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Old 11-03-2010, 11:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default a very stressful heating situation...

Hi.
I am a very nervous, very new mother to my Mopsa and I'm having a really stressful night thus far.
Any help would be very, very much appreciated.

So my stress comes mostly from the fact that my thermostat doesn't seem to entirely do what it's supposed to. I mentioned this in another thread before before Mopsa was here, but now it's making me really frightened. I can't seem to get the thermostat to actually keep the temperature the same. I can get it to keep the temperature steady within a range of, like, between 75 and 77.1, but not steadily at 75. So I end up sort of turning the dial back and forth quite a bit when I'm around trying to get it not to go under or over.

But just now, as I'm getting ready to bed, I'm getting extremely anxious. While I was reading, the temperature in the cage went up to 80 F without me having done anything.

On top of that, my two thermometers which are now placed in the same position wth the thermostat probe, are reading consistently about 1 degree CELCIUS apart, which means I have no idea which is correct, what to trust or what to do.

The room is very warm since I've been keeping the window shut. It's around 73 in here according to one of my thermometers (though I am really unsure which of them to beleive so I don't know). I'm just really, really freaked out.

When I put Mopsa back into her house after we hung out, she went to sleep on the wheel. This is what alarmed me because it seemed to me like perhaps it meant she was too hot (though she wasn't splatting). Now that all the lights are out, I can hear that she has woken up and possible eaten something (though I don't know for sure what all the scuffling I can hear is). This is promising, I know, that she is at least not hibernating or anything.

I turned the CHE down a lot and opened the window a crack to try and get the temp to a more reasonable place, but I can't do that while I'm asleep, so what can I do? I'm having these horrible visions of waking up to an unresponsive hedgehog.

She's running on her wheel now, I can hear! So that's a good sign. And the temp has dropped down to 77.1

Please though, any advice from anyone who has the Repti-Temp 500 thermostat? I really need it to be keeping her safe and at the moment I'm really, really panicked. I'm going to buy a third thermometer tomorrow and see which of the two I already have it agrees with, but I'm really afraid to go to sleep. I want to say that it is probably just new-parent-nerves, but I actually think this is a real problem - I know how important temperature is...

Thanks in advance. Sorry for rambling. Very stressed out, well-meaning new-mum here...
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Old 11-04-2010, 01:10 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: a very stressful heating situation...

I wouldn't fret too much, its not an overly good thing if the temperatures are jumping around but 75 to 77 isn't too large of a change, get the repti-temp back into that range and you'll be fine. My cages jump around from 75 to 78, what you try to avoid is say 73 at one point in the day and it going up to 80 and back down to 73 and back up to 80, that is where you get into a possible URI, and actually (I work in the ICE industry) its the same in humans, if you constantly go from hot to cold to hot to cold, we humans have a bigger chance of developing a cold. So find that 75 to 77 range and take a deep breath Over time you'll calm down, I think most of us were nervous wrecks with our first hog. But that right there is only a change of two degrees, and it sounds like she's doing just fine.
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Old 11-04-2010, 11:47 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: a very stressful heating situation...

Yikes, here are my thoughts though I'm no expert...

An on-off thermostat will let temperature vary a little because it has to "turn off" at some point or it will be heating constantly and making things hotter and hotter... so it sounds like yours it set to approximately 77F and kicking in when the area cools to 75. I think the recommended temperature to start with if 74-76 = 2 degrees difference anyways, and since some hedgies like it warmer/cooler, yours sound okay to me. If it helps, I've set mine to have a variance of 2 degrees as well (though depending on winter temperatures I may narrow the range).

To keep the temperature steady at exactly one setting, you'll need a proportional thermostat which tends to cost more and is on ALL the time varying the power to keep temperature maintained. This also means you're sucking up power all the time costing you $$$.

As for thermometers being off by a degree... that happens. Pick one to use and stick with it. Figure out what's comfortable for your hedgie and just use that one all the time. If it's a degree or two off, atleast it's consistent and you know what to look for on a regular basis.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: a very stressful heating situation...

Oh! My post didn't send last night before I went to bed.

What I tried to say last night is:
Thank you SO much, Puffers. That serves to at least calm me down and let me sleep - which are both good for my own mental health. I really appreciate the reply. That's good news at least and at least that means she won't be lost to me over night...

I heard Mopsa running all night and eating which was very reassuring so I think she's not necessarily that bothered. I do know that the breeder didn't really have a heat source for her, just kept the room warm, so she's probably a little resiliant.

Quote:
An on-off thermostat will let temperature vary a little because it has to "turn off" at some point or it will be heating constantly and making things hotter and hotter... so it sounds like yours it set to approximately 77F and kicking in when the area cools to 75.
Okay that explains a lot and of course makes sense. I'd much rather have an energy saving CHE set up, for money and environmental purposes. I turned the dial down a little (it's practically at the lowest setting now) as advised and the cage seems to be staying around 75.5, which is better. I'm going to get a third thermometer later today just to be sure.

This room is very warm (around 73 always) so I know it's not going to dip to anything too dangerous.

Thanks SO much, both of you. That is really reassuring. I was a total panic-attack yesterday...Everyone here is amazing.
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