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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone provide some suggestions for weight loss? I've tried searching the forums but haven't found anything helpful.

Sylvie has been off and on medications for her skin (very dry skin & continual quill loss) & she's put on weight as a result. She is just over a year & a half. When at the vet about a month & a half ago she weighed 600 g. She is now 632 g.

Things I've done:
- controlled feeding, only suppling new food in the evening.
- reduced to almost removing the higher fat food (20%) for lower fat foods (11%). Catch is she will eat very little of the low fat foods. I've now mixed all foods into one bag for storage (so they can smell similar)
- Her play pen is perm. set up for her to run around in the evenings. She runs for a short bit & then hides. If I remove hiding places, she finds a corner & just sits. If I leave her in her cage, she stays in the hidey hut except for coming out to eat.
- Swimming in the bathtub periodically. She really hates swimming however & tends to appear frantic in the tub, even with my hand under her. So I only do this once a month as she really does not like it.


She has a CWS in her cage & the temperature (CHE & thermostat) remains between 24* & 25*

Her foods are:
Chicken, Fruit & Vegetable Formula Go! Natural (32% protein, 20% fat)
Summit Originals Adult Formula (30% protein, 11% fat)
PC Nutrition First Weight & Hairball Control Chicken & Brown Rice (30% protein, 14% fat)
(The PC is the 'junk'' food)

Any help would be greatly appreciated! She can roll up into a ball still. But I noticed today that when walking around shhe has fat around her arm pits (no yellowing though).


On a seperate note she just used her litter pan in her play pen for the first time :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Re: Excercise Suggestions?

Anyone? I'm sure there must be some people on here with 'larger' hedgehogs. What do you do?
 

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Re: Excercise Suggestions?

I don't think you can force exercise. Sometimes I leave Quigley in his playpen overnight (move the wheel in there) so that he can have a bigger space to run around. It's on the floor so I have to block off drafts with towells all around it and turn up the heat in the room.

I'm sure you found the posts that say to hide food around the cage so that they have to forage.

Which high fat foods are you using? Is there a lower fat variety of the same brand? maybe she would eat that?
 

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Re: Excercise Suggestions?

Everything you are doing sounds good. Other than hiding the food and using lower fat foods I don't think there is much else you can do. She sounds like she's not feeling well from the meds, so she's being less active. As the weather gets warmer and more humid, she probably won't need them anymore and will lose the weight.

Edit: Another thought, some cat foods have flax seed in them which is good for the skin. Maybe that will help with the dry skin problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: Excercise Suggestions?

We're thinking the skin is a fungas problem as she has a bit of growth on her ears too. After Sunday nights swimming though her skin look tremendously better (I could actually see the healthy dark gray instead of layer of white). Unfortunately she has some of the dry white patches coming back already.

Thanks for the help. I've tried hiding food a bit around the cage but it doesn't do much as she just goes to her food dish. I do hide stuff around her play pen. Or I will cut up a meal worm into a number of pieces & sprinkle bits around the play pen for her to hunt.

I don't think I'm comfortable leaving her in the play pen overnight in case she tried to escape, but thank you for the suggestion.
 

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Re: Excercise Suggestions?

Riley isn't overweight but I put his food/water dishes and wheel on opposite ends of the length of his cage. I'm mean like that. Makes him run back and forth to the wheel and food. Its only 44" long but hey, he has to walk it if he wants either item.

Can you sit with her and just handle her? For instance I hold Riley and he does the "hamster hand-to-hand" thing. Crawls to one hand, then I offer my other hand, over and over. Don't know how friendly yours is, if she would tolerate that or just stay in a ball.

Do you know if she uses the CWS? Maybe her nails need trimmed so she will run more?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Re: Excercise Suggestions?

She does use the wheel. I also just recently trimmed her nails. She won't let me see her run but I can hear her sometimes & the wheel is nice & 'used' in the morning.

The hand to hand is a good idea. She runs around on the sofa already, though I need to be careful since she's curious in the edge.
 

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Re: Excercise Suggestions?

lulabelle is a lazy fatty too. i take her outside now so she can run around and explore. i don't really know what i'll do when it gets too hot (or too cold for that matter..) because she loves that the best.

i also bought her a ferret tent and tunnels and i set it up in the bathtub (with a fleece bottom, like in her cage) so she can play in that at night. we have a really big garden tub with huge sides so she can't escape so we use it similarly to other people setting up a play pen at night...maybe that would work better for you depending on your bath tub?* we just started this so i don't know if it's working yet.

*i should also note that we don't use chemicals to clean our tub. we use baking soda and some hot water mixed with lemon juice, and scrub it with a brush.
 

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Re: Excercise Suggestions?

I'd been thinking about this for awhile. I know there are "balls" where you can put treats inside and as the animal pushes the ball around, random bits of the treats would fall out, but it takes a lot of chance for them to actually fall out. Perhaps something similar would be good during play pen time, when you see her just standing around not doing anything.

I wonder if they have those in small animal sizes........
Something similar to this http://www.omegapaw.com/TrickyTreatBall.html

Though I'm sure you could probably make something similar yourself. The easiest way I can think of off the top of my head, is to cut a toilet paper(empty) roll in half, seal off one end, put a few pieces of treats, seal off the other end(easily done with paper and glue on one side, and saran wrap and elastic band on the other). Poke 1 or 2 holes that are just big enough for a piece of treat to fall through, and would allow the scent of the treat to come out, and put it down for her. After using it a few times, depending on how dirty it gets, it's easily replaceable.

I'm sure you can do this with a hollow plastic ball as well, the soft plastic balls would be better, as when you cut holes in them, the edges won't be sharp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Re: Excercise Suggestions?

Ooo I'll try it with the toilet paper roll. I bought her a kong & put both meal worms & a bit of peanut butter (at different times) in it. She played with it for a bit but then gave up. I think the poor girl suffers from both a short attn span & lack of motivation. For example I tied some fleece together & then rubbed an end in some meal worms. We had a good bought of (gentle) tug of war but when she figured out either that there weren't actually any mealworms or that she wasn't going to win, she stopped playing.

off to get a toilet paper roll
 
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