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Old 08-13-2012, 03:17 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A Smelly Situation

So by new hedgie, Albus Peanut, is starting to annoy me. First of all, you should know that I got him 1 month ago (exactly) and he was presumed to be between 6-8 weeks when I bought him, which makes him about 2 months old. He is finally beginning to adjust to life at my house and is relaxing more when I am around. I only introduced his wheel 2 weeks ago and had been using his litter box wonderfully until then. I expected him to do his business while on his wheel, but he doesn't use his litter box at all now. He pees in the middle of the cage and I will often wake up to see he has pooped in front of his igloo. I scoop up the poo and plop it into the litter box and wash the wheel every other day but it sems to be getting worse. On top of that, his poos STINK! Like, 'Oh my gosh, I think I'm going to throw up' stink. His poos are a variety of grossness- some are very soft and green-ish, some are normal looking, and others look like chewed celery (it's the only way I can think of describing it!) only more yellowy/brown. The weird poops are only ever on the wheel, and the poos near his igloo look fine. I started him on a new food by combining it with his old stuff (http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...n=Health+Needs http://www.petcetera.ca/Products/Sma...hogs-Diet.aspx - The second one is what Albus was on first) but I don't think it could make that much of a difference. He usually drink half of his bowl of water in a night and eats all of his food except a couple pieces. He otherwise seems to be healthy, but I'm definitely a bit worried and curious if anyone else's hedgie has had this experience. Thanks everyone!
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:35 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

Your new cat food has fish in it. I have heard that seafood in the cat food makes the poops smell worse. You can consider switching to a cat food with no fish in it. So far, I like Natural Balance Chicken and Pea, Natural Balance Duck and Pea, and Science Diet Chicken and Rice (not as good). I found a new one by Blue Buffalo with no seafood too, but I haven't tried it yet. I'm going to get that when the Science Diet runs out.

New food changes can also sometimes make his stomach a little upset.

As for the new pooping location, maybe leave something that is easy to move in the spot in front of his igloo. Maybe a sheet of newspaper, paper towel, etc. Then you can easily move the poop to the litter box.

Out of curiosity, what would happen if you moved the wheel out of the litter box? Would he poop in the litter box again?
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Old 08-13-2012, 03:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

Ah! I knew that fish isn't good, and I totally skimmed over that in the ingredients! I'll head over tomorrow and get one of the Natural Balance foods and see if that helps.
As for the wheel, the litter box has been changing locations a lot recently. At first it was across from the wheel, then it was right beside (which for some reason made Al burrow underneath the litter pan and poo under there...) then it was underneath the wheel, which he didn't like as he knocked over the wheel and managed to drag the litter box to the other side of the cage, and now it's back where it started. He's a silly one, that Albus is.
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Old 08-13-2012, 01:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

I don't think that little fish would be the cause for the smell, really - it's not even the main protein in that food. Most complaints that I've seen about stinky poop related to fish-based food, the fish is the main ingredient. How long had you been feeding the new food? How much did you put in in ratio to the old food? Did he only just start having the different-colored and stinky poops since you changed the food, or did that start before?
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

I started him on the new food the day that I brought him home, but it was just a couple pieces mixed in. Now it's probably half and half. Last night though, he just picked out all the newer food! I'm just going to buy a small bag and see if that helps a bit. When I bought Albus, his poops all looked normal, so it must be the new food.
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Old 08-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

Which new food did you buy?

When you say that he picked out all the new food, do you mean that he ate only the new food or that he discarded all of the new food?

Oh, and sometimes hedgies will get green, yucky poops from stress, new food, changes, and from food that has gone bad. So be sure to introduce new foods slowly and to store your food in a cool, dry place. I like to keep a mixture of my different cat foods in a resealable container out, and to store the rest away until I need it. I also aim to have all of the food in the bowl finished each day, except for a couple pieces. That way, his food is fresh every day.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:01 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

I just have to add that there is a huge difference in the stink when Thistle eats food with fish ingredients. It's like knock-you-on-the-floor-gagging stink. Unfortunately it also seems to be the favorite flavor, so I only give her a few pieces as a treat.
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

I would suggest, before you add in the newest food, take out all of the Pro Plan food and feed him the old food for awhile (assuming he eats it just fine still). See if his poop goes back to normal or not - my concern is that sometimes very smelly poops that are off-color might be a sign of illness, such as an intestinal problem. So if his poop doesn't go back to normal after being on his familiar food for a little while, it might be a good idea to get a vet visit in, just in case. Even if it's just due to the Pro Plan, at least it'll give his system a little break from the upset before you start trying to introduce a new food again. I hope the new food (agreed, I'm curious, which one did you choose?) goes better!
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

Sorry it took so long to get back here! My internet's been down, so every time I tried to get on, it wouldn't let me!

I ended up waiting a few days to get the food, and just fed Albus the Ultra-Blend during that time. It did help a little, but I think he was mad at me for taking some of the variety out of his meal! Once I finally got to the store, it turns out that they don't carry Natural Balance, and they are discontinuing the Chicken and Rice Science Diet (I think it's just the store near my house, but I don't feel like driving 20+ minutes to the store that does carry it ), so I went with Blue Buffalo. http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.j ... lmdn=Brand I only got a small bag in case he didn't like it, but he proved me wrong! Al picked out all the Blue Buffalo food, carried it over to his igloo, and then seemed upset when he ate all of it and had to eat the rest of the Ultra-Blend! So, I think he likes it!

I also figured out that it was partially the bedding I was using that was smelly. I was using CareFRESH, but it smells like bad breath... So I got some aspen shavings and mixed it in, and now there's nearly no smell! I think it's because the CareFRESH absorbed his pee, and then between cage cleanings each week, it started to get a bit rank. But I think it's all taken care of now!!

Also, @MurE, I took your advice on the nail trim- he wasn't very co-operative in the water, but once I took him out he just wanted to snuggle, so I was able to get one foot done!

So thanks everyone for the awesome help you've given me, and Albus thanks you too!
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Smelly Situation

Thanks for the update!

I'm glad he liked the Blue Buffalo. That's good news for me since I'll be switching Poggles to that from the Science Diet once the Science Diet runs out.

When your Carefresh runs out, you might want to get newspaper pellets instead and add ripped up little squares of newspaper on top (for extra absorbency and it's fun to burrow through). I have heard of hedgies having breathing problems from using Carefresh and it really dries out their skin so it can cause some skin problems too. Wood bedding often has mites so make sure to put the aspen into the freezer for a while to kill off any possible mites before you use it.

I'm glad you were able to trim his nails after the bath. I find that Poggles is very mellow after a bath too. I usually get the nail trimming towards the end of his bath when he is starting to mellow out. It took some practice, but now he just stands there while I trim his nails one by one. It's kind of nice because he's usually so huffy and anti-social towards me. Plus I'm usually allergic to him, but not after his bath. So I can touch him a lot
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