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Old 10-28-2013, 03:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Hedgehog with diarrhea

I recently got a 1 year old hedgehog from a friend of a friend. Previous owner bought the little hedgehog without doing any research and then decided that they no longer wanted it. I picked him up from my vet office last Thursday. The previous owner didn't leave me any food other than what was in his dish. We could tell that it was a low-quality food so I went out and bought Innova Adult Cat Weight Management food. It has the correct %'s of proteing and fat. He was good Thursday and Friday night but when I woke up Saturday morning he has diarrhea and poop is light brown color. I'm assuming that this is most likely due to the abrupt change in food and the stress of getting moved to a new location. Just trying to see how long I should wait before I bring him to the vet office? Does it typically take a week for hedgehogs to get used to new food and new environment? He is drinking, eating and very active in his wheel at night so his behavior seems pretty normal. I've read that pumpkin or yogurt may help with the problem. Any help would be extremely appreciated. Just want to get my little guy healthy.
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Old 10-28-2013, 04:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Have you seen The Book o' Hedgehog Happy Info? It's an excellent resource.

Not much experience, but doing a rapid/emergency food switch does lead to softer poops. If he has diarrhea, you need to be extra-sure he isn't getting dehydrated. Maybe offer some nice wet snacks to go with his water, and be prepared to syringe-feed more water if necessary?

Pumpkin can help with constipation, not so sure about other poop-issues. I know some people use probiotics to help re-establish gut flora. Yogurt can have mixed results; hedgehogs are lactose intolerant.

If his poop starts going green for more than one night, that's a cause for concern.
If his poop starts getting really smelly, that's a cause for concern.

As for how long to wait on diarrhea if you can keep him hydrated and are fairly confident it's a reaction to the emergency food switch, I don't know. At least a few days...
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Old 10-28-2013, 06:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If the diarrhea is bad, I wouldn't wait more than 48 hours to take him to the vet as they can get seriously dehydrated very quickly.

If it's mushy but still solid, you could probably give him a couple more days to adjust and see if it starts to get back to normal (but be prepared to syringe water him just in case). Stress from starting a new food so abruptly and moving to a new home could easily be the cause of the diarrhea. It can also cause green poop, which can last a couple weeks (especially with a sudden food change), but for that you can try acidophilus or bene-bac to help get his tummy back on track.

Check out the book Annie linked if you haven't already (it's a gold mine). It sounds like the little guy is in loving hands. Keep us posted on how he's doing.
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