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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I posted a week or two ago because I thought my hedgehog, Chowder was dying. It seems to have been a hibernation attempt. He's doing better now. I have a CHE set up and a heating pad under his cage if the temp dips below 73. He has been eating and drinking on his own for several days. He is responsive when we take him out and hold him, but he's not running on his wheel, is still too thin, and seems to lack energy. Now there is a dark brown spot when he pees. I've looked through a couple of forum pages here on bleeding, male. It seems that it could be a kidney or urine infection. I know a vet visit is the only way to know what's going on. I know I need to get him checked out by a vet, but it's an hour away and money is tight. Any tips until I can get him in?

This is my third hedgehog, and I thought I knew what I was doing until two weeks ago. We bought Chowder from someone who could no longer keep him a year and a half ago. She bought him from a breeder. She gave me his paperwork from the breeder that included care information. It didn't include anything about heating systems. So I feel like a new owner, and feel a little embarrassed that I don't know more about my pet :(
 

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Sadly, not all care information is accurate. There is a lot of conflicting information out there still (some of it can be deadly) and it is quite hard to know what to do when you are new to caring for these little ones. You’ve done well in finding a community that can help provide advice offer you support to help your little one.

So… best thing you can do is find a way to get him into a veterinarian sooner than later. You know that already though. However, until that time, a few things to consider:

Make sure he is eating enough. Weigh him daily to monitor for weight loss/gain. If he is losing, you may need to supplement feed him via syringe. A pate style canned cat food, mixed with a little water works well. If he stops eating, other problems, like fatty liver disease can quickly arise.

You mentioned he is thin, you may want to add some higher calorie food to his diet for the time being. If he likes canned food, offer that to him to help keep his appetite up.

Another consideration is that quite often when they have a hibernation attempt we see a secondary infection show up as their immune systems can become weakened. URI & UTIs are common. We also sometimes see them attempt a second hibernation attempt more easily afterwards. You may need to run his cage at a higher temperature for a while. This is also true of sick hedgehogs.

I’d also monitor his urine color. Take a white paper towel and dab a spot with it. Look to see if it’s really brown, or more a deep dark red.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
He’s eating around 16-20 pieces of food a day. I’m worried about leaving canned food out. I don’t want it to get rancid under the CHE and the other side of his cage is where his toileting area is. I feel dumb asking, but how long can I leave the canned food out? I’m at work from 7-4.
 

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You'll find conflicting information for how long its good for. I've seen pet food companies say throw it out after 4 hours, and others say under an hour.

I'd offer it to him when you get him up in the evening. If he won't eat it immediately, put it in his cage with him in the evening. Wake him up, cuddle him, put him back in his cage and offer the canned food. Come back a little while later to see if he eats it. Usually if they are going to eat it, they will eat it soon after the lights go out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Vet update

Got back from the vet a little while ago. They drew blood to check for kidney infection. During the exam, the vet heard what he thought was a heart murmur. They did an x-ray and it looks like Chowder has congestive heart disease. :(
 
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