Quite concerned with our new Hedgehog - Hardly eating or drinking for a week - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Quite concerned with our new Hedgehog - Hardly eating or drinking for a week

Name: Bristles
Age: 5 months old (Had Hedgehog 6th December was 45 days old before)

We had an issue with toenail cutting and there was some bleeding and considered going to the vet to ensure no infection the toe was swollen the night of incident but looked fine the next day, over the next few days we bathed him regularly and checked to see if he was having issues and talked about what to do with the foot but everything seemed good he was a little cautious but he has been taken outside to parks and was having fun.

We have kept him in a tank which I feel he has outgrown now and have been looking for a new home and considered building a new habitat for him.

-Temperature is room temp (We moved him upstairs where it was warmer as we thought the quiet would be good for him this was when things started to change he has now been back downstairs for a three days and no change)
-We do not have a lighting schedule
-We have not begun to weigh him
-Poop is normal

-He is Eating much less than normal
-Maybe only 10-15 Kibbles -We changed over his food just the day before yesterday from his Whiskas Catfood to another
He is drinking vastly different maybe only a quarter of what he used to

Activity

This has been an issue since we got him he is very scared even after this time and after attempts to bond he usually takes a long time to venture out of his ball or shaking and popping. He is very timid. We have tried taking him to parks as there are 2 dogs and 2 cats in house and he liked that much better. However his activity has rapidly reduced now. We got him a wheel and have been trying to gently force him to use it to get uesd to it but he spends most of his days just sleeping in his little bag with very little activity. We were advised that Hedgehogs get stressed if they do not get exercise and I know about watching out for them putting on weight.

We have tried to encourage him to be more active however I am gaining increasingly worried he just likes to sleep and now his change over in eating/drinking this week and the toenail incident has caused a lot of concern.

We are going to take him to the vet but finding a good one in Santiago Chile that deals with Hedgehogs is proving difficult.

Any advice appreciated.

(2 Worried New Hedgehog Owners)
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Old 03-20-2015, 04:15 PM   #2 (permalink)
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He could have a cracked tooth and there may be some physical reason for his behavior (staying in a ball). Any time a hedgies food intake changes that is a very important sign that something is wrong and a vet visit is in order. You could try to take him to a vet who sees the animals at the zoo, or a veterinary university?

In any case, take him to the vet and see what is going on. Meanwhile, wet his food down with water for like 30 min. and then dump out most of the water. See if he will eat it like that. Food changes need to be made slowly, like 1/4 new 3/4 old for a week or so, then 1/2 and 1/2, etc. Changing food suddenly can cause an upset stomach (which could be the problem).

Also, are you trying to take him out and play with him during the day? It is best to take them out at night or in the very early morning (or both) but they should be sleeping during the day....that is their normal behavior.

Good luck,
Susan H.
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Last edited by shmurciakova; 03-20-2015 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 03-20-2015, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You should get a digital thermometer so you can see the actual temperature in his cage. Room temperature can vary too much, and hedgehogs need a temperature somewhere between 73-78*F, and it needs to stay steady. If he's not warm enough in his cage, that could be a cause of the lack of activity as well. A light schedule would be a good idea too, to make sure he's getting 12-14 hours of light. All of this will help prevent hibernation attempts and could help steady out his activity.

If getting the heat & light straightened out doesn't increase his eating, drinking, and activity, then I would second the vet visit if you can find someone to take him to. Even if you can't find a vet with experience with hedgehogs, look for one with experience with other small animals (like rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, etc.) or exotic animals who is willing to do any research needed to help take care of your little guy. Susan's suggestions are good places to look at!

What kind of wheel do you have? Do you know the brand name or can you take a picture? Sometimes that can affect whether they want to run on it or not.

In case it's stressing him out or keeping him from being active, make sure that the dogs and cats don't have access to his cage at all. If possible, it'd be best to keep them out of the room entirely and see if that's also a cause of his issues. Either way, I'm sure it'd make him more comfortable not to have predators around.
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