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Old 10-15-2016, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Behavioral changes

Hi, my hedgehog Gracie is a little over 4 years old, & I don't know if I should be worried (but I am) because she's been acting different lately. Lately she's been escaping her cage a lot by climbing the cc cage walls and squeezing out of the walls that aren't properly shut all the way (or than she managed to wiggle loose while climbing). She got out about 6 times in 1 hour a few days ago so I put her in the small cubby boxes with some old shirts and her food until I can fix up her cage tomorrow to a sturdier one. Both while she was in her cage and in the box, she hasn't been sleeping under covers/ in her hut. She's been sleeping uncovered for about 5 days or so now and when I find her sleeping uncovered I put a piece of fleece or a part of the shirt over her because I don't want her to get cold and start hibernating or get sick or something. The day she was climbing the cc cage over and over she would take small breaks from escaping and just plop down and lay there breathing hard which I thought was just from her exhausting herself so I didn't worry then but if I pick her up now from sleeping and place her on my bed it seems as though shes shivering / breathing heavy. She opens up right away when I pick her up so I don't think she's scared of me. The house temp is always 77-78 and I keep her cage away from the air vents. I don't know how much she's been running because I have a quiet wheel, she seems to be drinking normal and I haven't noticed different eating habits.
I did just start her on a bag of dry meow mix and she usually ate Purina, I just Googled the ingredients to both and Purinas first 4 ingredients were Chicken, brewer's rice, corn gluten meal, & poultry by-product meal, and meow mix was Ground Yellow Corn, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, & Soybean Meal. Could this have something to do with it? Since the 1st two were corn not protein ingredients I mean.
Any suggestions until I can get her to a vet on mon/Tues???
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Old 10-16-2016, 01:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hopefully someone more experienced will reply to you soon. I know that Purina isnt a great food for hedgies, and the ingredients that you listed for Meow Mix are not good at all. A protein should be the first ingredient and corn is a filler.
When you changed over the food, did you do so gradually? Im not sure if the change in food has any correlation to the behaviour changes though, but it might be if you changed things rapidly and to a lesser quality of food.

Hope this helps.
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Old 10-16-2016, 09:18 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Sleeping uncovered isn't an issue unless you don't have a heating set up. You can't use blankets or covers to keep her warm. Both of those foods are crap and once you get the cage issue fixed you should SLOWLY switch her to a high quality cat food. You need to find out what the actual temperature in the cage is because the room temperature and cage temperature can vary a lot.
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Old 10-17-2016, 01:55 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Okay so I have a few updates, she's still sleeping uncovered but I did notice she is sitting a lot. Like she's walking and randomly sits. Also when she's walking her back feet are not as tall as they usually are, she's like half balled up. I pulled the wheel out and had her try to run on it and she walked a few steps then got off. I'm starting to wonder if she hurt herself when she was escaping a lot. I nudged her feet a little and lightly grabbed them to see if it hurt her and it didn't seem to bother her. I also held her on her back so that when she tried to break free from it, I can see if she pushed with her feet and everything was normal. There's also these weird dents on her back that she didn't have before. Could hibernation be a possibility? She randomly also made a weird noise, kind of like a sneeze or cough or something. She won't be seeing a vet til weds / Thurs since there are not many around me that see exotic animals :/ I'm feeding her more fruits / veg as snacks until I can get her to a vet
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Old 10-17-2016, 04:47 AM   #5 (permalink)
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You need a heat set up asap. It's fine to say 'my house is such and such temperature' that does not mean every square inch of your home is going to be that temperature- more than likely your hedgehog isn't warm enough. I don't understand why this isn't the first thing on people's list to buy when they decide they're going to get a hedgehog.

Please invest in a heat set up and a thermostat as soon as you can. I use a CHE in my vivarium which is quite easy because it's enclosed walls, I'm not 100% sure what is best for a C&C cage, but do some research and get your hedgie looked over when you can.

I'm no expert on the best cat foods, but there are plenty of forums on here with lists of what's good food and what's not. Change the cat food and occasionally you can give her a small amount of cooked unseasoned chicken or beef mince (no oil), they don't tend to eat many fruits and vegetables- a little bit is fine to give but protein is a lot more important to their diet, there are also a lot of fruits and veg you shouldn't give your hedgehog.

Just do a lot of searching on this website and you'll find most of your answers. Best Wishes
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Old 10-17-2016, 10:10 AM   #6 (permalink)
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She looks underweight, she shouldn't have sunken sides like that. You need to start syringe feeding her so she can gain some weight. Just feeding her fruit and vegetables isn't going to give her the nutrients she needs.
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:55 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you guys. I've cooked some plain chicken with no oil and cut it up with some cut boiled eggs and a little bit of carrots. I woke her up and she wouldn't eat so I put her back and put the food in her bowl, took a picture of it so I can see if she's touched it later and if not I'll syringe it. BTW do you guys have recommendations on how to do it? I was going to mash the food together until I got a pasty texture. She has started burrowing in fleece to sleep again so I'm happy about that at least
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Old 10-19-2016, 01:06 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Just wanted to update everyone in case someone has the same issues with their hog; i took her to the vet and they tested her poop, looked at her quills, teeth and full exam, turned out she has a respiratory infection (thank God it wasn't heart failure problems) and she's on antibiotics for 2 weeks which now which she really likes so I might mix some water with her dose so she has to drink more water. Also, I am putting her on actual hedgehog food once I find a good one at petco tomorrow but continuing Gerber feeding for now (which btw is impossible? ) and I read some forums on hedgehogs and pedialyte, I was wondering on everyones intake on that? Like 1/4th Pedia & rest water since she's still drinking less than usual. Non flavored obv.
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Old 10-19-2016, 10:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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If you're going to mix the antibiotic with water make sure you syringe feed it to her. If you put it on her food or in her water bowl you won't know for sure that she's getting the full does which is very important. I wouldn't bother with pedialyte, personally I don't like it for kids let alone for animals.

Hedgehog food is all crap so please don't feed it. If you look under the nutrition thread you'll find a lot of good information on what's good to feed your girl.
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