Hedgehog Central banner
1 - 7 of 7 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently became a proud new hedgehog owner! While I am very excited, I have a few concerns about my baby hedgehog. I am not sure if the things I am noticing are normal or not, but I wanted to get some answers in case I need to address anything right away.
First off, we aren't particularly sure about Luna's age; the pet store estimated she is around 8 to 10 weeks. So she is very young. We only got her a little over three days ago so I do know she is still adjusting. The first thing I noticed is that she doesn't take to her wheel. The pet store she was at didn't offer her a wheel and I'm not sure she knows how to use it. I did place her on it and spin it a little to show her but I think she got intimidated and now only hides under it.
That brings me to my second and possibly most concerning question: pretty much all she does is sleep and eat. I understand she is a baby and this might be normal. but it seems like she has no interest in moving around much at all. When she does come out of her bed, she will eat and maybe wander around once or twice and then go right back to sleep. We do take her out and try to let her run around on her bed and she likes to burrow underneath blankets, but only for so long. Do I need to encourage her to exercise? How else can I do that?
Also recently she has had very green and sometimes very watery poops. We did have to switch her diet abruptly from what the pet store had, but she was making normal poops for the first two days. I'm guessing (and hoping?) this is just a dietary issue and will resolve itself. Are there any suggestions on what I can do to encourage her not to get dehydrated?
The last thing is that I know she is very young and new to us, but I am concerned about her personality. She seems to do fine one day and let us pick her up and hold her with no problems, but today she is extra grumpy. She wont come out from under her wheel and when we did manage to get her out, she balled up and started hissing right away. She wouldn't unroll until we put her back in her cage. I know interacting with her is the best way to get her used to us, but is there a certain amount of time we need to socialize with her? Or is it best to leave her alone for a few days to adjust?
All in all, I am very worried about her well-being because I don't want her to get really stressed out right away.
Im sorry if that was a lot, I'm just trying to make my baby happy. Thank you to anyone who helps me in any way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,071 Posts
Welcome and congrats on the new baby!

If Luna is indeed 8-10 weeks old she is going to sleep a LOT. Like you said, she's also still adjusting to her new home. I wouldn't worry too much about her activity level right now. If she's okay with it keep placing her in her wheel on occasion and moving it slowly. She'll figure it out sooner or later, or she may be running at night. Is there any poop on or around the wheel when you check her in the morning?

A quick word of warning: some wheels aren't suitable for hedgehogs at all. The wheel needs to have a solid running surface, no mesh or gaps. It also shouldn't have too many crossbars, if any, because hedgies can hurt themselves on them. If your wheel has either of these negative qualities, Luna may have hurt herself on it and now be nervous around it.

As for your second question, this is perfectly normal! She'll slowly spend more and more time awake and doing things as she gets older. Right now you'll get an occasional burst of energy combined with a lot of eating, sleeping, and pooping. And that's about it. :p

Since you changed her food quickly that's probably all that's causing her green poops. Make sure she's still eating and drinking normally and it should clear up in a few days. If not, you may want to head to the vet and have them take a look, just to be safe.

With her personality, if she's at the age you suspect she is, she's probably going through quilling. Is she dropping a lot of quills? Hedgies can get quite grumpy around this time because the spikey little quills have to push their way through the hedgehog's skin. It's uncomfortable and stressful for them. With the added stress of moving to her forever home, she's bound to be a little grouchy.

To help with the irritation of quilling you can give her a warm (not hot!) bath with some regular oatmeal mixed in. This will help with the itching. Another technique is to add a few drops of flax oil or olive oil to the bare spot between her shoulderblades just behind her head. If her skin is flaking off at all the oil helps a lot!

You should keep interacting with her through this period so she doesn't decide her grouchiness makes you go away. You can try putting her in a piece of fleece or a snuggle sack on your lap during bonding time. Just let her hang out on you and nap if that's what she wants to do. Try to aim for 30 minutes to an hour of interaction a day at least.

Sounds like you're doing a great job with her so far, but if you'd like to learn more (and get totally addicted to hedgehogs), read the stickies at the tops of the pages here and check out this free book: http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files/hedgehogbook/download.html

I hope I covered everything. If you have any more questions feel free to ask! :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
141 Posts
Ok first I suggest reading the stickies at the top, they can be very helpful.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal so she maybe running in her wheel while you are sleeping. Since she is nocturnal she will be more active at night and sleeping most if not all day this is normal:) the green poop could be stress and the change in diet it should clear up i want to say in a bout a week but if you are worried or if her poop doesn't go back to normal take her to a vet that handles hedgehogs. She will get use to you but it will take time, to help you can put a shirt or a piece of fleece you slept with in her bed so she can get use to your scent. You should handle her at least 30 minutes a day longer if possible, you could have her on a fleece blanket in your lap cover her with the blanket and let her sleep while you watch tv or read a book. From what you said she seems normal, but I am not an expert someone with more knowledge will be able to tell you more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you guys so much. I tend to worry a lot and I just wanted to make sure I'm doing things right as to make Luna as comfortable as possible. Thanks for the suggestions!

I'm pretty sure she hasn't run on her wheel at all. There isn't poop on there at all and I'm pretty positive it isn't the wheel itself because I have a Carolina Store bucket wheel. I will continue to place her on it and hopefully she will figure it out!

I do keep her on my lap in a snuggle sack and she has napped on me twice. I'm glad that's a good thing. Sometimes she runs on the bed for a good while, other times not so much. I'm mainly worried about her activity level because she does eat quite a bit. I know hedgies are prone to obesity but seeing she is still a baby, I really hope this is normal.

Thanks for the suggestions for reads also. I have actually read that book; it was very very helpful! But I will try reading those stickies as well. Really, thanks for replying. It made me feel a lot better.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
35 Posts
Your baby is perfectly normal! All hedgies are a little different, and there's nothing out of the ordinary with a baby that just wants to snuggle and eat.

I've only raised 3 babies (well, I'm in the process of raising the third) but your description pretty much fits all of them. I would notice *maybe* a tiny fleck of poop on the wheel (which was the only indication they were using it, and it was occasionally at best) and a ring of poops around the near-empty food bowl. Sometimes in the food bowl. And yes, they do eat constantly. I feel like the only time I see Little Bit outside of bonding is when she's crunching away at her kibble! As long as the temperature is ~75 degrees, the behavior is nothing to be worried about. If its too hot or cold, then it could be a sign of discomfort and it should be corrected as soon as possible.

The grumpiness can come from the quilling, but it will go away once they finish up. You can also add the flax seed oil to the food or to the rinse water for the bath. Coconut oil also works well, and in my opinion it smells a little better and doesn't discolor quills - but none of the options will permanently discolor or anything drastic like that! As with anything, test anything new on a small patch of skin first to make sure your little one isn't allergic.

Good luck, and welcome to hedgie-motherhood :grin:
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
8,486 Posts
One thing I wanted to mention is if she stays in a ball when you take her out don't put her back in the cage right away. She'll learn that if she stays grumpy and in a ball that you put her back in her cage and it will just reinforce that behaviour. Keep her out for at least 30 minutes even if she spends the entire time in a ball.
 
1 - 7 of 7 Posts
Top