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Old 12-21-2014, 02:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog won't eat!

Hello,
I have a female hedgehog and I don't see her eat. (she is 2 years old) in the past few weeks she lost 70 grams of weight. the previous owner didn't have an exersize wheeL, I do have one and she is running on it the whole night but not eating. a couple days ago I tried to feed her crickets, she really liked them and ate about 10 of them. now she doesn't want crickets anymore. she doesn't want mealworms or wax moth larvae or kibble she just sniffs it and walks away. we have her for about a month now, previous owner had her in one enclosure with a male hedgehog, so she could be pregnant too maybe? i now removed the wheel from the enclosure so she doesn't run that much, what can I do to make her eat again?

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Old 12-21-2014, 02:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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How long has she not been eating? What is the temp of her cage? Did you change her food?
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Old 12-21-2014, 02:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Have u counted her kibble? I do this every morning and night with my hedgie. This makes sure they are eating enough
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Old 12-21-2014, 04:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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the cage temp was about 26-28 C. (79F) i heat it with a lamp. the food has been the same the whole time (royal canine fit 32 kibble), but i tried to feed her mealworms with it.
I contacted the previous owner of the hedgehog about this problem, he thought the temperature was too high. i turned off one of the two lamps, now the cage is about 23 C (73F) it didn't really change anything.
she hasn't eaten since a week or so. one day she ate crickets, so at least she ate something.
I will count her kibble tonight, hope she will eat something
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Old 12-21-2014, 06:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If a hedgehog doesn't eat for 3+ days you need to start syringe feeding them. Not eating for that long can be very dangerous since their system starts to shut down which can do severe damage to their organs. If they don't eat for a couple of days they usually don't get hungry again (without syringe feeding) because it becomes a vicious circle of not eating/not wanting to eat.

Did anything else change? Did you take the wheel out after she stopped eating or before?
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Old 12-21-2014, 09:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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She may need a more mid range heat? Can you adjust the heat at all (more than turning off one light or the other)? I ask because 73 vs 79 seems pretty drastic, you should be able to control it a bit better than that - i keep my cage at 76 (according to the thermostat and both thermometers!)

Are you using CHEs, or is your "lamp" a light emitting heat lamp like used for most reptiles? If it emits light 24/7, even a colored light, then that may be messing with her natural cycle. She should have NO light for "night time" or she may not come out to eat/wheel/etc.

If she still isn't eating and you have to syringe feed, then maybe a vet visit is in order.
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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I use a reptile heat lamp, only during the day. I turn it oof at night. the terrarium is 26 C during the day and about 22 C during the night. I took the wheel out after i noticed her starting to lose weight. (two weeks ago)
She ate nothing yesterday, and she didn't poop either..
i went to the vet today, with both hedgehogs. one of them doesnt use her back legs with walking (Fluffy), and the other won't eat.(Prikkie)

the vet thought Fluffy had a lack of vitamin B or the limping was caused by a trauma, causing her to drag her legs behind her. she got an injection with vitamin B, if that doesn't work she will get a pain killer to walk better .

Prikkie was a difficault case, the vet didn't see any signs of disease at all. she looked very healty, but too thin. the vet weighted her again, now it is 420 G! when she came her it was 497 G (a month ago) she tried to syringe feed her, it was pretty difficault because she started to roll up in a ball. Prikky got an injection with vitamin B and a medicine which will make her hungry. (it didn't work yet) she said I should try offering her as many differend types of food as possible, and if it doesn't work syringe feeding. (I now have kibble, mealworms,waxworms, dead crickets and canned catfood that the vet gave me.) the vet said the temperature and everything was ok! she had no idea why she wont eat.. i will look if she eats today and if not i will try syringe feeding...
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Old 12-22-2014, 08:54 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I had a similar issue with my hedgie a few weeks ago. Lack of appetite and dragging back legs. My vet said it was a lack of Calcium. I was advised to stop feeding cat food and go to hedge hog specific food. Of course I did not do that.

What I did do was move my hedgie to an isolated room that had a timer for a light source. Light goes on at 7 am and turns off at 9 pm. I also set up a CHE maintaining the temp between 76-80.

I think that the fluctuation of 22 c (71.6 f) to 28 c (82.4 f) may be a little extreme. Also what is your light source? I found that my hegie did best when I had a very predictable schedule for light. My wife thinks it is a waist but I noticed a big difference in his behavior when I added the light.
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Old 12-22-2014, 09:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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As a light source I have a reptile basking lamp. it is set on a timer from 6am to 8.30pm. then it turns off and the room is at about 22 c.

how dod you get your hedgehog to eat again? did he start eating after you plugged in a CHE?
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Old 12-22-2014, 11:07 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I want to agree with DSP - the heat should be a constant temp 24/7, not fluctuating (especially that extremely). People recommend to keep it at around 74-78. Some hedgies like it warmer, others prefer it cooler. Your hedgie may be sensitive to the drop in temp or the resulting dropped temp.

Turning heat off completely and letting temp drop to below 73 at night is risky and may be why she isn't eating. She might be trying to hibernate?

A CHE (non-light-emitting heat bulb) with a thermostat will keep the temperature at a constant temp 24/7, whatever you set the thermostat to. When it reaches desired temp it goes off, when it drops it turns back on. You can put a regular lamp on a timer to keep a regular light schedule.

I would try the CHE and see if it helps. It can be difficult to spot disease or illness with exotics. Did the vet recommend any sort of tests that may help if the injection doesn't? I would continue to try and syringe feed. You said she ate crickets - where they live? Or where they freeze-dried?
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