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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I picked up my new baby hedgehog yesterday morning from my local petstore. (Yes I know, no one like pet store hedgie, but I wasn't going to wait on an 8 month waiting list for the only breeder in CT.) Anyways, I've had her for a day and she's not eating!!! I'm worried something wrong, I had bought her the same "Vitakraft" food they were using in the store, to at somepoint start switching her over to a cat food or some other more nutrishional hedgie food. I know she did do some drinking last night, cause she knocked her water bottle off the side of the cage. I also found the poops she did last night before I went to bed, in her food dish, i'm maybe thinking she thinks it a toilet? I'm worried and I need some advice. She seems to be friendly and all, I had her out of her cage last night when she finaly woke up after she did some exploring of her cage for about 45 minutes. She seemed fine, she got along with my whole family, including my two dogs. She was a very happy hedgie. :) Still didnt eat though, I even tried giving her a few meal worm treats and she didnt even take those. :( SO I dont know, here the pictures of where she lives and of her, she's a cutie.

Thanks for looking,
Rob...

Living space: The bedding is a mix of White Pine, Spurce, and one other wood that NOT Ceader!
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a267/ ... ure781.jpg

I did put a box for a while for her to sleep in but she stopped using it last night.
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a267/ ... ure780.jpg

Here she is, I have not named her yet...
http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a267/ ... ure778.jpg

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a267/ ... ure779.jpg
 

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Re: My new baby, But i'm having issues...

Remove the vitaCRAP immediately, it contains raisins that are toxic to hedgehogs. Refer to the dry cat food list that reaper has compiled in the diet and nutrition forum. I know it isnt your fault, but this is the main problem most people have with pet stores, they have no clue how to care for the animals they sell much less how to teach people how to properly care for them. I know I sound harsh, I certainly am not aiming this at you. Just frustration at the ineptitude of pet store employees.
 

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Re: My new baby, But i'm having issues...

Also, where is her wheel? It is VERY VERY important that she have a solid bottom wheel to run on or she will get obese, not to mention she will get bored and start hurting herself. I would also recomend switching to fleece liners instead of shavings...are those shavings kiln dried? If not they can lead to the same respiratory problems as cedar. What is the temp like in her cage, it MUST be 72-80 or she will try to hibernate. Most likely she will start to eat more once you add the better food, and as far as the water bottle being knocked down, that was probably out of boredom from not having a wheel.
 

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Re: My new baby, But i'm having issues...

I agree with Dorasdaddy that raisins and I believe it has nuts are bad for a Hedgehog. Raisins are toxic while nuts can get caught in the roof of their mouth. Look through the food section of the forum and there are some good food suggestions. Maybe pick one of those instead. It is recommended that you keep the HH on the same food for 2 weeks or so. It will be your choice to either do a immediate switch ( I did and had no problems but that is rare) or else pick out the problem foods. It is common for them not to eat in the first day or so from coming to a new home. Don't worry about it unless she continues to do so for a couple days. Maybe weight the food or count it to make sure that she is or is not eating. As for the wheel the common ones are bucket wheels (online or make yourself) or flying saucers which you can get in store. She will need one since HH can run almost 10 miles or so a night I believe. A lot of people on here use liners (myself included) they are reusable and last a long time. But it is YOUR choice to use them or shavings but if you choose the latter make sure no cedar and that they are kiln dried or as dorasdaddy said they cause respiratory problems. And before I forget Welcome!! lol. Don't be afraid to ask questions. People on here are very passionate about their animals and just want what's best for all animals even if it's not theirs. Enjoy your new little one!
 

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Re: My new baby, But i'm having issues...

First of all welcome!

I just rescued a hedgie from a horrible pet store but then called the ASPCA and they are now watching the pet store she did not a clue on how to care for a hedgie and she would be dead today if I did not do something but that's on it's own thread. I would put your baby on liners and on cat food as soon as possible. also Make sure to get a wheel like everyone has been saying!
But we are all hear to help even if we do get puffy sometimes I guess we get it from our hedgies LOL!
 

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Re: My new baby, But i'm having issues...

CT-Zoom-Zoom said:
I also found the poops she did last night before I went to bed, in her food dish, i'm maybe thinking she thinks it a toilet?
My little one did this with a certain brand of kibble. I think this is her way of saying "Hey, this food is [email protected]" Under normal circumstances, switching food over slowly is the way to go. But since the pet store had her on Vitakraft, it is important to change much sooner. Go ahead and find some Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul, Felidae, Wellness, Innova or other cat kibbles on Reaper's list and give that to her instead.

Don't worry that she didn't take the mealies. Hedgies sometimes need to be introduced and re-introduced to a new food a number of times before they realize "hey, this is food" and get up the courage to try it... much less admit they like it.

Mallasfamily's suggestion about counting or weighing the kibble is a very good one. Another good idea is to weigh your hedgie (in grams) to make sure she isn't losing weight. A good kitchen scale will do the trick.

Consider using a water bowl instead of a water bottle. Give her both for awhile until she catches on to the idea of drinking out of a bowl.

Glad you're not using cedar :) Down the road, you might want to consider using cage liners. Often, they're made from fleece and have several benefits; eg, less wood shavings around your home, less respiratory issues for hedgies, you'll be able to see any signs of distress more quickly and easily (eg, green poop or bloody urine can hide in shavings, but not on a liner)...

From here, I'll just echo what others mentioned - making sure she's at the right temperature, has a wheel with solid running surface, etc...

Enjoy your little girl :)
 

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Re: My new baby, But i'm having issues...

Hi Rob and welcome to the world of Hedgehog husbandry, wherein so many fellow forum users are finding enjoyment :D Hopefully with experience and some research you'll know as much as them.

This might not be your situation, but I've had the experience of a new hedgehog being slow to start eating in a new environment and others that ate in different styles and at different rates. One piece of advise I was given was to offer a variety of foods. You might try two quality brands of cat food and see if you notice a preference towards one. If I understood your post right you're still in the 1st 24hrs ;) don't panic yet.

Adam

"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's mind there are few"
--Shunryu Suzuki
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: My new baby, But i'm having issues...

My hedgie is eating now!!!! I left her upstairs with the family all day today, she slept till about 9pm and woke up and went right for her dish filled with mealworms. I also bought her some cat food, and mixed it in with the mealworms, so I hope she starts eating that also. Heres a video I just took :)

 

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Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

I hope you are feeding live mealies to her...the freeze dried ones have been known to cause severe, fatal bowel obstruction in at least one hedgie. that in and of its self was enough to keep us from ever feeding them to our little ones...there are two different schools of thought on this matter..,.one says hey, its a one time thing and maybe that hedgie had problems anyway...the other (which i happen to subscribe to,) says, hey if it happened to one hedgie i dont want to take the chance that it could happen to mine. not saying you have to listen to what i say or anything, just want you to know the dangers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

dorasdaddy said:
I hope you are feeding live mealies to her...the freeze dried ones have been known to cause severe, fatal bowel obstruction in at least one hedgie. that in and of its self was enough to keep us from ever feeding them to our little ones...there are two different schools of thought on this matter..,.one says hey, its a one time thing and maybe that hedgie had problems anyway...the other (which i happen to subscribe to,) says, hey if it happened to one hedgie i dont want to take the chance that it could happen to mine. not saying you have to listen to what i say or anything, just want you to know the dangers.
Just so you know they were live mealies. Just sucks she still hisses at me when I try to touch her..lol Guess it'll wear off soon, I hope. I want to thank all you guys and gals for all this info. I thought I read enough in the last few months, but I guess I have a lot to learn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

sagesmommy said:
What did you decide on for a name? (Kendra *cough* *cough*) :D
No not yet. :(

The List:

Amy Rose
Dakota
Sharpie
Lily
Zoomy
Kendra

lol... I cant decide...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

Can I add little water or something like maybe chicken broth to them to maybe soften them a bit? I'm thinking maybe that will help in getting her to eat the the cat food I bought? I bought the Purina One Natures whatever Chicken and Oats stuff. She did eat all her Mealies, just not the kibble yet...
 

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Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

How many mealies are you feeding her? Most usually stick to under 5/day or every couple days. And since you're feeding live mealies, are you just leaving them in a bowl with the cat food? Careful that the mealies aren't dirtying up the cat food, they poop too.

Is the food large in size? Maybe try crushing it a bit?

If you wet it down, make sure you change her food daily, and don't wet it until night time, because the wet food will go bad fast. If you're going to use chicken broth, boil it yourself with only chicken and water. You can cut up small pieces of chicken for her as well(though very small amount, since she is new still). If you don't want to waste the chicken meat, buy chicken with bone(drumsticks seem to be most obvious choice) and debone the chicken so you can cook the meat for yourself, and use the bones to boil a broth as well.

Although, in all honestly, because she is new, treats should be given in moderation and limited, even mealies, unless she was already used to eating mealies. You're introducing a new food to her so she might be picky about it. You don't want to overwhelm her with new food and treats. You may want to stock up on a can of pumpkin as well, just in case. If she still doesn't eat tonight, you may want to pick out the nuts and raisins on the vitakraft, and mix some with her kibble to let her know.

If she really isn't eating, it might also be good to take her to the vets for a general health checkup. Especially since you don't know how long she's been eating the vitakraft for, and no idea how the pet shop really took care of her........
 

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Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

Meal worms should be a treat no more that 3-5 a day they will make your hedgie fat!
 

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Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

shes very pretty! I think you should name her lola... i love that name! Mike didnt eat a lot either his first couple days, now he eats mealies and superworms and his kibble likea champ! I hope she does okay!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

Immortalia said:
How many mealies are you feeding her? Most usually stick to under 5/day or every couple days. And since you're feeding live mealies, are you just leaving them in a bowl with the cat food? Careful that the mealies aren't dirtying up the cat food, they poop too.

Is the food large in size? Maybe try crushing it a bit?

If you wet it down, make sure you change her food daily, and don't wet it until night time, because the wet food will go bad fast. If you're going to use chicken broth, boil it yourself with only chicken and water. You can cut up small pieces of chicken for her as well(though very small amount, since she is new still). If you don't want to waste the chicken meat, buy chicken with bone(drumsticks seem to be most obvious choice) and debone the chicken so you can cook the meat for yourself, and use the bones to boil a broth as well.

Although, in all honestly, because she is new, treats should be given in moderation and limited, even mealies, unless she was already used to eating mealies. You're introducing a new food to her so she might be picky about it. You don't want to overwhelm her with new food and treats. You may want to stock up on a can of pumpkin as well, just in case. If she still doesn't eat tonight, you may want to pick out the nuts and raisins on the vitakraft, and mix some with her kibble to let her know.

If she really isn't eating, it might also be good to take her to the vets for a general health checkup. Especially since you don't know how long she's been eating the vitakraft for, and no idea how the pet shop really took care of her........
I put in her dish about 3 tablespoons worth of mealies with about 20 pieces of kibble. She's eating out of a ceramic ramican made for cook human food for right now. Its the only thing I had and i'll probably get her something else later. I just got up and checked her dish, and all the mealies were gone, and she was sleeping inside her oatmeal box..lol I did notice that it looks like she did eat some of the kibble, I made sure to put whole kibble in the ramican, and I could see that it looks like she did chew and eat some of it, i'd say there's probably about a 1/3 of it missing. Should I get her more mealies tonight?

Also i'm going to see if I can return that v=Vitakraft stuff back to my pet store...I paid $8 for that crap...
 

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Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

Of course she isnt eating her kibble...her little belly is about to explode form the mealies. If you continue to put them in her kibble like that she will never eat her kibble, even when you take them out because she will want to know where the "good stuff" went. You need to put kibblwe only in the kibble bowl and treats in a separate treat dish. If you put 4 scoops of ice cream on a kids plate along with a 1/2 ounce of vegetable and you just left them to their own devices, which one would be gone and which one would be untouched? Same thing with our little hedgies....treats will always win out over the kibble. Also, you dint say if you had a wheel or not. It is imperative that you get one immediately, especially if you will not heed our advice about the meal worms. A good cat food to try with the babes is Natural Balance Green Pea & Duck. It is a Limited Ingredient Diet which means that it is formulated to be easier on their tender tummies.
 

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Re: My new baby ***Updated 02-28-09***

O.O

Umm....3 tablespoons is WAY too much for her. Especially since she's probably never had that many in her life!!!!!!! And we don't even know if the pet store even fed mealies to her. Mealies are seen as treats, and all treats should always be fed in moderation. As much as you want to spoil them, too much of a good thing is not always going to end up well...

When I said 5...I meant 5 individual wiggling mealies. And even then, most stick to about 2-3 individual mealies, otherwise, they'd have obese hedgies flopping around.

Also, with that many mealies in there with her food, the mealies are going to spoil the kibble. It's probably not good to have hedgies eating mealie poop >.<

Right now...do NOT get her more mealies. I just hope she can digest all that she has already eatten... It's harder for some babies to digest the chitin.

PLEASE keep an eye on her poop.
 
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