Franny keeps trying to hibernate.... - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

SOOOO frustrating! I'm keeping her warm with a space heater, it's at least 73 degrees. First time happened over Christmas when family were visiting and moved her heater away from her cage (they didn't know). She was in a tight ball but after warming and wobbling around for a bit, she was fine. Since then she's tried it two more times! I noticed her meal worms weren't eaten this morning and peeked under her igloo (filled with fleece blankets). She wasn't in a tight ball but "sleepy" looking. She came out, ate one worm and went back to her igloo/bed. Prior to last night she's been very active. Poopy wheel, litter box obviously used, etc..

I understand they will hibernate quicker if they've already attempted it but what can I do to get her over this? She's only 18 months old and never tried ONCE last winter. I have a light on her cage with a timer that's on from 7am to 10pm. She has a space heater. Maybe I'll move her to a different room because she senses a draft? Do you think she's just a delicate little thing and needs a higher heat??

I honestly don't know what else to do. Other than these hibernation attempts, she's totally healthy. She's friendly, walks around the floor in the family room, eats like crazy, messes her cage up, uses her wheel, etc...

Any suggestions would be awesome!! BTW, we live in Montana. Her cage is in our finished basement because it's the most draft free, warm place we have. Most constant temp in that area because it's all new construction until the other two floors which are drafty. She's in a room with a big window (walk out basement) PLUS has the light on a timer PLUS a space heater.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

I'm going to repeat what I've read here many times, but I'm not an expert (maybe this will bump the thread up so an expert will see it....)

The lowest range for heat is 73 degrees. What I've read here is that many of them like it much warmer. So maybe you could do a search on this "hibernation" topic and get more info. I'd definitely try warmer.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

Does the space heater have a fan and if so, is it blowing towards her cage?
She most likely needs more heat. Often they become more temperature sensitive as they age.

A ceramic heat emitter and thermostat might be a better option for her than trying to keep the whole room warm enough.
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Old 01-13-2011, 06:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

I second the "turn up the heat" suggestion. Not only is 73 on the low end, I believe generally after one hibernation attempt it's suggested to turn the heat up because they're automatically susceptible to trying again.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

I have the heater on high and it's right by her cage. It's one that blows air so I'll get a ceramic one. When I mean 73 at the lowest, I mean THE lowest. It's warm in her area, sometimes I think too warm. Then again, she still snuggles in all her fleece. She's like the Princess and the Pea. Very delicate and likes her things just so. You should see how she does her fleece bed in her igloo. You almost hate to disturb her because it's such a perfect little nest.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

Do you have a thermometer in/around the cage? And is the cage on the floor?
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

So, do you have a thermostat/digital thermometer in the cage? It sounds like you aren't sure exactly how warm it is? "Too warm" to us may be "just right" to her.

(edit: ha ha, what LarryT said!)
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

Her cage is on the floor but the cage has wheels so it's off the floor by probably 3". There's carpet and heavy padding so it's not a cold floor. The thermometer reads 76 right now.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

She may just be picky enough that the fluctuation from 76 down to 73 is enough to trigger hibernation attempts. There ARE some hedgies who are really that sensitive and a mere degree can trigger hibernation.

You need to try to keep the cage at the steady 76, and see if she still hibernates.
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Franny keeps trying to hibernate....

Thanks everyone! Francesca is my 18 year old daughter's "baby". She's heading to college next fall and we've both decided Franny will stay here. Too difficult for a busy college student. She's an easy pet besides the temperature issue. We love her like crazy!
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