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-   -   tips to prevent hibernation attempts?? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=119666)

heggy 10-20-2015 05:55 PM

tips to prevent hibernation attempts??
so recently my hedgehog, pip, attempted hibernation. i was scared, and i warmed her up right away. she seems fine now, just kind of jumpier than usual?
we're currently picking up a thermostat because we are often out of the house, so the temperature probably drops when we're away.

does anyone have any tips on how to keep their hedgehog extra warm? i have a heater and a heat lamp
but i also would like to have recommendations for more ways to keep my little hedgehog warm at night

in addition, is there anything specific i should look out for? i heard that after even a single attempt their immune system goes down.


twobytwopets 10-20-2015 06:01 PM

First you have two causes of hibernation. Temperature and light. Your heat should not produce light.

Lilysmommy 10-20-2015 06:41 PM

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What temperature is her cage kept at? It wouldn't be a bad idea to keep it a degree or two warmer after this. Once they attempt once, they can attempt again easily in the couple weeks afterwards.

Getting a thermostat is a very good idea & should help eliminate most of the possible issues. And as Twobytwo said, light can be a factor. Make sure she has 12-14 hours of light during the day, not depending on natural light. It's usually easiest to put a lamp on or near the cage & hook it up to a timer so you don't have to worry about forgetting. :)

Make sure your heat lamp is a ceramic heat emitter & doesn't give off any light. And also make sure that it's the right strength to keep the whole cage warm. A lot of people try to heat just the sleeping area & that's not going to work. If their bed is warm & the rest of the cage cooler, they just won't leave their cozy bed. I can't blame them! ;)

I found it helpful to have a thermometer that measures the high & low temps & can be reset. That allowed me to make sure the night temperatures were staying steady & to take note if the temperature was dipping too low, indicating an issue with the heating system.

Sometimes, you just can't prevent them. Accidents happen, such as heating system elements giving out, a lightbulb burning out, or sometimes hedgehogs become more temperature sensitive & the temp they've been fine at for months, they'll attempt hibernation at. Lily did that & had several hibernation attempts as I bumped the temp up & up until we settled on 78-81F. Not all hedgies need it that warm, but she would attempt hibernation if it dipped down to even 77.

Also watch for drafts - even in a warm cage, if there's a cool draft going through from a window or door, that can sometimes cause an attempt.

I don't want to make you paranoid though! Usually attempts aren't an issue as long as the heating system is set up properly & you have a light schedule. :)

Kalandra 10-20-2015 06:50 PM

You asked for things to watch for:

Keep an eye on how much she eats, that her activity levels continue to be normal, and her weight holds steady. Most common reports we have had owners report are mite outbreaks, and URIs in hedgehogs that have had a hibernation attempt recently. Seems like it typically happens within 2-4 weeks of the attempt.

heggy 10-20-2015 07:04 PM

has anyone else noticed unusually jumpy behavior from their hedgehog after hibernation attempts?
pip is usually a very friendly hedgehog, but now she seems almost aggravated. she twitches a lot whenever things touch her, and she runs around her cage which she doesn't usually do
should i be worried about this?
she is eating and drinking properly though so thats good

twobytwopets 10-20-2015 07:09 PM

Her body went through a great deal of stress leading up to the attempt, during and after. Now her body is attempting to recover from it.

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