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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone.

My post is a bit long as I am trying to give a play-by-play and answer all health, etc. questions a reader may ask.

In a nutshell I am trying to find an answer as to why Charlotte spent 10 minutes today convulsing (not to be confused with a seizure that causes continual trembling and jerky movements).

I have combed the forum trying to find an explanation but with no luck- I have seen posts for seizures, twitching, jumping, muscle spasms, etc. What Charlotte has exhibited is different from any of the descriptions contained in those posts.

Up until today's convulsion episode, everything has been as usual in "our" house and with her behavior. Charlotte is close to 2 yrs old (Feb birthday). Her eyes are bright, skin no more flaky than usual (slight - her dry skin is attended to), nose moisture good (not runny), no coughing, hiccuping, bugs, fleas, etc. Apart from a UTI treated with antibiotics in late August, she has always been a healthy, happy, chirpy and purring little hedge.

She lives in a hedgehog-friendly ambient temperature (73-77 degrees) and has always exhibited normal eating, drinking, poop, sleep and exercise activity. Sleeps during the day, plays at night. Equal amounts of light and dark to keep her in a healthy cercadian rhythm.

She eats Blue indoor cat food (a self-regulator so weight is constant and healthy), supplemented daily with a few live meal worms and every other day or so with live crickets (which makes her purr <3 :smile: ) which are always bought from PetSmart.

As usual when I am home during the day, Charlotte sleeps cuddled up to my side. I always give her a mealworm when she settles into our cuddle time which she ate today without any problems.

But then, as soon as she started to settle into her nap position her behavior totally changed. She started trying to get out of her snuggle sack and when she succeeded she climbed and squiggled (it looked almost desperate) trying to get away.

I took the hint. When I picked her up to take her back to her cage I noticed 3 pencil eraser-sized poops but were otherwise normal apart from size. She also peed. On rare occasions she will poop and pee (which I clean up) when she starts to settle in - but this time the poop size was different.

I also noticed her stomach felt a bit cool. (Last year when that happened a helpful forum member reminded me to check the temp not just in my house but also her cage and to make sure there were no drafts or breezes coming through. Check. As noted, temp in mid to high 70s and humidity normal.)

She kept trying to squirm and climb out of my hands and then started to convulse staccato-like. (They were like a whole body twitch/jump, somewhat spaced out, one at a time).

She continued to convulse when I put her in her low-ceilinged cardboard house. Her cardboard house kept jerking up and down because of her convulsions, and she continued to convulse as she moved through the cardboard tunnels and boxes attached to her house.

Concerned I picked her up again and held her in my lap, wrapped under my hands which she has always found calming and which chills her out - but not this time. Convulsing continued. (And yet I heard this ever-so-slight purr. At least I think that's what it was. Which makes this whole thing even more confusing.)

I put her down again for a few minutes while I tried Googling to find out what could possibly be wrong. No results.

Still convulsing, I picked her up again (now stomach normal temp) and this time loosely wrapped her in a favorite blanket and tried slightly rocking her - like burping a baby. No luck.

I brought her into the hallway where she likes to run around and put her down. At that moment as she did a few light laps the convulsing *stopped*.

As soon as I scooped her up though, convulsing returned. I brought her back and put her down close to a favorite hideaway to see what she would do. At this point she was still convulsing but only slightly.

She then ran and hid so I quietly lay down to listen to her breathing etc. There was an occasional chirp of contentment which I thought weird and she kept smacking her lips over and over again. I brought over her water bowl and kibble thinking she was thirsty or something. It took her a second to approach the water but when she did began drinking right away. And she kept drinking. And drinking. And didn't snort it as she occasionally does when she is getting a good slurp.

Then she went back to hide. Came out again and drank some more. And then ate a healthy amount of kibble. She peeked out a few times and then seemed to calm down.

All in all the whole convulsing episode lasted about 10 minutes. She has now settled down and is sleeping.

The only other thing I can add that was strange is that 3 nights ago, Charlotte let out this quite loud, plaintive cry in her sleep. She dreams a lot and makes noises and "runs" in her sleep but I had never heard anything like this before. I went to check on her and she was still deep in sleep so I dismissed it.

Well there you have it. The biography of Charlotte Hedgie Bean.

Does anyone have *any* ideas of what could have caused this episode and if it calls for concern?

Thank you very much,

Jen & Charlotte

...and as a total and light-hearted aside. Does anyone out there take as many pictures as I do of their hedgehog's butt? I mean a lot.


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