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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello!

My husband and I just adopted an adult hedgehog on Monday. Her name is now Needle (we are big Game of Thrones fans). We have never had a hedgehog before so this site has been great. I feel like things are going pretty well but I just wanted to get some opinions from those of you who have had hedgehogs before.

I got her from a small breeder who was retiring her. She had two litters total, the first at around 8 months old. She is now about a year and a half (the breeder did not have her exact birth date on hand but is supposed to be getting it for me). The breeder did seem clean and loving.

My biggest issue is that I feel like she is overweight. The breeder was feeding her Purina Kitten Chow because she was supposedly "picky and didn't like anything else". I knew right away that I want to get her on better quality food so I have mixed Nutro Natural Choice Adult Weight Loss Chicken and Rice (Protein 33% min, Fat 9% min - 11.5% max) and Simply Nourish Indoor Adult Chicken and Oatmeal (Protein 32% min, Fat 10% min). Both foods are corn free and have no byproducts. I have mixed a very small amount of the new food in with her old food and she ate it all up last night. I will continue to transition to the new food over the next few weeks. I also added a comfort wheel to the cage (the breeder did not have one included and said that she did not really show much interest in it). She is certainly interested in her wheel now that she is with me. The past two nights she has come out right around 10pm and gone right to it.

Anyway I have pictures below showing her from the top, side, and front. She is currently 595 grams. What do you all think about her weight and her new food and exercise situation?







Also I looked at the color guide and just I can't decide what color she is. My best guess is a Pinto Cinnamon Snowflake, but she has a pink nose. What would you all call her?



Finally here is her current cage set up (it is now on a table and I keep the top covered with a fleece blanket to avoid drafts from the a/c but we don't keep the house cooler than 74 degrees anyway). I also moved the water dish since she kept rooting under it and knocking it over:



We are really happy with her overall. She is a little nervous and will huff an ball when she first comes out or if you move to quickly but we are working on bonding a few times a day and she has shown improvement even since yesterday. Thanks so much for taking the time to read everything and letting me know what you think!
 

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Welcome to the forum!

She does look a bit chubby, but not so extreme (I've seen worse). With her new low fat food and more exercise she will lose some chubs. :)
It might be a good idea to get a digital scale to keep track of her weight(loss), I usually weigh my hogs twice a week.

Looks like she is a grey pinto. The pink nose is due to the pinto (lack of colour pigments which makes the skin pink > and therefore the quills white in quilled areas)

As for her cage set up, I'd still get a thermometer to measure the exact temps in her cage. Even if you keep your room warm the temperature could be lower or higher than you'd think, there can be big differences within a room. Better to be safe and get a thermometer, and if there are big drops in temperature or if it's too cold, you'll have to add some extra like a ceramic heat emitter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for confirming her chubbiness! She definitely likes the new food so I will keep an eye on her weight! Also the thermometer is a fantastic idea, that would give me some piece of mind, I'll be headed out to get one today.
 

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Have you tried to feed her super worms or meal worms (live) one of my little guys love it and they are high in protein while being low in fat. however one of my hedgies I adopted at an unknown older age has no interest in live insects at all. Something to try:)
 

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I'm not sure she's overweight so much as bodies change after having babies. Her sides look alright, but she seems to have some extra behind her legs. Have you taken her to a vet yet? It really could just be that she's been a mom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I am planning on trying out insects soon, I just didn't want to add too much new stuff to her diet at once. I did try chicken but she had no interest, I'll try it again in the future. I have not taken her to a vet. I'll be honest, I hadn't really planned on it unless there is an issue. We only have one vet in our proximity who sees exotics. I know that they can hide symptoms though so it is definitely something to consider, I'll have to give them a call and find out how much it is for exam and fecal testing (I'm assuming that is all they would do for health screening).
 

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I'd definitely take her in for a check-up. It's a good idea to have a relationship (even if it's just being on the books as an existing patient) with a vet before it's urgently needed. And, as with other animals (and humans), a yearly check-up is just a good idea.
 

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I take my boys to 6 month check ups, but that is me. I just feel like with an animal that lives on average 4-5 years, once a year isn't enough. My vet agrees with me, and we have a wonderful relationship. He follows my rescue page :) and he just had a (human) baby of his own. I love that I know him as a person, instead of just that guy I see sometimes when my life is falling apart and I have a sick animal.
 
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