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Old 07-10-2019, 10:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgie not eating much?

Hello! First and foremost, as a new hedgehog owner I want to thank this site for being so helpful- I've read hours of old posts and It's been so nice to see other owners thoughts on things!

So, I adopted my hedgehog about a month ago. He's a year and a half old and I got him from a lady who couldn't keep him any more. She had been feeding him spike's ultra hedgehog food, and from what I could tell that's about it, maybe some dried mealworms every now and then.

He's not super well socialized, I can only assume it's from a lack of handling from his previous owner as she began to not have time for him, so he's not the most trusting of me but I take him out for an hour or two every day and he's been a lot less timid over time! I began experimenting with different treats to see what he likes- so far, I've really only seen him be interested in scrambled egg and live mealworms (as opposed to the dried ones).

I noticed a week or two ago however that he stopped eating regularly, and was really only eating a couple pieces of kibble, and his poop was fairly green. I took him to a vet ASAP who put him on an antibiotic, and I began syringe feeding him a blended up mixture of his kibble and some vanilla ensure. (He hated it, oh boy)

After his antibiotic had run it's course and his poops were looking a lot better, he still wasn't touching his kibble, so I experimented with a couple cat foods and I've found one he seems to enjoy BUT he's still not eating as much as it seems everyone else's hedgies on here eat and I don't know if it's something I should be concerned about.

He eats a little under a teaspoon of kibble each night, and probably 4-5 live mealworms (although I think he'd eat as many as I gave him, they're his fave). His energy levels are normal, poops are fine, he sleeps all day and at night he runs on his wheel, so I don't think he's sick or anything.

(WOW sorry this got so long! I'm a first time owner and I really want to make sure I'm being the best owner I can be.) If you have any insight or advice as to how to get his appetite up, I'd love to hear it.
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Old 07-10-2019, 11:57 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Is the eating much less than previously, or are you just mostly concerned that other people report higher amounts of food being eaten? For the most part we shouldn't compare what amount one hedgehog eats to another. There are too many variables to really compare. Some hedgehogs eat more, or require higher calorie diets than others in order to maintain weight.

Instead of comparing food amounts, monitor his weight. If he is regaining weight, or maintaining at a healthy weight then you know he is getting enough to eat.
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Old 07-11-2019, 10:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don't really have a great metric for how much he was eating at his old home because his owner didn't keep track from what I can tell, but he's eating a consistent amount from what I can tell!

I haven't been weighing him but I'm going to start every day now, just to keep an eye on it. I think I'm just a little fixated on it because (like you said) I'm trying to compare my experiences with others too much. Thank you!
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Old 07-11-2019, 01:18 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Like Kalandra said, each hedgehog is different. Although he was already older when you first got him, he could have still had some room to grow and maybe he’s finally found his plateau where he doesn’t eat as much. I commend you for experimenting with diets though! My girl came with Spikes, and while it’s one of the *healthier* hedgehog foods out there, it’s still far from superior compared to cat foods. And keep feeding those live insects (freeze dried is best avoided because of possible gut complications) as they get a lot of nutrients from insects!
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Old 07-11-2019, 02:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I take in a new hedgehog the first thing we do is to get a weight and condition check. After that we monitor and watch for patterns to try to figure out what is normal for that hedgehog. They are very individualistic. You may see no change at all, or you may see a lot of change in the next 3-6 months. Sometimes the stress of a new home can make them less active, or they may be extremely active in the beginning and settle down over time. Quite often I have found their dietary needs within the first few months of arrival are very different than those needed later.


It can make it a little difficult to figure out what to feed them, and sometimes you end up with an entirely different diet plan once they settle.
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