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Old 06-22-2014, 03:14 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Possible Hibernation?

Ok so this had me in tears all morning. Molly was in her play area like we always do (she gets to run from 1am to about 8am or so) and it was time to go to sleep. When I picked her up out of her box she was cool to the touch and very lethargic. She looked up at me and I thought she was dead. I quickly put her in her fleece hedgie bag, held her against my chest and wrapped us both up in a fleece blanket. I was so nervous that I kept poking at her every few minutes to make sure that she was still with me. After about half an hour of us both being under the warm blanket, she started wiggling and moving around. I placed her back in her cage to see if she wanted to eat, which is what she always does after play time. I watched her for another half hour, in which she ate, drank, burrowed, ate some more.

I'm terrified that she's going to try to hibernate again. I have no idea why she tried to. We've had the same temperature in the house for a month now and it's never bothered her before. I have placed a black light in her play area for now, just in case that it was too cool in there. Is there anything else that I should do, other than watch what she eats? I am one worried and scared momma....
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Old 06-22-2014, 06:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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You did a great job handling the situation. You did everything you needed to!

For starters, what's the temperature of your house? Do you have a thermometer in her cage and one in her play area? If she's in her play area all night, it's possible that maybe the temperature dipped a bit, or there was a cool draft, or just that the temperature is the same, but now she's becoming a bit more sensitive to temperature.

For her cage, it'd be a better idea to get a CHE bulb, with a thermostat. There's some more information about those here - https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forum...implified.html The black light is okay for day, but during the night, the light may very well disturb her & cause her not to come out & be as active as usual. CHE bulbs don't emit any kind of light at all, only heat. But they get very hot as well, so it's best to have a thermostat to control them, and turn them on/off as needed to keep a steady temperature. Depending on how big her play area is, it'd be a good idea to move the CHE over that as well when she's in there. If it'll be too big, a space heater might be a better idea. You'll also want to make sure you get a digital thermometer to use in her cage & play area. Temperature can vary a lot in just one room depending on where you are in the room, so the whole house may not be the exact temperature that you try to keep it at. Sometimes that can cause problems for hedgies too.

Sounds like she's doing better for now, so try to relax a little! It sounds like you might just need a couple adjustments to make sure it doesn't happen again. Though keep in mind if she is temperature sensitive, sometimes it can continue to increase so that they need the temperature bumped higher and higher. I went through a lot of hibernation attempts with Lily when she started with that, until we settled at 78-81 for her required temperature.
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Last edited by Lilysmommy; 06-22-2014 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 06-22-2014, 02:33 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sounds scary, but you did a great job of dealing with it and making sure Molly is okay.
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Old 06-23-2014, 03:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Her cage is a constant 76-80 degrees. It doesn't fluctuate aside from those few degrees. She seems to be doing fine now. All normal. The black light seems to have helped cause while we have snuggle time I turn it on so that it can heat the area. Regardless I keep checking on her every half hour or so while she's in her play area. Everything seems to be back to normal, but I am definitely going to monitor the temp a lot more often. I'm still going to get her a vet appointment soon because she's a little over six months now and I want to make sure that she's growing right.

Thanks so much for the encouragement and advice! I was a total mess all day. On a side note, we went outside to play this evening and she ate a lightning bug then anointed herself. Should I be worried about that?
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Old 06-23-2014, 10:15 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I would keep a close eye on her, just in case. Lightning bugs are toxic to some reptiles and to birds, but hedgehogs are supposedly good at handling toxins, etc. so she should be fine? But to be safe, watch for any changes in behavior or routine. Can't hurt to mention it to the vet when you go in. Try keeping her from eating any insects when she's outside, though, since they can carry pesticides and parasites sometimes.

Glad she's doing better!
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