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Old 11-28-2014, 05:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sensitivity To Heat And Vomiting?

This is going to be long and possibly confusing, sorry...

I posted a couple weeks back that my girl slept on a cold tile and attempted hibernation the night I hooked up my new heater. I can't remember if I mentioned that a day after that her cage reached 80 because it was really sunny outside, which streamed in and heated the whole room too much. She had also showed signs that she had gotten way too hot when I was holding her the night before. Sometime during the night when she had overheated with me or during that really hot day she threw up all over where she sleeps.

I know that she is very sensitive to heat. As she has grown she overheats more and more easily. Even if I hold her in a 68*F room now with a couple layers of fleece in between my warm lap and her, and don't cover her up all the way, she still sometimes acts like she's gotten too hot when I put her in her cage (dropping and splatting immediately without eating or drinking, then recovering after about 10 minutes and drinking a ton). After she hibernated I bumped up her heat to 78-79, because her cage is on the floor so I was worried. Before that, her cage was at 75-76, sometimes even a little cooler, but it also wasn't too cold outside at that time yet. But many mornings recently, the sun has been really bright and heating up that room along with the heater so it reaches at least 80 if I don't turn it down.

I thought she was okay about the higher temps while sleeping on her own in her cage, because when I would check on her, her belly would always be slightly cool or neutral in the morning but warm by evening, and she was never splatted in her bed when I would check. But the other day I was gone a lot of the day and the sun and her heater got her cage up to 80 for most of the time I was gone. That night she didn't eat much and acted a bit off, and sure enough during the night she threw up in her bed again. By the next night she didn't eat much at first, but wheeled a bit. I turned down her heat a couple degrees and she later ate almost all her food and played with toys a bit-- so she seems to be feeling better, coincidentally or not to her lowered heat I don't know.

I'm getting really frustrated because it's gotten so hard to hold her even though she loves to be held, because of her overheating. She shows signs of overheating to some degree most nights now. I don't get it. She was just fine in the summer, she didn't throw up even when we had no air for a few days and her cage hit 90 degrees. Last winter I kept her cage at 79 with the CHEs and she was fine-- her breeder had said they kept them at nearly 80, so I did too. Why with the winter cold and hibernation attempt did her sensitivity to heat get so much worse? Has anyone else had experience with this?

Last edited by TikkiLink; 11-28-2014 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 11-30-2014, 01:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not sure how to help but I feel for you. I'm thinking she may just be temperature sensitive in general, nothing to cold, nothing to hot, maybe you should change her name to Goldilocks .

Not sure this will help but I wonder if adding a wet food would help. It'll keep her hydrated and might entice her to eat without drinking soo much water which can also causes vomiting. The only problem is that wet food is often high in fat and if I remember correctly ChaCha is already a chunk butt.

Hopefully someone with this type of experience will help you.
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Old 11-30-2014, 04:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I apologize, I saw this but I'm not really sure how to help either. I had the opposite problem, where Lily attempted hibernation at anything below 78*. I guess my best suggestion would be to maybe consult your vet to see if they have any ideas about it, or if it could possibly be symptoms of any kind of illness. Otherwise she could just be an odd duck. I'm sorry I'm not much help!
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Old 11-30-2014, 08:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I know this is a strange issue and I figured I may not get much response, but I figured I'd try, so thank you. Interestingly, the wet cat food and hydration thing brought to mind the fact that she doesn't drink much water (unless she's recovering from overheating), not nearly as much as she did when she was a baby. In fact, just last night I was getting nervous because she didn't pee between when she woke up in the evening until soon before sunrise, which was unusual. I had been worried that she wasn't drinking since she hadn't peed, because she has been refusing to eat and drink in front of me lately. But then again, I know some hedgies just don't drink as much as others.

I feel bad, like maybe I made her sensitive to heat and possibly caused her this issue. I was an ignorant owner during her first few days home exactly one year ago, and didn't keep her thermometer with me when I held her or drove her home for five hours from the breeder. I way over-estimated how warm 80 degrees was, I'm sure, and overheated her multiple times pretty badly during her first days until I realized how hot she must have been getting.

She actually tolerates cold temperatures really well though (as long as she's not sleeping on a ceramic tile again haha!) so the past few days I have kept the room temp between 68-70 when she's out with me and tried to keep my body heat on her to a minimum and she seems to be reacting better. AND I lowered her cage temps to between 75-77 again and she has been sleeping in her PVC pipe (which is cool but not cold like the tile) since she threw up, instead of sleeping under the cat bed that she loves. She hasn't attempted hibernation again despite all this, so I guess I have to worry about keping her cool enough instead of warm even in the middle of winter haha.

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Old 11-30-2014, 09:16 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I don't have any experience with hedgies overheating, but I worked as a lifegaurd for years and heat exposure was an issue sometimes if parents didn't pay attention. Getting over heated to the point of illness, in humans, DOES create a bodily sensitivity. It happens once, and the body suddenly becomes more sensitive, I don't know why. It's actually why I had to stop being a lifegaurd because I had complete heat stroke and after that could no longer work on days that got past about 95 without becoming ill.

I would think a hedgie could have the same issue? But yes, I would also ask your vet.
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Old 12-02-2014, 01:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Ah, that's what I'm afraid of. We can't even clip her nails in one round anymore because she gets clammy and too hot from flailing and being held! I'm hoping though that trimming some weight off of her will help, since she has always been big but she seemed to me to recently blow up so that she just feels so heavy and uncomfortable to hold because of all the awkward weight. Maybe trimming some fat will better help her regulate her temperature too, I don't know.
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