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Old 02-10-2015, 09:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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My hedgehog is a year old, i've had him for around 9 months. His cage is always between 20 and 27 degrees (CHL) and has always been fine for him..

Over the past few weeks he's started pooping in his bed, he often comes out, eats and drinks then goes and stands in a specific corner, often doing nothing for a few minutes before returning to bed. He also keeps getting up at odd times- during the day time to eat, when i have my light on for instance.
I havent weighed him in a couple weeks but I was beginning to think he was underweight recently (Only because I would expect him to be bigger by now?) and today he looks even skinnier than usual.
He has also been scratching a lot more than usual but he usually gets dry skin every now and then and giving him an oatmeal bath etc seems to help but I havent bathed him for a while as it is.
He doesn't run on his wheel much anyway but even less recently.

Today I went to pick him up and he didnt make a noise- usually hes very grumpy, hissy, wont calm down till you hold him for a while, hisses at most touches and sudden movements. But today? hardly a sound. His bellys warm.
I put him down, he had a few nibbles and a bit to drink and he just starts walking abnormally slow, every now and then he stops and does nothing for much longer than ive encountered him doing before, he slept for a bit but has gotten up again and had a drink but no more food.
When he is eating hes struggling to chew- usually he will chew loud enough for me to hear from the other side of the room, always crunches it down till theyre little pieces. Today i've started cutting them down for him and hes still hesitant to bite. Drinking slower- but a side note, I often hear what seems to be him sticking his nose too far in and he sort of coughs then carries on drinking. Normal? maybe causing issues? I have no way to stop it happening as he will frantically bite at anything metal and I fear he'll hurt himself on a bottle but if he's ending up with respiratory issues I'll find a way.
I can't be sure but it looks like occasionally he trips, or wobbles, or something along those lines. Seems to be holding himself at an odd angle compared to normal with his back end pointed inwards more than usual? He was breathing faster than normal but i decided it was the stress of whatevers wrong + me holding him since he seems to have calmed down.

i'm really worried about him. Could it be WHS? I don't think he's trying to hibernate- I accidentally left the radiator on next to him which may have given him a bit of extra warmth. Is too much warmth a thing? His cage temp hasnt moved much however so again, i don't think it's hibernation.
Please help a worried hedgie mama.
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Old 02-10-2015, 09:55 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What specific temperature is his cage? Does it actually vary between 20-27*C or does it stay at a stable temperature within that? Does he get a light schedule of 12-14 hours during the day, not dependent on daylight?

What I would do first off: Make sure his cage stays at a stable temperature, not varying more than 1-2*. I would aim for something relatively warm, perhaps 25-26*C. Make sure his light schedule is set, if it isn't already. While his belly has been warm, a temperature that varies a lot can cause problems just as easily as a too-cool temperature (which, by the way, the low end of the temperature spectrum should be about 22.5*C - 20*C is too low). Sometimes it can cause issues just enough to present as just decreased activity/eating/etc., but without causing a cold belly. Even if it's not hibernation-related, if he's sick, it'll help to have a nice stable, warm temperature & light schedule.

Again, if you don't already, count his kibble out when you give him new food at night, then again in the morning. Get an exact idea of how much he's eating & if he's getting enough. Perhaps try wetting down his kibble or offering him some canned cat food (preferably of the same brand his kibble is) to see if he eats more of that. If he's more willing to eat softer food & doesn't show issues or hesitation with it, that could point to mouth/teeth issues, which gives more information to give the vet.

I'm not sure about the drinking issue. I agree that a bottle wouldn't be a good idea. What kind of bowl do you have for his water? How wide & tall is it? Does he seem to lose his balance when he leans forward to drink, or is it like he underestimates the distance to the water & ends up sticking his nose in?

Overall, I would personally schedule a vet visit. It definitely sounds like he has something going on, but unfortunately it can be pretty hard to figure out what. All of the above suggestions are things I would do until the vet visit to try & gather more information to give the vet, that might help lead to a diagnosis. Personally, I'm not sure I would suspect WHS right now. But I also have no experience with WHS, so I could be wrong. Still, considering it can't be tested for, and sometimes the symptoms can be the same as other, treatable problems, I would still go for a vet visit & testing for the other possible issues & do a general check up to see if you can find any other possible causes for his behavior.

Good luck and let us know if you figure out what's going on with your little guy!
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Old 02-10-2015, 10:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lilysmommy View Post
What specific temperature is his cage? Does it actually vary between 20-27*C or does it stay at a stable temperature within that? Does he get a light schedule of 12-14 hours during the day, not dependent on daylight?

What I would do first off: Make sure his cage stays at a stable temperature, not varying more than 1-2*. I would aim for something relatively warm, perhaps 25-26*C. Make sure his light schedule is set, if it isn't already. While his belly has been warm, a temperature that varies a lot can cause problems just as easily as a too-cool temperature (which, by the way, the low end of the temperature spectrum should be about 22.5*C - 20*C is too low). Sometimes it can cause issues just enough to present as just decreased activity/eating/etc., but without causing a cold belly. Even if it's not hibernation-related, if he's sick, it'll help to have a nice stable, warm temperature & light schedule.

Again, if you don't already, count his kibble out when you give him new food at night, then again in the morning. Get an exact idea of how much he's eating & if he's getting enough. Perhaps try wetting down his kibble or offering him some canned cat food (preferably of the same brand his kibble is) to see if he eats more of that. If he's more willing to eat softer food & doesn't show issues or hesitation with it, that could point to mouth/teeth issues, which gives more information to give the vet.

I'm not sure about the drinking issue. I agree that a bottle wouldn't be a good idea. What kind of bowl do you have for his water? How wide & tall is it? Does he seem to lose his balance when he leans forward to drink, or is it like he underestimates the distance to the water & ends up sticking his nose in?

Overall, I would personally schedule a vet visit. It definitely sounds like he has something going on, but unfortunately it can be pretty hard to figure out what. All of the above suggestions are things I would do until the vet visit to try & gather more information to give the vet, that might help lead to a diagnosis. Personally, I'm not sure I would suspect WHS right now. But I also have no experience with WHS, so I could be wrong. Still, considering it can't be tested for, and sometimes the symptoms can be the same as other, treatable problems, I would still go for a vet visit & testing for the other possible issues & do a general check up to see if you can find any other possible causes for his behavior.

Good luck and let us know if you figure out what's going on with your little guy!

Unfortunately with the setup I have It only gives me the option to keep the temp within 10 degrees i.e it will go up to 30 then stop until 20 then on again. I'm pretty sure I have it set to go up to 34 but for some reason even with the strongest bulb I have it just won't? Sometimes I'll find it's going much lower than it should but I put extra bedding around and turn up the radiator which seems to do the trick until morning. So yeah it goes up and down between 20 and 27. I'm not sure how else I can fix it to a 1-2 degree temp without buying a whole new set up : (
He has no direct (cage) lighting but I will usually leave the light on when it gets dark early to keep it somewhat stable.

I can definitely do the food!

The bowls a cat bowl but the rims somewhat high, it looks like he misjudges the distance but he does push himself up a bit to drink easily since the height is about head height so maybe he's tipping in a bit..

Thank you for the help!! You've given me something I can actively do rather than sit here and worry about him aha. Will wait with him till morning (its 3am) to make sure he's ok in the night then call up the vet.
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Old 02-12-2015, 08:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Not sure if i should make a new topic since this is mostly an update but also asking for more advice so!!
I took him to the vet the next morning when nothing changed.
She checked him over but said to get a proper look he'd need to have a light anaesthetic or i'd just be sent home with some antibiotics, after some discussion i said to go for it.
Few hours later took him home, she said he looks fine, no obvious problems and she couldnt feel any blockages/breakages so. but she said he was a bit cold. I believe he's trying to hibernate but I could be wrong..i'm not 100% what hibernation looks like. He ate at the vets a bit but hasn't eaten since he got back, even tried some mealworms. She also gave me some antibiotics to give to him every morning.
I've bought him some high fat food because I believe he's underweight?
I've cranked up the heat and set up my heater so the cage is at a constant 28 degrees but now he keeps sleeping in the opposite corner of the cage to the heater..out of his bed. Too hot?? im so confused i have no idea what to think. This is the reason i'm unsure if he's hibernating.

so the questions are..
Is this what hibernation attempts look like?
Could he be too hot?!
Should i start force feeding him?-
i've been force feeding him water every few hours, is that ok too?
is 228g too small for a year old hedgehog?
What else can i do if he is attempting hibernation?
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Old 02-12-2015, 10:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I meant to reply to your previous post, but forgot, I'm sorry!

1) Hibernation attempts are wobbly walking, a cool belly, lethargy, and slow movement in general. If the vet's office was cold, that could have caused his cool temperature there, and/or it could have been related to the anesthetic.

2) Yes, unfortunately 28* is going to be too high for most hedgehogs and it does sound like he's too hot now. What kind of set up do you have? To be honest, I think you do have to pay for a new set up if there's no way at all to make sure this one will keep his cage to a steady 25-26*C. Hedgehogs do deal better with heat than cold, but if he's not comfortable at this temperature, he needs it a bit cooler, but it does need to stay steady.

3) If it's been during the day time since you got home, let him be and see how he does overnight. He could just be worn out from dealing with a vet visit, getting a bit of anesthetic, etc. Give him his normal food and a little of the new food (not too much) tonight and see if he eats. If he doesn't touch anything tonight, then syringe-feeding him tomorrow would probably be a good idea. What did he eat at the vet's? Was it his normal food?

4) That's fine, but I'd see if you can check tomorrow morning & see if he's drank any water on his own as well. Look at his urine too, if he's dehydrated and actually needs water, it'll be a bright/dark yellow. If he's fine drinking on his own, it'll be a light yellow or almost clear.

5) It's on the small side, but not ridiculously tiny. Hedgehogs vary a lot in size & weight. If you're concerned that he's underweight, post a couple pictures of him, from directly above & from the size. Then we can take a look & help you figure out if he is or not.
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Lilysmommy View Post
I meant to reply to your previous post, but forgot, I'm sorry!

1) Hibernation attempts are wobbly walking, a cool belly, lethargy, and slow movement in general. If the vet's office was cold, that could have caused his cool temperature there, and/or it could have been related to the anesthetic.

2) Yes, unfortunately 28* is going to be too high for most hedgehogs and it does sound like he's too hot now. What kind of set up do you have? To be honest, I think you do have to pay for a new set up if there's no way at all to make sure this one will keep his cage to a steady 25-26*C. Hedgehogs do deal better with heat than cold, but if he's not comfortable at this temperature, he needs it a bit cooler, but it does need to stay steady.

3) If it's been during the day time since you got home, let him be and see how he does overnight. He could just be worn out from dealing with a vet visit, getting a bit of anesthetic, etc. Give him his normal food and a little of the new food (not too much) tonight and see if he eats. If he doesn't touch anything tonight, then syringe-feeding him tomorrow would probably be a good idea. What did he eat at the vet's? Was it his normal food?

4) That's fine, but I'd see if you can check tomorrow morning & see if he's drank any water on his own as well. Look at his urine too, if he's dehydrated and actually needs water, it'll be a bright/dark yellow. If he's fine drinking on his own, it'll be a light yellow or almost clear.

5) It's on the small side, but not ridiculously tiny. Hedgehogs vary a lot in size & weight. If you're concerned that he's underweight, post a couple pictures of him, from directly above & from the size. Then we can take a look & help you figure out if he is or not.
It's fine!
That does pretty much fit how he's been acting, but the vets were a bit cold. Until he shows other signs i'm going to assume that's what it was I guess since there's not much else I can do at this point.

Oh dear ok I'll mess with it again to try and keep him comfy. I've found a habistat 600w in the nearby pets shop (i'm using a komodo 300w) but it's a dimming thermostat. Any suggestions for a reliable one? if it's going to work I can splurge on it.

Still hasn't eaten but I have college till 5 so I'll be giving him water now and if he's not eaten at the end of the day I'm going to try the food. I know he ate a "little bit" but she didn't mention what besides that it was cat food.

OK I've been worried about his weight for a few weeks. I can post photos tonight but he's not exactly tear drop shaped and before he went vet he was very much a straight line- but i think that was more dehydration.

Thank you so much for your help.
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Old 02-13-2015, 08:13 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, dimming thermostats aren't what you're looking for, just a regular one. I wonder if the one you have is defective? It seems like it should be able to keep a better control over temperature...Might be worth contacting the manufacturer or something, if you want to.

The thermostat I have is the Zilla 1000watt one, but I don't think that's available in the UK. I looked on Pets at Home's website and this is what I found that seemed like it would be the right thing:
http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pe...online-only%29
http://www.petsathome.com/shop/en/pe...g/-7104047p--1

Try looking on Amazon as well, you might be able to find more options. I was going to check there, but I have to leave for class!

Good luck, and I hope he eats for you later today.
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Old 02-13-2015, 12:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I was too late
My mom looked after him all day, giving him water, checking his temp. Last time she saw to him she said his back legs looked lame.
I came home from college and he had passed on. He looks like he went peacefully.
RIP my little Zeusy baby
I wish I could have done more.

Thank you for your kind help
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Old 02-13-2015, 03:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I'm so sorry.
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