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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In urgent need of some hedgehog advice. I am a new hedgehog mommy (adopted my rescue hedgie about 2 months ago) and am over-paranoid about his behavior.

Wilbur is a 1 year old male hedgehog. When I first got him, he was EXTREMELY ACTIVE (running from 9-5AM each night.) He also goes to the bathroom a lot in his wheel (normal for hedgies from my understanding.) I bought him a bigger cage (5ft x 2ft with a ramp / loft, I put his wheel and house / everything he needs on the first level and the second level is just optional for him.) The first couple nights he LOVED it and wheeled / ran up and down all night. Then suddenly he stopped wheeling, no evidence of going to the bathroom, yet still eats lots of kibbles (about 20-30 a night) and started sleeping most of the night. He has been sleeping most of the night for about a week now, and will sometimes get up and try to wheel for a couple minutes and then go back to bed. Summary of behavior:

The negatives:

- Not wheeling at all or very minimal (about 5 min at a time a couple times a night...used to be VERY active.)
- Not going to the bathroom in his cage or wheel all night.

The positives:

- Still eating / drinking a normal amount.
- No signs of aggression or distress (very friendly and loves to cuddle.)
- His tummy is warm and no signs of hibernation (lethargy, etc.)
- No signs of mites or skin irritation or quill loss.
- Does go to the bathroom daily (I take him out and put him in a pen and get him to run around until he goes once or twice. Its the only way I can get him to go right now. His waste looks totally normal.)

Here's what I've tried so far:

- Nails are trimmed
- Room is completely dark, have also tried putting fleece over his cage.
- Cage is 76 degrees on average, have tried warmer up to 81 in the middle and 75 around the edges. I use a CHE and temperature check every corner of the cage before bed (also checked for drafts.)
- Room is completely quiet all night.
- Have tried putting him back in his old cage and further from my bed to give him privacy (he used to wheel in front of me though.)
- Have tried unseasoned canned pumpkin and a couple bites of cottage cheese to help him go to the bathroom. He wont eat it (fussy little guy.)
- Have tried switching him back to his old food (I slowly weened him off of his old cheap cat food to a grain free chicken based one.) I also cut it into small bites for him.
- Have tried putting a bit of coconut oil in his kibble to moisten it.
- Have tried offering other treats (mealworms, berries, peanut butter, apples) he is picky and so far wont take anything but peanut butter.
- Got him a Carolina Storm Bucket Wheel (he had a comfort wheel before.) I've also tried giving him his old wheel as well as both so he can choose.
- Tried warm bath with oatmeal and flaxseed oil rinse.

I am going absolutely crazy because he's always been SO ACTIVE and suddenly nothing? I'm taking him to the vet tomorrow for a checkup but I'm worried due to lack of physical symptoms they may not be able to help. I'm totally desperate for advice and suggestions. Has anyone else had a hedgehog totally become inactive overnight? I'm open to try literally anything to make sure he is happy!! thank you so much in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Is the ramp enclosed or a plain and simple ramp? Is the loft enclosed?
Hello!

The ramp is not enclosed, it is a simple ramp like this but less steep and more gradual
http://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/...purpleramp.jpg?lr=t&bw=780&w=780&bh=780&h=780

The cage is not entirely enclosed, but at night I drape fleece over it to ensure he has proper cover and darkness. I also moved him to a smaller cage with no ramp which is completely enclosed with fleece over it, but he actually was even less active in that one.

Thoughts ? :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Oops! I thought you meant enclosed to keep it dark which is why I mentioned the fleece. The structure itself does have a wire to enclose it so the little guy can't fall. ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He does have a light schedule ? 12 hours a day of light (natural sunlight through bedroom window and I leave the bedroom light on) and then lights out at about 930 every night for another 12
 

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Sudden drastic change in behaviour is often the first sign of illness or injury. If this lasts more then I would make a vet appointment for him. That ramp isn't safe the way it is, it needs to be totally enclosed so he can't climb over the edge of it. It is possible that he fell and that's why he isn't active. Check him over carefully and look for any red or bruised areas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sudden drastic change in behaviour is often the first sign of illness or injury. If this lasts more then I would make a vet appointment for him. That ramp isn't safe the way it is, it needs to be totally enclosed so he can't climb over the edge of it. It is possible that he fell and that's why he isn't active. Check him over carefully and look for any red or bruised areas.
For now, I have blocked off that portion of the cage until I can make it a bit more secure for him, so he is only using the bottom level. :) When i put him in his playpen during the day, he does run around still and hops in and out of his wheel, eating and drinking normally. No signs of injury on the body. However, nothing at night is really odd. I'm taking him to an exotic vet today to get a wellness check & x-rays. Will update if they find anything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Update:

Update! I took Wilbur to the vet today. The vet said he is the healthiest hog she has ever seen with no signs of distress or physical injury (yes!)

Except...

She gave him happy gas and listened to his heart etc and said she could hear his lungs really well. Apparently this is not normal and usually you can only hear the heart, and she said this indicates he may have a lung infection. This would make sense as he does try to wheel but stops quickly, so he may just be running out of wind.

I got 10 days of antibiotics for him (administered by syringe) and she told me (luckily) that this is usually an easy fix that clears up within 4-5 days.

Not happy my little guy is sick but so happy to know exactly what it is and what to do to get him better.

In the meantime, I will be fixing up that cage to make it hedgie friendly!
 

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I'm glad it's an easy fix. So you remember if he might had gotten water in his nose the last time you gave him a bath? Also, try to keep the temperature even in the cage, they don't need a cooler area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm glad it's an easy fix. So you remember if he might had gotten water in his nose the last time you gave him a bath? Also, try to keep the temperature even in the cage, they don't need a cooler area.
He did during his last bath when he got particularly squirmy (I dont bath him very often but he got an oatmeal bath with some flaxseed oil in the rinse because of dry skin.) I will be very careful next time about making sure that doesnt happen, maybe some shallower water until he is more comfortable. I've read about possibly using a warm air mist humidifier for the cage for dry skin, is that helpful / safe? also, what is the warmest the hedgie can be? I know it varies, but sometimes if the edges of his cage are around 77 the middle can get up to 84 or 85. Sometimes I worry he's getting too warm and will also be inactive. Thoughts?

Lots of questions, just want to make sure he's in the best conditions possible!
 
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