Was it a hibernation attempt? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 06-12-2014, 02:41 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Was it a hibernation attempt?

So I usually have Niles out running around at night (our run-around time) and last night he didn't have any of it. When I took him out of his cage his belly was cooler to the touch than normal, he response to stimuli was normal but when I got him on the floor like normal he laid there. Sometimes he runs around for a bit and then curls up next to me and naps but last night was different. I was concerned so I put him under my shirt and he "splatted" out for a good hour and then got all excited and burrowed in my shirt but I stayed up with him until 4 am to make sure he was ok...he did wheel for several hours this morning after that and he's been ok today. He has not been drinking as much water as I'd like him to drink...his nose has been dry. In order to remedy that I took EVERYTHING except his bottle out of his cage for 10-15 minutes and he took a small sip. He seems back to normal now, he's motoring around like a goof at a million miles per hour. I guess my question is, was this a hibernation attempt?

Sorry for the long winded story, just wanted to include all the details
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Old 06-12-2014, 07:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hmm. The cool belly and sluggish behavior does sound like a hibernation attempt. But it sounds like you did all the right things, i.e. warming him up and monitoring him.

Does your hedgie have a heat source for his cage? Space heater or CHE or something? If not that is most definitely something you will need to get to stop any further attempts at hibernation. If you DO have a heat source, you might want to see if your A/C is too cool in his room or make sure there are no drafts coming into the room from windows, etc.

I'm not sure about the dry nose, but if it becomes runny I would take him to the vet as that can be a sign of an URI.

I'm glad your little guy seems to be back to normal! You did a great job, so congrats! =]
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Old 06-12-2014, 09:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Agreed with Aether, both on doing a good job handling the attempt and on checking into what might have caused it so you can remedy that. The dry nose might be a sign of dehydration, so keep a close eye on his drinking. Have you ever considered giving him a bowl for water instead? Bottles can be harder for them to get water out of sometimes, and bowls don't have that issue. Maybe he'd be able & willing to drink more water that way?
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Old 06-12-2014, 11:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks guys! Yeah he does have a space heater, I keep him in my bathroom (I have a shoe box of an apartment) and his room is usually 5-10 degrees warmer. I still need to get a thermometer (which I'll go purchase today) but I am an avid AC runner, I have a heart problem so I have to make sure it doesn't get too hot for me so it's kind of a double edged sword.

Last night and this morning he's been a lot more energetic. He wheeled a ton last night (as evidenced by his extremely poopy feet and wheel) and drank a bit more water. He claimed one of my pillow cases as his own a couple weeks ago so he's in that in my lap and chomping down on a cricket right now.

Now that I think of it...could stress cause an attempt? Someone at my Bible study wanted to see him so I took him to Bible study (with an one hour or more long car ride.) I was really to only one to hold him directly (one of my friends held him while he was in his pillow case) and I had his food and water with him as well. He slept most of the time, didn't huff and puff too much and seemed pretty relaxed the whole time.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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You like it cool (so do I) and hedgies like it warm. This is a perfect situation to use a ceramic heat emitter setup. Hedgie's cage will stay warm and comfortable for him and you will be able to run your a/c to stay cool.
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Old 06-12-2014, 12:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Agreed with Nancy, I bet a CHE set up would work better for your situation! I don't think stress would cause a hibernation attempt, but illness can sometimes.
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Old 06-13-2014, 02:45 AM   #7 (permalink)
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This forum is awesome btw! I did get a thermometer today and the temp in his bin is 77 degrees. I took him out for runaround time tonight but it found it much more entertaining to crawl into my shoes and use the bathroom...in each shoe. I was working on stuff so I didn't notice right away until the smell wafted over to me. After he made sure both shoes where rightfully and lawfully his he climbed out and wheeled for 30 seconds and decided to try to sleep, so he's getting sleepy again. His belly is warm so I'm not too worried and I just heard him wheeling about 5 minutes ago and I can hear him chomping away at his food right now, but I'll check on him again here shortly. After reading the hibernation threads I started to freak out a bit. The thread about the hedgie, Matt, had me tearing up and had me cuddling with Niles for an hour afterward and I can't even begin to imagine how awful that must be.
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