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Old 10-25-2008, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Other causes of hibernation?

Our hedgie is regularly showing signs of pre-hibernation (balling, lethargy, cold to touch, wobbliness). Having read the many posts on this subject, we have warmed her room and it is regularly 25-27 degrees celsius (near 80 degrees fahrenheit). Every time we find her in this condition we warm her under our clothing or on a heating pad and she improves quickly. We are awaiting a thermostat controlled heating pad as well.

The room is warmer than it ever is in the summer. Also, while we have read the role that light-levels play in triggering hibernation, our hedgie regardless of the season stays in her sleeping bag unless she runs in her wheel (only in complete darkness) or we are playing with her in a lit room.

All posts seem to indicate that increased heat and light levels are the two means to preventing hibernating behaviour. Is there anything else that can be triggering this? Based on her living conditions, it seems reasonable that she would try hibernating in the summer as well.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other causes of hibernation?

About all I could ask at this point would be (1) how old is she? and (2) how often does this happen. Here at the Rescue (the Flash and Thelma Memorial Hedgehog Rescue in Divide, Colorado where we have taken care of over 250 hedgehogs on a long term basis over the last 12 years), we have found that cool-to-the-touch presence and lethargic behavior increases with advancing age and that such conditions affect some hedgehogs much more than others. I have not researched this anong our populaiton (it could be done but would take a couple of days of full time work), but it also seems to me that these conditions are more prevanent among females than males. Also we have found that this is not a daily nor even a weekly event, but only from time to time. When this situation occurs, either I sit with the hedgehog up close to my skin under clothing or place the hedgehog in one of our ICUs and crank the ICU temperature up to 88 or 90 degrees (Fahrenheit).

Best wishes, Z. G. Standing Bear
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Old 10-25-2008, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other causes of hibernation?

One of my girls would hibernate without adequate light. With shorter days, leaving a light on is a necessity. I turn the light on in my hedgie room 7ish am until 9ish pm.

Some hedgehogs even with very warm temperatures seem to need a heating pad or they won't be warm enough. I've had a couple of girls that needed a heating pad 24/7 year round the last couple years of their lives.

Like Standing Bear, I too have found that the girls seem to be more temperature sensitive. I will have to think on it some more but I don't think we've ever had a case of a male attempting hibernation.
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Old 10-25-2008, 04:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Other causes of hibernation?

Thanks for your responses. We adopted our female as a hoglet last winter so she is not even a year old. She never showed any signs of distress during the cold weather in February so we did not find need to heat her room directly. It was quite a surprise during this mild fall when we first found her with symptoms. For awhile heating the room seemed sufficient but very recently it has become a weekly event.

She has always loved spending hours curled up in a sweatshirt pocket or between shirt layers. Is it possible that we have acclimated her to a very high temperature now? We will certainly be leaving the light on and are hoping to receive the heating pad in the next few days.
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Old 10-25-2008, 06:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Other causes of hibernation?

My Peaches RIP first hibernation attempt was when she was 6 months old. The second was at 13 months and it was light related. It was in September and back before I kept lights on all the time. Emma and Missy were just over a year when they started having random hibernation attempts. Missy never did need a heating pad full time but Emma and Peaches did.
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