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Old 12-17-2013, 09:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Bloated Stomach Between Sheath and Rectum

My hedgie, Peanut, will be 4 months in 3 days. How much food should he be eating? I give him Sunseed Vita Exotics Hedgehog Formula. I've been giving him 2-3 teaspoons a day. A care book said only 1 a day but he looks like he's begging me for food when his head is in the food bowl so I've been feeding him at breakfast and dinner times.

That's the first question. I'm not sure if its linked to this, but, my second and more serious question is about his health. He has a large bloated belly about the size of a large grape between his sheath and rectum. It was there earlier but would go away after a while. Now, he's bloating is consistent. I'm worried it could be something serious as different hedgehog forums said, but others say he just has large testicles which is common.

He chews his food normally, relieves himself normally, drinks water normally, is not aggressive, is still his adventurous and curious self, and has a wet nose and big black round eyes. I just need some help because I've only had him for 2 months and love him so much but, I am not familiar with hedgehog care.

If anyone knows what I should do I would really appreciate it!
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like it's probably just his testicles. They may contract more into him if he's cooler or be more obvious when he's warmer. If you want more reassurance, you could try to take some pictures for us to verify. You could also check the pictures here - https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...ng-behind.html - and see if it looks similar. Some of them just have large testicles.

Sunseed isn't a terrible food, but it's better to mix it with a high quality cat food, if you're interested in adding to his diet. There's a lot of stickies in the Nutrition section if you want to take a look or need some help looking for ideas or learning about nutrition info. For the most part, it's recommended to free-feed hedgehogs unless there's severe obesity & low fat and low calorie diets have already been tried. To free-feed, start by giving him 2-3 tablespoons, not teaspoons. He may pig out for a couple days if he's been really hungry from not getting enough, but he should even out afterwards. If you wake up to an empty bowl, give him another tablespoon the next night. Continue to do so until he has a bit of food left in the mornings, in case of an extra hungry night or for a daytime snack.

Lastly, here's a better care book for you to check out - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/fi.../download.html It's the most up-to-date book there is on hedgehogs and has a lot of great info. It's also free to download. Welcome to the forums!
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Old 12-17-2013, 09:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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So, hedgehog food is one of those hotly-debated topics, where it seems like most of the food is sold by advertising instead of actually meeting health-needs. It's up to you, but most people on this forum would prefer a high-quality cat food instead of something marketed as a hedgehog food.

For most hedgehogs, you can free-feed, particularly while they're young & growing. If weight becomes an issue, switching to a lower-fat food is generally preferred over restricting intake. My little guy ate around 2 Tbs of kibble per day when he was growing, and now eats closer to 1 Tbs per day.

As for the bulge... This thread has the most dramatic photos of hedgehog-testicles I've seen. Does that look similar? Can you post photos of what you're seeing? Does it seem any more prominent when he's warm (like in warm water)?

Additional reading:
Beginner's guide to hedgehog food
Awesome hedgehog-info/care book

Edit: ahaha, I love that I gave pretty much an identical response as Lillysmommy, right down to links to the same threads. And, welcome to the forum! Always sucks to be in a time of stress, but lovely to have you join us.
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Old 12-17-2013, 10:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We're getting good at this synchronized posting!
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