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Old 10-25-2010, 01:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 25
Default Strange behaviour, vague "symptoms", LOTS of info


I've posted here a couple of times before about my hedgie Bellie who I got in February. Her birthday is actually this Thursday and she will be 1yr. I've posted in the past because she wasn't eating (which turned out to be dehydration; despite using a water bottle at the breeder's she just wouldn't drink out of it for me), and a few times she's tried to hibernate (which remain a mystery to me because the temperature and light were fine). The few hibernation attempts were thwarted and afterwards she returned to her normal self.

The reason I'm posting today is because she has been acting very strangely for the last few months. It's been a slow-going thing, but it's only been getting worse. Essentially what is happening is: she won't get up at night. However, if I get her up (around 10:30pm - 11pm), she gets up, eats and drinks, runs on her wheel, and her personality/friskiness/energy levels are no different then when she was getting up on her own. Except she doesn't stay up. She will be up for maximum 25mins and then it's right back to bed. I stay up pretty late these days, so every hour or so I'll wake her up again and it's the same routine: eat and drink a bit, play on her wheel, then back to bed. When I get up in the morning, all her food is gone (meaning she did get up again of her own accord at least one more time). If I don't wake her up the first few times throughout the night though, she does not get up at all. The first time that happened, I panicked and assumed she was trying to hibernate again, but when I whipped her cabin off of her to check on her, she huffed and puffed at me and was her normal grumpy self. She just hadn't gotten up or eaten at all the night before.

Another thing is, for the past 2 weeks when I wake her up, not every night but some nights she's been hot. The temperature in my room pretty much never changes (it stays at 73F, though some nights goes up to 74F or dips down to 72F, but such an occasion is very rare), so I don't understand why she would be hot. Also, if she is too hot, then I would kind of get why she isn't running on her wheel; who would want to exercise when they're already warm? BUT WAIT! She's not hot every night, and she still won't get up/run/eat unless I wake her up myself.

Last night, I woke her up around 11pm and she ate some food, drank some water, and ran on her wheel for about 5mins (not unusual for her at this point). Then she went back to bed. I left her alone until about 1am when she got up by herself and ate some more food, but didn't run on her wheel. When I got up this morning, I saw that she had eaten about 1/3 of her food. Immediately my mind jumps to hibernation now when she hasn't eaten, so I checked on her and sure enough she was a bit cool but not unresponsive; she unballed immediately and was trying to get back to bed. I held her in my lap for about a half hour until she felt "normal" again (which was hard, because she wanted to run around and go back to her bed) but I've just put her back in her cage and she seems 100% fine personality/energy/temperature wise.

I just don't get what's going on!!

Is it possible that she's depressed? Or bored? Or both? I have her in a 19"x11" cage with room to run around, 2 balls to play with, her wheel, and her cabin which she previously enjoyed climbing on top of. The temperature is situated at 73F, and since she is sometimes hot I'm afraid to crank it up. The cage has a litter pan that stands only 2.5" high and the rest is open air wiring. I have a towel draped over the back and behind her cabin so that no drafts can get to her while she's sleeping. She gets ample light from 9am-10pm every day. She now never plays with her balls (I used to hear them dingling in the night when she bunted them around) and never climbs on her cabin. She barely runs in her wheel and I can't stay up all night long playing with her (obviously). She eats all her food if I make sure she gets up, she drinks normal amounts, her poop is normal-looking and a normal amount, she hasn't lost weight... It's just that she won't get up at night unless I force her and even then she isn't up for long.

I know I'll probably get told to take her to a vet, and I have Dr. Munn's information open in another tab here in my browser. I just wanted to know if anyone had ANY information or ideas about what could be causing this strange behaviour. Any help would be EXTREMELY appreciated.

Recent photo of Bellie:

(ps I know her ears look a bit tattered in the picture but I put Bag Balm on them after that bath and they're healed now)
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