separation, stress induced decrees in eating and drinking :/ - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 09-08-2014, 02:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation separation, stress induced decrees in eating and drinking :/

ok, so iv been staying with a friend after short notice (she showed up on my doorstep out of nowhere to kidnap me for a week), for the last six days.

i last min decided that it would be a bad idea to bring Crowley with me(too stressful on the new baby), so i left her home with my family who could play with her-or at least get her into her pen- and can feed and water her while i was gone.

well, iv now been told by my dad whose been taking care of her in my place that she isn't drinking alot of water and he can't tell for sure but it looks like shes not eating alot. this worries me,

* now her eating habits very; were sometimes she'll eat 9-19 ish pieces of kibble throughout the day than another 8 or so at night or she may only eat 15 pieces in total and same with her water - sometimes she barley touches it and than some days she drains it.-she eats and drinks just whenever she wants and as long as shes healthy i see no reason to break her of this.

but if she really is not eating and drinking right than im thinking im going to have to syringe feed her- she doesn't like new foods and she wont let me near her toes to clip nails so i dont think me forcing her to drink and eat by putting it in her mouth is gonna go over well with her.

any suggestions for how to mix soft foods for the syringe "(also any suggested brands) and how to get her to keep it in easier without her trying to spit it out? if she really is making herself sick than id like to try and make this as stress-less as possible for the poor baby.

and i really think it was the sudden separation from me and being cared for by my dad(that she dosn't really know) that would have brought this upset on so quickly. now i feel really bad, she only bonded with me and now it must seem to her that i must have abandoned her :'(
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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When are you due back? I would wait and see if she eats for you when you get back. If she doesn't eat by the second night I would definitely start syringe feeding her. You can mix a high qulatiy cat wet food with some warm water and run it through the syringe to make sure it works.

So now if she balls up it will be easier to syringe feed her than if she runs away. When you pick her up to feed her put her down so that half of her is on the fleece and her face and front half is off of it. She should be unrolled at least a little at this point. Then you can wrap her up so that her bottom is all covered. She will probably roll back up at the point but her face and some of her will be sticking out of the fleece. Then you can use a pillow and your knees to prop her up so that her back is on the pillow and her face is facing you. You will have to use the syringe to pry her mouth open. Sometimes they will get annoyed and bite at the syringe. I have yet to have a hedgehog spit out wet food so just squeeze it in. If it all works out, hopefully the next time she will know what to expect and you can feed her a little more easily.

Always make sure to leave plenty of food in her cage so she can still eat whenever she wants. You will also want to start counting her kibbles to make sure she is eating. Also if you can get a scale so you can weigh her on a daily basis while she is getting back on track.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:10 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Honey, are you sure this isn't just you worrying over leaving Crowley for a few days? If your dad doesn't normally take care of her, he wouldn't know how much she generally eats or drinks. It's also unlikely that he would be able to determine whether her behavior is normal (for her) or not. You seemed so stressed out and uncertain when you posted about making a decision to leave Crowley in her familiar surroundings, and I have a feeling that this is not so much Crowley having a hard time, but you. *Hugs* When are you going home? You sound like you need to see her and hold her to put your mind at ease.
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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your right Echo- part of if was my dad was unsure of whats 'normal' for her * i gave him the basics and what to look for that would be bad signs of something wrong-but he doesn't understand her the way i do*

( she was eating less but was still eating> just eating more at night rather than during the day like she usually does which i think was her protesting the change in her routine( he cleaned her cage but didn't give her a bath the same day(the only part of caring for her that he didn't feel comfortable handling) and put her in her playpen at a different time of the day than i usually have her out.

anyway- i came home around midnight last night and immediately showered and dealt with my contaminated luggage, than gave Crowley her bath and checked her over. she was actually eating when i got home and was extremely happy to see me and to get her bath. - she actually let me clip her nails for the first time with little fight ( which was terrifying by the way!)

she had a small boo-boo on her tummy by her right front foot that looks like a scratch that i'll be keeping an eye on but otherwise was fine. (besides needing a bath :P)

im going to watch her food and water intake closely for a few days (to make sure she goes back to eating enough) and make her a vet appoint as soon as i find a vet close to me, but otherwise i think we both just need a few days to re-bond and get back into our old routine.

and yes, i missed and worried about my baby (probably more than i needed to, if i cant bring her with me next time i may have to find a vet that can watch her so that i at least know that they would be able to know what was wrong and be better help if she gets sick, for both Crowley's health and my piece of mind- if she has to be with unfamiliar people i'd rather they be knowledgeable unfamiliar people.)

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HELPED ME AND GAVE ME WONDERFUL ADVICE FOR DEALING WITH THIS!!!!!!! I realize this could have been much worse than i thought it really was and im not sure me or Crowley would have survived this without you guys.

unfortunately this is a learning process and we'll just have to figure out what works for both of us.(hopefully with as little damage done in the process as possible)
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Old 09-09-2014, 07:49 PM   #5 (permalink)
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im home now, got in at midnight last night.

thankfully she was actually eating when i walked in the door.

i always make sure she has a full food and water dish at all times , but i will defiantly have to start counting her kibbles.

since she's still eating her kibble on her own (just less than normal) im going to just watch her intake to see if she evens out on her own before i traumatize her with syringe feeding :P and just see if me being home and going back to our routine helps her.
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