Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?! - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

When I got sonic 2 weeks ago, he was being given food that, after I looked it up on here and other places, wasn't good for him. So I saw Innova low-fat cat food is very good for them, and I went and got some. He ate it up right away. He LOVES it! Well, I woke up this morning, his wheel was covered in poop (like always ) BUT it was all runny, diarrhea. I know he's not sick from anything else and it's the new food. But my question is...is this ok or normal? Should I just keep giving it to him and let his stomach just get used to it and adapt to it itself? Or should I try something else? I'd hate to go buy something else again. This bag wasn't cheap and I can't return it. But then again, I don't want him to be sick all the time. Any suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

How did you transition the food? Did you switch it out gradually or just go with Innova immediately? This could greatly upset a tummy. Also ensure you hedgehog gets hydrated it may required syringe feeding of water if the diarrhea continues, only if it continues pinch your hedgehogs skin and if it goes back to place immediately they're fine if not they need hydration.

New food should be slowly introduced over 4 weeks

1 - 1/4 new & 3/4 old
2 - 1/2 new & 1/2 old
3 - 3/4 new & 1/4 old
4 - 4/4 New
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Old 07-18-2011, 10:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

That's probably it then! I kept reading how hard it can be to get a hedgie to eat a new food after they've gotten used to something else and where he took right to it, I just gave it to him to eat and didn't do anything gradual. I must have thought by doing it gradual, was for those who hedgie's are more stubborn and don't want to eat the new food. I'll try that though and hopefully that helps him! Thanks!
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

This happened to my Mildred, too. Her breeder had her on some crap Purina food and I reeeeally didn't want to go out and buy a bag of the junk just to throw the leftovers away. I started my hedgie off on her new mix of good cat foods from day one and it did give her some looser, light green stool, but it passed in a day or two.

I would at least do a 50/50 mix of the old and new for a week or so. It would be better to follow the 4-week chart. Not weaning your hedgie onto a new food may upset their tummy for a while, but it's not going to hurt it. It's really your preference. In my situation, I couldnt stand the thought of the nasty animal parts and corn in the purina that would continue to be in her system so I just started her on the good stuff. Debatable, yes, but just my preference
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Old 07-19-2011, 02:39 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

I just started to change Hazel the day she arrived to the Innova Low fat as she was still on a higher 20% fat youngster kibble still (Nutrience I think it's called) ....I added about 1/4 new like suggested and no issues at all. I'll add in a couple other kinds as we progress.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

I had the same problem. I tried the gradual thing but Lily wasn't having any of it. She would pick out the new pieces of food and leave the old food [not completely at first, I think she sometimes got an old kibble by accident]. So I immediately started giving her a half and half mixture since she was really only eating 1/4 of her portions by just eating the new food....and she did the same thing...So a few days ago I left two bowls out for her, one with the old food, one with the new food...she didn't touch a kibble in the old food and went to town on the new food. This whole process took about 2 weeks, but for the first bit she had some issues with not completely solidified poo. [May also have been caused by her coming home, but I do think the food played a big role] Well, she finally has solid poo [grantid it smells AWEFUL right now from the switch] but i'm glad her tummy is probably feeling better! The biggest thing people have told me is to make sure she is still drinking water! Since the runny poo can dehydrate them. I would stand infront of her cage whenever I heard her eating and monitor if she would drink [which she did with about the same ferosity of eating the new kibble! also it's always easy to tell when she's drinking because she's still a bit too small and her nose goes into the water so you hear her sneezes ] It turned out just fine for me and lily, but keep an eye on your little one's drinking!
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Old 08-02-2011, 10:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

this is related, but just tonight Pirate's poop was much runnier than usual, but NOT green, so I'm not sure exactly what is up. He had been getting used to Innova from Spikes delight. until this past weekend, we had been gradually changing him, but maybe not gradually enough. He went to all Innova this weekend, could that be upsetting him? I don't know where the line is to seriously worry, and I'm wondering if adding a pinch of Spike's delight could help his tummy out. Any advice?
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Old 08-02-2011, 11:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Switched to Innova cat food, now hedgie has diarrhea?!?!

I have been trying to stick to a schedule with Hazel switching her off her kitten food to Innova low fat...she did have 2-3 days loose stools tho because she was picking it out instead of eating both kinds. Her stools are good now tho. You can mix it but that doesn't mean they will follow the plan lol
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