Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum - Reply to Topic
Hedgehog Central GalleryForum Archives Facebook Link

Thread: My Hedgehog Has OCD. Tips? Reply to Thread
Send Trackbacks to (Separate multiple URLs with spaces) :
Post Icons
You may choose an icon for your message from the following list:

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Additional Options
Miscellaneous Options

Topic Review (Newest First)
04-06-2019 03:03 PM
Ria Does she eat like the boiled unseasoned chicken ?? You can also try duck and lamb cooked this way a lot of hedgehogs love these (its just a bit more meaty food that will benefit her is she eats them)

Calci worms would be a good thing to possibly add if you dont have them as they are great for calcium.

You could try changing the food slowly - say your giving her a chicken food go find another food thats high quality but a different flavour such as turkey, duck, lamb, beef (you can look at small dog breed foods as they have small biscuits and aren't that hard, also puppy foods especially for smaller dogs is much like cat food) get a small bag, so at least then your not buying loads if she ends up not liking it, but stopping eating the food could potentially be a flavour thing if its not a health problem.

If the eating doesnt improve get the vet to do a scan just to make sure there's nothing abnormal there - just because they cant feel anything doesn't always mean that theres defiantly nothing there.
04-06-2019 02:25 PM
Emc How big is her enclosure?... space could be a contributing factor to her behaviour too.

and If she genuinely has OCD (which I agree with the vet; it's totally plausible!), perhaps she would benefit of more enriching toys; i.e put some of her kibble in a treat ball so she has to work a little more for her food, you can also buy something like a snuffle mat and hide some of her mealworms in it, or if you have a terrarium-stye cage you could even let her hunt her own crickets. Foraging boxes are also helpful for alleviating boredom behaviours; like a box filled with fleece scraps where you could hide her kibble.

I asked if she lived with the other hedgehog just to rule out stress of living with another hog as being a possible cause for her behaviour. I know many keep multiple females together with no issues, but sometimes it can be problematic - glad to hear theyre separate!
04-06-2019 01:49 PM
OCD Hedgehog: Reply to Emc

Hello, Emc! Her cage set up is her house, her wheel, food and water, and multiple kinds of toys that are safe for hedgehogs! She also has a pant leg I cut up that she wraps herself in.

I keep her out for 1-3 hours! I let her free roam (I’m right near her so she isn’t eating stuff off the floor, etc.) for about an hour. The enrichment: toys, a wheel, and a very long tube that she loves running in and out of. She is kept in aspen!

I keep my two hedgehogs separate. Although they’re both female, and siblings, we keep them apart so I can see how much each of them is eating/drinking, how well they’re pooping on their wheel, and because they always harass each other if they’re together.
04-06-2019 01:44 PM
OCD Hedgehog: Reply to Ria

Hello, Ria! I have not suddenly changed the food; it’s the same as it’s always been. When I take her out because she hasn’t been eating her normal food, I give her boiled, unseasoned chicken and liver treats.
The insects I give her are normal, live meal worms and the gut loaded ones. The gut loaded ones are better I think because she gets the necessary vitamins.
Yes, I mentioned this to the vet! The vet checked her tummy and said she felt no obstructions because we thought she was impacted. As you said, she said that at least I’m getting food and water in her. Better than nothing. It just gets extremely tiring at times.

She started it about two months ago, so I wouldn’t say it was recently but not that long ago. There were no changes in the household and they are very desensitized to noise.
04-06-2019 10:22 AM
Emc Hamsters often present with OCD-like symptoms - but they're often stereotypical behaviours due to boredom. I don't think it'd be unreasonable to state that easily an upwards of 90% of hamsters in captivity are kept in unsuitably sized and inadequately set up enclosures. It's a very common problem in Syrian hamsters especially; they require over 1,500 square inches of space with over 12" of substrate, and absolutely require natural set ups... but most keep them in 40g tanks (or less), with hardly any substrate and plastic toys galore. Boredom worsens symptoms of OCD, but many hamsters who's owners claim "have" OCD actually don't, and just aren't being house appropriately.This is an issue across many species, not just hamsters. Like zoo animals; they'll have repetitive behaviours/routines that present as OCD, but they're just bored and not adequately stimulated.

I think it's difficult for us to assess Jingers situation without knowing the full extent of the issue at hand; what's her cage set up like? how many hours is she allowed out of her cage to play (not bonding time; but free roam time)? What type of enrichment does she have; is she kept on fleece, and if she is, does she have the opportunity to dig?

She could absolutely have OCD, or she could just be incredibly bored. Nevertheless, in animals with OCD, boredom will worsen the symptoms exhibited - so we will need her enclosure size, her set up, how much time she's allowed out of her cage, etc in order to provide you with recommendations on how to lessen the behaviour she's currently presenting.

ETA; I have to ask from your profile pic; does she live by herself, or does she live with the other hedgehog?...
04-06-2019 02:00 AM
Ria You cant break their wheel running behaviours, but some hedgehogs are a lot more active, and more consistent in what they do.

Have you suddenly changed the food ?? Suddenly changing food can make them stop eating.
What insects are you feeding her daily ?? If your feeding her a variety of insects (not just mealworms) every evening the at least she is easting something.
If she's not eating or drinking did you mention this to the vet ?? Generally when they suddenly aren't eating and aren't drinking its a sign that they are ill.

This obsessive wheeling has it only just started or has she always done it ?? If its only a recent thing it could possibly be dealing with pain/illness. I'm not a vet though so I cant say.

I think go to you vet, explain to them whats going on and get them to try find a reason.
04-05-2019 10:56 PM
My Hedgehog Has OCD. Tips?

One of my hedgehogs is named Jinger. She is a little over one year old. Just recently, she has been diagnosed with OCD. Crazy, right? I didn’t think hedgehogs could have OCD but the vet said if hamsters and other small animals had OCD, hedgehogs could as well.

Anyways, I was observing her for a little over an hour and she did this cycle multiple times over: walk around her cage in the same exact path two times in a row, go inside her house, walk outside her house, run on her wheel, and then repeat. /All day long/. She barely sleeps! Not like her sister who only runs at night.

Not only that, but Jinger refuses to eat her food or drink water. I have to take her out of her cage, make her drink with a dropper, and give her food/vitamin loaded live meal worms.

The fact that she’s constantly running on her wheel with the bare minimum amount of food and water is so concerning.

Does anybody have any tips to break her obsessive wheel running behavior, get her to start drinking/eating on her own, and/or resting properly?

Anything would help! Thank you!

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:32 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Basset Hound Forum Doberman Forum Golden Retriever Forum Beagle Forum
Boxer Forum Dog Forum Pit Bull Forum Poodle Forum
Bulldog Forum Fish Forum Havanese Forum Maltese Forum
Cat Forum German Shepherd Forum Labradoodle Forum Yorkie Forum Hedgehog Forum
Chihuahua Forum Cichlid Forum Dart Frog Forum Mice Breeder Forum