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Old 06-01-2014, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Lightbulb How to prevent hibernating?

Hello!
I have a 6 week old female hedgie that I purchased 3 days ago. I have been hearing stories about hedgehogs trying to hibernate and nearly dying. I am a bit scared to be honest. I did some reasersch on temperature and it says that the temperature of your house should be 72-80F. My house is 79F, should that be ok?

I also heard that an inconsistent light cycle can cause hibernation. My hedgie gets about 12-13 hours of daylight each day because it is summer. Is this too little? If so, is there anything I can do?

I know, it sounds a but stupid but I am concerned and don't want my hedgie to attempt to hibernate.

Thanks!
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Old 06-01-2014, 09:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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The best things you can do to prevent hibernation -

- Keep a light schedule of 12-14 hours, and try to keep it around the same times each day. It's best to use artificial light for this, at least to supplement daylight - sometimes daylight can be a bit too dim, especially if it's stormy out. With artificial, it always stays regular, regardless of the weather, and even when the days start slowly getting shorter, which you likely won't notice for a bit.

- Keep the temperature steady. Whatever temperature you find that works for you and your hedgie, it's best to keep it around that temperature, year-round. If your hedgie seems comfortable and active at 79*, that's fine - but make sure you'll also be able to keep your hedgie at 79* in the winter too.

Sometimes hibernation attempts are unavoidable due to health problems, a hedgie naturally becoming more temp-sensitive, or accidents. Lily hibernated at least once due to my accidentally turning her light off all day. After that I got a timer...which worked well except for the one time her light bulb burned out while I was gone.

Sometimes hibernation attempts (if there's no temperature or light-related reason for it) is a sign of some other illness. And some hedgehogs, like Lily, get more sensitive to temperature as they get older and the only way you know is if they continue to hibernate at lower temps. To be honest, Lily attempted hibernation many times - those couple times due to accidents, but mostly because she started getting temperature-sensitive really early and by the time she was 1.5 years, she needed it to be 79-81*F at all times. Once it dipped down to 77* - I found her with a slightly cool belly. We were lucky that she never did end up with any URIs due to her hibernation attempts.

Not all hedgehogs are that sensitive though, and really, I haven't seen a lot of mentions of it on the forum. And the biggest thing is catching the attempt quickly and warming hedgie up right away, but slowly (with a heating pad or against your skin). After that, just keep the temperature a degree or two warmer for a couple weeks & keep an eye on them. They are scary, but if they're caught right away and the owner takes action immediately, they shouldn't be a near-death situation (at least, in my experience/opinion).
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Old 06-01-2014, 10:27 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy View Post
The best things you can do to prevent hibernation -

- Keep a light schedule of 12-14 hours, and try to keep it around the same times each day. It's best to use artificial light for this, at least to supplement daylight - sometimes daylight can be a bit too dim, especially if it's stormy out. With artificial, it always stays regular, regardless of the weather, and even when the days start slowly getting shorter, which you likely won't notice for a bit.
Alrighty! I currently do not have any lamps in the room my hedgehog is in. I just have the common fan light on the cealing. Would you recommend purchasing a floor lamp and leaving it on for the day or doing that with the fan light?
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Old 06-01-2014, 11:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Personally, I'd prefer a floor lamp or lamp specifically on the hedgehog cage, so you can set it up to a timer. That makes it really easy to make sure it stays on a regular schedule and that you don't forget to turn it on or off.
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:27 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You also need a thermometer in the cage so you know for sure what the actual temperature in the cage is, not just the temperature of the room.
This will help you determine if hedgie is warm enough.
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Ok! I will run over to the store and buy a lamp. Should I position it right over the cage? Also, do you recommend a certain thermometer? Where could I find one?
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Old 06-02-2014, 10:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
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You can get thermometers at a pet store, but you can find cheaper ones at stores like Walmart. You want one that's digital, with a probe so you can place it where you want in the cage to get the right temperature (usually someplace near the middle of the cage wall, but near the floor is good, if that makes sense).

Just near the cage should work fine for the lamp!
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Old 06-02-2014, 12:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Alright! I will not be able to go to the store for a couple days, what do you suggest in the meantime?
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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You should be fine for light for now, or you can use the room light if you want. Summer's usually not as much of an issue (though it's good to have a light anyway) like spring, fall, and winter are.
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