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Old 02-18-2013, 04:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Runny nose/licking nose

Hi all,

I am a new hedgehog mommy, and I am admittedly a little paranoid. My hedgie, Thisbe, is 6 1/2 weeks old, I just brought her home this past Thursday. I am concerned because I noticed today that she has licking her nose. Her nose has been wet since she's been home, but not dripping, and when I asked the breeder about this she said it was normal. But the licking makes me think she may be sick. Additionally, she constantly makes noise. While I've read that huffing is normal, she's constantly chattering which doesn't bother me as long as its normal even when she sleeps [snoring?]. I called the vet today, but he isn't in.

6 1/2 weeks old, have not weighed her yet
poop appears to be normal, and she's been eating but not a ton.
pine bedding, cage 2'X4'
no goop around the eyes
room kept about 75-78 degrees

Please let me know if this seems normal, or if I need to find an alternative vet ASAP.

Best,
Ashley
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Runny nose/licking nose

A healthy hedgehog's nose will be moist like a dog's. If you see excessive dripping or bubbling snot, that's a problem. Licking the nose on occasion is normal, but constantly licking can be a sign of a runny nose.

What kind of noise is it? Hedgehogs aren't very noisy animals, but they do have a lot of subtle vocalizations. You could be hearing what I call "tweeting", which is a sort of whistling sound that comes when they're exploring or snuffling around, or just plain happy and comfortable. If you're hearing a wheezing sound, that's also a sign of a URI.

It's not a bad idea to get a checkup with a vet within the first week or two of bringing your baby home, once you figure out what's normal for her. That way you can establish a relationship with the vet before any problems actually arise. Also keep in mind that a transition to a new home is a stressful time, which can lead to a decreased immune system. From what you've described it sounds like she's probably fine, and it's most likely new-hedgie-parent paranoia, but if a vet check is going to make you feel better, go for it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 05:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Runny nose/licking nose

Oh that makes me feel much better! Her nose definitely isn't bubbly, and the dripping is minimal. I'm setting up a vet appt. for later this week just for good measure, but hopefully everything is OK.

She doesn't appear to be wheezing, the noise is soft and a bit squeeky. I can definitely tell a difference between that and when she's huffing, so you're probably right about the tweeting.

Thank you so much for your input on this, I just keep reminding myself to be calm and not a crazy mother!

Ashley
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Runny nose/licking nose

I'd switch out the pine and see if things improve.
Straight pine can release toxic chemicals when mixed with urine. It's the aromatic oils, like cedar.
Kiln dried pine is ok, so is aspen.

However, I would suggest switching to fleece and see if you see improvement. Shavings and loose bedding(like care fresh) tends to be dusty and irritates the nose, causing URI-like symptoms.
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Old 02-18-2013, 06:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Runny nose/licking nose

Oh, I missed that part - was responding from my phone. I agree, try liners and see if there's a difference.
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