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Old 01-08-2020, 12:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
shelbythehedgehog's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Grand Rapids
Posts: 142
Default new food issues

i recently changed colby's food, starting nearly two weeks ago. it was all going great, until a few days ago. he started to have diarrhea, and has had it for a few days. i am almost 100% sure it's because of his diet change, and i know this is completely normal, but i'm just wondering how long it will take until he is used to his new food. the smell is absolutely putrid and its getting everywhere. i also worry about him becoming dehydrated if this diarrhea keeps up (he is still drinking a lot of water and seems to be acting completely normal besides the diarrhea).
also, i just got him around christmas time and it became clearly evident that he did not like the food the breeder was feeding him (either that, or the bag of food that she gave me was stale or something), so after a week or so i bought a different kind of food and he would pick out the new food and only eat that, so weaning him off of the old food may not have had much of an effect, which is why i think he is reacting so extremely to this. any advice?

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Old 01-08-2020, 04:19 AM   #2 (permalink)
Ria's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: London-Surrey, UK
Posts: 1,875

It might not be how you changed it, but an ingredient in the new food that's caused it and didn't agree with his system.

When I have dogs with loose stool or diarrhoea, I mix in some plain cooked chicken and give less biscuit which generally helps settle their stomachs well.
I don't know if you can do the same with a hedgehog though.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:26 AM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Colorado
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What food did you switch him over to? Sometimes there are bad ingredients that are not super easy to spot.
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Old 01-08-2020, 11:24 AM   #4 (permalink)
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,553

Few questions and ideas come to mind. How long have you had him? What food did you switch to? What is the current percentage of old to new?

One thought I had was that you stated you just got him. I'm wondering if some of what you are experiencing is due to stress. Stress from going to a new home and stress from diet change could be overwhelming to a young body.

Another is that some foods are known to cause digestive upset more than others for some hedgehogs (not all). I've had some that also were just sensitive to certain ingredients and had to go on a limited ingredient diet to resolve the issue.

The other thought is, are you seeing just loose stools, or are they actually watery and frequent? Loose stools can be caused by stress and is a fairly normal reaction, but if they are watery and frequent, well, that is concerning and needs to be addressed. If you are switching over too quickly, you need to step back the percentage of new to old and move more slowly. If it continues for very long, a veterinary visit is in order to rule out illness.

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