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-   -   Hedgehog having nightmares? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46217)

Lucy 01-15-2014 09:20 AM

Hedgehog having nightmares?
 
Heelo everyone :-)
I wen't back looking for threads with the same question but didn't find anything. Hope I'm not posting a question, that has already been discussed.


I got a boy hedgehog (Mr. Quills) nearly a year ago from some guy, who obviosuly didn't know or care much about hedgies. I don't have any history and, judging by this hedgie's grumpiness and behaviour issues, he's from a pet-shop and wasn't treated at all or wasn't treated well. I got my first hedgie (Harry) just about half a year before this one so I'm a young hedgie mom, but I've done a lot of research about hedgies and I've decided to specialize on theese prickly guys, rodents and small animals, when I finish school, but I don't have the practicall experience of a long time hedgie owner...
Anyway - Mr Quills did settle down a lot in his new home and seems quite happy when he's not handled much and can just run around in my room all night long. But sometimes he has theese sequencies of screaming and making all theese scary noises throughout the day. It last usually just a couple of seconds and before I run to his box, he stops, but sometimes he carries on for nearly up to a minute, if I don't disturb him.
In summer I took both hedgies out with me, and we sat in the garden - well, they slept in there boxes, but we were outside and obviously, there is a lot of noise outside and Mr Quills had hi screaming sesions more often, when we were out. But he does it inside as well time to time.
Obviously, it freaks me out everytime, so I run to him and take him out of his box and he always seems upset about me waking him up and he only puffs at me and never seems in pain or frightened or whatever. I even took him to school for an X-ray and we found nothing. Except for the fact, that a hedgehog x-ray is a really funny picture :mrgreen: His tummy has been palpated and there's nothing there either, his legs, nose, quills have been checked and all is negative.
So I did some researching and found, that some people's hedgies do this, and that it might be dreaming. When I found out Mr Quills has his "bad dreams" more often, when he's outside I did a bit of testing and took Mr Quills deliberetly out (it was a bit cruel but I wanted to find out the cause, so I could distinguish if it's a medical issue or he's really just dreaming and try to prevent it from happening). As I said, the frequency rises when he's outside (althoug in his box, where he sleeps normally) and it always occurs, when he's falling asleep. When I hear the sounds, I always take him out to check if he's allright, he's always angry, I woke him, I put him back and in about 2 minutes, he start's off again. I didn't really have the heart to let him scream, so I woke him again, and all was the same afterwards. Once I didn't wake him up, I got my phone to film him and I got a video of Mr Quills just sleeping and screaming and it lasted for a couple of minutes and he was slowly quieting down and then the sounds stopped and he carried on sleeping. It really does seem like he's having nightmares as a reaction to some stress when or before he falls asleep which go away as he falls into deeper sleep, but there's possibly no way in how to prove it. So I'd like to ask if anybody has ever seen or heard about this behaviour? My other hedgie is fine - I heard him puff about two times in his whole life and sneeze once, otherwise he's so quiet.
I red some of the behaviour topics here and watched some videos and was surprised that apart from screaming, some of the sounds Mr Quills makes, while dreaming, are the same as the sounds male hedgehogs make while dating and mating...makes me wonder, if he was dreaming about Mrs Quills with sexy quills and I woke him from that...that would really explain his expression :D
I do know, that dogs dream, I've seen my rats dream a lot of time, even my horse once - but they all were just running or sniffing or something like that, not really vocalizing (althoug dog's do...).
Thanks to all for your experiences :-)

Tongue_Flicker 01-15-2014 12:40 PM

Well i have a female hedgie that sleeps while standing on all fours, a hedgie that sleeps with eyes half-wide open and another hedgie that seems to mimic a person when riding a bicycle so i guess that is just normal. Maybe not nightmares, just normal dreams. Higher vertebrates have scientifically proven that their brain activity during sleep is suffice to manifest physical symptoms during an REM/dream state :D

Annie&Tibbers 01-15-2014 01:27 PM

Someone once posted a link to security cam footage that picked up their hedgehog's nightmares. Here's the link:

Does that sound like what you're hearing?

Someone else was recently startled by their hedgehog making sounds like fighting cats while sound asleep. My little guy has been chirping in his afternoon naps recently.

Welcome to the forum! It sounds like you do a lot of research on our tiny friends, so you've probably already encountered this, but if not, here's an awesome care-guide.

Also, if you still have his x-ray, do you mind posting it? I've seen lots of x-rays of unhealthy hedgehogs, but very few of healthy ones, and I'd love to get a broader understanding of what "normal" looks like.

Beloved Doll 01-15-2014 11:09 PM

I would imagine that hedgehogs do have nightmares just like all us other critters. =P I never heard of them making sound as a reaction to those dreams though so it was really interesting to watch that video and hear those vocalizations. Really has me curious and wanting to know more.

I, too, and interested in seeing the x-ray if you happen to have it. I'd like to know more about what the hedgehog body is like underneath those quills and skin.

Lucy 01-16-2014 04:41 AM

Tongue Flicker: Wow, I'm glad I'm not the only one that has a "weird" hedgie :-D That's actually what confuses me - because insectivores are "lower vertebrates" - they do not have brain cortex. That doesn't mean, their inteligence is lower, but it should mean they aren't capable of some things. I never was good at neurology, but I red somewhere that the cerebral cortex is the place for long-term memories, capability to bond with somebody and so on... I went through a lot of threads on this forum and found lots of proofs, that this wasn't true and hedgies do bond to their owners and remember pretty well. ANyway, who knows, and dreaming doesn't have it's origin in neocortex (think it's a "function" of limbic system as well as emotions - and all vertebrates have that) and obviosuly "even" hedgies do dream :-)

Annie&Tibbers: Thanks for the guide, I'll go through it too :-) I'm the type of person, who want's to know about his animals, so I'm doing my best. And as I wrote - I'm finishing school in 2 years adn want to be a small animal and hedgehog specialist. We do have some vets good at rodents, ferrets and rabbits, but none at hedgies and there are quite a few hedgehog owners now even in my country, so it's time there was a doctor for them too :-)
This really is a cat-like scream on the vid. Mr Quills either screamed more like a baby crying or he does little cries maybe a bit similiar to a rubber duck squeking. And then the mating sounds - but that obviously wasn't a nightmare :-)
Sure, I do have the x-rays and don't mind posting them. I show them to my friends because they do look funny :-) I'll post them in a new thread in the health part of the forum, so other people can have a look, ok?
Thanks - I'm happy to be here with you hedgie-guys ;-)

MomLady 01-16-2014 08:12 AM

It seems too, that the older they get the more noises they make when they sleep. My Nara is now 3.5 years and during the day she makes all kinds of weird sounds--snores, snorts, sighs, little moans. When I check, she's fast asleep. I have never heard her scream--somewhere out there, there's a video of a hedgie at the vets just screaming--you wouldn't think such a small animal could make such a noise.

When I have her out with me, she must be dreaming of running on her wheel, because her legs move. (or maybe chasing crickets).

I saw the xrays in the other post. Their spines are weird, they look so flexible. You can see why they are able to ball up. Thanks for posting them.

I suppose hedgies are like us, some of us snore!

Interesting topic.

ML

Annie&Tibbers 01-16-2014 02:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MomLady (Post 342233)
I have never heard her scream--somewhere out there, there's a video of a hedgie at the vets just screaming--you wouldn't think such a small animal could make such a noise.

Here's the video:

ceopet 01-18-2014 01:20 AM

OMG that poor hedgie! I never heard anything like that out of Petra.

Lucy 01-21-2014 04:38 PM

My other, younger, hedgie snores too - and you can hear it even in the next room :-D It did surprise me how loud can such a little animal snore :-)


Awww, poor hegie....lots of animals scream just because you're holding them and stop once you let go - but anyway, it always breaks my heart, that they're so frightened and I'm just trying to help.

Lucy 01-21-2014 04:41 PM

I had a look through my computer and found the sounds Mr Quills was making in summer. But it's an mp3. Well, I'll propably try to upload it to youtube and post it here afterwards.


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