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-   -   Help! I think she's hibernating? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=42154)

claire_nicole 12-20-2013 10:23 AM

Help! I think she's hibernating?
My baby lives in a cage that is in a room that is always at least 72 degrees. She has a lot of bedding along with fleece blankets and a ceramic heater to keep her warm. Underneath all her stuff the temperature is 80 degrees (I measured). She hasn't eaten and when I pick her up her belly is cold. But other than that she isn't acting any different. I think her problem is a lack of light because it is always overcast here. If I change the light problem, how long will it be until she is eating again?

Kyouhai 12-20-2013 10:51 AM

First you need to warm her up slowly! Use your own body heat or a heating pad set on low to slowly raise her temperature! Once she is awake then worry about keeping her at a steady temperature. The lighting can be fixed by getting a lamp that you can turn on and off manually or have a timer by her cage but for now just leave the light on in the room she is in.

I hope the little one is ok! I am also new so I would take any of the older members or breeders advice over mine but I noticed no one has responded and warming up a hibernating Hedgie is important!

Also DON'T use warm water to heat her up that could send her into shock or risk drowning.

Nancy 12-20-2013 11:01 AM

If she hasn't been eating you need to start syringe feeding her and get some food into her. Make certain she is warm enough and responsive so she doesn't choke.

As Kyouhai mentioned, she does need a lighting schedule which is very easy to accomplish. Also, is her cage a consistently warm temperature?

Chloethehedgie7 12-20-2013 11:44 AM

Nancy said it right, Her cage has to be a consistent warm temp. The room can't be her heat even though it is at least 72, they can still get cold. Yes, do NOT stick her in water just yet, you MUST use your body heat for this one.

Make sure her cage is always a warm temp. If you have a fan in there, I wouldn't recommend it pointing at her, just a tip.

Hope all goes well with your little girl. Remember, I am no Administrator, just an owner with my hedgie opinions. :)

Nancy 12-20-2013 12:33 PM


Originally Posted by Chloethehedgie7 (Post 316314)
Remember, I am no Administrator, just an owner with my hedgie opinions. :)

What does being an "Adminstrator" have to do with this? A hibernation attempt has nothing to do with the running of the forum which is what Administrator's do.

claire_nicole 12-21-2013 10:37 AM

Thank you all so much for your replies.

Yes, her cage is constantly warm. Every time I have check it has been 79/80. She had a light on in the room for about 12 hours yesterday and I turned it off around 9pm. She did not wake up on her own last night. I woke her up to check on her belly and she was warm! She was very active and very much herself but she just will not eat! I'm afraid i will have to syringe feed her. Do you have any recommendations on how to go about this?

Side note: She did poop and pee on me yesterday, this is good right? It means she has had something to eat and drink in the near past?

Kalandra 12-21-2013 11:09 AM

If she has a favourite food, like a canned cat food, baby food peas, or something like that, offer it to her. See if you can perk her interest in anything. If she shows no interest, I'd go ahead and try to syringe feed her to get a little in her stomach now. I'd also put her kibble in her bed with her. Weigh or count it before you put it in and reweigh/count tonight when you get her up. See if she eats at all from her bed. If she doesn't eat while in her bed, syringe feed her again tonight. Keeping food in her stomach is important to prevent her from trying to hibernate again. For lack of a better way to say it, she needs fuel to keep that internal furnace going.

To syringe feed, I either use a pate style canned cat food, or crush their kibble to a super fine powder and add water to make it a paste. I prefer the canned pate style cat foods as they are often simple, higher calorie, and they tend to be more palatable. But crushed food will work if you are in a pinch., you just really need to crush it fine to prevent a piece from clogging the syringe.

If she continues to fast, schedule a veterinary visit. Hibernation attempts can also be a symptom of an underlying illness.

Kalandra 12-22-2013 03:12 PM

Claire. How are things going today?

claire_nicole 12-22-2013 11:23 PM

She is currently awake and running on her wheel! I heard her last night as well. She did eat but only a little. I think having a light schedule is really helping! Thanks so much for all your help and your concern!

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