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Old 04-18-2011, 06:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to change hedgehog food so he wont have tummy trouble?

Hi everyone,

I have a hedgehog named Teddy Bear. I got him from the breeder around a week ago and he is the sweetest little baby in the world! The lady i got him from was not a breeder and had the litter eating food with corn in it (toxic to hedgehogs). So I decided to change it to Blue Buffalo Basics (turkey&potato flavor) It is a food for cats with sensitive stomachs and is holistic (yes, they do eat cat food, it has more nutritional value than hedgehog food) I have been giving it to him little by little along with his old food... So up until yesterday he was fine, then he has diharrea. Yesterday I completly stopped giving it to him thinking it would be fine because he was doing so well, but I was wrong...AND I CAN NOT STOP GIVING HIM NEW FOOD BECAUSE THE OLD FOOD THAT THE LADY GAVE HIM HAD CORN IN IT AND CORN IS TOXIC!!! how can i ween him off of the old food and onto the new food safely? Also, how long does it take?

By the way... He hates meal worms! Is it alright if i dont give him any because when i do give them 2 him he smells it then runs away to a corner and rolls in to ball then do go to that side of the cage which the meal worm is on (they r freese dried)
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to change hedgehog food so he wont have tummy trouble?

Well, corn isn't toxic, not like other things that can be toxic and deadly to them such as raisins and grapes. Most cat foods have some type of corn in it, but you try and avoid the foods that are mostly corn. The issue with corn is that hedgehogs do not have the digestive enzyme to process it, thus eating corn does nothing for them. The same with humans to an extent, though we digest the inside of the kernal, we're unable to break down the outside. For hogs, they can't digest any of it.

The diharrea might have been something else, main question is, how long have you been switching it? You go little by little but it can be a two week process, depending on the hedgehog, some might get a horribly upset stomach, others can switch pretty quickly. So it may be an isolated incident. Blue Buffalo is one of the better foods, if his poop has turned back to normal, I'd probably try it again, just a few more pieces per night. Of course see what everyone else says.

As for the mealworms, it can take some hedgehogs a little time to figure out that mealworms are good, though sounds like your guy was scared of it. Freeze Dried isn't really good for them, it can cause bowel problems, constipation etc if fed too much, but I wouldn't worry too much about feeding them, every once in awhile there's a hedgehog that just doesn't like them, and you can provide the extra nutrition. Under the link for dry cat food is another link to a online hedgehog book written by forum member Lizardgirl, its a good read and tells you want you can feed them as treats.

99.9% of this forum feeds their hedgehogs cat food, and there is also this thread linked below which gives a list of recommended food. If you don't try the blue buffalo again, you may try something else on the list.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15

Hopefully that'll help out a bit, as said the other members will jump in here and give you more advice. Hope that helps.

Lizardgirl's Hedgehog Book
http://www.hedgehogbook.webs.com/
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