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Old 10-25-2013, 04:18 AM  
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Default How to tell when attempting to hibernat

So after some research on the internet and reading a book multiple times I rescued a 2 year old hedgehog 3 days ago! He seemed to be very well cared after which is a good thing!

One thing I couldn't really figure out was how to tell if hes trying to hibernate or just getting used to his surroundings. Hes been in a bull in his hide for most of those days and nights, Idk if hes eaten much since the first day or if he comes out of his hide when I'm not around. Idk what to look for when hibernating ether, hes also a tad grouchy, so its hard to pick him up, but when hes out and I leave him alone for a few minutes he starts walking around, and foaming from the mouth. He also hasn't pooped much. But my brothers been cleaning it out and refilling the bowls well I'm at school for the day.

I'm also going to try and get a CHE to. I cant really get an accurate temp and my room isn't the warmest ever.

I just want everything to go perfect for my first hedgehog. I would be heartbroken if anything were to happen!

I know this is more then just hibernation, but idk where to put it. Thanks for anyone's help! It will mean a ton.

Flowgan
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:28 AM  
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I'm a new hedgehog owner as well, and I am wondering if there is more details someone else can inform us on. From what I've read, you can tell they are attempting to hibernate from being cool to the touch. If they are, I believe you are supposed to heat them up in whatever way possible immediately, and to actually leave it alone for 20 minutes.
I am a new hedgehog owner, so my information may be off. I am only repeating what I have found online.
Good luck to you and your hedgie! I would strongly suggest getting yourself a space heater or some kind of heating device for your hedgehog's room.
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Old 10-25-2013, 10:32 AM  
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You need to get a thermometer soon (today or tomorrow, if possible), so you can tell what the temperature actually is in his cage. It should be a digital thermometer, with a probe. You can get them at a store like Walmart. You probably will need a CHE set up, but don't forget that you'll need a thermostat with it to control the lamp & turn it on and off to keep the temperature steady. His temperature will need to be between 73-78* and steady. Not being very active and not eating much can be early signs of being too cold, before a hibernation attempt. Wobbly walking is another sign, a bit later than being inactive, but usually before or at the beginning of an attempt.

When you take him out, does he feel cool at all? It'll be noticeable, if he's not warm as he should be. If he feels cool, he's definitely attempting hibernation and needs to be warmed slowly on a heating pad set on low (and don't leave him unattended on it). Make sure you don't put him in water to warm him up, it'll make the problem worse.

Do you have a wheel for him? It'd be a good idea for one person to be changing the food & water for now, or have whoever does it write down so you guys can keep track, but you should weigh, measure, or count the food. You want to know if he's eating at all - even a little. If he's not, that's a problem. Is it completely dark in his room at night? Many hedgehogs won't come out if there's even a little light. And is he getting 12-14 hours of light during the day (not depending on daylight, which is getting shorter right now).

Not sure what book you've read, but if it's one you picked up from a pet store or something, it's likely out of date and has some wrong information. Here's one that's free to download, up-to-date, and has a ton of great information for you - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/fi.../download.html
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:09 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy View Post
You need to get a thermometer soon (today or tomorrow, if possible), so you can tell what the temperature actually is in his cage. It should be a digital thermometer, with a probe. You can get them at a store like Walmart. You probably will need a CHE set up, but don't forget that you'll need a thermostat with it to control the lamp & turn it on and off to keep the temperature steady. His temperature will need to be between 73-78* and steady. Not being very active and not eating much can be early signs of being too cold, before a hibernation attempt. Wobbly walking is another sign, a bit later than being inactive, but usually before or at the beginning of an attempt.

When you take him out, does he feel cool at all? It'll be noticeable, if he's not warm as he should be. If he feels cool, he's definitely attempting hibernation and needs to be warmed slowly on a heating pad set on low (and don't leave him unattended on it). Make sure you don't put him in water to warm him up, it'll make the problem worse.

Do you have a wheel for him? It'd be a good idea for one person to be changing the food & water for now, or have whoever does it write down so you guys can keep track, but you should weigh, measure, or count the food. You want to know if he's eating at all - even a little. If he's not, that's a problem. Is it completely dark in his room at night? Many hedgehogs won't come out if there's even a little light. And is he getting 12-14 hours of light during the day (not depending on daylight, which is getting shorter right now).

Not sure what book you've read, but if it's one you picked up from a pet store or something, it's likely out of date and has some wrong information. Here's one that's free to download, up-to-date, and has a ton of great information for you - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/fi.../download.html
Thanks for the advice!

I give him a 12 hour light cycle. From 9-9. My room is any were from 21-24 degrees Celsius.
I've been telling my brother to stop changing the food and water so I can do so. But he wants to help.

I can't really feel if he's cold or not. Like I said, he's grochy. The people who had him cared for him, but never really socilized him I think.

That's the downloaded book I have. I've been reading it over and over still! Can never know enough. My room is pretty dark at night and he does have a wheel. I think he's using it because he keeps pooping on it, lol.

Thanks again!!
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:10 PM  
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Also when I move his hide hes responsive to it!
I think that's good?
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:40 PM  
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You want to make sure the temperature is steady, not fluctuating. The temperature is on the cool side: ideally, you want to maintain it somewhere between 23-27C. Some hedgehogs are more temperature sensitive than others, so 23C may be too cool for some.

Angelfish, I just wanted to give you a minor correction: if you find a hibernation attempt, you want to warm the hedgehog up immediately, yes, but not by whatever means necessary. You need to do it slowly so that you do not temperature shock him or her. You can use your own body heat, or a heating pad that is set on low. Do NOT put the hedgehog in warm water; that is too much of a change, and like a human with hypothermia, will actually make things worse!

You can ask your brother to count the pieces of kibble he takes out, and put the same number back in, so you can track the changes better. It's a challenge!

For water consumption, if you can't find a way to check how much he's drinking, you can monitor the urine instead. This is easier if you have a chunk of something white (fleece, paper towel) that you can lay down, and look at the yellow pee circles. You want to make sure 1. He's peeing! (yellow circles), and 2. He's not dehydrated (a nice pale straw-yellow, not a super-dark yellow). If he's dehydrated, you'll need to encourage him to drink more (feed him nice wet treats like watermelon).

Last edited by Annie&Tibbers; 10-25-2013 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 10-25-2013, 04:45 PM  
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I found this to be the most helpful link for heating a cage... it was so confusing to me when I first started to figure it all out.
https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...implified.html

I've had a hibernation attempt before in my little Thistle, her tummy was cool to the touch, she was kind of wobbly, and even though she was awake - looking in her eyes she just wasn't in there.
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Old 10-25-2013, 05:23 PM  
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So I just toke my guy taco out to play and try to feel his tommy.

He was extremely active. Let me gently pet him, he ran on his wheel for like 20 minutes then drank some water and for the first time let me pick him up with out being scared!!! His stomach didn't feel cold. But idk how cold it needs to be. I just put him in his cage he went stright for food, he ate some. Now he's in his hide and seems to be scratching himself or moving a buntch! He also had two meal worms when he was out to play.

I may have been to nervous. I'd rather be nervous and safe insted of not an unsafe!!

Any info is still very much appreciated!
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Old 10-26-2013, 11:35 AM  
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Did you get him set up with some kind of heating device? either a space heater or a CHE with a themomter and thermostat???

It's really important that you do this to make sure it stays a steady temperature in the cage you can't have it vary much if at all because a small change can make them try to hibernate.
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Old 10-26-2013, 02:14 PM  
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Even though he's not having issues at the moment, it still might be a good idea to get a heating set up for his cage. Some hedgehogs do fine with cooler temps - most do not, and 21*C is too cold for most hedgehogs. A CHE set up would be great to have on hand to make sure he's staying warm enough, especially at night, when it's often colder but when they're more active.

Since he's not hibernation, he's probably just getting used to his new place. Keep in mind that many hedgehogs won't come out if they know they're being watched, or if there's lights on. So it can be pretty hard to tell if they're actually active at night when you're sleeping or not - that's why it's really helpful to count/weigh/measure kibble so you know for sure he's eating. I know your brother wants to help, but see if you can have him wait until you're home - you guys can change the food together, and count/weigh/measure it together, then let him throw it out & measure new food in. That's great that he wants to help with the new pet! But just try and explain that it's important that you know how much food hedgie is eating, so you can make sure he's staying healthy.
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