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Old 09-30-2011, 12:51 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Setting heating pad up under cage

The last several nights (possibly longer, just can't quite recall) when I've gotten Lily out at night to say hi, weigh her, give her mealies, etc. her belly hasn't quite been warm. It hasn't actually been cold, nor has she been wobbly, but it's not toasty warm like it should be either. Her cage hasn't gone below 77 degrees, and I try to keep it above 78, since she's definitely gotten more temperature sensitive as she's gotten older.

However, since this doesn't seem to be enough, and I remember reading that sometimes older hogs need a heating mat under their igloo, I want to do this and see if it helps keep her warm while she's sleeping. I just had a few questions on how to set it up safely. I have this heating mat already, and would prefer not to buy another unless I absolutely have to - http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.j ... oduct+Type

Is this heating mat okay to use? It says on the instructions not to set it up on carpet, so I figured I'd use Lily's ceramic tile (since I should take it out of her cage for winter anyway) on the bottom, then set the mat on that, then use the spacers that come with it to hold the cage up a bit over the mat. Does this sound like it'd work and be a safe set up? Also, should I put an extra layer of fleece under her igloo over the mat so it doesn't get too hot? I don't want to risk her getting any kind of burns or heat rashes or something like that from it.

I've also been thinking about sewing a rough cover for the bottom of her igloo (I have one like this - http://www.drsfostersmith.com/images/Ca ... 4-home.jpg) so that she's not laying on bare plastic. I'm not sure if she'd like it or not though, I always kind of wondered if her lack of liner-diving is because she can lay on the plastic bottom of her igloo rather than on the coroplast floor under the liner. Any thoughts on doing this?
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:18 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting heating pad up under cage

Wonderful questions, Kelsey. I've been thinking about doing this too, as I've noticed that Milly's tummy isn't quite warm enough to convince me that her air temp is high enough... (75-76*)

Is your C&C on the floor?

Another thing I've been wondering is how sturdy coroplast is when it comes to temperatures? Would a heat mat/pad resting on the coroplast with layers of fleece on top of it be a hazard?
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Old 09-30-2011, 01:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting heating pad up under cage

Glad I'm not the only one who wants to know!

I've been keeping Lily's temps at 78 or above all summer/year, but it's getting harder to do that with the return of cooler weather, even with my space heater. My C&C is on the floor, and I can't really change that because it's too big and my room has slanted ceilings, so there wouldn't be enough room to raise it. However, I do need to get my big fleece blanket cleaned so I can wrap it around the back of the cage to help hold in heat. That seemed to help a bit last winter. I've been putting small fleece blankets over the top of her cage around the CHEs to help hold it in as well.

That's a good question as well, I was debating on whether it'd be safer to have the mat on the inside of the cage/coroplast, or on the outside, underneath the cubes. I figure if it's on the outside, there's no chance of water/pee/etc. getting spilled on it, but I'm not sure how much the heat would make it through the coroplast to actually be of use.
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Old 09-30-2011, 10:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting heating pad up under cage

I have no experience with that mat, so cannot comment as to how well it will work.

I have used heating pads with sterilite bins. I've always used the mat under 1 corner of the cage.

One thing I do during the winter is to put several layers of either towel or fleece blankets under the hedgehog's cage to help insulate them from below. I did this with sterilites, marchioro and now with the ferret nations. I have Bass Equipment pans in the FNs, and put a couple of layers of fleece between the pan and the wire floor to help insulate the pans. Insulating does seem to help keep the cage floor warmer.
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Old 09-30-2011, 11:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting heating pad up under cage

I know of numerous people who use this
http://cozywinters.com/shop/kh-1060.htm ... ap=KH-1060 and have found it works well.
One person did say it seemed warmer than it should be but that can be solved by wrapping in as many towels as needed. You want the area to be just slightly warm, not too hot, because prolonged exposure can cause low temperature burns.

Whenever I have someone needing extra heat I use a human heating pad on low. I find it works best to be under the cage, rather than in the cage. Under the cage eliminates all risk of urine or water getting on the pad, or a curious hedgie taking a chomp out of it. If needed, use books or magazines under the rest of the cage so it remains level. If you do use a human heating pad, buy a new one so you know it hasn't been bent, layed on or any other type of abuse that can cause shorted wiring inside.

Some of the people on the HWS yahoo group use an electric blanket. I've never tried one so can't comment.

Coroplast is fine to have with a heating pad. It won't be anywhere near warm enough to cause a problem.

To be perfectly honest, I would not use a reptile pad. I've heard of too many instances where the pad gets too hot.

I've had numerous girls that had to have a heating pad for the last months and even years of their life. Some are more sensitive than others.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting heating pad up under cage

Thank you both for replying!

Yeah, Lily is definitely been more sensitive in the past year or so. If the temp gets much below 78, she'll get a cold belly. This happened at my cabin and the temp was only 76, so not actually that cold, but she didn't like it!

I think I'll look at stores around here and see if I can find a human heating pad that isn't too expensive then. I don't want to risk burning her or causing issues with this reptile mat, especially since I'm gone during the day so much and wouldn't be able to monitor. If I can't find one that's cheaper than that small animal pad, I might buy that one, it looks nice!

I think I'll also insulate the cage a bit like you suggested, Kalandra. I could put layers of towels/fleece between the cubes and the coroplast on the bottom, and I usually put a blanket around the back of the cage to help hold heat in that way. Both CHEs are 150 watts, so I know they're strong enough! I also usually have a space heater on in my room to keep it around 75-76 degrees. I like this temperature range too, so having a temp-sensitive hedgehog is the perfect excuse! I'll let you guys know how everything works once I get things set up. Thanks again!
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:11 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting heating pad up under cage

You probably already know this, but I'll throw it out there just in case. One word of caution, when purchasing a human heating pad, check that it does NOT have an automatic turn off. More and more of the new heating pads will automatically shut off. Great for when you forget to turn them off for human use, not so great for off label use as a cage warmer.
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Old 09-30-2011, 12:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Setting heating pad up under cage

Ah, thank you for reminding me! I remember seeing that talked about on here before, but had forgotten. I'll make sure I remember that if I go for a human heating pad.
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I am using a small animal heating pad (hard plastic) under an igloo (from Dr's Foster and Smith) that has it's own floor. Will Lovey Lips get too warm? I am new to the hedgehog world. Lovey is 4 months old.
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Old 09-07-2013, 03:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Is the heating pad your only source of heating for Lovey? They're usually only recommended as supplemental heat, like how I used it for Lily - it's best to make sure a space heater or CHE set up is your main source of heat, so the air is being heated too. Here's more information on those if you need it - https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...implified.html

It sounds like it might be a bit too close to me - try putting your inner wrist against the floor of the igloo. It should only feel lightly warm, as if she had been sleeping there and just got up. If it feels warmer than that or almost too warm for your wrist, it's probably too hot. If you want to continue using it, it might be a good idea to move it underneath the cage, if that's possible.

To update on the above situation, I ended up getting the small animal heating pad that Nancy linked, from Cozy Winters. I had a C&C cage for Lily, so I put the pad between the coroplast and the wire cubes. Having the coroplast, one-layer fleece liner, and the igloo floor between her and the pad kept it at the right temperature. Hope that helps!
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