Hi hedgehog owning community and experts
My Punky passed away yesterday after not eating for 5 days and as I learned after her death I discovered the reason, which I contemplated but never imagined to what extent it could be true. There are many questions in my mind right now but i want to first talk about the greatest concern - the babies.
This hoglets are already walking and with there eyes open, they were born May 20 so by now they are exactly a month old, but i find them a little bit small for the usuall size at that age, plus they still don't have visible theeth, so im asuming iIl may need to force feed them with a syringe ? Anyways as recomended in some topics I bought some high quality wet cat food and mixed it with their usual dry cat food. Right now, since they are not to little and close to that age they start tasting food, I opted to try to put this mush food on a small plate they can get to, but out of 5 babies 2 of them are feeding (licking on it) regularly, so im worried about the other 2 or 3 babies and i figured that by tomorrow if i dont see any intrest in them i will proceed to force feed them with the syringe.
Can anyone whos an expert review this and suggest me a course of action or specific diet ??
My second concern, Punky's death. As I previously stated, she loss her apettite from aproximately 5 days ago, and in the last 2 days even wasnt intrested in water. I tried to remember or think of anything difrent I saw or did by those days, and the only 2 posibilities i could make out were that she was either sick after i started using a new air conditioner (wich i turned off when she got sick) or that It as realted to some strange behaviour that i noticed involving her constantly chewing on her pine bedding.
I was more inclined towards the chewing, and boy did it turn out to be shockingly true!!
First off, about veterinary care, unfortunately I am not in such good money situation right now
as to be able to pay such high bills as they usualy do, and finding an expert in such pets may even be harder here in Puerto Rico. The fact that I was imagining the probable cause of the problem made me hesitate even more to seek a vet because it would probably involve a $urgery.
As I felt so guily of not seeking help, I had to find out and proof myself that my suspision was right. So being not particulary disturbed by blood or related things and knowing my good anatomy (Im a Radiologic Technologist) proceeded to make a quick autopsy. I first checked her oral cavity to see if se had any piece of bedding or food stock in her palate, as i red it could happen. It wasnt the case, so i proceded to open her abdomen, checked her bowels and everything seemd ok,,, but, when i reached to the stomach,,,,even without opening it I realized how terribly right I was,,, It was swolen and huge , not to mention solid rock to the touch.
My worst fear was realized, when I cutted the stomach it was COMPLETELY and UTTERLY filled with her pine bedding chips!!! Im talking about 1 inch pieces the lenght of her stomach and I just can understand how she managed to swallow all those chips without chocking!! It defies logic.
So, apart from helping the babies survive, my other question is, how to prevent this from happening in the furute?? I wish to avoid this and wish to understand what posible logic and reasons drived my hedgehog to do such insane act as to swallow whole bark chips to her death. What is the logic??? Please if theres any one expert or has had any similar experience in this please help!