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Old 02-28-2012, 12:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

Well, I have quite a story. I am a first time poster/first time hedgie mom. I had been looking into getting a hedgehog for a year or so before I took the leap. I watched Youtube videos (which I know are not the most accurate things in the world) and went through multiple websites to see if I could handle a hedgie, and decided it was time.
Unfortunately, I could not find a breeder in the area, though I'm sure there is one, so I ended up going with a pet store. I asked if they knew where they got their hedgehogs and they said they didn't, but that it was always the same one and they haven't had problems. The girl seemed pretty knowledgeable, I asked questions about food, cages, liners, etc and all of her answers matched what I'd seen.
Long story short, when I picked up my Cambria it was love at first sight, so she was the one. She was scratchy and seemed to have some dry skin, but the cashier said that wasn't completely out of the ordinary.
It was. I took her to the vet 6 days later after hearing coughing noises/sneezing/sniffing and excessive scratching. She wasn't eating, and consequently, wasn't pooping. Low activity level, sleeping all the time... she had mites and the vet said a possible URI. So she was treated with Revolution, given Carnivore Care for nutrition, and got an antibiotic for 10 days. A few weeks later... QUILLS everywhere! She was quilling, but not necessarily grumpy.
Just a few days ago I brought her back to the vet due to wheezing and heavy breathing, to which I was given Baytril (stronger than the last stuff) for 10 days, which I'm in the middle of now. She sounds much better already, but there are just a few questions I have because I'm definitely not an expert on hedgies. Yet. =]

She's not very active. When I first got her, she ran on her wheel a little here and there, but sleeps for the most part. I don't know how old she is, but the vet said she was young, and she's quilling, so I know she's under a year, maybe a few months? The quilling obviously is painful so I'm not worried about the activity level now, but for the future, she's not wheeling or playing with her toys. I JUST ordered the CSBW for her in hopes she'll get excited to wheel again with it.
The cage is between 75 and 80, I used a CHE (it broke, have to get a new one...) with a day light and an infrared at night to keep it constant. I was wondering if maybe the red light is throwing her off on time and maybe that's why she sleeps through the night?

She's got a voracious appetite, and voracious poops, so I don't think that's an issue. Put her on Purina One Beyond chicken flavor. Trimmed her nails a bit, but she digs at her fleece constantly. Once, she dug to the point her nails and feet got red.
Is all this behavior normal? I got her a little over a month ago and she's pretty comfortable with me already. When I take her out, she rarely balls up, and she splats on my belly sometimes when I'm watching tv. But she doesn't like playing, she runs to a dark hole to sleep. Is she just tired, just being a baby, or is she just not a playful hedgehog? Just want to make sure I'm doing everything right.

Sorry for the long post, but I'm a newbie and want to make sure my hedgie is happy and healthy. =]

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Old 02-28-2012, 12:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

Well it sounds like you are doing all the right things, taking her to the vet and having her health issues addressed. My first thought would be not to pass judgement until she is feeling healthier. All the behavior issues could just be due to her not feeling well.

The excessive digging could be an issue. What kind of hide do you have for her? Sometimes having more than one helps, that way she gets to choose where she wants to go. My Hilde has a medium sized igloo filled with fleece strips that she loves to burrow in. Then she also has a knitted hide that I bought from my breeder that she goes in sometimes. She has never tried to burrow under the fleece.

Getting the CSBW is a good idea. She may not be interested in wheeling right now because she's having respiratory problems.

I'm no expert either, but my guess is that once she is healthy again, you will start seeing some improvements in her energy level. But it sounds like she is in a great home and feels good about where she is overall. Great job, and good luck!
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

It feels really good to be told that I'm doing the right thing... hopefully it all pays off.

She never used to dig that much, I have her on a fleece liner, with an igloo on one side (which she seems to like more the past few days), and a fleece hidey thing, hard to explain. It looks like a pouch with some fleece on the inside. I got her some fleece dig material but she just digs to the bottom of that and keeps trying to go farther... she's stubborn. Haha.

I'm just keeping a close eye on her until the antibiotics are over to make sure she's not straining herself too hard with the digging.

I'm also in talks with the pet store I got her from about the condition I got her in... having mites and a mild URI right from the gitgo isn't cool, so we'll see how that goes. Thanks for the reply, it makes me feel a bit better about the situation. =]
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:38 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

I only have had my hedgie for 4 days now, so I know nothing really about them, but I do know a little about psychology and the excessive digging sounds like a warning sign of something that could get worse. Make sure it does not turn into compulsive digging, because I have seen so many cases of compulsiveness in animals where they start hurting themselves and they can't stop. Make sure your hedgie has enough toys, just to make sure the digging is not because of bored-ness, that is the only thing I can think of at the moment. Your little fella might be anxious, try talking with someone who specializes in animal behavior so they can guise you better than me, and I hope your hedgie gets better soon.
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Old 02-28-2012, 12:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

There's a good chance the red light at night is keeping her from being active. Some hedgies are ok with a red light but alot aren't. I would get a Ceramic Heat Emitter, they just emit heat and no light at all. You can use it both day and night and just use a room light or a regular lamp with a regular bulb to regulate the light during the day. This way you can have it completely dark for her at night and see if that helps.
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

I agree with Nikki - you might want to try just the CHE that does not emit light. I know my hedgehog won't run on his wheel unless it is completely dark in his cage. I also wanted to mention that when I take out my hedgehog, he will immediately look for a nice dark place for him to sleep, so I always make sure to fold part of the blanket that I have him in on my lap so that he can climb under it and sleep - and then he is as happy as a clam. Also my Dexter doesn't ever play. It is just his personality. Sometimes he likes to explore my lap and perhaps the couch or something, but other than that he prefers to just sleep and eat on my lap. Every hedgehog is different, so it might take a bit of time for you to figure out what your hedgehog's personality is, whether she prefers to just cuddle on you or not - especially with all these health problems.

I hope your hedgie feels better soon, he is very lucky to have you taking such good care of him!

Also, that is an absolutely adorable picture of your little girl
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Old 02-28-2012, 01:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

Yeah my little one is definitely a snuggler. I fold a blanket over for her to snuggle in and steal all my heat. She loves eating when she's out with me, that's how I know she's eating just fine haha she'll just go at it then take a nap on my lap.
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Old 02-28-2012, 09:01 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

I agree with the others, a lot of hedgehogs don't like the red light and it will keep them in hiding when they should be awake. It sounds like you did the right thing with taking her to the vets. Babies sleep a lot more than adults, they poop more, and the quilling along with her uri may keep her from being as active as she might be when healthy. Another thing is temperature, you should probably get the che as soon as possible to keep the temp in her cage from fluctuating too much. What kind of light schedule is she on? Purina is an okay food but there are some others that are a lot better for her, there's a list on here of high quality cat foods, I just switched foods and found that the high quality foods aren't really all that expensive for as a long as the food will last. Hope she feels better soon!
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:39 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

She gets her day light around 9 am, and I turn it off around 10 pm, I bought a timer but haven't been able to set it up yet until I can get the CHE in there. I get paid Thursday, so I will go right out to the pet store and get it then. I really do think that will help. She's been feeling a lot better, no more loud breathing or sniffling except when she gets super excited so hopefully by the end of the Bayril she'll be right as rain. =] Thanks guys!
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Old 02-28-2012, 03:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Relatively New Hedgie - Lots of Problems!

Glad to hear she is feeling better! You're doing a great job with her.
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