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Old 06-26-2016, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hibernation Attempt??? HELP

So Princess is a bit....energetic at night. Last night she apparently kicked her water and food dish over and moved her hide out from under the heat lamp. When I woke up this morning she was colder than usual, and wouldn't uncurl (but breathing, sniffing and prickled up when I touched her tummy) and she wouldn't open her eyes. My partner and I brought her out into the sun, swaddled in blankets and our sweater and she seems to have gotten better. Still lethargic but eyes open, uncurled and everything. Was this a hibernation attempt? Is there anything we should watch for since she attempted to hibernate? Any long term health issues? She absolutely scared us to death with this and we don't know what any effects would be. Thank you!
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yup, sounds like a hibernation attempt. You guys did the right thing. I usually go for sticking them under my shirt to warm up with my body heat after a hibernation attempt. You can also use a heating pad set on low, you just don't want to leave them alone on it.

For the next week or two, keep an eye out for any sneezing, sniffly nose, crackly breathing, or going off her food. Those are signs of a URI, which requires an immediate vet visit for antibiotics so it doesn't turn into pneumonia. It's also usually a good idea to bump the temperature up a degree or two, but at least keep an eye on it & make sure she stays warm.

Question, was she laying in wet bedding due to the spilled water bowl? I could see that causing a hibernation attempt, but if she had the issue just due to moving her hide out from under the heat, then you have a problem. The whole cage needs to be an appropriate temperature, not just where she sleeps. You don't want to risk her attempting hibernation just from sleeping someplace other than under the lamp. How big is your lamp? Do you have a thermometer to keep track of the temperature in her cage?
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Old 06-26-2016, 05:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Adding to what Lillysmommy said. Check the cage for drafts. Many summer hibernation attempts are caused by air conditioning vents.
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Old 08-08-2016, 12:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Soda Pop tried to hibernate TWICE when I first got her. Hubby & I freaked OUT. She was an unexpected gift so we were very unprepared. At that time, I didn't have a heating pad or anything for her so I panicked and made a leveraged area on our over door to warm her up at a steady pace. She popped out and came to her normal self in about 30 mins. We were also in a one bedroom apartment with low quality window seals so the draft in her cage was serious even when we set it on top of the table. I ended up ordering this from amazon and it helped a lot. https://www.amazon.com/Snuggle-Safe-.../dp/B00008AJH9 Since we got our house, there's more space for the air to circulate at a temp comfortable for both Soda Pop and us. I still keep that heating pad in her cage after baths but she doesn't need it on a daily basis anymore like she did before.
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Old 08-08-2016, 03:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Snuggle Safe Discs are fine for emergency or short term heating but are not good enough to use as a heat source for the cage. They don't heat the whole cage and they don't keep a constant temperature.
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Right! That's why I only use it after bath time now because she doesn't need it on a daily basis like she did before. When she was first gifted to me, it worked perfectly for her small "bucket"/cage. When I say we were unprepared, we really were. Now she has a nice setup with all the bells and whistles and our home is a nice constant temp that she doesn't need it. Since we moved, I bought a wide heating pad that can go under her bedding for the upcoming fall/winter because I'm sure we'll discover some drafts somewhere so I wanted to be prepared.
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Old 08-08-2016, 04:12 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Heating pads are dangerous for hedgehogs. They don't heat the air and there have been many cases of hedgehogs getting low temperature burns from heating pads. They need a heating method that heats the air not the bottom of the cage. CHE's or space heaters are much better and much safer for a hedgehog.
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Old 08-08-2016, 05:11 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks for the tip, Nikki. If we need to, we'll use one of our spare space heaters. They automatically shut off when unbalanced/tilted so that'll come in handy in case the dogs knock it over
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Old 04-16-2020, 03:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I think both space heaters and heating pads work. I got my hedgehog from a breeder who has been breeding for 11 years and she is VERY knowledgeable about hedgehogs, and only wants the best for them, DEFINITELY. She uses the same heating pads I do. I understand why you might think heating pads are dangerous, but if you use bedding and a well-ventilated cage, they can be ok. This is a controversial issue but this is just my opinion and one from someone breeding for 11 YEARS. I'm not trying to be rude, please don't take this the wrong way
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Old 04-21-2020, 09:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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please do not post on old threads, it's against the forum rules
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