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Old 10-17-2012, 02:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hibernation attempt, please help!

So I went to check on Pickles like I usually do and realized that his lamp over his igloo had been turned off. Immediately I scooped him out and he was lethargic and his tummy was cool. I turned the heating up and sat near a vent with him on my belly and a small heating pad that was warm and not too hot. After about ten or fifteen minutes he began to warm up and became more alert. I checked to see if he could walk but he was still wobbly so I continued warming him up. When he could walk better I put him back in his cage (which was now warm again), and wrapped the heating pad around the outside of his igloo to help keep it warm. (It is a bean bag one that you warm up in the microwave so it won't be too hot). I don't want to further stress him out, so how can I check on him to make sure he is stable, and when should I check on him? In the next half hour or sooner? This has happened during the day time too so he isn't usually awake anyways. Is there a post that deals specifically with this topic? I tried to read about what to do in my hedgehog book but it said nothing about hibernation attempts so I'm mostly going off of what I've seen on here. Also, is there something that I can feed him to help stabilize him? I've heard about pediasure but I'm not clear on which one to buy or how much to give him.
I've also read that once they've attempted hibernation they will do it again more easily. He's two so I don't know if he's done this before. What are some ways to avoid this other than making sure his cage is warm? I have two lamps on his cage already.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hibernation attempt, please help!

From what I've read on here, you seem to be doing everything right. As long as his cage is evenly heated, I'm sure it should be fine. Do you know how the lamp got turned off? You did the right thing with warming him up, just remember to do it slowly as doing it too quickly can harm him just the same (a friend's hibernated and it took about 1/2 an hour to get him back to normal).

I wish I could be of more help, but I'm sure a breeder will be around shortly.
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Old 10-17-2012, 03:21 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hibernation attempt, please help!

Well, you got the most important thing done - getting him warmed up again, correctly. So good job with that! For checking on him, it doesn't have to be anything big - just stick a hand in, touch him and see if you can feel his belly, then leave him be again unless he's cool again. I would check on him again in an hour or two, then leave him be until cuddle time tonight.

A couple of questions for you - how did the lamp get turned off? Is it broken or did someone turn it off? You'll want to make sure that doesn't happen again, whatever it was. If the bulb burned out or was broken, it's a good idea to have a back up CHE on hand, in case one does break or burn out during a weekend, nighttime, sometime when you can't get another one right away. What's the temperature in his cage usually? Do you have a thermometer to keep track of it? Do you know what temperature it was at when you found him cool? With his age, he could be becoming more sensitive to heat and temperature changes, as some hogs do when they get older, so you'll want to make sure you keep track of what temperatures he's comfortable with and what his lower threshold is, where he attempts hibernation.

To avoid them happening in the near future, make sure his cage temp is bumped up a couple degrees past normal. Make sure the lamps won't go out again, and keep an eye on things for a week or two. After that, he should be out of the main danger time, but you still want to make sure you watch the temperature, light (they also need 12-14 hours of light a day on a regular schedule, to avoid hibernation attempts), and his behavior to make sure he's good with the temperature.

Also, if you have a hedgehog book from a pet store or something like that, I wouldn't put too much faith in it. Most hedgehog books are pretty outdated and have incorrect information. If you're interested, this is the best hedgehog book I know about - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files ... index.html It's written by LizardGirl, one of our mods, and it's free to download. It's a great resource to have on hand, and has a ton of great, organized information on hedgehogs.
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Old 10-18-2012, 10:46 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hibernation attempt, please help!

You sound like your doing everything right!
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