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Old 07-16-2014, 08:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Aspirated Food?

Mr. Pricklestein was eating dinner with his usual gusto, which normally involves some appreciative noises. However, at some point these little yelps/moans got a little bit more intense, and it seems like maybe he was having trouble breathing. Though he was away from his food, he kept chewing/licking, and I didn't hear a good breath sound until I picked him up, at which point his breathing sounded very crackley. There was nothing that I could see in his mouth, and after a few minutes it seems to have cleared up.

Is there some sort of hedgie heimlich manoeuvre to try if this happens again? Is this a sign I should be moistening his food? He is on Wellness Weight Control, which seemed like a small enough kibble size, and he loves it, but now I'm worried to leave him with food when I'm not around.

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Old 07-16-2014, 09:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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What shape is the food? Some hedgehogs have more difficulty with round or pellet shaped foods. Others it's the X or Y shapes. Getting kibble stuck in the roof of their mouth is fairly common with certain hedgehogs. Sometimes the hedgehog is eating too quickly, or the food is more difficulty to crunch and for some, the food is just the right size to easily get caught.

This may be a one time occurrence, but you can try breaking the food in half. How old is he? As they age, often their jaws become weaker making crunching the food more difficult and more likely to get caught.
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Old 07-16-2014, 09:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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One of my hedgehogs, Molly, started having food get stuck to the roof of her mouth. She never made any noises, but would continue chewing and it kind of looked like she was gagging. I would put her on her back and then use a Q-tip to take out the food that got stuck. Its not fun and its pretty scary when it happens.
Keep an eye on him and if it is happening on a regular basis I would take him into the vet.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you so much for the link Nancy. Great info. I'm not sure how I missed that before.

I checked in his mouth, and there didn't seem to be anything there. He's 11 months, so his jaw strength shouldn't be the issue. His kibble is round-ish though, so that's something to look at though.
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