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Old 10-27-2010, 01:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Owner Worries

Hi all,

So, this probably isn't a huge issue, but I've heard that hedgehogs are excellent at hiding illnesses, so I guess I just want to check. I've had Mango for about a month now, and she's about five months old. I bought her from a pet store and she wouldn't even uncurl when I first brought her home. After a month in the house now, she seems much better and doesn't really curl up unless someone scares her.

She, as I've heard many others do, poos all over her wheel, all of the time. This has been great because it means that I get to examine her poo frequently. However, it also gives me a lot of chances to worry over her, as I tend to do over everything.

For the first few weeks, her poo looked like what I assume is normal for hedgehogs. It was brown and solid enough. However, when I give her a bath, her poo is almost always green (I don't give her baths frequently, except for foot baths, and she poos during those as well). I've heard that stress can cause that, but I'm wondering if stress could cause a reaction that quickly (I mean, if everything is fine, and then she gets put in the bath and stresses, is that enough to change the color, or does she have to be stressed or sick for a long time for that to happen?). I also had a friend over the other day and her poo was kind of green and softer then as well. The friend was a new person, and I'm wondering if this could stress her out as well.

She also licks her nose, and occasionally her "lips", quite frequently. I can't see any discharge, and I touched her nose with a paper towel the other day to see if there was any weird color on her nose and there isn't.

Finally, she has lost a tiny number of quills since being here. Is it normal to lose a quill once in a while? During the month she's been here, she's lost probably between 10-15 quills. I know that babies quill, but does five months still count as a baby?

Sorry, I know that she's probably fine, I just want to make sure. Thanks a lot for any information!
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner Worries

Personally I wouldn't worry about it too much, indeed green poop typically means either stress or an upset stomach. She sounds like a shy girl so she might be a little nervous about things. Green poop here and there isn't a major worry, its when it starts to be a constant thing, thats when you start to worry.

And from what you said, I'd say its generally stress related, as you said it happened after a bath and most hedgehogs do not enjoy the water, my female Hester tends to have green tinted poop after her bath, she hates the water and then couple the fact I'm usually chasing her around the tub with the nail clippers. And with your friend, the new person could give her a touch of stress, if she was balled up, I'd say definitely, just because its someone new and strange. Being that she sounds like a shy girl, it'll probably take her awhile to get adjusted in her new home, since she's only been there for a month. It can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to even sometimes several months before a hedgehog becomes fully comfortable in their new home, especially the shy and timid ones. But she also sounds like she's slowly coming along. If the green poop develops into something more than just a green tint, such as looking jello mucusy like, you might start to worry. I notice green tinted poop while cleaning wheels when nothing has gone on.

As for the quills, 10 to 15 the past month you've had her doesn't sound like a lot, the time to worry is when she is dropping 10 to 15 per night, and possibly developing bald spots. She is also probably due for at least another quilling, I forget the general time table but hogs have been known to quill their last time at a year old. My female Hester is roughly 9 months old and just got done with probably her last quilling session. Started off with 3 to 6 quills a night in the cage, and then I checked her house one day and it looked like she had exploded. But no bald spots, and now I hardly find any.

As for the nose and lip licking, if she isn't sneezing, if the nose has no colored discharged or basically snot coming out of it basically a clear wet liquid, then she is probably fine, especially if its been going on for a month. Again, my female Hester always has a somewhat wet nose, clear liquid in color, and tends to lick at it. Its possible for them to have a small allergy towards something, bedding or even what we humans react to, because actually come to think of it, at least up here in NNY we're in fall, the leaves are off the trees, and I think she has slowed up on the nose licking. The lip smacking is also that is found with some hedgehogs, my boy Loki seems to be always smacking his lips, but has no URI or anything, its just something they do, more so when they've first woken up.

So I'd say don't worry, I know, when you first get them you're paranoid as ****, I was and still am to a degree, but slowly you learn. Besides the little things like licking the nose or smacking the lips or green poop, another major indicator is decreased activity and appetite, which might not be noticed right away. If you get a combo of all of that, then again, might be time for a vet visit or at least keeping a close eye. That's why many people here count the kibble and even hook up distance recorders to their wheels, so they can monitor those two things. But again, she sounds like she's doing good, just a shy and nervous girl, probably from having kids screaming and poking at her in the pet store. She's in good hands now.
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