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Old 12-13-2008, 11:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default PET owners, read this BEFORE you decide to breed.

I am an approved & fairly experienced breeder. I recently mated 2 females from my breeding herd. On December 10th, one of the female had 3 babies. All were healthy and there were no complications with the delivery.

On December 11th, the other female went into labor. I just happen to be walking by her cage, when I realized she was 'trying' to have her babies. I noticed that she was acting stressed and the babies were not coming out, as they should be. I put her cage on the floor and sat down beside her, to observe and try to figure out what was happening. After about 5 minutes she managed to push one of the babies out. It was still born. I picked it up and tried to revive it, but had no luck.

In the meantime, she had walked to the other side of her cage and began trying to deliver the next baby. It came out fairly quickly, but was obviously a tiny little runt. It was not breathing either, and the mother made no effort to clean the baby. So I picked it up and removed all the 'gunk' from its face and cleared the nostrils. As soon as the airway was opened, the baby squealed and began moving. I placed it back in the nest.

As I was taking care of the runt, mom delivered another still born baby. Once again, she had absolutely no interest in cleaning this baby either. So I repeated the process and cleaned it up too. This one did not start breathing. So I gently blew a couple breathes into the babies nose/mouth, and massaged it's chest. After a couple attempts, the baby came to life! I was so excited that I had tears in my eyes. I had managed to save this baby's life!

Mom was still in labor and for the next 15 minutes she paced and paced, and pushed and pushed. At one point, she just layed down and tried to rest. She was absolutely exhausted. After a couple minutes, the contractions started again. She lifted her front legs, attempting to stand, but then layed back down on her belly and began kicking her feet out behind her. Finally, I could see feet and a butt. She got up and walked around several more minutes trying to push the baby out. Suddenly, she began to squeal and it was obvious that she was in pain. She had managed to get half the baby out, but could not push it all the way out. I noticed the baby's bottom and legs were staring to turn blue. So I picked up the mother and slowly began to pull the baby out. Needless to say, it was already dead.

I layed the mother back in her nest with the two remaining babies. She seemed fine, and even came out to get a drink of water. She went back into her nest and layed down with her 2 babies. I put her cage back on the shelf and left home for the rest of the day.

When I returned, I immediately went to check on her. Both of her babies had died sometime during the day, and she had removed them from her nest. Then I peeped in on the other mother, who had given birth the day before. I was shocked to see traces of blood in the cage. I opened the top and peeped inside her igloo. She was laying there asleep, with 3 dead bloody babies. Apparantly she had killed them. No one was at home and the house was quite, so I don't know why she killed them. This sometimes happens with first time moms, so I assume that 'might' be what happened. But, I'll never really know for sure.

So the if you are a hedgie owner, and thinking about the possiblity of breeding your PET, please remember this story. Hedgies are very tempermental, and not every breeding will result in a living litter of babies.

It was pure luck that I happen to walk by the mothers cage when she was in labor. If I had been gone already, she may have died from trying to deliver the last baby that would not come out. I was happy that I was able to revive and save two of her babies, but then very saddened when I came home to find all the babies were dead.

I'm happy to say that both mothers are doing fine, and there does not appear to be any other health issues with either mom. I will be retiring the 2nd mother whom had such a hard delivery. I do not want to breed her again, and risk her life. It's just not worth it!

I will rebreed the first mom, and keep my fingers crossed that she will do okay with her next litter. I've had first time moms kill a baby or two, but never an entire litter. I will also breed her at the same time that I breed another female, so the moment I see the possibility of trouble, then I can remove the babies and hope the other female will adopt and raise them to be healthy hedgies.

Pixie's Exotic Hedgehogs
Grab life by the throttle & never look back!
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Old 12-13-2008, 12:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: PET owners, read this BEFORE you decide to breed.

Oh Pixie! I'm so sorry-- what an awful experience!

Are both mamas ok now? For that matter, are YOU ok??

So sad
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Old 12-13-2008, 02:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: PET owners, read this BEFORE you decide to breed.

I've updated the original posting with the status of these two mothers.

I'm doing better today, than I was yesterday. It was an emotional roller coaster. I was so excited and happy, knowing that I had revived two babies (one of them by using hedgie CPR). I was really looking forward to coming home and seeing them nursing on their mother. But it was very sad to see that both of them had passed, probably due to the hard delivery and possible health problems. But then I was horrified to see the other mother had killed all 3 of her babies too.

I wanted to post my experience for other hedgies owners who may be considering the possiblity of breeding. They (should) have read about it on other forums/threads, and I know there are many postings about the possiblity of losing babies, losing the mother, and/or the mothers killing their babies. This happens to be a prime example of those warnings, and maybe it will give them something to seriously think about before breeding their own hedgie.

I hope this touches the heart of many, and if it changes the mind of just one hedgie owner who may be thinking about breeding, then these babies deaths will have served a higher purpose.


P.S. All this happened at about 3:30 in the morning!
Pixie's Exotic Hedgehogs
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: PET owners, read this BEFORE you decide to breed.

Pixie, Thanks for sharing. We try to tell people that talk about breeding about the horror stories, but most don't seem to care. They think they can make money breeding, and do not listen to us, experienced breeders.

This morning Mom delivered 3 babies, then walked out of the nest. She threw up several times, and then laid down behind the igloo. The babies were still wet and were getting cold. I warmed them and turned on the heating pad under them. I monitored mom for several hours to see if she was in distress. I finally did pick her up and check to see if I could feel anymore babies. She seemed fine, but still would not care for the babies. When babies were 4 hours old, I put mom back in the nest and would not let her leave. Babies started nursing. 10 hours later, everyone is doing well. Had I not been around, those babies would have died.
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Old 12-14-2008, 12:34 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: PET owners, read this BEFORE you decide to breed.

this is the saddest thing i have ever herd.
i'm so sorry,
i was considering getting another female and to start breeding
but after reading this, its out of the question,
i knew a mom could kill her babies,
but i never knew it could ever end up like you experienced
i get very upset when Isabella doesn't want to see me
i can't imagine what i would do in your situation
congrats for staying strong,
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Old 12-14-2008, 03:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: PET owners, read this BEFORE you decide to breed.

OMG realy sory about that ,,,Pixie you've made a beautiful job with you're sweetheart and i like more persons be able to do somethings like that when they have problems ,,,,

But it's not all the people who are strong like you ,,,and if they are not ,,they seriously have question to ask to them about breeding ability before breed their one hedgie.

An horror story like your's is difficult to forget and also to pass trough ,then every peoples have to think a lot before breed if they're not able to do something like you do .

All my positive for best story in a couple months and thanks to share
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