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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone. So my hedgie Archimedes has been acting weird lately. The past week the temperature in Massachusetts has dropped to freezing. My apartment is at around 65 or so, so I have a heating pad under Archi's cage, underneath his house where he sleeps. In addition, I keep a fuzzy blanket inside his house, I put his cage close to the heater and then have two blankets over the cage, but leave the part of the cage near the heater uncovered - partly because I want him to have some sunlight in the cage during the day so he won't attempt to hibernate. I constantly check the temperature of the cage, and I know inside his house is definitely warm enough. I am just concerned with the rest of the cage.

Anyways, here are his symptoms: He still eats regularly, seems to be drinking slightly less, but now he doesn't run on his wheel anymore... and he used to run for hours every night. Just last week as temps started to drop, I took him out to give him a mealie and let him walk around on the couch. After a few mins he was moving very slow, and wasn't even very interested in the worm. I picked him up and his tummy was a little cool, which caused me to become super concerned, so I held him against me for an hour wrapped up in my hands and a blanket. He seemed to be fine after that.

But I'm just worried about the fact that he doesn't wheel anymore, and last night when I was snuggling with him, his nostrils seemed to be kinda congested and I could see moisture bubbling in and out everytime he breathed, nothing restrictive, just kinda a little runny nose. I personally think it might be a heat problem, and so I bought a ceramic heater which will arrive today so I can be 100% sure his cage is at an optimal temperature. I'm really worried otherwise, any suggestions? I love my little guy to pieces and want him to be okay. :(:(:(
 

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Oh no! Bubbling nose... that's not good. He needs more warmth and a vet visit. Upper respiratory infections are rather dangerous to hedgies.

It does sound like a temperature-related problem - that he's too cold. Can you sit with him for now to make sure he's warm enough? As in him on your tummy under your shirt? And get him to a vet?

Having a heater nearby is a good idea. I wonder, though, if it's blowing air on him? Hedgies don't do so well with a breeze. Glad you'll have the heat emitter today - you have a thermostat controller for it, right? If not, I suggest you get one - they're usually available in the reptile section of pet supply stores.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yep, I actually just called the vet and have an appointment for tomorrow morning. Unfortunately, I can't hold him right now because I'm at work all day. (Haha work and I'm on hedgehogcentral oops) But I think he'll be okay in his house until then because its warm in there. I hope everything is okay for tomorrow :( Thanks for the response!
 

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It sounds like the environmental challenges have weakened his immune system and he's picked up an upper respiratory infection. You'll need antibiotics for it but you also need to make some changes.

Having a warm sleeping area is nice but the cage ambient temperature MUST be at least 72, if not 75, all the time.

It's like having you sleep in an unheated house but you get an electric blanket. You're warm when you sleep but you get chilled when you have to eat or clean or use the bathroom. That constant warm/chill cycle lowers the immune response and *poof*, sick hedgehog.

When you say ceramic heater, do you mean a ceramic heat emitter or a ceramic room heater? Either way, you need to monitor temps inside his cage at both ends at the floor level, just to make sure that he stays warm. Because he's attempted hibernation, you may need to increase his temps to 78 and give him more light, at least 12 hours a day.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It seems after I had the heater on that kept his cage at a constant 75 degrees, he ran on his wheel last night and everything seems ok. The vet checked him out, no URI, but definitely a little runny nose. They perscribed him Baytril, so hopefully that will clear things up. He seems much happier and active now that the heater has arrived. Thanks everyone for your help!
 
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