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Old 09-25-2008, 03:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default Lip Licking

So our "little" rescue will walk around and lick his lips. It's not extremely frequent, but we've just noticed it a lot because he's still not eating (we're waiting on his what we're hoping is comfort food to arrive in the mail today or tomorrow)-- not even the A/D stuff the vet gave us . He's is drinking a very little bit and still running on his wheel all the time.

I was just wondering what the deal was with his always licking his lips. I'm not sure if I should be worried or not, but if he was licking his lips, wouldn't he be more inclined to find the food that's always fresh in his cage? The vet said he didn't have anything blocking his throat or anything...

Just curious if this is just a weird habit or if he's trying to tell me something in hedgiespeak...
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Old 09-25-2008, 03:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lip Licking

Could he be hungry or thirsty? Is he getting enough food and water?
Are you sure he's not licking his nose? If so, that could be an indication of a cold.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lip Licking

If it's more his nose, it could be a sign of a respiratory infection.

But if it's really just his lips, and you said it's not extremely frequent, he might just be making "hedgie smacks." My girl and a number of other hedgies I read about do that... no cause for concern. Just cute is all

I hope his comfort food arrives soon! You mentioned he doesn't drink much... Is he using a bottle or bowl? And has that changed since you got him? I'd think a change in the water's taste or the delivery method could contribute to that.
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Lip Licking

He's definitely not getting enough food-- we've tried everything (including the syringe that usually ends up with a bath for all parties involved) and he still won't take. He's definitely not licking his nose, it's usually the sides of his mouth. His eyes and nose look perfectly fine. We constantly have fresh water for him with the antibiotic in it and as fresh as possible A/D food the vet gave us. I just got the shipment of the food his previous owners were feeding him (pre-cat food), so hopefully that will get him to eat SOMETHING. He won't even touch a meal worm

He's still extremely active though and the vet gave him a clean bill of health (including x-rays), sans the fact that he weighs 1.5 LBS (yes you read that correctly) and he's not eating...

Good thinking on the water change--
He actually had a water bottle at his previous owners (which they did not include because they were going to use it for another animal.. ew) and I'm a hard-core bowl lover. We also use filtered and/or bottled water because I can't imagine that anything good comes out of a tap that has the Hudson River as it's source. We've seen him drink (very little) out of the water dish though...
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Old 09-25-2008, 04:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lip Licking

Hmm... I suppose offering a bottle and a bowl for a bit might help, but I'm going to guess the antibiotic in the water changes the flavor enough for him to notice and say "no thanks!"

No mealies? Are you sure you have a hedgehog? Joking... I know not all hedgies like them. Mine's approximately one and a half pounds too. At least that affords them a little extra weight to cushion times when they're ill and eating less. Though let's hope he starts eating on his own again soon. Hopefully, having his regular kibble will be enough - count the kibbles you put in with him so you have an idea of how much he's eating (or not eating). If not, you could put them in places where they're easily accessible - like close to wherever he sleeps.
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Old 09-25-2008, 05:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Lip Licking

Haha I think I'm just going to cover the bottom of his cage with the (new) food... at this point I'll take anything I can get!

But I'll be sure to count them
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:16 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lip Licking

Quote:
Originally Posted by smhufflepuff
If it's more his nose, it could be a sign of a respiratory infection.
Herisson keeps licking his nose!!! I thought it was just something they did because I have seen lots of diffrent animals licking their noses. Should I be worried!?
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Old 09-26-2008, 10:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Lip Licking

lip licking, and nose licking can be a perfectly normal behavior for a hedgehog. Rose licks her lips a lot when it is nearing food time. Or if she can smell food. General Patton would lick his lips/smack his lips fairly regularly and for no reason that I could determine. I've had several that licked their noses fairly often. One, NeMali, did it so often that her nose was normally cool and damp (I swear she did it just so that she could touch her cold nose to my side to watch me jump).

If you are using a litter type bedding (wood substrate, yesterdays news, etc) it could also mean that the dust from your litter is irritating the nose. Which is another reason I am not a fan of these types of bedding. They are often dusty.

I typically do not get concerned over nose licking unless it is a new behavior, it is excessive, there are signs of discharge, weight loss, eating habits change, behavior (less wheel running) or there has been a recent hibernation attempt.

If you really are concerned, take your hedgehog to the vet. (which the OP did I believe) and have your hedgehog checked out.
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Old 09-26-2008, 12:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Lip Licking

Ivan has fleece liners in his cage, so it can't be anything dust related...

I'm sure it's normal (the vet said he was fine), I've just never seen it before when there wasn't food involved lol!
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Old 09-28-2008, 07:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: Lip Licking

My hedgie has went into hibernation twice.. lol It gets frusterating lol but everytime he comes out of it he doesent eat for two days its dangerous but he gets over it
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