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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had my hedgehog for about 4 months. When we first got him he was great, I was feeding him Sunseed hedgehog food... he liked it fine for a while. I got another kind, that comes in a box, I cant remember the name currently. I used to use this food as treats, and he loved it. Eventually he started not eating the original Sunseed food and I started feeding him the other food. When he was on the sunseed food he had pretty normal poops from what I can tell.

A little while after switching him to the other food, he started having more runny poops and he would make little squealing noises when he was in his hut pooping. The color was brown, but really runny. I too him to the vet multiple times. He was given 2 rounds of antibiotics, dewormer, probiotic, and pain meds over the course of about a month. At the same time I was supplimenting his diet with different baby foods suggested by the vet to get him to take his medicine. After all that and several hundred dollars, he still has issues. He still has runny poop and lots of it sometimes. And he still squeals while in his hut pooping.

He seems to be a normal hedgehog other than that... he loves to wheel, play with toilet paper rolls and explore. He dosen't bits and never rolls into a ball.

A couple days ago, he just stopped eating his kibble all together. I have some of the old (2nd) hedgehog food mixed with Royal Canin Adult fit 32 Catfood, and some Hills GD catfood that my cat eats. He's never had issues with eating any of those foods. The last couple days I have been feeding him some carrots and chicken babyfood since he'll eat it but he turns his nose up at any and all kibble.


What can I do to get hime to eat /poop normal again? What would cause him to not want to eat much of anything all the sudden?

He's in a big fishtank 55gal I think, it stays around 72 degrees, and he has a light on a timer so I don't think that those things would be the issue as they have been the same the whole time I have had him.

I would welcome any advise anybody has, and please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks in advance,

-Dave
 

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Hmmm... Where to begin...

Sunseed, while is an acceptable junk food, does not provide enough nutrition to feed on its own.
The "hedgehog food in a box"... is most likely crap. I can only think of Browns, and Vitakrap that comes in boxes, and both those foods are equivalent to feeding cardboard to your hedgie. Browns is actually deadly cause of the seeds and raisins.

So the first round of bad poops is most likely due to that fact. That the food was bad, thus affecting his body. If it was browns, you may want to get his kidneys looked at, as raisins can cause renal failure.

Royal Canin is an decent food to feed.

I looked up Hills G/D, and the first few ingredients are...
Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken By-Product Meal, Soybean Mill Run
So again, you get fillers, and by-products meal...Which is basically all the leftovers, beaks, feet, internal organs, etc etc. And lots of pork fat.......
So not really all that great of a food.

Take out the G/D and stick to feeding Royal Canin for awhile first. And then you can think about adding in other foods off the approved list in the food and diet section.

Next... "Around 72" is not good enough. Must need a thermometer and some sort of heat set up to keep the temperature constant. Perhaps the temperature fluctuates while you're not looking, thus causing problems by lowering immunity.

Which then brings us to...The tank... Which is frowned upon by many here. Just because it's a pain to clean properly, and is really bad for ventilation. If you want to get a heat lamp and such, you cannot use a tank, as you will most likely end up with a hedgie with uri problems from lack of fresh moving air.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Immortalia for the quick reply.

Looks like I'm doing quite a few things wrong here... :oops:

I do have a heat lamp and a themometer in the tank... I try to keep it as constant as possible. What's the reccomended way to keep the tempature constant? I would think a thermometer attached to the heat source would be the best thing. I didn't realize that the small fluctuations of temp could be causing such issues.

The "food in a box" I believe was the Vita one you mention, I'm pretty sure it wasn't Browns. So I believe that I'm good there. After looking at the list of hedgehog foods in the forum further the box on I got was 8in1 Ultra Hedgehog food, I though it would be ok since it was closer to the top of the list.

I've been thinking of getting him a diferent cage instead of the tank, mostly for the airflow you talk of as it seems like that's what most people here have. Is there a good one that you or others would reccomend getting?

Is there other things that I should be feeding my little guy as well? I have read a bunch of stuff on the forum about different things. The vet gave me a list of "foods" which I thought had some suspect items on it reading here... things like rasins & grapes... I asked her about it and she said that hedgehogs have no problems with that stuff and most really like grapes. She commented that there were some documented cases, which leads to blanket statements about not giving hedgehogs such things. Is there anything else that I can feed him other than the Royal Canin that will help his immune system and get him back on his feet?

I really appreciate the time you spent with your reply. I have done some research and reading about hedgehogs, there's just so much to learn... which I'm very eager to do.

Thanks,

-Dave
 

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Do you have a thermostat for your heat lamp? Cause otherwise, you risk burning your hedgie, overheating, or perhaps it could end up too cold.
http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=4579
That's a good thread to look at to find all that you need for your heating setup.

As for cages, you can get many ideas from our cage discussion and example threads.
http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=71

And here's the ongoing list of approved cat foods:
http://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=15

I think it would be wise to stick with just the Royal Canin for the time being, just to see if his poops improve, and his eating improves. However, if he is still refusing to eat, you may have to syringe him the food and make him eat, so Fatty Liver Disease doesn't set in. You can crush and soak his current kibbles to syringe, or you can buy Hills A/D from the vets. It's canned and bit more watery, making it easy to syringe.
Also, no treats. Keep things constant for the next little while to give him tummy time to settle.

Grapes and raisins are toxic to most, if not all small animals, including dogs and cats. I would be reluctant to go back to a vet who would recommend feeding grapes and raisins to any animal.

8in1, like Sunseed is ok to feed as a junk food. Still not good to feed on its own.
 

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Vitakraft is one of the worst hedgehog foods out there. You'd be best off removing it as soon as possible.

It sounds like he may be having digestive issues from his diet, but I would assume that there is more to it than just unhealthy food. I wonder if there is anything messed up with his intestines making his poop watery and painful.

I can only recommend going to the vet and seeing if they can do any xray/ultrasound/tests (sorry, not sure which would be best in your situation) to see if there is something wrong in there. You could also try (I'd check with your vet first) supplementing his food with acidophilus, you can buy tablets in any pharmacy, just grind them up and sprinkle a little on. This is beneficial bacteria that might help get his gut flora up.

Hope he gets better!
 
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