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-   -   Don't think hedgie is eating or drinking? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=36865)

Jenniferc21solidgold 11-11-2013 11:46 PM

Don't think hedgie is eating or drinking?
I am the person who found the hedgehog outside.. When I found him he was sneezing a lot and licking his nose. That was 2 days ago. Today I have not seen him sneeze or lick his nose but I have also not seen him eat or drink.. Is there anything I can do or try to entice him to eat or drink? Is it normal for them to not eat or drink when their surroundings are different?

Lilysmommy 11-12-2013 12:06 AM

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Did you ever get him in to see a vet? I really think you should, just to be safe, even though he's no longer sneezing.

What kind of food are you giving him? What temperature is he being kept at? Make sure the food & water are close to where he sleeps, and make sure he's kept in a dark enough area at night. They need 12-14 hours of light during the day, but many hedgehogs won't come out if there's even a bit of light from a street light or night light, so might be a good thing to double check.

If you're going just by not seeing him do either, keep in mind that they're shy & nocturnal, so it's possible he's just being extra secretive about it. Are you counting/weighing/measuring kibble at all? If not, try doing so tonight and see if he's maybe just eating a small amount.

If he's not eating on his own, you'll need to syringe-feed him. Who knows how long he was outside & maybe not eating much, and they go downhill pretty quickly without food. Baby food is pretty good for syringe-feeding, or a pate-style canned cat food (don't get Fancy Feast or anything similar - make sure it's a decent food, such as Natural Balance, Chicken Soup, Innova, Blue Buffalo, etc.) watered down a bit to go through the syringe.

If he's definitely not eating, I'd recommend the vet visit even more - not eating can be another URI symptom, since a stuffy nose can make them lose their sense of taste & their appetite. It could just be the stress of a changed environment/food/etc., but like I said...it would probably be a good idea to go in anyway.

Jenniferc21solidgold 11-12-2013 12:08 AM

I have a heat lamp on him at all times, the kind with the red light bulb in it to help keep it warm... Would that light affect him not waking up?

Lilysmommy 11-12-2013 12:17 AM

49 Attachment(s)
Ah, yes it would. Are you planning on keeping him? I can't remember if you said you were or not. But if you are (or if you're keeping him for any length of time until he finds a new home), he needs a better heating set up.

You need a thermometer to know the actual temperature of the cage. You need a CHE bulb, not a heating bulb like you have now - the light can & likely is keeping him from coming out at night. Some hedgehogs it doesn't bother, but many do not like it. A CHE (ceramic heat emitter) bulb is a flat disc, with a knob coming out of it where you screw it into the lamp, and it's solid white or black, not tinted glass. It's usually found with the reptile supplies, and it'll be a bit more expensive. Make sure the lamp you have is rated for use with a CHE though - they need a porcelain socket in order to handle the heat from a CHE, otherwise it's a fire hazard.

You also need a thermostat to plug the CHE lamp into to control the temperature. Otherwise the temperature will fluctuate depending on the room temperature. A thermostat will turn the CHE on and off as needed to keep the temperature at whatever you set it to. Make sure it's a thermostat, not a rheostat (which just dims the heat, doesn't actually control the temperature).

Even if you're not planning on keeping him long, he needs to stay warm, but also be able to come out & eat at night. So it'd probably be best to get a cheap space heater or something to set up near his cage, and to stop using the red bulb. Alternatively, you could buy the CHE set up & return the parts after he moves on, if it's within the time span for returns at the store you go to.

Jenniferc21solidgold 11-12-2013 12:28 AM

Thank you for the help... Also i just gave him a very tiny amount of baby food in a syringe... Until i actually notice hes eating how long should i do that for or how often.. He seemed to like the food and licked his mouth clean after..

Lilysmommy 11-12-2013 12:49 AM

49 Attachment(s)
I would give him as much as you can get into him for now (a common amount seems to be 3-6 mL) & then count/measure/weigh his food tonight - if you have some other method you can keep him warm with (turning the house temp up, a space heater), I would try turning the lamp off for tonight & use the other method, just to make sure it really is that. You could also try scattering some kibble in bed with him, he may be willing to eat it as long as he doesn't have to come out in the light to get it. If it doesn't look like he's eaten much or at all in the morning again, I'd syringe-feed him again, then see if you can get the other heating equipment tomorrow & get it switched out soon. Sounds like he's hungry & willing to eat, so that's good!

Jenniferc21solidgold 11-12-2013 10:18 AM

So he didn't eat any of the food last night and I took that light away... I took out the syringe to give him baby food this am and I do not even need to make him eat it he sticks his tongue out and then sucks the syringe himself. I think he loves the taste of it. He ate at least 6 ml of it. Do you think he could just be extremely picky with food, he obviously has an appetite but also wont just eat baby food from a plate?https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=1&theater

Jenniferc21solidgold 11-13-2013 01:12 PM

Can this me normal that he is too young to eat on his own? He weighs 4 oz?

Lilysmommy 11-13-2013 01:23 PM

49 Attachment(s)
I would guess it's more related to the URI or something. You may have to keep up consistently syringe-feeding him until you get done with the antibiotics, since those tend to upset their stomach & discourage them from eating on their own as well. Crushing the kibble up & mixing with the baby food (you may have to water it down a bit to make sure it'll go through the syringe) can help make sure he's getting enough nutrition, and may make it easier to transition him into eating kibble on his own once you're done with meds.

Try scattering kibble in bed with him as well (count so you can see if he actually ate any in the morning), and make sure the food bowl is close to his bed. I know I've already mentioned this, but make sure the room is dark enough and that the temperature is staying steady & warm enough at night too. Hopefully he'll settle in & try eating on his own soon.

As far as his weight, that is pretty small, but that may be a combination of being young & also having been outside - I'm sure he probably lost some weight from that ordeal. It'd difficult to tell age without really knowing it - he's likely young, but I can't see how a baby that's too young to eat on its own would manage to end up outside. So I'm sure he's at least old enough to be on his own.

Kalandra 11-13-2013 01:27 PM

That is very tiny. Does your scale have grams on it? We typically weigh hedgehogs in grams due to the more precise measurement. If it does start weighing him daily to see if he is gaining weight.

I'd keep syringe feeding him. And monitoring his weight. If he doesn't start to gain, talk to your veterinarian again.

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