Was this a hibernation attempt? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 03-10-2013, 11:02 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Was this a hibernation attempt?

Hey guys, sorry this is gonna be REALLY long, but something really weird happened last night..I'm not sure what to make of it. As I posted earlier, I made Fiona a new cage (added a second bin). Basically, food, water, and house kept in the same spot, but wheel moved (also, a brand new wheel). When I put her in her cage after snuggle time, she seemed confused, but managed to make her way from the wheel where I put her to her igloo. She didn't go for the food like she ALWAYS does. So, I shut the lights off and observed. She came out, still no food or water. Went exploring her new dig box, then her wheel (altho she didn't wheel..just sniffed it). Then she just sat down in front of it for a few minutes and seemed to be rocking back and forth, despite standing in one spot. I got nervous, but watched quietly. Then, all of a sudden, without a snuggle bag or anything around, she just got in a tight ball. Nothing scared her..she just got into a ball. I freaked (she never slept anywhere but her igloo) so I turned on the light and got her out. Her feet were cold but her tummy was okay I think. Hard to tell. Immediately got her under my shirt and covered her with some fleece and she snuggled right up fine. Didnt have to coax her out of a ball or anything. Her cage temp was 74-75, which is even warmer than usual (usually about 72 but I was cold so I turned up the heat in the apt). I kept her out about a half hour, then put her back in. I got the air near the bottom of the cage to about 77-78, but the fleece (which is new...had aspen before) was kinda chilly. Again I observed, and she didn't seem to eat but explored a bit and then went to sleep. Checked on her every couple hours and she was okay (always sleeping, but responded to me lifting up her igloo). I'm not sure that she ate. Was this a hibernation attempt?

I'm almost a little embarrassed by this, but I should briefly tell you her beginnings. Fiona was my (ex)boyfriends mostly. He purchased her and had her at his house. I played with her occasionally, but she wasn't incredibly fond of me (I was away at school, didn't see her much but I still really loved her). Then last May (we were no longer together) I asked to keep her at my house for a week. He said okay and didn't ask for her back the entire summer. She had really warmed up to me and I was LOVING having her. I felt like he didn't give her enough attention, so I never said anything. I had done some serious studying on hedgies and learned very quickly about them. When it was time for me to go back to school, he told me to keep her bc I took better care of her. I live on-campus (no pets allowed) but my RA was okay with it so long as I was discreet and didn't flaunt her (I work at the library...I hook him up with hard-to-get study rooms haha). Anyways, I mention this bc I know my ex never kept the room warm enough for her (maybe 68ish..no heating device), yet she never hibernated. I think this is why she always liked cooler weather (like 69-72) so it surprises me that 74-75 might have been too chilly.

Sorry that was the longest post ever, but any advice or thoughts would be MUCH appreciated.
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Old 03-10-2013, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Was this a hibernation attempt?

I'm not experienced enough to say whether that was an attempt to hibernate or not so I'll leave that part to others. But her acting the way she did (except the rocking back and forth) sounds like Pinball after we changed his wheel and bedding. He originally had a comfort wheel but my husband made a bucket wheel. We also switched from aspen to fleece. All that in the same week. Pinball seemed a bit confused, was sleeping in strange places, sometimes balled up and sometimes not. He didn't seem to know what to make of the new wheel and it seemed untouched for 3 days. So maybe she is just trying to get used to the changes? On a positive note, after 3 days Pinball was wheeling like crazy, so he did warm up to the new wheel and he seems happy now. Hope you get some better answers from others though
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Was this a hibernation attempt?

I hope she's okay but she's breathing weird now. I can see her sides moving more than usual. Someone please help =(
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Was this a hibernation attempt?

Do you use a CHE heater and thermostat on her? And do you have a digital thermometer? Even though the room is warm, it doesn't mean the inside of the cage is the same.
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Old 03-10-2013, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Was this a hibernation attempt?

Yeah the inside of the cage near the floor, tho not touching the floor, says 76-77 all day today. But the bottom of the cage itself is kinda cool as is the fleece. Not cold...but cooler than the air. I put blankets underneath the bins to help warm it up
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Old 03-10-2013, 10:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Was this a hibernation attempt?

Is it possible she's just really stressed? should I put her woodchips back in and stuff? I cant leave the second bin open to her if she wants, but leave her "home cage" as it was?
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Old 03-11-2013, 03:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Was this a hibernation attempt?

I'd just be patient, really. Is she still eating and drinking fine? Not gnawing on herself, or whatever? Give her a few days to get used to the new setup before changing it back and potentially stressing her out again.
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