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Old 01-28-2019, 08:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I think my hedgie is dying

New here and don't have time to go through previous posts before I head off to work. My hedgie hasn't been eating much (probably nothing) in the last couple of days. But he has been drinking. He's probably 3.5 to 4 years old. Took him out to check on him this morning and he noticeably lost weight and is weak (had trouble standing). Nothing about the temperature, his food or anything else has changed. Moved him from a water bottle to a water bowl about two weeks ago, but he's been using it just fine.

He's never eaten anything but cat food, he won't take any kind of treat. I can come home during my lunch and try to feed him something by syringe, but I don't know what. My kids will be devastated when he dies.
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Old 01-28-2019, 12:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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You need to take him to the vet. He needs food in him asap. Fatty liver disease can set in as quick as 2 days of not eating. You can either get some pate style canned cat food and mix it with water to syringe feed. Another couple of options is to grind up his dry cat food and mix it with water or get some Hills A/D from the vet and use that. The Hills A/D would probably be best as its very high in nutrients.

This is a medical emergency and your hedgehog may recover with proper help. He isn't that old yet.

What's the actually temperature in the cage?
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Old 01-28-2019, 01:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Got to agree with Nikki. Its time to teach your kids that pets need to visit doctors and need extra care when they become sick.
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Old 01-28-2019, 04:31 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Found a vet and made appt for tomorrow. Did manage to feed him about 2ml of water with some crushed up dried cricket. I don’t have a thermometer in the cage, but nothing about his location in the house or the usual temp in the house has changed. But since you asked, I’m assuming I need to get a thermometer. I will try the cat food tonight. Thanks.
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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What heating system do you have? The temperature in your house should not be the same as in your cage. Let me remind you that hedgehogs need to be 72-80 Fahrenheit at all times. If you don’t have one already, I would get a ceramic heat emitter (CHE) set up. This includes a ceramic heat emitter bulb, a CHE dome, a thermometer and a thermostat. Thermostats control the temperature of the cage. Thermometers read the temperature (I am only mentioning this because some people don’t know the difference between the two.) Also, is your hedgehog getting enough exercise? Does it use its wheel?
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Old 01-28-2019, 06:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I don't have a heating system. Got him from someone who had gotten him from a breeder and had him for two years. I've had him a year and a half. He typically use wheel a lot, though his use has not been as consistent the last month or so.

The very I found is expensive. If it is FLD, there's no way we can keep up treatments between the expense and the distance.

Last edited by Chowder; 01-28-2019 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 01-28-2019, 07:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok so I have been trying to figure this out for a while now. I have a lot of experiance in the camilid (lamma-alpaca) world. Actually teach a few classes of vet and vet tec students each year about them. They are prone to getting fatty liver disease also. But in them it is caused buy extended periods of being over weight, and a few do die from it. Most animals in a no eating situation go into starvation mode and their body states feeding on its self, fat being used up first. Lack of drinking will tend to cause kidney and liver shut down. Just trying to learn some thing.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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So you don't understand how lack of eating leads to fatty liver disease?
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yes ,seems kind of odd. Thats not to say it may not cause other liver disease,more of wondering if its not the wrong name for what happens. Not a real long time hedgie person but I do have 40 plus years make a living working on animals including exotics, which can be tricky because most haven't been kept domesticly for that many years.
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Old 01-28-2019, 08:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Heating is very important and one of the essentials for hedgehogs. YOU NEED A HEATING SET UP!! Don’t buy a heat pad though. I know they are cheaper than a CHE setup, but they can give your hedgie bad burns. If you don’t have proper heating, your hedgehog will go into hibernation (which is fatal for hedgehogs.)


I don’t know for sure, but your hedgehog might be in hibernation right now. An easy way to tell is by feeling it’s belly. If it’s cold, he DEFINITELY has gone into hibernation. Hedgehog’s stomachs are naturally warm, but when they go into hibernation, they will be cold. If this is the case, take him to the vet immediately (which I know you are already doing.)


If this isn’t the case, you should still buy a heating set up to prevent this from happening. It is very common for owners who don’t have a heating setup for their hedgehogs to go into hibernation.

I hope this helps!
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