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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Disclaimer; I am a very paranoid new hedgehog owner. I have hopefully a quick question. Gremlin has recently really cut down on what he’s eating. He used to scarf down a table spoon and now seemingly eats maybe five of the individual pieces of cat food. I have not changed his food or water brands at all. I let it go for two days but it had not improved, so the last two nights I tried feeding him large quantities of meal worms and he did eat those. He is also more active on his wheel and does not seem weak. The only anomaly was that he was exposed to a bottle of essential oil room spray that I didn’t use but had around and when I realized it had tea tree oil in it I threw it out, but overnight it leaked in the garbage bag about four feet from his cage. I’ve obviously since scrubbed everything around it (I feel awful about it). That was over a week ago. Should I bring him in? My hesitation is that he was just recently the vet for. Check-up and he finds it very stressful. I gave him pumpkin In case it's constipation, but he won’t eat much of that (never has). Lastly, over Christmas he got a lot of turkey liver as a treat. Could he just be protesting that that has ended? Thank you so much in advance.
 

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How's your friend now?


My hedgehogs like to "change it up". Too much of the same thing seems to make them picky. They often will refuse (I have 3 different kinds and meal worms that I rotate) Will hedgie eat other food (meal worms, wet food)?






Ingested tea tree can be a problem because they can't metabolize not excrete it. However herbalists will use concentrated oil on the skin to treat hedgehogs for fungus.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks! He’s still the same, not eating much but not lethargic. He will eat meal worms, a few bites of wet food, and his pinky mice (previously given twice per month, now given every few days to get him to eat), although I don’t want to overdo the rich foods but he’s got to eat! It’s been weeks now. I did take him to the vet (who sees more hedgehogs than the average as he is a specialized small pet vet) and the vet said nothing was obviously amiss. He did ask for a stool sample, but Gremlin isn’t eating enough to leave actual specimens that can be picked up (he does poo but small amounts that he then runs over on his wheel so all I can do is wash it off). However the vet checked his stomach and said it doesn’t seem to be a blockage or bloat etc. I did mention the tea tree thing to the Vet. It wouldn’t have been actual vapour in the air it would have just been a strong smell, and definitely not orally ingested. I don’t know what else to do, other than feeding him what he will eat, but behaviourally and activity-wise he’s the same as always. He may have been eating too much before as the Vet said he was overweight, which annoyed me because he’d already lost some since the last time I’d taken him in due to the reduced appetite (500 down to 480) and he’ll continue to if he doesn’t start eating more! I was feeding him a tablespoon of dry food and a few meal worms daily consistently and he’d always eat it and look for more. Now I’m lucky if he eats six or seven individual dry food pieces but usually just two or three, and not because he’s filled up on other things, because he hasn’t. Even with the wet food he takes a few healthy bites and then looses interest.
 

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You are a loving parent! I wonder is the not eating because of not pooping or the other way around?


Don't do this next part if you don't feel comfortable or start shallow ( 1/2")



The thing that I get my hedgies to poop (I do it 2x daily) is have them swim. Be super careful with this since muscles arent use to it they need to build them up. DO NOT leave hedgie alone! I use the bathtub and fill it with water (or a dish pan). Cover drain and fill 1-2" of water hedgie can just touch almost floating. The water MUST BE over 90F or they hibernate and they WILL BURN over 104F. use a thermometer. If hedgie balls place SLOWLY face up in water (they will try to flip or float). If you pick up hedgie by scruff carefully lower into water feet first they may flail...keep going. They swim in water. Sometimes at first they wont understand to keep their head above the water. Since they can be mostly supported by the water but still touch, it should be easy to put a hand under them to support. They tend to be prone to respiratory stuff, so if they starts to sneeze water is up the nose. They will learn to blow out their nose Dont submerge them unless them. My hedgies "piddle paddle" morning and night and it helps keep them clean (have a male who likes his "gentleman time", hungry and poopless. I don't use soap because it drys their skin... Now I actually give them a "full tubbie every 2-3 days where they cant touch and they love it (only one loves it the other one tolerates)



If you need clarification let me know.


Also...let the hedgie eat what it wants to..Since you are getting to know each other maybe your new friend is as nervous as you are?
 
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