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-   -   New owner, suddenly dehydrated hedgie...is he going to be ok? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=154586)

badwolf 01-23-2017 01:40 AM

New owner, suddenly dehydrated hedgie...is he going to be ok?
Hi, I'm a first time owner and I got my hedgehog Rigby a week ago. He's 7 weeks old now, and he seemed to be adjusting pretty well.
The first couple nights he slept a lot, but I did hear him running, eating, and using his water bottle a bit. Over the next few days he started to be more awake and active at night.

Tonight during our cuddle time, I had him in a snuggle pouch in my lap while I was working on some homework. I noticed that he was standing up inside the pouch, like he was trying to crawl out. I thought maybe he had woken up and was ready to crawl around for a bit. I put the pouch on the table and waited for him to crawl out, but he didn't. He stayed in the same position, just lying down now instead of standing.
I coaxed him out of the pouch and put him on top, where he laid sprawled out. I went and got a plate and put some water on it and put it in front of him. He started lapping up water immediately. He obviously was very thirsty and even after the initial frenzied gulps, he continued drinking more slowly for a while(at least ten minutes of basically just drinking).

After a few minutes, he began to perk up and looked much, much better. He walked around for twenty or so minutes, came back to drink a few times during, and then crawled back into his pouch to sleep.

He was obviously very thirsty, and overheated in his pouch.
He seems ok now, but I am worried and feel terrible because I feel like he obviously was dehydrated.

The breeder I got him from used water bottles, so I have a bottle in his cage since that's what he's used to. I have been changing the water out either daily or every other day.
I guess now that I'm looking back, I didn't notice him making much of a difference in the water level when I would change it, but I hear him at night at the water bottle, so I assumed he was drinking what he wanted and needed.
I went and checked his bottle by tapping the ball and there's some water coming out but maybe the ball is too difficult for him to move easily, so he hasn't been drinking enough?

Is he going to be ok? I'm going to find something to use as a water dish in his cage until I can get a real one or a new water bottle, but I'm worried that I am not rehydrating him properly.

I feel terrible that I didn't notice until now, but he hasn't been acting lethargic or anything. I get him out of his cage every evening and have him out for two or three hours, so I am around him enough to notice things like that. He has never showed any signs of overheating before tonight either.

Anything else can I do to make sure he’s ok? What can I do to make sure this doesn’t happen again? How can I make him drink more water? Any ideas why I hear and see him at the bottle, which releases water when I tap it, but he still seems to be dehydrated?

Hammy 01-23-2017 03:17 AM

Hello and welcome to the forums.

*Edit: What's the temperature of his cage?

Stolen from another thread:

Originally Posted by FinnickHog (Post 870874)
Try pinching his skin lightly. If it stays pinched briefly, he's dehydrated. If it goes back to normal he's fine. I like to test this at the shoulder blades because it's the easiest place to find excess skin. You can also check to see if the skin around his eyes is more wrinkled than usual.

You probably want to swap to a water dish permanently, as it sounds like your hedgehog knows how to naturally drink from it. That would more than likely fix potential future dehydration incidences, as he should drink water as needed if it's easily accessible.

He could have been having a hard time with his water bottle, and that would explain why he was at it and it was making sounds. That would also explain why you haven't seen his water bottle's amount change by much.

Monitor his water intake (potentially food and behaviour as well) just to make sure he's doing well; that way it might not be a big scare again.

Water bottles aren't a very popular option, as there's been reports of hedgehogs poking their eyes out, chipping teeth on, and getting their tongues stuck in the spout. It also makes the hedgehog raise its body into an uncomfortable/unfamiliar position in order to access the water.

badwolf 01-23-2017 06:15 AM

Thank you so much for your response!

His cage is usually about 73-74 degrees, I've got a small space heater for night time, but I live in a really warm area, so the entire house is almost always at least 72.

I got him a water bottle because that's was his breeder used, and it seemed like a good idea to try to keep things somewhat similar to help him adjust better. But maybe it's just a different kind that isn't as easy to use. I'll get a good dish ASAP.

What sort of behaviors should I be looking out for? Honestly, I'm a huge worrier, so I've been paying very close attention to him ever since I brought him home, but I didn't notice anything weird or out of the ordinary until he started sprawling out. His food intake and time spent running stayed about the same.

I tried the pinching thing, but I couldn't really tell anything because he just balled up...
Am I doing it right?

Also, are there any guidelines on about how much he should be drinking?

Floyd 01-23-2017 08:07 AM

Just like.. give him water, you know? he will drink as much as needed.

Waterbottle might not be a good idea with hedgies.

nikki 01-23-2017 11:16 AM

Hedgehogs usually drink 1-2 tablespoons of water daily. Montior how much he's eating, count or weigh the food when you replace it each night and count what or weigh what's left the next night before replacing it with fresh food.

Artemis-Ichiro 01-23-2017 11:17 AM

17 Attachment(s)
Water bottles are not recommended for that same reason and many others. Ditch the bottle and stick to a bowl. Breeders sometimes are used to do things in a specific way and don't like change, years ago waterbottles were recommended.

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