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Old 07-08-2018, 03:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Just started syringe feeding... do I need to see a vet?

Hi everyone. My guy hasn't really been eating for the past 3 days, consistently less than 10 pieces of kibble. He is losing quills and has dry skin, I think he's started quilling (he's 10 weeks old) however I can't really tell if he's growing new quills or not. He has dry skin and is extra grumpy.

I just did one syringe session (chicken and vegetable baby food, pumpkin baby food, and some pedialyte to mix it together). He seemed to like it, however it was very messy and I couldn't get him to eat the 4ml before he started squirming around too much and I let him go back to his cage to sleep. He eats mealworms fine and will eat some kibble if I put it in his sack when he's out in the evening with me.

Is it time to take him to the vet? I don't know if hes just quilling or theres some underlying cause to his quill loss and dry skin, and lack of appetite. He has also figured out how to use wheel and runs like crazy all night.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Oh god. Second attempt went horrible. He refused to eat any of it, snapped at me the whole time. I feel like I traumatized him and he'll never trust me again. Does anyone have any tips on a good position to feed him? He balls up if I stick it anywhere near his face, and I'm trying not to put him on his back so I won't irritate his skin.
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Old 07-09-2018, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm sorry to hear you're having a tough time with your new little one.

I don't have any experience with very young hoglets so maybe someone else will give you some advice about the quilling and whether this would effect their appetite. How long have you had him and did you try changing his food from what the breeder/store was feeding?

With syringe feeding, here's a tutorial with some advice if you haven't already seen it.
https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/foru...ng-sticky.html
I haven't had to syringe feed myself. Have you tried offering the babyfood mix just in a small dish and seeing if he'll just eat it himself? You could try adding kibble to it too so he's just not eating baby food. Just add some water to the kibble and let it soak then mash and mix together. Still offer his regular dry kibble in a separate dish.

If he'll eat some kibbles in his sack, leave him some at night time in his bed area. I've heard that younger hogs tend to sleep a lot, so he might be more inclined to eat if it's closer by.

Other things that could be effecting his appetite... What is the temperature of his cage? if it's too cold /on the cooler side, this can reduce their appetite. Also do you use a lighting schedule? Is it completely dark at night (approx 12 hours) and then use artificial light like a lamp or ceiling light during the daytime (approx 12 hours)? This can help get them in a routine of when they should sleep and be awake. Sunlight isn't enough as on rainy and cloudy days can make the room dark.
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Update- he is still eating mealworms and will lick the syringe but I can't get it into his mouth to squirt it in. Its also really hard to scruff him as he is very skittish and any slight movement startles him and he balls up. Tonight, i have put food in his bed, kibble with water in a dish, regular kibble, and baby food mixture overnight to see if he'll eat anything. Fingers crossed.

He is currently running like crazy on his wheel for one minute, then running across the cage to his litter pan, then running back to the wheel. Its kind of freaking me out I'm not sure if this behaviour is normal. He used to eat a little and then run on the wheel but now he goes straight to the wheel and ignores his food

Thanks for the reply and to answer your questions yuki's mama: his cage stays at 76-80 degrees all the time, and he does have a consistent light schedule (12 hrs on/12 hrs off). I'm really at a loss here. I don't know why his appetite is so poor. He is running fine and loves to climb and explore when he is out with me for an hour or two. Tomorrow I am going to get really serious with this syringe feeding as I'm at my wits end. After that, vet appointment.
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Old 07-10-2018, 02:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Fingers crossed he eats from one of the bowls!

Have you tried offering the different mixture whilst out for bonding? My boy quite likes to be fed like this lol, whilst he's on my lap or in his sleeping sack, I just hold he dish up to him and he'll eat from it. If not keep up the syringe, I'm just thinking if he's licking the syringe he might go for it himself if offered to him in a bowl outside of the cage. Put it back in the cage when you put him away too.

Have you tried adding the mealworms to the kibble as well?

Good luck, keep us posted
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Old 07-10-2018, 09:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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So last night I could hear him eating his kibble for a bit (yay!). I checked this morning and it looks like he made a dent in the kibble I left him and I think he ate the baby food mixture as well. I will leave him some more tonight to confirm.


I will also try crushing up some mealworms and leaving that in his kibble as well.
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