially during the winter. And she gets nightly mealies.

I try to feel around for any kind of cancerous tumors... but so far I haven't noticed anything.

Interestingly, she seems more outgoing and active than ever.

What other health issues might crop up now that she's older? And... well the hard question is how long can I expect her to live? To my understand 4 years is fairly old for a hedgie.

Anyway, any advice on dealing with an aging hedgehog is much appreciated.
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Old 02-20-2012, 11:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: almost 4 years old...

Hi there,

I don't really have much to share other than, I have a 3.5 year old hedgie who lost a tooth! I read that, that can sometimes happen as they get older. As a result I moisten her kibble (I also feed Wellness! but the diet kind) so its easier to chew as she lost one of her long, canine teeth. So perhaps look out for that...

I lost my hedgehog Moka (who was four) in November to what I believe and the vets believe was cancer. I went into his cage one day and there was blood in his bed coming from his bum . He then developed a lump next to his bum which ended up going away with antibiotics, but he stopped eating and had to be force fed and was so lethargic, even once the lump disappeared he never recovered...I had rescued him from a pretty neglectful situation so it wasn't surprising that he lived to the base of his life span.

As far as I've read they live between 4-6 years, however my vet told me anywhere passed two they are susceptible to cancers.

Sounds what you are doing is great, I would just continue to look for any unusual behaviour or lumps and bumps!
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Old 02-21-2012, 08:43 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: almost 4 years old...

There really isn't much you need to change until you start to see changes.

I start adding a sprinkle of glucosamine/chondroitin to their diet when they turn three to try to prevent arthritis from setting in. Otherwise I don't do anything until I see evidence that something is needed.

If their weight is good, I don't change their diet at all. If you see evidence that they are eating less, you can moisten the food to see if it helps, but I'd do a veterinary visit at the same time just to have their teeth/mouth checked out for tumors.

You may experience a hedgehog who gets chilled easier as they age too or need more warmth just to be active. Sometimes they get chilled, sometimes the warmth helps with the arthritis they can get.

Each hedgehog I have had has aged differently. Of my last 3, two of them were still running marathons up to a couple of months before they passed.
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Old 02-23-2012, 01:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: almost 4 years old...

Thanks for the tips. I shall continue to keep a close eye on her. Fingers crossed everything stays normal I get nervous now that she's getting older...
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Old 02-23-2012, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: almost 4 years old...

Ahh. Don't get nervous, just be attentive. Pay attention to her behaviors, how much she eats, and give her a good rub down, feeling around for any lumps or bumps regularly. If you see changes, or lumps, get her checked out. But don't let yourself get in a place where you are always fretting that she is sick. It is easy to do.
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