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Old 12-23-2018, 10:07 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Dec 2018
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Question Something Wrong or Worried Parent?

My girlfriend and I got a hedgie (Quillbur) on 12/03/2018 and were told he was about 5 months old (so I can't be certain of the exact age). Lately, he has been acting "different" than "usual" which from reading the forums seems to be specific from hedgehog to hedgehog base don personality, temperament, etc. Just for peace of mind, I thought I would outline the various things that are happening and the current living situation to see if there is anything we should be very concerned with.


Temperature: See Question/Explanation Below

Cage: Wire cage, pee pads on the floor (we also tried fleece but wanted to better track his urine)

Contents: Wheel, fleece pouch, food/water dishes, various toys that we change out, we also recently added a little cove typically made for a fish take (more on that later)

Lighting: Lamp on a timer with the light going from 6:30 a.m to 6:30 p.m.

Food: Dry cat food recommended by pet store as primary. We enrich with various food, plain cooked chicken, wet cat food, dried mealworms, etc.

Water: Water dish that he does use. We had a bottle with no spring mechanism but he continually bit the metal spout and we were worried he could hurt his teeth.

Camera: We have a camera with a night vision mode so we can playback footage to see how he is acting. He does not seem to notice it or show any bother that it exists outside of his cage.


The biggest issue we have had is temperature. We went the thermal heat lamp route and will use a space heater blowing in the room (not directly on the cage) in the event the head drops for some reason. Currently we have a single heat lamp in the center of the cage but plan to add another for better cage coverage (currently delayed by UPS).

Confession time, we live in North Dakota and like our house colder, however, we are committed to the little guy and are trying everything we can to keep him comfortable while not killing ourselves with heat. Having said that, does anyone have a thermostat they can recommend that is precise? We purchased three different ones and each of them is radically different. For instance, this morning they read about 74, 77, and 83. I’ve included links below to the thermostats we have in order of the temperatures listed above. (74) (77) (83)


Today was the day that made me come to the forum as he is currently sleeping in the open instead of his fleece pouch (which was his go to bed for the first two weeks). ***Is this at all normal? That seems to have me the most worried as he typically is light shy except during playtime when we have the lights dimmed. Right now he is out in full blown lamp mode.***

The last week he has been going between the pouch and the new “spot” under the wheel. I’ve read that can be normal. I thought perhaps the temperature was causing him to leave go back and forth from fleece pouch to corner but the temperatures on two of our gauges (though a bit off from each other) are consistent to the first couple weeks. Last night because he continued to sleep in that corner, I purchased a little ceramic cave/cove type thing that would normally be in a fish tank. I thought he possible could climb on it and lay for cool or have a bit more of a shelter to go into if he wanted to stay in that area. I didn’t add any fleece or bedding as I thought that could be something that was making him hot in the first place. He did not go into it but is rather laying next to it still under his wheel but his face is nestled in the corner away from the light. He is not fully balled up but that is very typical. He usually has hit face tucked in a bit but has always laid relatively flat and not gotten into anything close to a tight ball during sleep time.


He has been less active at night and seems to be sleeping more. He used to run in his wheel a lot but the last week it has gotten less usage each day. He still used it as a potty though. I noticed a slight wobble so last night I tried to fix it. I think I overcorrected as he only walked on it for a few minutes last night instead of running and I noticed a leg slipped off once so I think it is leaning down to much. He also didn’t poop in it but rather just in the cage. I will try to adjust tonight as well to see if that helps. I understand that not running on the wheel at times or in phases can be normal this just sort of fits in with the changing behavior overall.


He seems to be eating and drinking normally. We noticed that he wasn’t drinking as much lately during playtime but did see him do so on our night vision camera. Last night I did try to give him a bit of water with a syringe during playtime just to see if he would drink. He was interested in the syringed and did drink some drops of it. He is pooping normal, quantity, color, consistency. Urine seems consistent as well, usually, it was in the wheel during the night but since he didn’t use it last night I checked the cage pad and can see he still went okay.


He has been losing some quills here and there, I would say a couple a day maybe, hard to tell. I’ve read that this can be normal or hedgehog to hedgehog but possibly a result of mites. He doesn’t every really scratch himself, his ears look okay, I don’t notice any signs of mites in his quills or his fur.

We have only ever seen him ball up tightly a few times. When we first got him home he was unsure of us and did it. I think he was tired and sassy one day for my girlfriend and then again for me last night. He is a hisser typically. He huffs and puffs if/when we try to pick him up. That’s been pretty normal for him. It doesn’t deter us and once we pick him up he is lovey and playful. He’ll run around on us, snoot around and even poop occasionally so I think there is a comfort level there. We have a “playhouse” container that has food/water toys, etc that we use just for play time. We will take him in and out of that as he poops or seems hungry/thirsty or if we need to do something. He did act normally last night with playing and running on me but I put him back in the play area for a bit and when I tried to pick him up again he did his normal huff and puff routine and then actually balled up tight. I used fleece to pick him up and he opened up a bit and then eventually came out of it. He was a little less active after that and more so wanted to lay still. He does cuddle up with us to during playtime so that may have been normal. I’m not sure if he just had an attitude, got tired, or if this is one more thing to add to the pile of differences in his behavior.

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Old 12-23-2018, 02:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: southern Il. USA
Posts: 319

It sounds like you are doing everything right. I would think he is just quilling. It can make them uncomfertable and cause them to change their habits for a while. Sleeping in different spots is not that uncommon. Ours will sleep in her house or under the pan under her wheel or in one of the PVC tunnels that connects her bins.
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Old 12-23-2018, 03:44 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Manning, Alberta, Canada
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Please only post a question one time. I have deleted your other post.
Retired breeder and active HWS rescue station
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