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Old 05-08-2009, 08:13 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Weight Loss Help Please

Hi all,

I could do with a few peoples opinion on my hedgie please:

Ripley is 14 months old - I bought him off a person at 6 months old who didnt have time for him anymore and who had fed him a limited diet - he was very huffly and small - since that time I have built him up and he weighed 285g at xmas time - since then he has steadily lost weight (40g in all) - I took him to my vet and he said I have been too strict with his diet - he has been on cat biscuits which are 10% fat and 32% protein and 2-3 mealies per night (before I read mealies were very fattening I was free feeding) and about 3 times per week a spoonful of cooked meats and veg) - my vet advised me to temporarily put him on cat food which is min 16% fat which I have done and free feed him mealies which I have done - I have weighed him tonight and in a week he has lost another 10g - my vet doesnt want to see him for another 4 weeks to identify whats going on and how much weight he is going to put on or lose - he is a very good and experienced vet but I am concerned as to the fact I am not getting the balance right - he is being free fed mealies and he is eating them but should I concentrate on getting him to eat more of his fattening cat biscuits? He is what you would class as a 'running' hog, i.e very very active on his wheel by night - please advise
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Unhappy Re: Weight Loss Help Please

Hello,

When you took him to see the vet did you bring a *sample* to be checked for parasites?
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Old 05-08-2009, 09:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Help Please

What do you mean by cat biscuits? Do you just mean dry cat food?
Are you free feeding dry cat kibble daily? That should be the staple part of the diet, and free feeding will allow him to eat as much as he feels comfortable eating.

5-7 mealies per night usually keeps a good weight on a runner. I wouldn't give him more than 8 or so a night, as such a sudden change from 2-3 might upset his tummy.

I would make sure he's eating the kibble, free fed. Keep in mind that sometimes a poop can make the weight change, sometimes up to 25g or so. To get an accurate weight, weigh twice daily around the same time and note if there was a poop before.

Hope he gets some weight back on! Best of luck to the little fellow.
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:08 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Weight Loss Help Please

thank you for the reply - sorry yes forgot to add - he tested clear for worms/parasites and yes he is free fed kibble (cat biscuits) - he does eat this although I am experimenting with flavours also as he has been on the same one for some time with little variation so I did think he may be sick of it a little - I have upped his mealie intake suddently to around 10-12 per night so maybe thats a little too many too soon so will ease back a little as his poop has gone a little softer so thanks for that and thanks for the well wishes - unfortunately in the back of my mind there is the fear of the big C but he is young yet so I hope to avoid such an issue but the next step if is he hasnt put any weight on in the next few weeks then he is going to have an x-ray
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Old 05-08-2009, 11:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Help Please

Just wanted to say that I totally agree with Zalea about the weighing times.

Pick 2 times and stick to only those 2 times to weigh. So at least that factor is constant. The amount of poop they have in their bodies really can make a difference.

For example, my boy can weight 310g one day, and 328g the next.

It's up to you whether you wish to chose "before poop" or "after poop" as long as you stick to either one. So a good time to pick would be before he gets up for his nightly activities, and before you feed him anything. That's usually when I weigh mine, and it's remained pretty constant over the past few weeks. So the 10g loss that you found, might just be that he had less poop. So for the next few days, just keep up with the steady set weighing times and see how the trend is.

Also, have you been counting the number of kibble he eats? That makes it easier too, in determining how much he is actually eating. I know that you free feed, I do too. But I know how much my boy will eat in a night, so I give him the 30-40, plus an extra 20 just in case, and he usually has some left over.

Hoping for the best! ^_^
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:28 AM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Weight Loss Help Please

Brilliant - thank you so much you have been very helpful - my vet told me to weigh him once a week but I didnt realise that there could be suh a vast difference just from poop!! I will weigh him daily and will start counting the kibble too - I have been weighing the bowl but its a dual bowl with water one side so that hasnt been too accurate (although registering a loss) I didnt think about acually counting the pieces but thats definately more accurate - thanks again and I will keep you updated if anything else happens
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Old 05-12-2009, 10:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Weight Loss Help Please

You're welcome ^_^

I usually weigh weekly(sometimes twice/week), it's usually good enough. Though if I find there to be a bigger gap in weights, then I'll weigh again the next day.

But right now, since you're worried, weighing daily will help put you at ease, and makes it even easier to compare how his weights are fluctuating. Once his weight seems to be relatively stable, I'm sure that cutting it down to once or twice a week will be fine. Hope all is well!
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