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Old 04-02-2014, 04:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Help! Sick hedgie? :(

So I started going on this forum a little over 6 months ago, when I got my first hedgehog, Munch. She's had a good six months and it's been nice seeing her get more social as she gets older. ANYWAYS, tonight I went to feed her, and she was still sleeping when I opened the cage, which is normal, and I pulled her out. She curled herself in a very tight ball and was very hissy, moreso than normal, and wouldn't come out of the ball for a few minutes. She has lost a significant amount of quills over the past couple days, but I thought she just might be quilling again, since she's not quite a year old yet, but I don't think that's the case. For whatever reason her heater was off, could explain why she was so hissy and didn't wake up for a good 5-10 minutes, so it's on now. When she went to eat her food, she was VERY wobbly, ate a few pieces, made a really squinty face like she was having trouble swallowing it, and then turned and went back to her igloo, which definitely is not normal.

It's too late to call the vet here, but I sent a couple emails and hopefully they get back to me in the morning. I changed her bedding and left a bit of water in a dish just in case she can't get to the bottle, but all these symptoms...they don't seem like they could be related based on what I've been reading. But I'm super worried, any ideas?
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Old 04-02-2014, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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She sounds like she was attempting hibernation. You need to get her back out now and check her belly and make sure it's warm. If it's not, hold her under your shirt or on a heating pad set on low until she warms up - don't put her back in her cage right away.

What kind of heater do you have? Do you know how it turned off? If you don't, try to figure it out and make sure it doesn't happen again. Hibernation attempts can lead to URIs, which require a vet visit for antibiotics. They don't always, but it is a risk. If she attempts hibernation for too long & doesn't get pulled out of it in time, she could also die from it.

As far as the quill loss, have you noticed her itching at all? It could anything from dry skin, to a skin infection, to mites. Does it look like she's growing quills back in? There sometimes is a small quilling around 1 year, but it's not nearly as regular or as heavy as the baby quillings at 6, 9, and 12 weeks. I wouldn't have quilling as my first guess.
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Old 04-02-2014, 06:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I do think she was attempting to hibernate last night. I ended up pulling her out and holding her to keep her warm until I got her heat lamp to work again. It doesn't usually get too cold where I'm at, so the heat lamp usually does a pretty good job of keeping her warm, but I'm going to keep a very close eye on it and maybe buy a couple extra bulbs just in case it's dying out.

Otherwise, I pulled her out about an hour ago to check on her (had work all morning, but made sure she'd eaten all her food and the lamp was working before I left) and she was much more active and not wobbly at all. She did lose about 6 quills during the 10 minutes that I was holding her, but her skin doesn't look dry at all, and I haven't once seen her itch. It seems like she might be quilling, but the amount she's lost makes me question it, especially since you say the possible quilling around one year isn't as heavy. I'm going to book an appointment tomorrow with a vet if it's not any better.
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Old 04-03-2014, 01:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Sounds like a great idea, and I'm glad she's doing better today.
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