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Old 12-26-2013, 05:39 PM   #1 (permalink)
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On Monday night I got home around 10 pm, I checked my phone and saw several missed calls from my sister. To make this long story short, we had a family emergency and I needed to be there like at that exact moment. I didn't have time to pack up my babies, Zeus and Bean. I loaded their bowls up with extra food and made sure they has tons of water, only expecting to be gone for a night. I put both heat lamps on a time to prevent overheating, and I turned off my fireplace before running out the door.

I was gone for three nights rather than just the one I was expecting. I knew I'd left enough food and water for them, so I didn't worry much. However, unknown to me, somebody had turned off my heating system while I was gone, leaving the heat lamps as the only source of heat.

I sped home this morning eager to check on my babies and walked into a cold house, it was about 55 degrees. That's when I started to panic, and I ran to my babies. Bean is only about half the size of Zeus (he's a bit of a chunk, only child got pampered my his mama, and doesn't like as much heat as Bean), so bean has a slightly warmer lamp. I checked on Bean and was so relieved to see she was fine. But when I checked on Zeus, everything was wrong.

Zeus is my little spitfire, he loves me and hates everyone else. Every time I lift his fleece blankets or whatever he happens to be hiding under he hisses and jumps before he realizes it's only me. Today, he didn't hiss and jump.

I knew immediately that his body was trying to go into hibernation. I grabbed him and put him on my chest between me shirt and my jacket. He was breathing. Thank god. His breathes were shallow and I hooked up my powerful emergency heat lamp. I placed him in a snuggle sack with a digital thermometer right next to his body, and I held the lamp over him, with one hand on the side of his body to check his own heat and to make sure the lamp wasn't heating him too quickly. I've never had a hedgehog attempt at hibernation before, so I was working off of memory of stories I'd read on the forum.

Over the course of an hour I sat by him monitoring his temperature, periodically turning the heat lamp off then back on again to slow the heating process. I listened to his breathing and the strength of his hiss when I poked him. Finally the room temperature was in the low 70's. I could catch my breath. I touched Zeus and he jumped and hissed. I have never been so happy to hear him click and hiss. He was himself again, his grumpy, warm, healthy self.

I am so relieved, he is eating and drinking some water as I'm writing this.

The forums provided me with the knowledge I needed to save Zeus from hibernation, and now I'm sharing my story to give back to the community.

Thank you to all the people who unknowingly helped me save Zeus.
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm so glad both Zeus and Bean are ok!
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm so glad both Zeus and Bean are ok!
Thank you! It is such a relief!!
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Old 12-26-2013, 06:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
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So glad to hear a happy ending to the story! You did a great job pulling Zeus out of it, and I'm glad the forum was able to help. Don't forget to make sure Zeus' temperature stays as normal for the next several days, and keep an eye on him in case of another attempt or any signs of URI symptoms. Hopefully all will continue to be well!
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Old 12-27-2013, 03:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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So glad to hear a happy ending to the story! You did a great job pulling Zeus out of it, and I'm glad the forum was able to help. Don't forget to make sure Zeus' temperature stays as normal for the next several days, and keep an eye on him in case of another attempt or any signs of URI symptoms. Hopefully all will continue to be well!
Yes I will be monitoring him closely for the next few days, thank you for the advice!
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:02 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Oh my goodness I would have had a heart attack! Things happen...and like you I believe in the power of knowledge the forum gives us! I try to read as much as I can and I think that's important for all of us because god forbid something like that happens we at least have some know-how to act as fast as we can!

I hope things stay well with both your hedgies. I'm pretty sure I read that once they attempt to hibernate they are at a higher risk to do so again. That being said maybe bump up the heat a touch...at least for now! Sending well wishes to both your hogs xoxo


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Old 12-27-2013, 03:54 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Oh my goodness I would have had a heart attack! Things happen...and like you I believe in the power of knowledge the forum gives us! I try to read as much as I can and I think that's important for all of us because god forbid something like that happens we at least have some know-how to act as fast as we can!

I hope things stay well with both your hedgies. I'm pretty sure I read that once they attempt to hibernate they are at a higher risk to do so again. That being said maybe bump up the heat a touch...at least for now! Sending well wishes to both your hogs xoxo


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I was so scared! Luckily I was blessed with the ability to put the anxiety off until after the problem. I've got their cage tented to keep in more heat, and I've been keeping it warmer.

I am so thankful for the forums, I just go through here when I'm bored and read things to occupy my mind, I never thought the forums would allow me to save Zeus! I would have been devastated.

I hope you're all well and have stayed warm through the holidays!
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:03 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Its great to hear a good ending to the story Zeus sounds like a trooper!
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Old 12-27-2013, 10:31 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Even living in South Florida, I have nightmares of our heat getting shut off or something malfunctioning with the AC/Heat unit. My bf thinks I'm crazy monitoring their heat so much upstairs but I can't help it!!!

Lol as I wrote that I could hear Link banging around looking for his nightly mealies that our hedgie-renter is so graciously sharing with him lol.
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Old 12-28-2013, 03:38 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Even living in South Florida, I have nightmares of our heat getting shut off or something malfunctioning with the AC/Heat unit. My bf thinks I'm crazy monitoring their heat so much upstairs but I can't help it!!
I can't either! I am constantly fiddling with their heat!
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