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I've often thought of this question in regards to my mice. especially since they stop every so often and look out the wheel. It seems like they are trying to run to see if they can get somewhere else.

When I was first taming my girl Amy. She was so terrified of me that as soon as I would put my hand in the cage she would run like crazy on her wheel. If I put my hand closer to her she ran faster. I'm sure the poor thing was trying to get away.

I'm not sure if hedgehogs are trying to get somewhere when they run but it's possible.

As for using this for overweight hedgehogs I think it would be a little mean. Most hedgehogs are free fed even if they are overweight so they should always have more food in their bowl than they will want to eat. So therefore their bowl would not be emptied except the rare time the hedgehog ate extra. It's an interesting idea though. I wonder if anyone has ever tried it with really hopeless weight loss cases.
 

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Yeah if weight is a problem it could work. I'm not experienced enough with weight management problems to say for sure. It's certainly and interesting way to encourage wheel use. I've never heard it done before.
 
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