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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My hedgie's mouth is pretty busted :( He's around 4 years old.

Vet says is because I fed him dry cat food (as per recommended by several hedgehog sites, including here). I used RC Indoor 7 - and for the past year or so I blended it to make the pellets smaller...



I know cat food used to be/is recommended due to "better" nutrient value... but if my hedgie's case is indeed due to the cat food, and not an isolated incident... and considering the high rates of oral cancer and other issues... isn't it preferable to not feed it at all? Go for a mix of good hedge food, treats, mealworms etc...



Just wanna know other people's experiences and thoughts on the matter.
Nothing I can do to restore his mouth.
I don't blame anyone either, by the way.
The info here has really helped me overall <3
 

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There are no good hedgehogs foods out there that's why we feed cat food. Most hedgehog food is harder than cat food and would be harder on their teeth. I have never had any problem with tooth wear on any of my hedgehogs and I always fed cat food.
 

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Hey there! How long have you had your little guy? Does he or she have a history prior to you owning them? If you have had them since they were a baby, and have never noticed tooth problems up until recently, the cat food very well might have been too hard. I’m not familiar with the brand you are using, but in my opinion, your best bet would be to simply wet down their food, this being after a difinitive vet consultation. Cat food is recommended becuase as Nikki said, there are virtually NO hedgehog specific foods on the market, at least none that I have ever come across, that provide the nutrition necessary to mirror as close as possible to a natural diet. To sum my thoughts up, make sure this isn’t an issue from a previous owner, and consider softening their diet. Hope this helps!
 

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Cat food can be pretty brutal for their little mouth. I'm now completely soaking it in water since my hedgie is missing some teeth
 

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My boy was originally being fed Mazuri hedgehog food. Although the pieces were tiny they were rock hard and it was painful to watch him try and eat. He never had a big appetite for it either. It also contains wood chips as the cellulose (fiber) matter!

I switched to a mix of cat foods, ones recommended on several sites. He wouldn’t touch them. Some were harder than others. The only way I got him to eat it was to completely soften and mush it into a paste mixed with insects. He started showing a love for food and even went from a tiny underweight hog to verging over weight. With some changes to lower fat options he’s now at a good weight.

I should mention he’s been having on going mouth issues. Whether this is because I’ve softened his food since he was 6 months old (now 2.5 years) I’m not sure. Our vet here said it’s not a problem to soften the food. He has no missing or lose teeth and all were straight. His issues is with his gums and the last time they examined him back last Fall he had gingivitis.

What I want to do is switch to a raw food diet. I’ve tried several times but he’s extremely fussy and has not taken to any I’ve tried >.<

This is another option to consider. Using BARF or other commercially prepared raw food diets for dogs. Better and cleaner ingredients than processed kibble and softer on the teeth. But people still recommend using kibble as a supplement food since we are not a 100% certain on nutritional requirements.

If your hog is elderly, I’d recommend softening his food to make it easier for him. My boy will only eat it if it’s mashed lol. Such a fussy one lol.
 
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