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-   -   What does a vet do for hibernation? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=32937)

abbys 10-10-2013 05:00 PM

What does a vet do for hibernation?
So I know hoggies need to go to the vet for bad hibernation attempts, but I don't actually know what the vet can do to treat it. Medicine? Overnight observation? Incubators?

Lilysmommy 10-10-2013 09:51 PM

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I'm not actually positive, as I was always able to pull Lily out of her attempts, but my guesses would be a heated incubator along with supplemental care to keep systems functioning while they try to get past the attempt - subcutaneous injections of fluids (or an IV?), etc. I know from wildlife rescue volunteering that injection of warm fluids is usually a good way to help get the animal warming up from the inside as well as being in a warm environment, so I wonder if that might be an option that vets would try with a hedgie stuck in a hibernation attempt.

Nancy 10-10-2013 10:09 PM

I'm not exactly sure what they do either except what Lilysmommy has mentioned.

When in hibernation, their organs start to shut down. Numerous years ago, there were a couple of hedgehogs who were in hibernation for a couple of days. One ended up dieing fairly soon despite vet care and the other survived for a while. I'm not sure if this it was posted on here or CnQ. It was quite a few years ago so I suspect if it was here, it was in the old forum archives which I don't think are accessible any more.

unforgiven 10-10-2013 11:01 PM

Not to go off topic, but is there a critical temperature that they will attempt to hibernate?

Nancy 10-10-2013 11:09 PM


Originally Posted by unforgiven (Post 263721)
Not to go off topic, but is there a critical temperature that they will attempt to hibernate?

Not really. Each hedgehog is different. I've had ones that would attempt it even at 77 or 78F yet others were fine at 70F. I've had a couple of girls that needed a heating pad even with a 78F room.

Over the years, most people have found 75F to be the temperature that most hedgehogs are seem to do best. Sometimes even if they don't attempt hibernation or don't feel cool at a lower temp, they are much more active and happy when it's warmer.

unforgiven 10-11-2013 12:25 AM

Thanks Nancy. The reason I ask is I live in Florida so my house is usually 77 in the summer and 72 in the winter. With winter coming up, I need to keep an eye out.

Cosmo12 11-11-2013 11:31 PM

Does anyone know why hedgehogs will wobble with a hibernation attempt??

Is it something with their nervous system?? Cosmo had an attempt a few weeks ago (so scary!) and I was able to get her back to normal but I guess the nerd in me is just trying to comprehend what is physiologically going on when this happens.

Lilysmommy 11-12-2013 12:00 AM

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My guess is that their entire body becomes weaker due to systems slowing or shutting down - so it becomes more difficult for them to walk normally. Kind of like when you're really sick, dehydrated, etc., if you try to do anything very strenuous (or even not-so-strenuous), you can get really shaky & have a hard time doing the activity.

I could be wrong though! Totally a guess. :)

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