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Old 01-06-2013, 03:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

Hi guys..sorry, I didn't know whether to put this in health or diet/nutrition. But...

I've had Hannibell five weeks now and she's been absolutely amazing, but in the past few days I've started to get kind of worried about her. Normally she runs like crazy on her wheel, and she drinks enough to the point where I have to set an alarm to refill her waterbowl during the night, and she usually eats a good amount of the bowl I put out for her. In the past few days however, I've noticed she hasn't been drinking as much at all. For experiments sake I left her water alone and it took three days for me to need to refill it, and there's hardly any food gone from her bowl at all as well. She runs on her wheel a bit, but not a whole lot.

Everything has stayed the same; her enclosure is kept at a stable 76-78 degrees and she's got a pretty stable light schedule. The only thing that's changed is that during the day when I handle her for a little while, I supplement her diet with a little bit of baby food, so she eats while I'm handling her, but that's not a very long time, nowhere near long enough to take away her appetite during the night. I have noticed however that she's losing a few more quills than normal now; is it possible that this would be a side effect of quilling? Does anyone else have any ideas as to what might be wrong with her? I'm really worried, especially about her not drinking much.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:16 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

Also, a couple days ago (actually probably about the time I noticed her lack of appetite and water), she had a little bit of diarrhea that only lasted about 10 minutes or so, and it was just one night, so I associated that with the babyfood, but now I'm wondering if it might have been something different? I'm not sure..
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Old 01-06-2013, 11:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

If she's been down on eating/drinking for a few days, I think personally I'd go ahead and schedule a vet appointment, just in case, especially with the decrease in activity too. How old is she? Have you checked to see if there's anything that's changed at night in her room, like a light shining through a window or something like that? Perhaps there's something disturbing her at night and causing her to stay in her bed more instead of being active. If you really can't find anything, I think it's time for a vet visit to be safe.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

She's 17 weeks, so a little over 4 months. There's curtains over the window, so I don't think it would be anything like that, the only thing I could think of would be that there's a parrot on the other side of the room that might have made some noise at night? Last night she did better on drinking, but not eating, and I Found her sleeping under her wheel instead of her house, so I don't know what that's about. I'm going to go ahead and schedule a vet appointment though, I don't want her going much longer like this.
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Old 01-06-2013, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

That sounds like a good idea. Some other things you could check before you go to the appointment - check how long you've had the food, as they can start eating less if the food is stale, and that may have sparked the other decreases as well. If you want to check for possible mouth issues, try offering her a variety of choices - bowl of normal food, bowl of crushed, bowl of dampened food, and maybe some baby food or wet cat food. See if she eats more with having more choices, and which ones she tries. If she goes for the softer choices, she might have a tooth or mouth issue that needs to be checked out. If she still doesn't eat much of anything, it might be harder to figure out what's going on. Good luck and I hope you guys get it figured out! Please keep us updated, too. I would say that perhaps she's just starting to slow down in her consumption, with getting a bit older, but the decrease in activity makes me worry it might be something else instead.
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

Thank you so much for all the info...really, it was very helpful. I did what you said and checked how long her food had been out; it'd had been a couple days so I tossed it and put in new food, and she went right to it, so she might just be a picky little girl and I'll have to go through food a little faster, that's no problem. Her drinking also increased though, without my checking much more than that, so that was fine.

I think what it was is that it might have been too warm for her as well; the thermometer on the side of her cage read about 78-80, so I turned the heat down to about a 75 and she's been out and running on her wheel and drinking and eating like normal. So the heat may have been a factor in her lowered activity.

That said, everything is back to normal and my baby is fine :] Thank you again!
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Old 01-10-2013, 04:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

Glad you got it figured out and it was nothing serious! Most people change the food every night - a good way to limit food waste is to put out a couple tablespoons' worth, see if she finishes it or not, and adjust the amount accordingly so that there's a bit (maybe half a tablespoon or so) left in the morning, in case she has an extra-hungry night one night. That way you can monitor how much is normal for her to eat more easily as well. The heat sounds likely as well - some hedgehogs are more sensitive to warm temperatures than others, just like with cooler temps. Good thing to know about her before summer!
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Old 01-10-2013, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

That sounds like a great idea, I'll start doing that right away. I had noticed people talking about measuring the amount of food they give their hedgies, but I guess I never realized the point of that until now. I'll start that tonight :] Thanks again, I was really worried about her til now.

Another question about food though; I was looking at the Blue Buffalo (Blue Wilderness? I don't remember) cat food because others on the site had said it was good for their hedgies, I just wonder, since the pieces are so big and harder than the sunseed food I'm currently giving her, should I crush the pieces up a bit before giving them to her? I worry about her hurting her teeth trying to chew on something that hard, and big (I worry about everything haha)
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:51 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

Blue Buffalo would be a great food to add to the Sunseed. Sunseed isn't one of the worse hedgehog foods, but it's still better to have in a mix with some good cat foods. And yeah, crushing the food up wouldn't hurt - I know others are starting to do that more often now, to help hedgehogs chew it more easily. I think a couple people, like LizardGirl, even have a little food mill or something that they use for crushing all of their food up.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: My hedgie isn't drinking much? Or eating?

I'd heard that much about Sunseed, but not until after I had already bought it..Blue Buffalo will be the first thing I buy as soon as I get paid again; I'm not sure about a food mill, but I know I've got a little cup/grinder thing that should do the job. I had tried giving her larger pieces of kitten food earlier and she had a hard time biting into it, so I think grinding it is a good idea. :] Thanks! Again, haha
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