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Old 10-21-2011, 09:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

My hedgehog is (at least, should be) pregnant, and I was expecting babies sometime this week. Monday would have been 35 days since she was first introduced to the male. I was careful to make sure she wasn't disturbed at all starting mid last week. Monday I changed her water, cleaned the area of her cage that she poops, and topped up her food. Tuesday the water and food hadn't been touched, and she hadn't pooped at all. I figured she wasn't eating because she was going to give birth soon, but the babies never came.

I know you aren't supposed to disturb hedgehogs right before and after they give birth, but I decided yesterday morning that I couldn't just sit and wait any longer. I took her out and she was a lot more aggressive than normal, but once she realized it was me she calmed down. I got a small bowl and filled it with water and since she isn't used to using a bowl, I used a syringe to get her started drinking. She guzzled up a two syringes full (it's a SUPER tiny syringe, similar in size to an insulin syringe) and the I put the bowl in front of her, she kind of tried drink out of it, but then came back to the syringe. After another syringe full I put her and the bowl of water into her cage and left for work, but when I came back yesterday evening the bowl appeared to be untouched (it's harder to monitor the water level in the bowl than with the water bottle) and the water bottle was still completely full.

I was torn about what to do, I didn't know if I should disturb her again and force some more water into her, or leave her alone. I didn't know if I should take her to the vet, or if that would cause too much stress since my vet is over an hour away and she gets car sick as it is, and I don't want to disturb her more than I have to. I finally decided to get her out again and make her drink some more. This time I also had her eat, run around the room for a bit before putting her back in her cage, and when I put her back she got on her wheel and started running. I monitored her for about an hour, and she kept running, getting off to eat and drink, and then running again (which is her normal behavior). She was also poop and peed, which was reassuring, but then she randomly stopped running, and just kind of laid there on her wheel. I gave her a few minutes before picking her up to see if she was okay, and once I picked her up she started acting normal again and I put her back, she ran for a few more minutes, and then went back in her nesting box. Since then she hasn't come out. (I cleaned the area she poops last night and again there is no poop or pee and the water and food hasn't been touched).

Now it's Friday evening and I'm again torn about what to do. If she is pregnant I don't want to bother her since she's already past her first possible due date, but there's always the chance that the breeding wasn't successful and she's not even pregnant. But if she's not pregnant why would she stop eating and drinking and why is she acting so weird? The weather is getting a little colder, but the heat is on, set to 75, and she doesn't feel cold, so I don't know if she's trying to hibernate. Or perhaps since the heat is on she's overheated? Or maybe she's having complications with her pregnancy? I don't know and i'm just really worried.

Does anyone with breeding experience have any advice? Has anyone had an expectant mother that has exhibited similar behaviors? What would my best course of action be? Sorry this is so long . . .
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Old 10-21-2011, 10:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

Also, is it possible that she's just depressed because I'm not playing with her now?
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:05 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

I'm sorry. I don't know anything about breeding, but I sent a private message to some of the breeders on this forum to bring this post to their attention. But, it's also the weekend and a lot of people are busy. If you are very concerned, the best thing to do is to call your veterinarian if they have an emergency line or to call your 24 hour emergency vet clinic. Praying for your girl. HUGS.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

Just a few questions to help me understand better.

How long has it been since she's eaten and drank on her own?
How much has she been eating the last few days?


You need to take the wheel out, expecting moms need to have the wheel taken out before they deliver. Mom's have been known to run on their wheels with a baby in her mouth or to abandon her babies to wheel.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:36 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

I believe she ate on her own on Monday before I got home from work, since there was poop for me to clean up. Other than that, she has only eaten when I made her eat yesterday, and she ate some of her normal food (maybe a two tablespoons, if that) and 1/4th to 1/6th of a hard boiled egg.

I knew that once she had the babies you should take the wheel out, but I didn't think to do that before. I'll go do that now.
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:41 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

That's not enough food, what's the temperature in her cage? Just because the heat is set to 75 it doesn't mean that's the temp in her cage. You need to check with a thermometer. Have you tried wet cat food? or mealworms?

What kind of bedding is she one? have you seen any blood in the cage?
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Old 10-22-2011, 12:57 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

That is exactly why I'm worried! The temperature in her cage has been consistently between 75 and 77 this week, during the summer her cage was usually between 74-76. I have a fleece liner, with newspaper under her wheel, and a t shirt she always pulls into her house and likes to burrow into.

There has been no blood in her cage at all. I haven't tried wet cat food, and she refuses to kill any bugs I've ever tried to feed her, and I don't have the heart to kill them for her so she can eat them. I know you can feed hedgehogs cooked, unseasoned meat, but I'm a vegetarian and don't have any meat in the house. She usually will eat fruits and vegges, but she doesn't seem interest right now.

I just took some more hard boiled egg into her. She wasn't sleeping, so I quietly reached into the opening of her nest box and she ate some of it out of my hand. I also took the syringe and stuck it in there and made her drink some water. I don't know why she just won't come out!
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

I dunno anything about prego hedgies...but just thought I'd share a thought. Could she be eating her own poops?

Prayers for your girl!
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Old 10-22-2011, 01:35 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hissy-Fit-Hazel
I dunno anything about prego hedgies...but just thought I'd share a thought. Could she be eating her own poops?
She definitely isn't pooping or peeing at all, (except yesterday after I had her eat). He cage is SPOTLESS. If she was pooping and eating it there would be at least some trace of that on something. I don't know what to think at this point.
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Old 10-22-2011, 06:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Pregnant Hedgie not eating or drinking.

Just a little update:
I took her out again and got her to drink and eat the tiniest bit of food. Then she started exploring a bit and digging at the carpet and self anointing (all normal behavior, minus the not eating) but when I put her back in her cage she went straight back into her nest box.

Also, almost every time I look through the opening in her nest box she's awake, so I don't think she's trying to hibernate, but I put an electric blanket under her cage just in case.

I'm able to get her to eat if I quietly stick it though the nest box opening until she takes it out of my hand, and I can also give her water with the syringe the same way without a problem. It doesn't seem to stress her at all, but if I make any noise (like if my knees pop as I crouch down or I accidentally lightly bump something or my roommate coughs in the other room) she immediately jump or curls up or huffs, but sticking my fingers right up in her face doesn't seem to be a problem for her. I don't get it. Also, I've tried giving her bits of food and then sitting the rest right outside the opening to see if she'll come out and eat it, but she wont. I've even tried it with things she LOVES (like green peppers), and she won't even stick her head out.

Is this normal behavior for a pregnant hedgehog? Today would be 40 days since she was first with the male, and 35 days since her last day with him. There is always the chance that she didn't actually get pregnant, but that would still mean I have a hedgehog that is acting very out of the ordinary. If she is pregnant could she be having problems? Perhaps a miscarriage (however there is no blood or signs of physical distress)? And would that cause this behavior? Has anyone seen anything like this before?

I apologize for any grammatical errors in this, I haven't slept much this week and it's nearly 4 am and I haven't even tried to go to sleep yet. I just want to make sure Sophie will be okay!
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