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Old 08-10-2010, 03:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

I have a few questions that I already know partial answers to but am having a hard time getting clarification on. I thought I'd try asking here to make sure I'm taking good care of my pet.

I've read that tattered ears can mean mites or a fungal infection, but it can also just be dry skin. I read that if it is dry skin you can use cocoa butter or vitamin E to help moisturise the skin. Is this true, and also what brands would you recommend to buy? Her ears are very dry looking, but I want to make sure what I'm using is safe.

My second question is about hibernation. It's very hot right now where I live, and Bellie has been very active all summer. I went away on holiday for a week and left my mother in charge of taking care of her. A few days before I got back, my mom changed the litter but when she put the wheel back it was in such a position that it couldn't spin. My mom didn't realise this. I got home late Sunday night, fed Bellie and went to bed. The next morning her food was gone so I know she had gotten up, and I saw the wheel and fixed it. That night (yesterday) as I was getting ready for bed, I noticed that she hadn't been up yet. I reached in to have a little play, and she barely stirred. It took me several minutes to get her to come to and unball, and just as I feared her stomach was as cold as ice. Do you think she went into hibernation because she hadn't been able to run in her wheel for a few nights? As I said it's very hot here and the room temperature is consistently warm. She's not by a draft or a window, and even to prevent drafts I have a towel along the backside of her cage (it's a wire cage with a metal tray, very open, lots of air flow). She's 10 months old.

Once I had her awake, I put her by her food to see if she'd eat anything. Then she started wobbling. I know before I got a hedgehog I read somewhere that when a hedgehog can't get it's balance and is shaky/wobbly, that's really bad. What caused the wobbling? Was it because she had been woken up from semi-hibernation? And what can happen as a result of wobbliness? I'm worried about that aspect of things.

I checked her this morning and she was her regular grumpy self, huffing at me for waking her up, very alert and responsive. I'm fairly sure she went into the hibernation as a result of not being able to run on her wheel, but I wanted a more "expert" opinion on it. Also the dry ears/wobbling has me concerned. Any help you can provide is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

Hedgehogs do not hibernate because of a wheel.
You say her belly was cold? Yet it's very hot where you live
I would suggest taking her to see a good exotic vet.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

Quote:
Originally Posted by LarryT
Hedgehogs do not hibernate because of a wheel.
You say her belly was cold? Yet it's very hot where you live
I would suggest taking her to see a good exotic vet.
I figured it was because she had nothing to do for 3 days. She can walk around her cage, she has some little balls with bells to bury and dig out, but she primarily runs on her wheel to stay active. Which is why I figured since she wasn't being active, her body just started to slow down. Does that not make sense? I'm not trying to be sarcastic, I mean genuinely, is that reasoning illogical?
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

She did not hibernate from a lack of exercise/wheel. It would be from tempature or lighting issues.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

Okay. I'm just trying to understand what's changed though because it's been a hot/humid summer, and the temperature in my room (where she is) sits at 75F pretty much all the time. Sometimes it can go up or down a degree, but literally a degree. All summer she's been fine, and the only thing that was different was the wheel being off it's hinge. If you say she's sick then I will look into a vet. Thank you.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

I agree with Larry, take her to a good, exotic vet as soon as possible. We might be able to help you find a good vet. What state are you in, if you don't mind me asking.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

I'm in southern Ontario in Canada, close to Toronto. I actually might know of a good vet. Several years ago I had a guinea pig who got really sick and I took her there. I don't know if he specialises in hedgehogs as well but I can call.

Ironically a few minutes before I got my thread posted, someone else asked about tattered ears so I know to use Vaseline on them. However do you have any ideas about the wobbling? Was that related to the hibernation?

Despite being mid-day, I've just checked on her again and she's totally fine. Warm tummy, grumpy face (for waking her up). When I first got her she went into almost-hibernation and wasn't eating, but it turned out to be because she wasn't drinking. I got her a water dish (even though she'd used a water bottle at the breeder's) and she was fine after that. That's why this little "episode" seems so random to me. Right now she's poking around my legs like "What'd you wake me up for?!"
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:48 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

She might have just been dehydrated, but I'm no expert. I would still monitor her food and water intake for the next few days.
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

Here's a great thread for vets just in Ontario. Nancy goes to one of them! viewtopic.php?f=38&t=5618
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Old 08-10-2010, 03:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tattered ears, hibernation, wobbling

Once the hibernate they 1st time it's easier for it to happen again.
There is WHS wobbly hedgehog syndrome but if your hog is only 10 months old I doubt that's what it is.
Did she come from a reputable breeder or pet store? Does she have a pedigree?
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