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Old 01-05-2014, 05:58 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Possible URI's in the Midwest

I am very concerned about my two babies and I don't know whether I should be or not.

My two hedgehogs live with me in the basement. Meeko is usually low energy and doesn't eat too much, but Truffles constantly runs in his wheel at night.

The lamp I had on a timer to give them a consistent light schedule recently malfunctioned which was a whole frustrating story in and of itself, so I bought a new lamp and timer. And just yesterday I realized that, for some reason, the lamp and timer are not working correctly. So I am having to do it manually until I figure out what is wrong.

The other issue is that we are about to get a HUGE blizzard here, and I came home tonight and found the heater I used inexplicably turned off and the temperature had dropped down to 70.

I immediately got the heater running again and took out Meeko, who had clear mucus on his nose and was not cold, but was a little lethargic. I held him for a while to warm him up and his nose seemed to clear up and he got all squirmy as usual.

I heard Truffles sneeze a few times and, being a rescue hedgehog who still bites me at every chance he gets, I am unable to hold him still to try to warm him. He doesn't seem to have any mucus, but he is not running in his wheel like usual.

I am concerned about URI's and I am so frustrated that my equipment is malfunctioning. I work a lot, so I have my brother check in on my hedgies on nights where I can't, and it seems like whenever I am not there, something stops working. I am frustrated my lamp malfunctioned and I am worried there is something wrong with my babies. I think they are thrown off by the light cycle and then the malfunctioning heater. Should I be concerned? What should I do?
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Old 01-05-2014, 02:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I am in the midwest too and this weather is horrid. The sneezing is concerning. Is the mucus on his nose clear or? hedgies do normally have a wet nose.

Do you have a good realtionship with your vet? I wouldn't risk bringing them out in this buy maybe you can run in and get meds if you have to?
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Personally I'd get them in to the vet if at all possible to check for URIs & receive meds. You could always try contacting your vet to see if you can get meds prescribed without a visit, but I don't think most will do so, especially with antibiotics.

If you do need to take them out, make sure you have the car warmed up before you take them out. In their carriers, give them plenty of blankets to burrow into, and include a handwarmer or two in each carrier (make sure they're inside socks or wrapped in a blanket so hedgies can't burn themselves on them) that they can snuggle up to. Make sure they've burrowed into & been covered by their blankets, then cover the carriers with blankets as well, and get them straight into the car. Same procedure for going in/out of the vet's. I'm in the midwest as well & I know how awful the weather is right now! But URIs are nothing to mess around with either, so if they need to go, they need to go. They should be fine as long as you're cautious & quick about getting them in/out.

Also, take extra handwarmers & such just in case you happen to get stuck or something...but go slowly. If conditions are /too/ terrible & you don't feel confident about your vehicle, it may be best in the end to stay put & go as soon as it's better.
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I'm leaving hedgehog-care to others, but maybe I can help you figure out what's going on with your equipment. That's so frustrating to have things not working properly!

Can you post photos of your setup (thermostat with CHEs plugged into it, timer with lamp plugged into it)? Or list the brands & models?

Has anything else electric been having problems in your home? (Clocks reset, fuses tripped, power outages or brown-outs?)
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:08 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I should have been clearer. Only if the vet has seen them before and knows their weights and suck My vet will prescribe me stuff without a visit but I have been a client a long time and has met my hedgie a couple times now
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I actually use two heaters with thermostats located near the cages. It keeps them at consistent temperatures but my house is really old and we have power problems a lot of the time, although my family was not aware of any power problems yesterday. We are constantly having fuses break and power go out for no apparent reason. It is very frustrating. Then I have a separate lamp that simply provides light to keep them on a consistent light schedule.

I definitely cannot take my hedgehogs anywhere currently. No roads nearby have been plowed at all, we have about ten inches and I have not taken my hedgehogs to the exotic vet who does hedgehogs at the vet office my other pets go to. The only veterinarian I have taken Meeko to was an emergency on Halloween last year and they are kind of far away. They both seem to be eating fine and Truffles started running in his wheel like usual. I haven't heard any more sneezing and I put my ear up to Meeko and did not hear any rattling or anything.

My hope is that I caught the heater shortly after it had turned off and my hedgies weren't at 70 degrees very long. My only real concern now is that Meeko's nose does still appear to be more wet than usual, dripping a little clear mucus. It seems to be the only symptom. I am monitoring both of them closely and counting Meeko's food. He ate well last night and ran in his wheel and seems to be back to his normal energy level.

Does it seem like I was just overly concerned? If they don't exhibit any symptoms, are they okay? I know very little about URI's and I have only had them both for less than a year.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I don't have actual experience with URIs either, so hopefully Nancy or someone else will come by. I just know from reading other topics on here that others have had minor symptoms (occasional sneezes, a little bit of drippy nose, etc.) & headed to the vet just in case, and come home with meds. So even minor symptoms usually make me suggest a vet trip. I would still take Meeko in once the roads get plowed, if his nose still seems a bit wetter than usual. Hopefully it'll clear up though! I hope you guys get plowed out soon! I had to visit a petsitting house out in the country today...was very glad my Trailblazer can take on 6+" of snow & win! Keep us updated on how both boys are doing.
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Old 01-05-2014, 11:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Continuing my theme of "Other people are helping the hedgehogs; I will help with equipment..."

Not much I can do to help sort out an entire house's wiring system, but maybe keep an eye out for sales on uninterruptible power supplies (UPS)? Preferably one with a nice, loud, BEEEEP! alarm that any family home could hear and realize the hedgehogs need help. Most have built-in power conditioners that would smooth out surges, brownouts, etc, as well.

You can get them from any computer-supply place, most of the big-box office supply stores, and sometimes from wholesalers like Costco. They're typically used to keep computer systems online, but they work for any electronics. The power load is the wattage of your heaters. Prices are anything from $20 (support a small load for less than an hour; on-sale price) to a few hundred (effectively a replacement for a generator!).

Any way I can help troubleshoot what's wrong with the timer?
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I think I have the timer figured out, it seems that it was turning off when it was supposed to turn on and vice versa. I have set up a vet appt for Meeko at 9 am this morning, but I am worried we won't be able to make it there. We still haven't had a snowplow come through and my dad tried to take my grandmother home and made it to the end of the block and we had to leave the car there. About 10 inches of snow.

That's a fantastic idea, Annie&Tibbers, about the power supply! That sounds like just what I need and I had never heard of it. Thank goodness I am moving out once I get a full time job so that way my hedgehogs won't have to live in a basement, the power will be better, and they can be in a smaller room with an easier to control temperature.
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Old 01-06-2014, 02:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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And just as I post that message, the lamp turns on. It just confounds me. I have it set to turn on at 9 am and turn off at 12 pm. But for some reason it turns on at about 1 am. The other times it seems to off and on correctly, which makes no sense.
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