My 3 year old albino Hedgehog died. How did it happen? Why did he extend his mouth? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 05-14-2018, 04:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My 3 year old albino Hedgehog died. How did it happen? Why did he extend his mouth?

My 3-year old albino hedgehog, Cotton, died last night (or this morning). I had suspected him not eating his food, and the water had barely been touched for the past few days. He was also lethargic and sleeping on his sides. We had switched from Purina Chow (that fatty cat food), and replaced it with a different kind after I suspected abnormal behavior.

After about a week of continuous checking, I finally picked him up last night, and attempted to feed him a mealworm. I was holding him in the curled position where my hand was on all his quills. I tried to put it up to him, and he extended his mouth as far as possible.

At first I was relieved, but then he closed it shut without even touching the worm. He repeated this process about four more times, and I was scared because I thought he was doing an eating reflex for hibernation or something. The room was warm, but his stomach was cold. I was extremely worried at this point. I had attempted to warm him up by putting him on by bare chest, covering him with a blanket. He lied down on his side.

The last movement I ever felt from him again was from the little strength he had to pull himself further up my chest to reach my heartbeat. We layed there for about 20 minutes. His quills were pointy. And they itched.

I put Cotton back in his cage, along with the blanket, in hopes of somehow regaining himself. He was now resting on his side on the small red cloth, still breathing, looking up. He looked warm and comfortable. That was the last he ever saw of me before I pet him one last time, and I put his blue, plastic igloo back over him.

I took a shower because I had smelt like poop, and afterward I checked on him just to make sure.

Still breathing.

I touched his nose lightly, and he didn't react. I went to bed and put my fan towards me on low settings. The room was still very warm (about 73), and I fell asleep. I dreamt of him last night.

I woke up at 6:00 AM, and lifted up the igloo to find that his body was in the same position from when we had parted ways. He wasn't breathing. He was cold to the touch. Later that morning I had rocked him back and forth for 15 minutes crying, before setting him down back into the cage.

He's in a shoebox right now, and we still need to dig a hole in the backyard.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:02 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I’m so sorry for your loss.

73 is actually on the cooler side for hedgehogs and if your fan was on, it might have been too cold for him and he went into hibernation and died. Around 76 degrees is a better temp and no air should be blowing on them.

However, I don’t know the specifics of everything so I can’t say for certain. The best way to find out the cause of death is to get an autopsy done.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The way he was extending his mouth wasn't him reaching for the mealworm, it was him gasping for breath. The fact that he hadn't been eating, had been lethargic and looked felt cold were all good reasons for him to have gone to the vet before he passed. The only way to know why he died is to have a necropsy done on him by a vet.
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Old 05-14-2018, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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oops! *necropsy
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