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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, I am a student and I brought Miki home for the holidays as I will not be in my apartment and obviously she goes wherever I go. She has been here a couple times before. Once so my parents could meet her, and once because my boyfriend and I went out of town and my parents were eager to watch their 'grandmeeks' as they call her (she's the closest they have to grandchildren right now. They brag about her actually, it's quite cute! :lol: ) Anyways, I gave them the whole 411 on parenting and everything, and she was great, although, she is confined to my room with the door locked at all times when she's here since we do have two dogs (of course her cage top is always on too just in case). She doesn't seem to mind the confinement, she's taken out just as much, maybe even more since my mother just adores her, however, she also hates the scent of the dogs so hisses and balls more when I try to take her out, which is to be expected since she's also quilling right now.

About a week and a half ago, we'd noticed some issues, which ended up being an allergic reaction and quilling (thanks to you lovely people for helping me! :) ) and that unearthed a couple things we could be doing to be better parents, so, we switched shampoos to aveeno oatmeal from johnson & johnson, we switched bedding from recycled paper pellets to fleece liners, and we just started two days ago to introduced a mixed diet of blue spa select weight control cat food into her vitamix sunseed hedgie blend (along with her occasional fruit or veggie, and once daily mealie or cooked turkey/chicken). She actually enjoys the new food better than the old, and so even though I don't want to introduce the new food too quickly, I've had to give her a bit more of it than I'd anticipated every day since she seems to only eat that now (picky girl! :) ).

Anyways, all seems well now, and in fact, not to be graphic, but her poo is even a better shade (it was SUPER dark brown before all the time) and consistency now according to Nancy's 'scoop on poop'. However, As of yesterday morning when I went to do my daily morning check on her, her cage smelled strongly of ammonia. It didn't happen the rest of the day when I went in, but then this morning, the same thing. I read that their pee has ammonia in it, as does ours, however, it is a bit of a worry since I've never smelled it before. Could this be because of her new liners? I have changed them every 4th day (unless she makes it really dirty at some point obviously) and I spot clean daily and clean out her litter box daily (she actually began to use her litter box regularly after we switched to the fleece, which was a nice surprise!) I've checked her water supply, and it didn't seem like much was missing which leads me to worry, but I hear her drinking right now. She was slightly dehydrated when I did the pinch test to her, so should I syringe feed her? Could that be the culprit?

Sorry for the long post, and for the couple I've had recently, but I had never utilized you all as a source until now, and as I become more hopelessly in love with my little girl I can't help but make sure that everything is squared away for her, I'm sure you all understand :) . Thank you in advance, and I hope everyone is enjoying their holidays!

-Kait
 

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Some hedgehogs have a stronger urine smell than others. You may be noticing the smell more now that she is on liners. Some on liners can go for 4-5 days, others need them changed daily or every other day. It all depends on the individual hedgehog.

She may have more concentrated urine right now or it may be the food change that is causing the problem. If she is dehydrated, try syringing her some water. If she is drinking a different water, that could also be the issue. Is the room she is in warmer or more humid than normal. I find warmth and humidity often will make more of an ammonia smell but again, I find the ammonia odor is more with some hedgehogs than others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Technically the water I suppose would be different, but it's about a 20 minute drive difference between the two water sources, so I'm assuming it's the same aquifer and different wells. As for humidity, it is a little more humid in my room at home than my room at my apartment, however we have a 'cold snap' in Miami right now (a whopping 64 degrees fahrenheit at the moment :lol: ) which would counteract some of the humidity I'd figure. I'll try syringing her some water, although she has been drinking more today. I'm glad to hear it's not signaling a bigger problem. Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We're attempting to syringe feed Miki water now. She isn't quite happy about it, but it's something. Since we switched food she has been drinking quite a bit less. She's drank about a typical day's worth of water in 3 days time, making me concerned. I'm going away tomorrow and my Mother is going be taking care of her. Like I've said, she's taken care of her before, and she has all the info and the first aid kit for a worst case scenario, however, I want to try to get Miki normal before I leave. I put some water in her food, the food soaked it up and she's been eating that, and I syringe-fed her some water like I said, but is there anything else I can do to insure she'll drink more water?

I noticed that there is a good deal less salt in this new food (of which she basically only eats that now since she's picky) and it's cooler out like I said, so maybe she's not as thirsty? Still, I want to make sure she's okay before I leave. Any suggestions?
 
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