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My hedgie Olive has suffered various health issues throughout her life. Recently, she has been dealing with elimination issues for several months now. The issue is that whenever I see her she always has a bit of dried poop stuck in her anus. I have been giving her a soak in warm water and massaging the area to help her pass these poops, though sometimes they are so stuck I have to get them off myself. I have also incorporated pumpkin and a dash of olive oil into her diet, as had been suggested on other threads. Her diet consists of a Hering, egg, and sweet potato based cat kibble (by Abound, called "superfood mix"), mixed with a spoonful of pumpkin puree, crushed mealworms, and a dash of olive oil and she always has access to water. She eats, drinks, and exercises regularly. I live in northern Colorado so there is often not much humidity, if that matters in any way. For context, she also has had issues throughout her life with dry skin and infections (which even with medicine she has a hard time fighting off). She is otherwise healthy right now, besides her still somewhat dry skin. Please help, I'm not sure what else to do... :confused:
 

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What kind of mealworms are you putting in her food? Dried, fresh, frozen? If it's freeze dried mealworms then they may be making the situation worse. They are known to cause intestinal issues in some hedgehogs. How much is she drinking?
 

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reply to nikki

Starting today I will measure the exact amount of water she is drinking for the next few days to know exactly how much shes drinking on average. Hopefully you or someone else can tell me if this is a healthy amount. I had only added the mealworms to her diet a couple weeks ago and yes they were freeze-dried so I took them out of her diet today.
 

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My late hedgehog was overweight. He had this exact same problem. I would have to wash him once every 2 days because the poop would be stuck at his anus. If losing weight doesn't help, I would suggest a visit to your vet ASAP because poopy butts and diarrhea can eventually be fatal.

Also, try finding a hedgehog formula instead of cat food. Is there no hedgehog food where you are?

Hope Olive is okay <3
 

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My late hedgehog was overweight. He had this exact same problem. I would have to wash him once every 2 days because the poop would be stuck at his anus. If losing weight doesn't help, I would suggest a visit to your vet ASAP because poopy butts and diarrhea can eventually be fatal.

Also, try finding a hedgehog formula instead of cat food. Is there no hedgehog food where you are?

Hope Olive is okay <3
I'm sorry for your loss of your late hedgehog.
Commercial hedgehog food is not actually recommended, unfortunately it is made using poor quality ingredients (sometimes unnamed meat or by-product meal is often the first ingredient) and they also contain lots of fillers, none of which benefit a hedgehog or provide the nutrition and vitamins/minerals they need. Fibre is normally really high and is sometimes provided by plant matter which is not digestible by hedgehogs who do not have a cecum to properly digest it, which can then cause GI issues.

Premium cat food is what is recommended on this forum (low grade cat food is also not good and shouldn't be used). If you want to learn more about hedgehog nutrition, there is lots of information on this site, including guidance notes and recommended cat food brands.

Merkurii, that's good you've removed the freeze dried mealworms. If you can get hold of canned or live insects this would provide more fibre in her diet.
Is the diet you've mentioned what she has always had or a new thing you're trying to help her with her constipation? I'm not sure I'd personally use olive oil. Once I used flaxseed oil and it made my boy's pretty soft. One time I also gave my boy pre boiled pumpkin including a little bit of the skin (we have green pumpkins here) and it gave him diarrhea! Monitor her water intake. Does she have a bowl or a bottle?

Hoping she improves soon.
 

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Olive is not overweight, I've actually wanted her to gain weight. She's somewhat skinny but not to where I'm worried about her, as she's always been a thinner build. The diet I described is what I switched her to when I realized hedgehog formula was no good and could be causing the issues. I switched her diet about a month ago. She used to get hedgehog formula and just my cat's regular kibble as treats. I will look into the cat food forums and see if there are better options that I could find in my area. I will also try to find some other insects that are not freeze-dried, but I can't keep live insects in my living situation.

I am concerned about her water intake. Over a period of four days she only drank a little less than 59 ml water (1/4 cup is what I measured, then converted). This does not seem like enough water. When I looked on other forums it said she should be drinking about 30-35 ml a night, and she's only been drinking half that! I switched to a water bowl today instead of her bottle, I will let you know how it goes.

The pumpkin has not caused her diarrhea and seems to be helping her poop be softer, but she still gets some stuck to her tush every few days. I think the water intake may be a big issue. Any tips? Is the amount of water she's drinking worrisome enough that I should I syringe feed her some water?
 

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Switching to a bowl may make the difference, this is a more natural way for them to drink than using a bottle.

My boy Yuki barely touches his water bowl, when I first brought him home I'd see him drinking from it but ever since I started soaking his food with water (he won't eat cat kibble dry) most nights his water dish looks untouched. Sometimes it does have food marks on it or carefresh in it so I know he's been near it but the water level barely changes. Then Ive read other people's hedgehogs finish a whole dish of water! So I think all hedgehogs are different. In the wild, they would rely on water intake mainly from their food source (insects and whole prey etc). I think he therefore gets enough water intake now from his soaked kibble and the insects I feed him.

If you can't keep live, there are two options ~ buy live insects, keep them in the containers, if possible gut load them for 1-2 days and then put them in the freezer to kill them. You can then just store in the freezer and thaw out the ones you need as and when. Alternatively, buy canned insects and they are stored in the fridge in a seal tight container they come in. I also freeze any canned ones i buy so they last longer. I freeze half of the contents in a plastic tub and feed off the remaining ones in the can and store in the fridge for up to 1 week or so.

There is a recommended cat food brand list on here and I also use the recommended list on volcanoview hedgehogs website as it also lists the first 5 ingredients in each formula.

Also if you live in a dry climate perhaps looking into a humidifier may help add some much needed moisture in the air, this will definitely help with her dry skin issues. I bought an air purifier earlier this year to improve the air quality and clean the air of impurities, it also has a humidifier option which I think will help in the winter when it becomes quite dry here too.

To check if they are dehydrated you can gently pinch their skin and see if it collapses again instantly or takes time. If her poops are really hard this is another indicator but are they soft and getting stuck? Or just now you're feeding pumpkin etc they've become softer and no longer getting stuck?
 
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