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Old 08-17-2015, 03:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Post hibernation attempt help needed

Hello! I've had my hedgehog Rose for nearly 3 years now, not once has she attempted to hibernate until last Saturday (two days ago). I held her close to me while she warmed up and she appeared to be doing fine up until today. I tried to play with her, but she's acting very strange now. She'll normally let me pick her up and carry her, but now I can't even come near her without her poofing up and hissing at me. she'll also run around her cage until I get away. She's eating and drinking normally, her poop looks normal, but her behavior is different. She's also been sprawling out on her tummy since then, which is something I've never seen her do. I read that they do that when they're really comfortable, but she doesn't seem to blink much or care to move from that spot when she's in this position which worries me. She also tends to try and hide under her food and near her water at times. She has plenty of bedding to snuggle under along with her igloo. I've also noticed an increase in scratching since then, I haven't noticed any quill loss or patches. Does anyone have any idea of what could be wrong here? I'd take her to a vet asap if i could, but I currently don't have the funds and the nearest hedgehog friendly vet is kinda far away. I honestly wouldn't have thought of getting a hedgehog knowing that, but I took her from a friend who could no longer care for her. Any help would be appreciated!
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Old 08-19-2015, 11:31 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sorry it took awhile for you to receive a response.

As you likely know, hibernation occurs when the hedgehog gets too cold, but estivation can be somewhat similar and happens when the hedgehog gets too hot. Obviously, the causes are opposite, causing a difference in some symptoms, but lethargy, wobbliness, and appetite changes are common between the two.

I am assuming you're positive her first attempt was a hibernation attempt -- that she was cool to the touch, etc. What I'm wondering now is if you're dealing with estivation. While splatting can be a sign of comfort, it's also a big indicator that your hedgehog is too warm. That, along with the lethargy, seeking cool hiding places, etc points to estivation. Did you increase the temperature in her cage after the hibernation attempt? If so, I'm guessing it's a little too warm for her. I'd introduce a ceramic tile for her to splat on and adjust the temperature back down a degree or two, being sure to watch closely for another hibernation attempt.

If that doesn't seem to help, you really don't have an option other than to take her to the vet to make sure there isn't an illness or injury causing the changes in behavior.
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