Hedgie started wobbling and becoming unstable on feet - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 12-29-2018, 03:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgie started wobbling and becoming unstable on feet

So my hedgie Coconut, whom I’ve had since Sept of this year has had some off and on again health problems. She previously had some skin and quilling issues but that was resolved finally in Oct.

She got better and was stable for Oct, Nov and Dec. I went away for Christmas for a few days and when I came back I took her out of her cage for some bonding time and she was okay. But when I took her out the next day, she had trouble standing on her feet. She was wobbling 2 times in a row after walking a bit out of her blanket.

Her nails did get a little long so I’m going to give her a bath tomorrow and trim her nails and see if that helps her stability. She’s also gotten a little chunky lately (my fault for kinda being busy these last few months and not letting her roam about. She has a wheel but I took it out of cage during Thanksgiving and Christmas because I had a pet sitter stop by off and on to feed her and my other pets. I wanted to make it easier for them to clean her cage and litter box)

I’m back home now so I’m going to also put her a bit on a diet. She can curl up but she definitely gained a lot of weight so I’m going to get her out more and I put her wheel back to make sure she’s doing ok.

I don’t see any visible indications of injury that could have caused her any problems. She was fine 4 days ago and I just came back to seeing her do this odd behavior.

But when she wobbles she doesn’t look like she has any control so I definitely want to look into what’s going on. I’m so scared she has WHS and this is the onset of it.

It’s also been really cold at night in Texas where I am. It’s warm in the day but at night it’s been 40-30. I turned up the heat of my apt to see if that would help perk her up. I’ve been checking the temp of her cage and it normally is 75-80 but maybe it got colder while I was away.

I know the cold affects them and some are more sensitive to the lower end of the 70’s so I’ll try that and see if warmer temps help her improve.

I’ll also see how the weight loss and grooming help her. She might just be fat and the inactivity lately might be why she’s having issues. But it definitely was very strange and when I got her out when I first came back she didn’t do this. It just happened just now.

Normally her cage is covered tho with towels and she has a little sack she can bury herself in. I’m so worried about her. I got her in her bonding blanket and laying on my chest right now. The apartment is a lot warmer right now too.

Any ideas what could be going on? Definitely going to watch her this weekend and if she isn’t improving will take her to the vet.
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Old 12-29-2018, 04:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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She perked up a little bit after snuggling for 45 min and I let her walk around a bit and didn’t see any wobbling. She was more alert and moving around more too. Before she was sluggish and very unstable.

She’s noticeably warmer on her belly now too. She didn’t feel terribly cold when I snuggled with her but she’s warmer to the touch now. She might have began attempting it when the temperature dropped suddenly.

I think she got too cold. After checking the theromast it did get down to 70 in my apartment and she’s used to 75+. It’s 39 outside too so I will make sure to check the temp more frequently and adjust it.

I’m also going to look at the lighting around her cage and see if I need to adjust that as well. Usually she’s in my guest bedroom but that room gets cold during the winter so I moved her into my hallway/ living room away from the windows and where it’s warmest.

That room however doesn’t have as much lighting as the guest room she was in did. It gets some light but it’s very dim in comparison. After this scare I’m definitely going to adjust the lighting during the day and double check the temperature more frequently.

Hopefully that was the issue and now that I know she needs further adjustment in her environment I can make sure to give that to her. It’s still so strange because she had never gone through that before. So I may need to check and see if my thermostat is gauging and adjusting temperature properly.
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Old 12-29-2018, 05:03 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You should have a thermometer in the cage so you can keep a better track of the actual cage temperature, sometimes it can vary greatly from the room temp. It does sounds like the beginning of a hibernation attempt and you'll need to watch closely to make sure it doesn't happen again. It would be best if you had a heating set up to regulate the temperature and keep it steady. I would also make sure there's a lamp near the cage to regulate the light.
Retired breeder and active HWS rescue station

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Old 01-01-2019, 03:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yes, I believe she was having a hibernation attempt.

I figured out what was happening, my breaker box was going out at night and that’s why she got so cold.

I do have a thermometer in her cage and when I checked it after she was wobbling I saw that it was 68 degrees which is definitely too cold.

I checked the thermostat and temperature of her cage frequently over the weekend and noticed the heat would shut off when it got too cold outside at night. I, of course, was monitoring it and would reset it. To keep her warm I had a space heater on and would do skin to skin contact or bundle her in a thin blanket and hold her in the crook of my arm. She slept cradled on my chest too until both the room and cage were back to the right temperature.

It only went out randomly at night so this weekend I’ve been snoozing on the couch with her off and on with a space heater going. She hasn’t wobbled since 3 days ago and she’s alert like she was before.

I’ve been really monitoring her and she’s doing a lot better.

The maintenance workers of my apartment replaced the faulty breaker so the heat shouldn’t go out again. But in case, I’m still heavily monitoring her cage’s temperature and I have a heat pad and space heater to help make sure she’s extra warm.

During the day it’s been warm enough for me to open the curtains and that’s helped with the lighting. I also got a lamp to place close to her cage to facilitate light on the cloudy/rainy days

Thank you for all your suggestions. The room that she’s in during the summer always stays warm and has lots of natural light. But because that room gets too cold during the winter I’ve had to transfer her into my living room, which is the warmest location. I think the lamp will definitely help during the day as well. I’m also monitoring her and making sure her cage stays warm so she remains healthy and well.

Last edited by Takehertothesea; 01-01-2019 at 03:38 AM.
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