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Old 11-09-2014, 06:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Hedgie gone lazy

I have a 2 year old rescue hedgie named Hedgepig. Recently she has stopped using her wheel and is refusing to come out of her hide at night. Just over a week ago (around bonfire night) we had an emergancy out of hours visit to the vet. When I picked her up to have her nightly cuddles she was wobbly and not very responsive, she refused to move and although was curling up in a ball wasn't hissing at me like she normally does (she extremely grumpy and hisses at me most of the time. she had been badly treated before i got her and this is her defensive 'i'm big and scary' method). I rushed her to the out of hours vet because I know that if something goes wrong with these little guys, a fast response time is often the most important thing.

The problem was that she was perfectly fine when we got to the vet. Because she is very grumpy he couldn't really examine her properly and he just told me she is a little bit over weight. (This coincides with her not getting out of bed or using her wheel much at the moment). He suggested it is related to the fact that some many fireworks are set off for bonfire night and that although we can't hear all of them she can, and this is scaring her into staying in her hide. I had all her poop tested anyway like they suggested and all the tests came back clear.

i'm just worried she is not using her wheel at all. When I get her out for play time every night she's not really interested in running around and when she does she doesn't properly stand up. She uses her front legs normally but keeps her back legs on the ground. Now the vet has seen that she does this and wasn't worried about it but I thought it was worth mentioning for context. There are still the odd firework going off (people get them cheap after bonfire night and i'm in an area with lots of students). Could it still be this?

I make sure she gets lots of heat because I cover her cage at night to make sure it's nice and dark and traps the heat from her heat lamp and she also has a heat pad she sleeps on.

I just don't know what to do. The vet says she fat and she needs to start using her wheel again for exercise but she's just not interested. She is also eating a little bit less than she would normally but that's mainly because she's not getting out of bed and when offered food she is happy to take it and she is drinking normally.

I'm sorry for the massively long post. I am just very concerned and at a loss as to what to do!
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Old 11-09-2014, 08:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It sounds like she isn't warm enough. Her behaviour last week was very likely a hibernation attempt and everything you are describing is typical of a hedgehog who is not warm enough.

Heat pads are not an ideal heating choice for a healthy hedgehog. The problem is, over the heat is very warm and when hedgie leaves the heat pad, the rest of the cage feels cool and can trigger a hibernation attempt. Also, the difference in temperature makes hedgie not want to leave the warmth of the pad.

What is the temperature of her cage away from the heating pad? What I would do is warm up the air temperature more and start weaning her away from the heating pad. Is the heating pad in the cage with her or underneath the cage? If it's underneath, add a layer of towel. Then in a few days, add another layer of towel, etc until there isn't much heat.
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Old 11-09-2014, 06:07 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I would also check the wheel--does it spin freely? Is the height or tilt different? Can she still get on it?
My Nara had surgery and I found that afterwards she had problems getting on it, so I had to lower the settings. Also after a while it needed oiling so it would spin better. A bit of olive oil did the trick.
I agree with Nancy, though about the temperature.
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excercise, health concern, health issue, overweight

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