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Old 09-22-2012, 01:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

For the past 3 weeks Quilly has not been wheeling at all. Also, he has not been eating as much as he used to (he usually eats all of his food but lately he's only been eating 1/4 as much). The temperature is 76.4 degrees in his cage and if he gets too hot he has the option of going to a cooler section of his cage.

Wheel is a Carolina Storm Wheel.


We've clipped his nails so that isn't the issue for the wheeling. He's been more active lately throughout the day and only slightly active at night, minus wheeling. We can hear him playing with his toys. His old behavior was to wheel first for about 5 minutes then he would walk to his food and eat, then sleep - then repeat the rest of the night.

He also isn't pooping as much and they are smaller poops. They are about half the size of what they used to be. They also seem to be slightly darker in color. (Like a dark brown vs medium brown.)

He seems to be drinking the same as usual, but peeing less.

Quilly is still acting the same while being handled or cuddled with. He's not losing more quills or fur than a hedgehog usually loses normally. He still eats mealworms like crazy and he does like the food we provide for him. A few times out of the past few weeks a couple of the kibble bits left in the food bowl are crunched up into bits.

Food is Inova Low fat Adult cat food, Chicken Soup for the Cat lover's Soul, and a third one I cant remember the exact name of but I'd like to say Authority (black bag) low fat

Any advice or help would be appreciated.
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Old 09-22-2012, 01:55 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

Also, Before, he used to pee about 3-4 times a day and poop about 5-6 times a day. Now its more like pee once or twice, and pooping small poops about 2-3 times a day.

Skin is the same, (slightly dry, but not flaky.)

I did give him a bath the other day with olive oil. Next time i'll do Aveeno Oatmeal bath + olive oil. He also gets flax seed oil cap drops on his body once a week and occasionally about 5 drops on his food. He still eats the food when we do this.

He did poop twice in the bath and they were a little larger than the ones he has been doing lately but looked very soft in the water.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

If he has not been eating well the last 3 weeks then that would account for the decreased size of his bowel movements. Also I would question if he is drinking less as well. Have you weighed him lately to see how much he as potentially lost? I would definitely have him examined by a vet as soon as possible so you can hopefully find out what the problem is and get him eating again soon, and if not then you should start force feeding him. As for not using his wheel if he is feeling poorly enough not to eat well then he probably does not have the energy / desire to wheel. Another thing is how old is your food mix? If over 6 months then you should toss it. It is best to only keep food ofr about 6 months and only keep about a months worth out at a time and freeze the rest so it stays fresh. Goodluck and let us know how he does.
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Old 09-22-2012, 03:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

Food is approx 2 months old.

Have a vet appt set for Tuesday (earliest the only hedgehog vet is available) I'll have him weighed there too. He has lost some weight but that may be due to giving him 2 low-fat foods for the past 2 months.


In the meantime, I just bought some unseasoned canned pumpkin so i'm going to see if that helps at all.


Should I change the temperature in the cage at all? Its a CHE setup with the 500R thermostat and a thermometer so I can change it pretty easily.
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

The temperature should be fine. My Emma's cage is around 75 to 77 and she does well with that temp. As for the pumpkin not sure if you should start that or not. His small bowel movements are most likely from his decreased food intake and not a fibre thing. If you can blend his food with some water or call the vet and ask if you can pick up some a/d canned to force feed him till he is seen Tuesday I would entertain that over the pumpkin. Goodluck
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:14 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

How old is he? Also do you have a light schedule for him?
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Old 09-22-2012, 05:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

He is 2 years and 5 months.

His light schedule is from 9 Am to about 7 Pm, which is just through the room light being on/off. Also sometimes just with the light off but allowing the daylight to come in if the sun is in the right place.
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Old 09-23-2012, 01:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

Update: I think it could be a bad constipation issue. I finally saw him attempting to poop and he was pushing out but nothing was happening until he kind of just gave up and kept walking.


This morning, there was a total of one poop but this time it was 3/4 size which is the biggest i've seen in awhile from him.

Will be giving him a bath shortly to see if I can get him to poop a bit in the meantime.

Should I also crush his food into little bits?
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Old 09-23-2012, 06:01 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

Update before bath: Here's a pic of his poop from today so far. They are about the length of your fingernail. (Minus the 1 from last night, which was twice the size of these) He also seems to have some dried poop around his butt hairs. He also peed once which was a light yellow circle a little bigger than a closed fist.

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Old 09-23-2012, 08:20 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Not wheeling at all, and not eating as much

Just finished a very long bath (like 25 mins) trying to get him to poop. Was rubbing his belly and underneath his body.

Before the bath when I was about to pick him up I noticed that he was shaking a bit trying to poop for about 5 secs before he gave up and walked into his blanket.

Ended up raising the water level a bit when I noticed that he had finally pooped while trying to swim in the sink. So I put him in the bathtub and put the water level at the height for swimming on the deep end and kept setting him down there to swim back up to the shallow end. He ended up "pooping" 3 more times.

In the sink it was like a 3/4 size turd that was greenish and had like green moss around it. The poops in the tub were very small-like balls and were very soft and looked like little balls of moss including the hairy moss look. In between those he had like a green and clear film come out that looked like mucus out of your nose. While he was swimming I could tell he was trying to poop the whole time due to his butt sticking out normally like it would when he is about to poop. He didn't have part of his intestine sticking out this time thankfully.

Also gave him a very small amount of unseasoned pumpkin before the bath. He took about 2 bites until he refused to eat it.
I also gave him some "GNC pets high calorie booster" paste. The lady at petsmart said its the same thing as the Nutri-Cal that others have used before. (Dietary Cat Supplement) Gave it to him through a needleless syringe and he loved it.
Also tried to give him some prune juice but he wouldn't even try it. May try doing 100% organic apple juice tomorrow along with more pumpkin.

I am really starting to think that the severe constipation issues are causing his loss of appetite and no desire to wheel. He is still playing with his toilet paper rolls and blankets though throughout the day and some at night. I would say he ate about 10 kibble last night and about 5 so far today. Will actually count tonight. I am giving him a teaspoon and a half of food rounded scoops.
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