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Old 12-21-2012, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Health and syringe feeding

Hello everyone!

I'm a brand new hedgehog owner and I need some advice. I brought my little buddy home on Sunday and he wasn't eating or drinking the first night or so. I hoped it was just stress, but I was concerned. When I checked him at 3:30 Wednesday morning (because he wasn't up like the nights before), I discovered he had bugs! the vet at the emergency clinic didn't recognize the type, so she didn't charge me and referred me to a local exotics vet for later that morning. Turns out they are a type of bird/rodent mite! The pet store is going to reimburse me for care at least. We got the revolution, but now he needs to eat.
So after all this, I have to syringe feed him the mix from the vet every 4 to 6 hours until he eats on his own. I'm exhausted because we've been up with the poor thing trying to feed him since Wednesday. He's taking the syringe most of the time, so I'm getting above the minimum amount at least. However, he still won't eat anything on his own and he has the green poop. The consistency is slightly better than initially, but still not normal. I have new food, his old food according to the store, and his mix. My next try is bugs. He hasn't eaten anything but what we've given with the syringe.
Does anyone have any experience with how long this could take? We feel so bad for him, and it's hard to be up and home that often this time of year. I'm getting it done, but we're missing work, and have a wedding this weekend. And like a good mom, I can't leave him until I know he's coming around.
I need advice! How can i get him to eat on his own? Should I go back to the vet in case it's another issue? It's so heartbreaking
Thanks!
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Old 12-21-2012, 01:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Health and syringe feeding

juliabelle, what a fun start to your venture into hedgehog ownership, not! Sorry to hear you're already having to deal with these issues.

For getting him to eat, what I would do is continue feeding him when you can during the day, but give him an extra large meal (if you can) right before bed and don't feed him overnight, just leave what you've been syringing him in a dish for him, as well as his regular dry food. Hopefully he'll start to decide that being hungry isn't worth it, and just eat. Then in the morning you can feed him a small bit, then a bit more later, etc. After a night or two I'd hope he'd give up his food strike. If you can get mealworms, or even waxworms, they might entice him to eat on his own as well. Good luck!



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Old 12-21-2012, 02:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Health and syringe feeding

Because he's from the pet store... I gotta ask this: what food did they make you buy? If its commercial hedgehog food, it's probably the reason why he's not eating on his own. You'd be better off first getting a can or two of hills A/D and see if he'll eat that on his own.

Then decide on a cat kibble and give him a few pieces to try. Can leave sprinkled around his bed, his cage. If I remember correctly, Frommes have smaller kibble sizes, which might be easier to eat.

Sometimes, I think they're like cats. If a cat gets sick while eating a certain food, or gets forcefed a certain food, they may turn their noses up at it and need a change of food.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:45 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Health and syringe feeding

Hi everyone, thanks for your replies.
Long story short, i think he was just mad that his food was different! Ugh. What a week for my poor little guy. His poop was normal the last could times, but it's not that much quantity wise and I want him to eat more. We've been giving meal worms too. The vet on Friday thought he had an infection, but now that the green poop is gone, I'm not sure. I'll be talking to them tomorrow anyway.
The store didn't make me buy anything. I got his old food to see if that was the reason. The store owner didn't tell me the correct one initially.
Sadly, it's iams proactive health kitten food with too high of fat. He needs some weight put on currently anyway, but now I need a different kind of help! I want to find a lower fat food that has the little Y-shaped kibble. I think it's his preference. Anyone know any? Or should I do a different thread?
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Old 12-23-2012, 12:06 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Health and syringe feeding

Solid Gold Katz-n-Flocken has nice little easy-to-eat "X" shaped kibble, which he'd probably really like, the food is a great quality and not too high in fat. I had a rescue come in on that Iams kitten food, and he was about 200 grams overweight. Definitely don't want to keep him on it for longer than you need to!



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Old 12-24-2012, 01:21 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Health and syringe feeding

Thank you for the recommendation! I'll see if it's available near me. I could even break off a leg of the X and make it a Y. I'd do that for my little Trooper. That's his name after all we've been through! LoL. Are they similar to the size of the Iams kibbles?
And yes, I don't want to have him on it too long! Basically just until he's settled and healthy, maybe once we're done all the revolution treatments and such. It's only about a month, and he needs to gain some weight anyway. Plus he's a feisty little buddy, so his energy will help keeps some fat off too! We're supplementing with meal worms also, which I hear are low in fat. So that may curb his appetite a bit for the fatty kibbles.
LizardGirl, I've seen your posts before, so perhaps I could ask a couple more questions!
How much should I expect him to eat if we give him say 8-10 meal worms per day? The last couple nights, he ate bout 10 of the iams kibbles. He only weighed 346 as of Friday, I'm buying him a scale tomorrow (yes, on Christmas eve!). So perhaps that's a standard amount until he gets bigger.
Lastly, how much should he poop? It seems to be only once or twice a day currently (more like once), but he is just getting back into eating and such, so I expect some turn around time to get back to normal.
You can message me outside this thread if you'd like, I'm looking for any and all information I fell in love with his little face at the store so I want the very best for him! I'm like a new mom with a newborn. LoL
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Health and syringe feeding

Hey, sorry for the delay getting back to you! Yep, the size difference between the two foods is pretty similar, though I think the Solid Gold is a little smaller overall. It's hard to know how much is a "good" amount for them to be eating, we have some that only pick at their food and do just fine and some that will lick their bowl clean and do great too. My general "rule" is that if they are pooping enough, they're eating enough. Since he's not pooping much, it sounds like he's not eating quite enough yet (hedgies are VERY poopy!) but since he's been through a lot, I don't blame him. I suspect he'll get better with time, like you said. Mealies will decrease their need for kibble that night just a little, but the "poop rule" still applies.



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