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Old 01-05-2009, 09:32 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default hibernation, sniffles and dry skin

My hedgie Cocoa tried to hibernate almost a month ago but was fine. I updated her cage and she was fine until recently. She just tried to hibernate again and I've warmed her up and she's very active and warm but I'm concerned. I've obviously not improved my cage enough to help her.

Currently I have her cage 90% covered with two blankets; a thin woven cream one and an opaque thick quilt. At one end I have a ceramic heater programmed to turn on for a minute or two every half hour, it blows through the small uncovered part of the cage and is only draped with the cream blanket (so that during the day the light gets through from the window and makes it fairly bright, but during the night it will stay dark and insulated. She has a flying saucer wheel and some tubes to play with along with one of my burrow bags AND a blanket in there for her to sleep in.

Tonight to make sure she stays warm I'm going to turn the heater a little higher and add a heating pad underneath the plastic base where she sleeps (with ventilation beneath the pad to make sure it doesn't overheat) but other than that I don't know if I can do anything. Any suggestions are welcome and anxiously awaited.

In addition to that, she has a little bit of a drippy nose (VERY wet and cold; enough to leave a large 'water' drop on my finger) with occasional little sneezes. She also has dry skin and I'm trying to make sure she gets regular doses of flax seed oil but so far I haven't managed to add it to my schedule. What I've noticed though is small dandruff on her back and a lot of hair being shed on blankets in addition to a few regular quills. She's a year old now so she shouldn't be quilling. But also her feet are dry and losing some dead skin flakes that are much bigger than the ones from her back. I have not found mites yet but I know that my tests can't be for sure. Is any of this cause for concern? Because I'm very concerned at the moment. Please if you have any experience with these symptoms enlighten me.
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Old 01-05-2009, 10:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: hibernation, sniffles and dry skin

I'd be concerned with the blankets that she is not getting enough light. I'd keep the blanket off during the day and turn the heat a bit higher instead.

She may be developing a respiratory infection. If the sneezing is progressing in frequency she needs to see a vet. URI's if left untreated turn to pneumonia quite quickly.

Dry skin at this time of year is quite common as our houses are dryer. Of course there is always the possibility of mites. Does she scratch? Some of them do go through a quilling at about a year old. If she is going for a vet visit for the sneezing and runny nose, the vet can check for mites while there. If she does happen to have mites, do not allow her to be treated with Ivermectin. See this thread about the dangers of Ivermectin. https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...ic.php?f=5&t=6 Revolution is safe for hedgehogs.
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