He just won't gain weight... - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 06-20-2010, 12:57 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default He just won't gain weight...

Our boy Dexter has been on a steady weight decline since he reached adulthood. He's getting dangerously low now. We weighed him two days ago and he is down to 233 grams.

We even switched him a month ago to 75 percent baby kitten food (24% fat) in his food mix in hopes that it would help him put some weight on, but no change. He runs all night, so I worry that no mater what I feed him he will just continue to run it off.

Is there anything more we can do short of switching him to 100 percent baby kitten food and taking his wheel out a couple nights per week? Is it ok to feed 100 percent of one food with no others mixed in? He's also started turning his nose up to the dried mealworms, so I can't even treat him to extra mealworms as a fat supplement.

I know that every hedgie has their own unique healthy weight, and I would not worry about the 233 grams if he was stabilized there, but he continues to drop weight and the sides of his stomach are beginning to look caved in.

Please, guys, help us to help Dexter gain some weight! Or at least put our minds at ease that this is normal. My wife and I are a beginning to worry about our little man.

Thanks, everyone.

Best,
Rob and Sara
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: He just won't gain weight...

Well, I'm a new-ish hedgehog owner, but I was wondering if you have tried live mealworms? I don't know if they have more or less fat than dried, but maybe it'll help. (Maybe he'll actually eat them too!) If he goes down any more, I would bring him to the doctors.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: He just won't gain weight...

I second the live meal worms. When I picked up my male Loki, I was told that he wasn't into any snacks, not even meal worms. Well it took him less than a minute to eat a live one and start sniffing and chirping around for more. I think the fact it was moving around perked his interest.

As for the weight loss, I am not sure. Have you counted kibble and see how much he eats at night and such? Sounds like he's eating just fine, but yeah if he's been in a steady decline weight wise, I'd get him to the vet, or at least call and ask them if they can think of anything.
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Old 06-23-2010, 09:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: He just won't gain weight...

How old is he? is he eating less? How are his teeth? He could have a tooth problem. I would suggest a vet visit ASAP.
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:41 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: He just won't gain weight...

How much is he eating each night? Like Hedgiepets said, he may have a problem with is mouth but he also may have some sort of digestive issue. A vet visit would be a good idea to rule out any mouth issues and also to take a fecal sample to see if maybe he has parasites. If there doesn't seem to be any underlying health issues, as bad as it sounds, you might try taking out his wheel, or only giving it to him for part of the night. If he has a nice big cage, he can still run around, just not as fiercely as the wheel would allow.

Please keep us updated! I'm interested in seeing what is causing his weight loss.



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