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Old 06-29-2016, 12:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Not sure if this was cause of death?

I recently took home my teacher's hedgehog, Hermione, about 3 weeks ago. Hermione is around 3-4 years old. I did go out of town for a week, but my grandmother was feeding her, just like she normally feeds my other hedgehog, Potroast. Hermione always seemed to be eating a bit, but never much. My grandmother got concerned when I was away because apparently she wasn't eating at all. We had my grandmother try feeding her all kinds of hedgehog safe things, but she never ate one. So, when I got back I gave her a lot of water which she downed really quickly, and I started syringe feeding her. We realized just how skinny she had become. Hermione was a really antisocial hedgehog, so we really left her alone for most of the day, but we'd still take her out of the cage and play with her. We thought she had been holding food in her mouth and just refusing to eat, so we tried to get what we thought was food out. Turns out it was a peanut that was huuuuge and was stuck in the roof of her mouth. Now, we don't bring peanuts in the house because my grandmother is allergic to them, so the only explanation was that one of the people in my class who previously brought her home gave her a peanut. After removing the peanut she began eating a lot, mostly from the syringe feeding. She still constantly drank water, so I don't think dehydration was the issue. This morning I heard her eating her dry food, and she ate a lot. I even checked on her and picked her up this morning and she was fine. This afternoon she seemed fine as well. But when we went to check on her before syringe feeding her, just to make completely sure she was getting nutrition she was sitting in a corner and not in her house and she wasn't moving or hissing or anything. She had completely stopped breathing. I feel like I did something wrong, I've had my personal hedgie for 3 years and the most I've ever had wrong with him was a hibernation scare. Potroast is my first hedgehog, but I've done so much research on hedgehogs just to be safe. I've been helping take care of Hermione all year and she's always been perfectly fine. The point of me taking her home was to help get her a bit more social, I'm not sure if this was all from the peanut and the irritation it caused her mouth or if it was something else. She had become much more active than the past two weeks once we started syringe feeding her again, but now she's gone and I feel horrible. Was it something I did wrong?
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Old 06-29-2016, 01:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Honestly, no, I don't think you did anything wrong. The only other thing you could have done was get her to a vet to address the not eating, but it's entirely possible that the peanut would have been missed as hedgehogs don't tend to open their mouths easily when at the vets. So a visit may not have made a difference one way or another.

Hedgehogs live between 3-6 years anyway, so if she was 3 or 4 it could simply have been time. The stress of not eating sufficiently probably didn't help, but again, there wasn't much you could have done about it until you discovered the peanut. And it's possible that the cause of death was unrelated.

I'm sorry it had to happen though. But don't beat yourself up over it.
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