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Old 07-14-2014, 11:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy 6 week old baby not eating

So, let me start off by saying that we took in a trio of hedgehogs. Turns out, one of the females was pregnant. So, now we have a litter of 6 week old (Born June 1st) hoglets. We've done tons of research and talked to several people, but can't seem to find this specific answer.

We have 3 female hoglets who are doing well. They are all eating good and their weight is in the 140 - 170 range. However, we have a male who isn't doing so well. His weight yesterday was 96 grams and today is 94. We put him in a separate tank earlier to see if he would eat anything, and so far he really hasn't.

About his area:
He's in a large tank with a wire top to make sure the puppies can't get to him if they manage to get back there.
We had a liner in the tank for him. However, we were given advice to switch to care fresh until we knew for sure he was eating. That way he wouldn't just hide under the liner all the time.
We've been using Taste of the Wild Canyon River Feline. The females seem to really like it, but this little guy - not so much. Although we did catch him slightly nibbling on a few of the unsoftened pieces.
We've tried both softened and not.
The temperature in the room stays around 75 degrees.
The lights come on at 8am and go off between 8 and 10 at night. Usually closer to 8pm.
The last poop we saw looked quite normal, just smaller than the other hedgies'.


I'm really worried about this little guy. I mean, he's friendly and likes to do a little exploring. But shouldn't he be eating on his own like the girls are? I'm sure its got to be something I'm doing, right?

I don't know how much this matters: all of the hoglets are pretty well socialized, but the trio we took in (which includes the mother and supposed father) were not. The man even told us he only used them for breeding. They had never been pets. So the two females are doing pretty well being handled and all, but the male is a lot slower getting there.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 07-15-2014, 02:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Wow- that is a lot of hedgehogs! It sounds like they weren't in a great situation, so I'm happy you got them out of there.
I have never dealt with baby hedgehogs or bred hedgehogs. I didn't think the babies were weaned at 6 weeks (but I could be wrong).
Have you talked to a vet at all?
There are some breeders on here that can hopefully help you out more than I can. If he isn't eating though, you should start syringe feeding him.
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Old 07-15-2014, 03:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for your reply! It is a lot! But we love them.

From everything I've read, they're usually rehomed around the 6th week. The girls are eating fine.

I did check him for dehydration. He isn't dehydrated. We got him out for a bit and held him. When we put him back in he decided to start drinking water. YAY!

So we're going to watch tonight and see if he's eating. We put more food in, both dry and softened. He's also more active tonight in his own tank than the past few nights in the tank with his mom. So we're hoping maybe it was just the moving to a new tank.
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Old 07-15-2014, 04:39 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Have you tried different foods for him? Foods with chicken or turkey seem to be big hits with hedgies.
That is good that he is drinking.
I would keep weighing him and monitoring his food intake as you already are doing. If he continues not to eat or is losing more weight, I would start syringe feeding him as he is pretty little to be losing any weight.
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Old 07-24-2014, 11:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Sorry for the long delay. Sonic (as we have since named him) started eating pretty well and even broke 110g within a few days of my original post. Then he stopped eating again. As of this morning he was back down to 95g. This guy is almost 8 weeks old!

We've been talking with a vet throughout. Here's what she's had us try:

watering the kibble down more than usual.
adding tiny bits of zucchini/yellow squash
mixing it with canned food (we got two different flavors of taste of the wild canned - the one like the kibble and another one)
putting the kibble in a food processor and mixing it with canned food
putting both the kibble AND the canned food in a processor and mixing it

We had the most luck with putting it all in a food processor. But I'm still really worried about this guy. I don't want to just leave this to luck. I mean, we've really been trying and watching and working with the vet, but I'm not satisfied that he's going to be okay.

So, I'm wondering if it might be time to syringe feed him. Now forgive me, I've become a little impatient trying to find the information I need. I keep finding a lot of information on feeding babies that the mother won't feed and things like that. So, my question is, what exactly would I syringe feed him? How will I know if I'm feeding him enough? I asked the vet these questions. She said she'd do some research and get back to me but I haven't been able to get in touch of her since yesterday morning.

I know the answers are here somewhere. Perhaps I just really suck at finding them. So if someone could point me in the right direction of a thread, or give me some advice, I'd really really appreciate it! He really looked like he was going to get better and I'm really worried about him now. He does seem to be drinking enough, as we've not found him to be dehydrated.

Thank you in advance for any help, I know I sound like an idiot right now. I'm just really worried about my Sonic.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:04 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I wouldn't use a fish formula they can get smelly poop and most don't like fish...Not to mention the mercury can be dangerous for them. I don't know if you should syringe feed him yet because I have never had issues with not eating or babies just thought I would mention that a lot of hedgies don't like fish.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:12 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I'll look into some more food then. I know the others seem to really like this food. We only started using it because we found it listed on the Recommended Foods List before we picked them up. The guy we got them from didn't know what he was feeding nor did he bring any for us. -.-

Maybe changing the food again will help. I'm really out of further ideas.


Just a side note:

The three girls are doing great which is what makes me so confused about this little guy. They will be 8 weeks on Sunday, and all of the females are eating great at night, drinking well, having good bowel movements, and weighing in between 240 and 260g as of last night. We haven't weighed the girls yet today. They're doing great being handled also. It's like Sonic came from somewhere totally different than his litter mates. It's insane!

Last edited by LadyZ; 07-25-2014 at 12:15 AM.
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:30 AM   #8 (permalink)
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If they're enjoying and doing fine on the food, I think you're fine to continue with it. Fish isn't automatically bad, there's just the chance that it can cause stinky poop, which concerns owners, so that usually gets mentioned.

It sounds like he's the runt of the litter & having difficulty with the transition to me. But I also don't have any experience with babies! Was he definitely weaned from mom when you moved him to his own tank?

You can syringe-feed him the mix you're putting in the food processor, or even just kibble with water, or canned, as far as I know. However, given his age, I'm going to message this thread to Nikki & Nancy. One of them might have some better advice for such a little guy on what he needs to be fed and how much. I'm sorry he's having so much trouble!
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Old 07-25-2014, 12:56 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I would try syringe feeding him a little a few times a day. Its good that he's gaining, that's always a good sign. He just might always be smaller and may have been more stressed when separated because the girls had each other and he was by himself. You can try syringing the food you do up in the food processor, you might have to water it down a little. As for how much we usually to try to give 24 ml's in a day but with a baby it would be less...I would start with a couple ml's a couple of times a day. You don't want him to depend on the syringe feeding and stop eating on his own.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Lilysmommy, Thanks for the help! I'm pretty sure he was weaned. We didn't move him until the 6 week mark and the mom was already getting grumpy with the babies and running to the other side of the tank when any of them would act like they wanted to feed. He was smaller than the rest then. But I've only had previous experience with dogs and cats and reptiles like leopard geckos (no weaning needed lol), so maybe I was looking for the wrong signs? I mean we tried to do our research when we found out there were babies, but there's so much, so maybe we missed something. Or read it wrong. I think it really, really makes a big difference when you have months to do the research before breeding as compared to 6 weeks to learn as much as possible to get them ready to leave mom. We didn't even get our first breeding pair of leopards until after about 6 months of research and testing the incubator and UTHs and things.

As for smelly poop, we really haven't had that issue. The girls and the trio we took in are all having good movements and as long as we clean their tanks in the morning and at night we haven't had any smell issues. But, its good to know that in case we run into that!

nikki, I appreciate the advice. A couple of mls a couple of times a day shouldn't be too bad, right? He's doing good being handled, I just don't know how he'll handle being syringe fed. So, maybe once in the early morning and once at night, or would it be better to do it like once in the evening after he starts moving around and once before we go to bed?
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