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First of all, DON'T Panic. Quietly watch and see exactly what is happening.

Is he choking because there is a piece of food in the roof of his mouth? If so, quite often they gag sometimes to the point of vomiting to try and loosen it. As long as the hedgehog is able to breath on his own, quietly talk to him and tell him you are ready to help if he needs it. Often they will be drooling and the drool will help dislodge the food too. Most of the time they can get it out on their own.

If it continues or the hedgehog starts to paw at his mouth, pick up the hedgehog and gently put your thumbs at either side of his mouth and wiggle so his jaws open. If you can see the food in the roof of his mouth, you can use the tip of a small syringe, or a q-tip (with most of the fuzz off) to try and dislodge the food. You need to be very careful that you don't push the food down into his throat. Put the syringe in as far to the back side of his mouth as you can and gently flick up and forward. I can't stress enough how careful you have to be that you don't push the food back further.

If the hedgehog is obviously choking and cannot breathe, you can do the small animal Heimlich. Lay the hedgehog on his back in your hands with his bum towards your body, head out. Make sure his back and neck are well supported by your hands and you have a good hold on him. Hold your arms straight out at shoulder height and rapidly swing down. You may have to do it a couple of times. Make sure you do not let go of him and remember to support his back and neck.
Chances are, if a hedgehog seems to be choking, it is because something is stuck in the roof of his mouth. If your trying to help upsets the hedgehog and is making things worse, as long as he is able to breathe, it is best to leave him be and quietly watch.
 

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This is a VERY IMPORTANT thing to know. Everyone should read this and/or save this to their computer in case this emergency ever arises. If you are letting someone take care of your animals over the winter break you may want to print it out and show them how to hold your hedgie should this problem should arise. It is best to be prepared for everything.

-Amanda
 

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Thanks for this, Nancy. I'm preparing care sheets at the moment for when my mom will hedgie-sit for us in a few weeks, so this is a perfect addition to the list! :D
~Melissa
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Voohoo said:
So, for the small animal Heimich, you are basically only using inertia?
Yes. Make sure you have their back supported and a good hold on him so he doesn't fall. Because of the quills, use gloves if necessary so you don't drop him or her.
 

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Hello amanda.I am new member here. Your post is nice and informative.Everyone should save this information of care of animals.Thanks for the post and keep posting.
 

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Gah! Thank you so much for posting this. I think Idris had some kibble stuck earlier yesterday but she eventually cleared it herself. I'm glad to have this just in case though.

In the mean time, I'm going to still have to keep crushing up her kibble since she is so small.
 

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what kind of kibble do you have her on? there are some kibble that are really small pieces that are perfect for hedgies especially small hedgies or babies. i use a mixture, but the main kibble is royal canin (however you spell it lol). i started out with royal canin baby cat which is what the breeder had one of mine on and they are really tiny pieces and i used this until my oldest was about 7 mths and youngest at about 5 mths old and then switched to royal canin kitten (you can usually switch them at about 6 months to the kitten fomula which is also small pieces). just a suggestion so you don't have to constantly break apart her kibble, it may or may not help.
 

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I have her on Purina Naturals and Purina Pro right now, and I'm researching better foods to start getting for her. Royal Canin is one of the ones I was looking at, but it seems really expensive for the ingredient content... and the babycat and kitten formula are really high in fat for Idris, considering she roams for exercise and doesn't run on a wheel (yet).
 

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I'm a new hedgie owner and I've had John for 2 weeks now and he's 10 weeks old. He was just eating his cat food and he started choking. I freaked out so I Googled it and this came up. This is so important. I think all hedgie owners should be told this before they buy the hedgie. John managed to gag it back up but if he hadn't I wouldn't have known what to do. Thank you for this.
 

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This post really helped. I would hear and see my hedgie struggling at night after eating his food. Sometimes he gets excited and swallows too quickly, coughing up the food and getting it stuck to the top of his mouth leaving me panicked and confused. Thank you for this info.
 
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