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Old 12-30-2019, 12:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy hedgehog won't eat or uncurl

my family recently adopted an 8 week old hedgehog, so i believe he'd about 9-10 weeks old now. his name is frank.
when we first brought him home, he wouldn't really eat much, and stayed in his house curled up day and night. the few times we did take him out he was sniffly and snotty, so we took him to the vet and he has an URI we're in the middle of antibiotic treatment for. tested negative for parasites.
the last week or so ive been able to spend some time with him holding him, getting him to uncurl and giving him his medicine, but he still isn't eating a lot on his own. i try to syringe feed him but he won't take much.
now starting last night and tonight when i take him out for his medicine, he won't come out at all. it took me almost an hour to get him his medicine tonight and even then im not sure he got the full dose. he won't uncurl at all, just stays balled up and hissing when i hold him.
im getting worried his condition won't approve if i can't socialize him properly, any tips would be appreciated
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:17 AM   #2 (permalink)
Emc
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Hedgehogs don't eat a massive amount - weigh him regularly (once a week) and so long as he doesnt continously lose weight as the weeks progress, youre good. Do not syringe feed him unless there is a genuine need; it's stressful, and when theres no need it is only damaging for any relationship you are trying to establish.

Medicine often tastes gross; My girl was diagnosed with cancer back in October, and was on a 2 week course of baytril & metacam after a tumour removal - but we had an established relationship, so it wasnt too difficult - but she let me know she hated it. For a hedgehog who doesnt trust you (as is the case with any new hog), add the fact that youre forcing them to take a yucky medicine, and hey presto; you've got a hog who distrusts you even more.

Do you feed him insects? Being insectivores, hedgehogs need live insects as part of their daily diet - and most of them go absolutely nuts for them. You can try coax him out of a ball for some yummy bugs, and start giving him bugs both before and after he gets his medicine as a distraction. It will essentially work as damage control; though yes, as long as he's on medicine hes going to view you as someone who forces him to take something he doesnt want to - he'll also learn that you are also the person who brings him his favourite treats.

They also like the room theyre in to be pitch black; spend time with him at night, with all the lights off - talk to him, and offer him snacks. During the day time when youre home, take him out and pop him in a blanket or snuggle sack and let him sleep on you - it will help build your relationship.

Keep in mind that he's young, and young hedgehogs are going through a process known as quilling - theyre always some level of grumpy, some more than others. Its nothing personal; theyre an animal who often take many months to develop a relationship with their owners.
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:59 PM   #3 (permalink)
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thank you so much for your reply, you're making me feel a lot better about things.

i'll definitely stop trying to syringe feed him, but unfortunately he has another week of antibiotics to get through he's gonna hate me for. i'm also going to weigh him regularly now just to make sure he isn't losing weight.

we're trying to feed him insects, but he won't eat them. i try offering them to him after his medicine but he will barely come out to sniff them let alone eat them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emc View Post
Hedgehogs don't eat a massive amount - weigh him regularly (once a week) and so long as he doesnt continously lose weight as the weeks progress, youre good. Do not syringe feed him unless there is a genuine need; it's stressful, and when theres no need it is only damaging for any relationship you are trying to establish.

Medicine often tastes gross; My girl was diagnosed with cancer back in October, and was on a 2 week course of baytril & metacam after a tumour removal - but we had an established relationship, so it wasnt too difficult - but she let me know she hated it. For a hedgehog who doesnt trust you (as is the case with any new hog), add the fact that youre forcing them to take a yucky medicine, and hey presto; you've got a hog who distrusts you even more.

Do you feed him insects? Being insectivores, hedgehogs need live insects as part of their daily diet - and most of them go absolutely nuts for them. You can try coax him out of a ball for some yummy bugs, and start giving him bugs both before and after he gets his medicine as a distraction. It will essentially work as damage control; though yes, as long as he's on medicine hes going to view you as someone who forces him to take something he doesnt want to - he'll also learn that you are also the person who brings him his favourite treats.

They also like the room theyre in to be pitch black; spend time with him at night, with all the lights off - talk to him, and offer him snacks. During the day time when youre home, take him out and pop him in a blanket or snuggle sack and let him sleep on you - it will help build your relationship.

Keep in mind that he's young, and young hedgehogs are going through a process known as quilling - theyre always some level of grumpy, some more than others. Its nothing personal; theyre an animal who often take many months to develop a relationship with their owners.
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Old 01-01-2020, 07:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I went thru similar with my hedge hog. When they are curled in a ball if you stroke just behind the head they will uncurl a little. At least it worked for Cosmo. Also if you can get him uncurled if you have them wrapped burritto style with the edge of the blanket under their chin they cant tuck their head. I will admit this is not really easy. It took me awhile to figure out how to syringe feed Cosmo his meds, but just be patient and persistent. Hope this helps.
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