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Old 12-13-2012, 10:54 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tis the season

Just giving this a bump. We've had a few posts about less active hedgies, as well as new owners. It'll be good for everyone to take a read through this as a refresher.

Included is a link to heating simplified post on heating equipment: https://hedgehogcentral.com/forums/vi...php?f=8&t=4579
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Old 12-20-2012, 05:40 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tis the season

Just wanted to add my thanks! I appreciate this post. I had read it before I even got Prim so I would know what to watch for so thanks again!
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Old 12-20-2012, 06:35 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Super useful post! Even though I think I am usually attempting to hibernate more often than Marquis de Sade during winter, so our heating is constantly on, I am glad I have read about the water tips! The first thing I do when I get cold is to get a hot shower, so I can imagine why there is this misconception
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:46 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Default Tis the season

... for hibernation attempts.

I'm bumping this up as it's that time of year.

This is a reminder to everyone that if you haven't already done so, to get a heating and lighting system in place for your hedgehog.

Do you have an accurate digital thermostat? This is high priority and nobody can accurately guess the temperature of the hedgehogs cage without one. A thermometer should be one of the first things purchased before you get a hedgehog.

Is the area hedgie is in draft free, away from windows, off floor level and preferably on an inside wall. Regardless of how new your windows are, in front of a window is cooler than away from a window. Floor level is the coldest part of a room. Sitting the cage on a table is a warmer location. Exterior walls are always cooler than an interior wall. Draft zones are near the bottom of stairways, near windows, floor level, near furnace ducts, and near outside doors.

Temperature is important. Although it is generally recommended they need temperatures at or above 73F/23C, this is often not warm enough. Most hedgehogs seem to like 75F/24C but there are some that even this is not warm enough. Each hedgehog is individual and just because it's parents or siblings are comfortable at 73, doesn't mean yours will be. If a breeder tells you their hedgehogs are fine without extra warmth, don't pay attention. Most hedgehogs are not fine at the temperatures most of us keep our houses at.

Using supplemental lighting is a must at this time of year. With shorter days, less intense sunlight, and more dull dark days, light coming in a window is not enough. All that is required is to leave a light on near the cage from 7ish am until 9ish pm. Some people recommend a broad spectrum light and this is fine to use but a regular light will work as well. Some hedgehogs are really light sensitive and will attempt hibernation if they are not getting enough light. Even though they are in their dark hedgie bag or igloo, they still must have adequate light. It's best to either put the light on a timer, or make sure you remember to turn the light on.

Signs of hibernation or being too cool
If your hedgehog is in a full hibernation attempt it will be in a curled up quilly ball and be unresponsive. Cold radiates from their body. This is serious and the hedgehog needs to be warmed up immediately but slowly.

Put hedgie under your clothing so he can warm up slowly. If you have a human heating pad, you can set it on low, lay it on your lap and set hedgie on it. Make sure hedgie is not warming up too quickly. NEVER leave an unresponsive hedgehog on a heating pad or any heating device.

Depending on how long hedgie has been trying to hibernate, he may come out of it within a few minutes or it could be half an hour or more. If hedgie is not responding within 45 to 60 minutes of warming, he needs to see a vet immediately. This is an emergency life and death situation.

When hedgie first comes out of it, he will be wobbly on his feet and be a bit disoriented. This should go away fairly soon.

After hedgie has attempted hibernation, his cage needs to be kept a couple of degrees warmer. The chance of him attempting it again within the next week or two is high so make sure he doesn't not risk getting cold again.

Sometimes hedgie is not quite warm enough but is not at the point of a full hibernation attempt. Decreased appetite and less activity are two signs hedgie is not warm enough. His body may feel slightly cool but he will still be responsive. Sometimes they may be wobbly on their feet and lethargic. Hedgie needs a warmer cage.

DO NOT put hedgie in a bath. This is the worst thing you can do but unfortunately often it's the first thing people think to do. The sudden warm of the water shocks their system. There is risk that hedgie will aspirate some water. Once done hedgie is wet and at even more risk of getting chilled.

Hibernation attempts lower their immune system which leave them open to respiratory infections, mite outbreaks and other diseases. Some wonder if repeated hibernation attempts make the hedgehog more at risk of cancers and other diseases. Hibernation attempts should not be taken lightly.

Don't ever assume your hedgehog will not need a heat source. Most do. If you are not comfortable leaving a heating device on 24/7 or while no one is at home, a hedgehog is not the pet for you.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:52 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Always good to have a reminder! I am in the process of moving all the hedgies upstairs to our loft as it is always a few degrees warmer than the rest of the apartment and adjusting the space heater we picked up super clearance last year ($5!).

All this and I live in sunny Tampa, Florida! But we did have some cold spells last year that made me nervous! So EVERYONE, better safe than dead!
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:09 PM   #36 (permalink)
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Thank you from a newbie!! I had a hard time trying to set up my CHE & thermostat last night, but I'm glad I am struggling with it now instead of when the temps drop! I want it to be all set to go when my hedgie needs it. I already have her lamp on a timer as well since the dark has been sneaking up on me lately, lol
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Old 09-16-2013, 04:18 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Awesome post, and important to remember that now is the time to make sure all your heating sources are set up properly... not when the cold has already hit and you are scrambling!
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Old 10-25-2013, 01:26 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Default Help! 1st Hibernation attempt and I put him in the bath.

Ack! I put my hedgie in the bath before I read this! I didn't know of anything else to warm him up, now he's under my shirt with blankets over him but I'm worried, is there anything else I can do?
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Old 12-17-2013, 05:34 PM   #39 (permalink)
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I just got my first hedgehog and wanted to ask about hibernation. His cage stays very warm with the thermostat and heat emitter as it should, but I was wondering what I am supposed to do when I have him out of the cage. The house is usuaully in the high 60's. Is having him out each day for a little while enough for him to attempt hibernation or are short exposures of cooler air ok? How quickly can hibernation attempts take place?
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Old 12-17-2013, 06:01 PM   #40 (permalink)
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It's best to start a new thread for your question - not as many people read old threads so your question is less likely to be answered.

That said, short periods of time in the high 60s should be ok, and if you spend that time cuddling with him your body heat will keep him plenty warm.
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