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Old 09-13-2010, 01:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Post hibernation attempt - questions.

Hello,

First, please no moral lessons or anything of the type, I feel bad enough about it already. Thank you.

I found Col. Mustard hibernating around 5am this morning. We have a space heater in the room we have her cage in, but I forgot the window open and the space heater along with the open window wasn't enough to keep the temperature up. When i found her, the temperature in her cage was 63.7F.

I took her out (she was curled up in a ball), wrap her on a blanket and put her under my shirt, then I sat with her next to the heater. It took me 45 minutes to wake her up. When she woke up, she was a little wobbly and still VERY cold (her belly was as cold as metal.) I offered her food / water, she refused; I offered mealworms and she had two of them.

I laid her on my bed beside me and she slept for two hours (normal sleep though), after two hours she woke up, I put her back in her cage, she had some water and went inside her igloo to sleep.

I've been checking on her every hour or so now and she is sleeping. The temperature is back to normal. I'm concerned because she didn't eat anything. Last time she ate kibble was Saturday night, she didn't eat anything Sunday during the day (she usually doesn't eat during the day) / evening or this morning.

My question is: do I have to syringe feed her? If yes, what should I use, how much and how often? Also, what should I watch for on the next few days?

Thanks,
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

When my little boy did his hibernation thing I had to take him to MED VET, where he was placed on hot water botales, and hot air blowers, when he came out of it he whent crazzy. HE was just blindly running around, hitting walls and completly not with it. They had me give him canded food for 5 days and keep his timp at 78. they also told me to feed him some baby food with millworms in it. I was allso informed that I needed to watch im VERRY closly for the next month, and any sings of hibernation i was to rase the timp agean.
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Old 09-13-2010, 03:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

I'm so sorry this happened! I hope that she will be alright. I know you're so worried about her. I'll be thinking of you both.



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Old 09-13-2010, 04:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

Hi Susana,

I don't know about the syringe feeding, hopefully someone with a bit more experience will chime in on that soon.

Watch her extra carefully for the next week or so, as she could easily attempt to hibernate again. Might be worth turning the heat up a little (but not too much) to make sure it's warm enough. Over the next month or so, you'll want to watch for any signs of sickness. The hibernation attempt will lower her immune system, so she could become sick very easily. Watch out for URI's, or mites, or anything like that.

Hope little Mustard and you are both doing ok.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by E-Che & Tonja
When my little boy did his hibernation thing I had to take him to MED VET, where he was placed on hot water botales, and hot air blowers, when he came out of it he whent crazzy. HE was just blindly running around, hitting walls and completly not with it. They had me give him canded food for 5 days and keep his timp at 78. they also told me to feed him some baby food with millworms in it. I was allso informed that I needed to watch im VERRY closly for the next month, and any sings of hibernation i was to rase the timp agean.
Thank you for the reply. Mustard has been acting a little weird and I was very concerned but for what you wrote about your little guy, I guess it's "normal" for them to act a little disoriented after an hibernation attempt then. I'll be watching her and making sure the temperature is right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PJM
I'm so sorry this happened! I hope that she will be alright. I know you're so worried about her. I'll be thinking of you both.
Thank you, PJM! Warm thoughts are very welcome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hercsmom
Hi Susana,

I don't know about the syringe feeding, hopefully someone with a bit more experience will chime in on that soon.

Watch her extra carefully for the next week or so, as she could easily attempt to hibernate again. Might be worth turning the heat up a little (but not too much) to make sure it's warm enough. Over the next month or so, you'll want to watch for any signs of sickness. The hibernation attempt will lower her immune system, so she could become sick very easily. Watch out for URI's, or mites, or anything like that.

Hope little Mustard and you are both doing ok.
I went out and I got her a CHE bulb and a clamp lamp but PETCO and the other small pet shops I went to didn't have a thermostat. I figured it would be easier to keep her a little warmer with a CHE set up, I'm ordering a thermostat now.

I also got some Hill's prescription food, in case I have to syringe feed her (I think that's what's recommended to use.)

Thank you all!
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

The hills is the recommended food to syringe feed but in a pinch you can also use baby food. I like to get the turkey (or chicken) and vegetable one. If she ate Saturday night but not Sunday and doesn't normally eat in the day then she's gone 1 night without eating. If she doesn't eat tonight that's 2 and I think that's when Nancy says to start syringe feeding. It doesn't hurt to syringe a bit of baby food anyway just in case. It's a good treat and I find it stimulates Quigley's appetite.

You must have been so scared to find her hibernating! Good for you for reacting so quickly.
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Old 09-13-2010, 05:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hedgielover
The hills is the recommended food to syringe feed but in a pinch you can also use baby food. I like to get the turkey (or chicken) and vegetable one. If she ate Saturday night but not Sunday and doesn't normally eat in the day then she's gone 1 night without eating. If she doesn't eat tonight that's 2 and I think that's when Nancy says to start syringe feeding. It doesn't hurt to syringe a bit of baby food anyway just in case. It's a good treat and I find it stimulates Quigley's appetite.

You must have been so scared to find her hibernating! Good for you for reacting so quickly.
What scared me the most was when she finally uncurled after 45 minutes and I touched her belly, how cold it was... It felt like as she had spent the night in the fridge! I felt so so so bad for her.

Thanks to this website I kind of knew what to do... every time I was reading the stickies here, my boyfriend would joke that I was just wasting time once again... today I proved to him that everything I've read was actually VERY useful!
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:16 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

I thought I'd post an update on the Colonel.

I woke her up around 9 last night (as usual) but she didn't seem too interested on her food, so I offered her a little Hill's prescription food. She ate about 1 tsp of it.

She seemed normal during bonding time, and when we put her back in her cage she went straight to her wheel. I got up a couple of times during the night to check on her and she was wheeling... as well as this morning at 6am.

I did not count her kibble yet but I know she ate during the night, there are crumbs everywhere (as usual ). And her poo is normal too.

Anyway, thank you to everyone who replied! The Colonel says thank you too!
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

They do get extremely cold when they attempt to hibernate. At at veterinary visit many years ago, my vet told me that he had a client bring their hedgehog in for a necropsy to find out why it died. As you can guess, the hedgehog wasn't dead, just stiff and icy cold from a hibernation attempt.

While they should wake up withing 45 minutes to 1 hour, it can take them quite a while longer to resume normal activities.

You asked for things to watch for:

Keep an eye on how much she eats, that her activity levels continue to be normal, and her weight holds steady. Hedgehogs that have had a hibernation attempt can have their immune systems compromised. I have seen several owners over the years report mite outbreaks, and URIs in hedgehogs that have had a hibernation attempt recently. Seems like it typically happens withing 2-4 weeks of the attempt.
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Old 09-14-2010, 08:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Post hibernation attempt - questions.

Ok! I'll keep a close eye on her. Thank you!
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