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Old 08-10-2009, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default I've been wrong all along!!! HELP!!!!

I feel really not smart at all right now. I was reading through the forum and kept finding mentions of how that Wellness is too rich on its own because of the high protein content. I knew this but never really thought about it assuming that the "junk food" I was feeding (Purina kitten chow) would balance it. After reading this several times I wanted to double check myself to be reassured that I was feeding Herisson right even though I was pretty sure that my hedgehog’s diet was fine. I started to really think about it and I realized that kitten food has a higher protein content (40% when I checked mine!) than Wellness's 30% content! I now feel like the stupidest hedgehog owner on the planet!!!!! How could I over look that! I hope the high protein hasn't hurt him already. I seriously need some reassurance and advice before I go trying to find a more responsible owner for my beloved hedgie. I can't believe that I didn't check myself!! I've been feeding this to poor Herisson for over a year!!!!! Should I go find a really low protein content food to add to the mix, change foods entirely, or what!? Please help so I can stop fretting.
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Old 08-10-2009, 01:13 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Ive been wrong all along!!! HELP!!!!

I know that people on here state 35% or less protein for your hedgies due to risk of kidney disease or failure, but I think that is a bit erroneous. Carnivores and insetivores do not get kidney failure from high protein, however omnivores do. That being said, not much is know about hedgie diets so most people tend to stay on the safe side when it coems to food. Also, they can have kidney issues from old age, and in that case it is harder for them to process the extra protein.

Anyways, if your little guy is healthy then do not worry, you were obviously doing fine! If it makes you feel more comfortable, slowly start switching him to a new lower protein food.

I would love to hear if anyone has had a hedgie with kidney issues or something to that effect diagnosed from a vet. I've done numerous searches but have always come up with nothing. For what it's worth, most of the zoo sources suggest a 30-50% protein mix for insectivorous mammals, while the pet community feel a bit different from everything I have read on here.
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Old 08-10-2009, 09:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: I've been wrong all along!!! HELP!!!!

I'm sure your hedgehog is fine. I feed wellness healthy weight mixed with felidae.

Wellness Levels
Protein = 30%
Fat = 8%
Fiber = 4%

Felidae Levels
Protein = 32%
Fat = 20% (he's a runner so he needs it higher also I'll be adding a third food to the mix with much lower fat)
Fiber = 2.5%

When he was just on wellness it was too rich because the protein is mostly from animals, felidae has more veggies and fruit which contain partial proteins that are included in the levels but are not as rich. He had very loose droppings and as soon as he started eating felidae they firmed up quite a bit.

You have to base your choice of food on the list of ingredients as well as the guaranteed analysis (list of % of protein and fat). In my opinion purina is not the best food and the kitten variety is probably too high in fat.

What are the ingredients of the purina? What ration of purina to wellness does your hedgehog eat?
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Old 08-11-2009, 11:23 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: I've been wrong all along!!! HELP!!!!

I've been feeding one part wellness indoor health (protein 30%, Fat 12%, fiber 5%), one half part Purina Kitten Chow for "junk food" (protein 40%, fat 12.5%, fiber 4.0%), with Grapenuts sprinkled on top. Is this sufficient?
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: I've been wrong all along!!! HELP!!!!

I think you should have more healthy foods before you add a "junk food" There are lots on reapers food list.
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Old 08-11-2009, 12:10 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: I've been wrong all along!!! HELP!!!!

That’s what I was thinking about now, that I should add a new food. I have the "junk food" because that was what the breeder was feeding and gave me a bag. Large bags go slowly when you're feeding it as only one 3rd of a little hedgehogs diet. I also continued feeding it because without really thinking about it I assumed that it would balance the richness of Wellness. However, I realize I was very wrong and I defiantly will be getting a new food. Does anyone have any recommendations as to what I should add? Something with lower protein perhaps? Maybe a low-fat formula to balance the added fat from the Kitten food? I am open to any suggestions.
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Old 08-11-2009, 01:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: I've been wrong all along!!! HELP!!!!

Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul (light formula) is a popular food that is used. That has 32% protein and 9% fat.
I feed Wellness Indoor, Solid Gold Katz 'N' Flocken, and Natural Balance Green Peas and Duck. The Solid Gold has 34% protein and 12% fat, and the main meat ingredient is lamb. The Natural Balance (which seems to be very popular among hedgies, I know it's Lily's favorite of the three) has 30% protein and 12% fat, with the main ingredients being peas and duck meal.
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