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Old 03-09-2013, 11:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Slightly Cool Belly

Honestly, this could be a complete overreaction but, I'll pose the situation to y'all anyways

consistent cage temp of 76-78 degrees F
lighting schedule 8:07am-9:07pm

Her schedule is usually: 7:30p footbath, snuggle time until 9:15p, she then goes back in her cage for eating, wheeling and elimination time, I will then take her back out around 10:45 and have her out until midnight in her bag.

this schedule was broken last night (I had to work, and my sis forgot to get her out at 8ish, so Mal didn't end up coming out of the cage/eating and everything until around 10:30p.

I went to get her out this morning to check on her, because I was worried she hadn't pooped as much as she normally does. Her cage temp was spot on. I have her igloo set on top of several layers of fleece (for comfy padding) and she has fleece strips for burrowing in. When I took the igloo off, she was splatted out. I picked her up and felt her belly (always checking) and to my absolute surprise it was slightly cool! Still a bit warm, but not the normal hedgie warm belly. She was also acting a bit sluggish....of course that could also be from waking her up.

I wasted no time, and placed her under my shirt and cuddled a blanket over her, and she bedded right down. This brings us to the current time. (this all just happend 15 minutes ago). She's quite comfy, and has looked at me a couple of times like "what are you so high strung about?"

I guess ultimately my question is: even with everything being the same as it's always been, why would she have a slightly coolish belly? and am I over reacting a bit?
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Old 03-09-2013, 11:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly Cool Belly

Sounds like you probably caught it pretty early, which is good. I would double check her cage to make sure there's no drafts and the temperature didn't drop a little last night - sometimes either of those are enough to cause a little attempt. Would her light schedule have changed at all with that change her snuggling schedule? Having that be thrown off can also cause an attempt.

The other other thoughts I had - hibernation attempts are more likely when they're sick, so keep an eye on all of her other things, like food/water/activity, poop/pee amounts and appearances, etc. Hibernation attempts can also sometimes cause sickness, but usually when they're not caught for awhile. It sounds like she wasn't in the middle of a really big attempt, or you caught her early, so I wouldn't think it'd cause sickness. It just might be an early sign of sickness.

Also, though she's only 4 months old, there's also the possibility that she's becoming more sensitive to temperature already. I would keep a close eye on her for the next couple weeks and see if she attempts again, and if there's any common factors in the attempts. If there's not, try keeping the temperature more around 80* and see if it helps at all.
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Old 03-09-2013, 12:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly Cool Belly

thanks for the quick reply, Kelsey!

her lighting schedule is the same, no matter when snuggle time is. I have a handy dandy timer that the light is plugged into.

I'll bump up the cage temp, and turn the space heater up degree or two. Honestly, I've always tried to err on the side of warmer than the suggested temps, just because my room can be a bit chilly. I've invested in a new space heater that you can set the specific temp on, and not just low, high, etc. Since day 1 I've also had fleece draped over 3 of the 4 sides of her cage, just to make sure no drafts get in. Here's a pic of her cage (pic's a bit old, she has a CSW now) and i normally have fleece blankets draped over the front and sides, leaving the back open.




It also doesn't help that she really isn't where she should be weight wise. I've ordered a special mix from Moxieberry that will hopefully help. She doesn't lose weight, she just maintains and gains slowly.

She's absolutely hating this snuggle time Good sign that she is warmed up now is that she is repositioning herself every 10 minutes or so trying to get comfy. When I first started snuggling her this morning she just stayed right where I put her.
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Old 03-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly Cool Belly

She is a hot potato once more

Some modifications to her sleeping area for the time being: instead of just the fleece strips I placed some of the strips in her favorite snuggle bag, and then placed the igloo on top. This way the fleece bag provides another layer of protection.

I was worried that she didn't poo as much as she normally does, last night. Well, not 5 minutes after putting her back into her cage this afternoon, she showed me the remaining poops, LOL.

And best of all! Moxieberry's food mix came in the mail today!! Mal has sampled a couple of each kibble, and she approves!

Thanks again, Kelsey, for the advice and insight!
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Old 03-09-2013, 08:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Slightly Cool Belly

Glad she's doing better! Hopefully you guys don't have further problems with it...I had a lot of hibernation issues with Lily and even after multiple experiences with it, my heart always sank and I'd be a worried mother hen as soon as I felt that cool belly. Never did get used to having it happen!
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