Help! Hedgehog sitter reversed light cycle. - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 09-15-2019, 11:18 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help! Hedgehog sitter reversed light cycle.

Hi everyone,

This is my first post as a brand-new hedge parent. First off, a huge thank you to everyone here - we did a year of research here while waiting for a rescue hedgie to need a home in our area. We finally got him three weeks ago. He's all set up with a CHE, light schedule, etc.

We went away this weekend and left a good friend with diligent instructions to watch our little guy. However, it seems she misunderstood and left his light on all night and turned it off all day (8:30-8:30, the opposite of his usual cycle). We found the light off when we arrived home this evening and panicked and turned it on. But he was sleeping in his hidey normally, and he seems to have eaten and pooped normally. We cuddled him to check him over and he was huffy and squirmy and his usual self. He's now back to sleep, but it's almost time to switch him over to dark. Should we just immediately change him back to his normal cycle? Should we taper it somehow or something? He shows no signs of hibernation, so I'm assuming he just kept his cycle and we should get him back into it? Any help would be very appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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If he seems active and his normal self, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. True, lighting can definitely play a part in hibernation attempts/causing illness or upset, but again, if he seems his normal self, you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. It might be a good idea to turn the lights off a couple hours later than normal tonight/ on a couple hours later than normal tomorrow and gradually wean him back onto a normal cycle that way just to mitigate any issues he might have with flipping the cycle back.
Hope this helps 🙂
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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He would've gotten more light than usual, which should not cause any hibernation attempts. It is when the daylight is shortened significantly that it could trigger hibernation (the arrival of winter with shorter daylight hours).

I would think that letting him get a nice dark night right now would be best. Get him right back to his normal schedule.

(I would assume that he really never get any darkness as the natural daylight would still have been visible for him during his usual daylight schedule. If that is the case, then I'd suggest letting him get full darkness right away tonight. If he had actual darkness during the day -- no natural daylight at all -- then go gradual as Aj suggests.)
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Last edited by Mecki; 09-16-2019 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:30 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you both for your quick replies! I really appreciate it. The room he is in has no windows, but the door is usually open a bit, and lets in a teeny bit of daylight. I turned off his light about half an hour later than normal this evening, and will plan to turn it on half an hour later tomorrow morning as well, and just keep an eye out. I just got very concerned (new hedgie mom paranoia!), as I've been reading everything here about how precise their care needs to be. Thanks again.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It needs to be precise but its not always going to be 100% precise, you need roughly 12 hours day and light. If your over a couple nights with the light its fine you wont get problems. Its when you slack and they get less light that you need to worry about.

To be honest it does seem he kept his normal patter (so far) so if you get changed slowly but fast it will stay his pattern before he does swap it.

Although technically have a reverse cyle isnt a problem if he did get used to it. It just means you get him out in the day not the evening. The 12 hours day and 12 hours night were still just not the right way!

I wouldnt worry if he's fine, by the way you can change it by an hour and wont effect them. As long as you keep the day the same or slightly over and dont make the day any shorter.
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Old 09-16-2019, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Having a couple days of 'darkness' wouldn't be any different than a natural cycle of a couple of cloudy/stormy days.
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