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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! So today marks day two of our little baby coming home and I know I'm probably paranoid but I guess it's better to be safe than sorry. I'm worried because I've seen him eat, but I've never seen him drink and I'm concerned that because at the breeder he had a bottle, that he doesn't know the water in his bowl is water. Yesterday when he first got in, he trampled through the water bowl and then a little later dragged a stuffed animal in it. Today there was another drowned stuffed animal, so I haven't been able to tell if the water level has been going down or anything. Also our fleece is a dark color (I know I know shame on me) and he's been pooping in the litter tray but I can't tell if he's been peeing. I'm so worried that he's dehydrated, do you think he might not know how to drink from the water bowl?

I wasn't worried about it initially, but then my boyfriend noticed that he keeps trying to get behind the wheel which is where the water bottle was in his cage at the breeder's.
 

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Do you know how to do a pinch-test for dehydration? It's the same concept as on humans -- a gentle pinch of skin, release, and see how long it takes the skin to rebound.

Can you make a temporary light-coloured liner for a single night? Paper towels, scavenge an old sheet, whatever -- just something light so you can get a bunch of yellow circles and reassure yourself? (This is totally why it's a good idea to have a set of white liners for medical-monitoring, even though I use bright green for my regular day-to-day...)

Babies aren't very good at keeping their water-bowls clean: trundling through it doesn't mean he also isn't drinking it. As for the teddy bears -- hard to say if he's drowning them, feeding them water, or casually dumping them during his journey around the cage! You could steal them for a night to see if that helps you monitor the water dish?
 

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Should I not be using the standard water bottles that guinea pigs and rabbits use?


She's seemed to be doing just fine with it the past 2-3 weeks. Ive even seen her drinking from it.
 

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PowerCage - I've read that water bottles can pinch a hedgie's tongue. Water bottles can also cause a chipped tooth as hedgehog teeth aren't as sturdy (and don't grow back like hamsters, mice, guinea pigs. . . etc). I know many people state that it is a personal choice but I am steering clear of a water bottle as I don't want to put anything in the cage that may harm the hedgehog, even though the breeder is apparently using a water bottle.

Again - may be more personal choice or convenience factor but there is potential for harm.
 

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I have a water bottle in my cages only as backup - I've found all manner of yuck on the bowls, and while my hedgehogs generally do drink from their bowls, if they did happen to poop in their water, I like feeling like they have another option, even if they don't use it.

That said, I never notice a ton of water being "gone" from the bowls (I wash/refill daily and there always seems to be about as much left as I put in there) but I do seem them drinking quite often.
 

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I have two cages connected by a tube and so I have a water bottle in one and the water dish in the other. My guy sometimes drags his toys or fleece bedding in there or just plain spills the water everywhere, so I like to have a backup in case he gets thirsty.

Im not too worried about the chipped tooth or tongue because he drinks from the dish about 99% of the time, but I like having the bottle as a back up so he always has something. Maybe you can do something like that, just to make sure he is drinking, (Its easier to monitor on the bottle) and then perhaps try switching to the bowl in the future.

Or like others suggested, remove any absorbent things so you know if the water goes down it means he is drinking - or put paper towels down to look for urination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I took all the toys out last night and this morning all the water was gone, which seems like quite a bit of water for him to drink, but I can't imagine how he would have tipped all the water out then put it back in the same spot, but I guess it's possible.

@Annie&Tibbers, I'm not quite sure I understand, do you mean the top side of him? The problem is he's so terrified of me right now, I'm having a really hard time getting him to even partially unquill, I don't think I'd be very successful in getting him to calm down enough to pinch his skin.

He's super good about using his litter pan, and there are paper towels in there and it sort of looked wet today, so maybe I'm just paranoid. I will try and make a make shift liner and see how it goes.

Thank you everyone for your advice!
 

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Pinch-test: After 8 months with my small friend, I don't think he'd appreciate it if I did the dehydration pinch-test on him. Apparently, some hedgehogs allow it. For me, I rely on judging pee-colour instead. Sounds like that's how you're going to be judging it, too!

If you think he dumped the bowl of water, you could also give him two bowls for a few days, so he's got a spare. I did that for a few weeks when my small friend was going on nightly demolition-derby rampages.

So, feeling totally overwhelmed and paranoid yet? Welcome to hedgehog-mommyhood! They're such tiny divas, I really wish they'd just tell us what was wrong instead of making us worry and guess at everything!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Pinch-test: After 8 months with my small friend, I don't think he'd appreciate it if I did the dehydration pinch-test on him. Apparently, some hedgehogs allow it. For me, I rely on judging pee-colour instead. Sounds like that's how you're going to be judging it, too!

If you think he dumped the bowl of water, you could also give him two bowls for a few days, so he's got a spare. I did that for a few weeks when my small friend was going on nightly demolition-derby rampages.

So, feeling totally overwhelmed and paranoid yet? Welcome to hedgehog-mommyhood! They're such tiny divas, I really wish they'd just tell us what was wrong instead of making us worry and guess at everything!
Oh that's such a good idea! I will put an extra one in tonight and see how it goes.

And OMG yes. I worry about him pretty much nonstop. I never thought I'd be so interested in what color his poop is! Hahhah I've been telling everyone the past few days about how incredibly proud I am that he has literally ONLY been pooping in his litter tray! He's my little quilly baby even if he really hates me right now, lol:D
 

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Hi. How's your hedgehog doing? Was just wondering if you are using tap water? I got my hedgie as a 2yo rescue and wasn't sure whether he was used to a dish or bottle, so I put both in his cage for a few nights. Didn't look like he drank any water from either source which worried me. I read that some people used bottled spring water so I tried that and yup, that did the trick! Thankfully he's not stuck on one brand though. I can't help but call him a little princess sometimes!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
That's crazy! People feed their hedgies bottled water!?

He's okay. He's definitely been drinking from the bowl, but I'm not sure he's been drinking enough water. How much water is normal for a hedgie to drink? I'd say he's probably drinking like 3 tablespoons of water a night maybe less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay so that's just a little less than how much Winston drinks.

I'm also a little worried because he just tramples right through his water dish, and so poop gets in it all the time and I feel like drinking poop laced water can't be good for him =[
 
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