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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone. I am a new hedgie owner and I am stumped. My 4 month old hedgehog Munchkin has changed her behavior since that cold spell we had this winter. She used to sleep during the day, run on her wheel at night and poop all over the wheel every night. Since the temp dropped in my apt. from 75 to 72 she has been acting differently. She has been eating and drinking, but not pooping. She has attempted hibernation a few times by going under her cage liner. I have since bought a ceramic heat emmiter and the temp is now 79. She still attempts hibernation during the night. I have made sure that the lighting cycle is apporpriate and I have even purchased a dehumidifier in case the humidity is a problem. (40-55%). I took her to the vet and she is not sure what is wrong with her. I have been keeping a close eye on her and taking her out from under her cage liner in the middle of the night because I am a panicked mother. :( I have even been giving her a laxative (canned pumpkin) every other day to ensure she poops. It works! She has been sleeping in tight balls and takes a few seconds to come out of them- she never went into a ball before, but maybe she is just getting older and thats what typical hedgies do? She seems active when I take her out during the evenings and walks fine. I have noticed nose licking and a bit of sneezing. I am taking her to the vet again on the 7th for a follow up check up. The vet thinks that her body is still trying to hibernate. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should do or what might be wrong with her? Thanks!
I <3 Munch!
 

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I've had a similar problem. Do you have a heating pad?
If not, get one and put it under where she sleeps only, not the whole cage.
As for health concerns, I don't know enough to help you, sorry :-/
 

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Is her belly warm or cold? A lot of times it will be a clue to whether they need it warmer or cooler but with the cage being 79 it definately isn't too cold so Im not sure unless she's trying to hibernate because its too hot. Hope the little one is ok and that you are able to figure out what is triggering her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks guys! Well... I had the cage at 75 and then I turned it up to 79 when she started to attempt hibernation. The vet told me to actually turn it up more, so now it is at 83. Last night I woke up and found her under her cage liner and took her out of it. She was a lot more active than normal. She still tried to go under the liner tho even after I took her out. I have a little house for her in her cage with pieces of fleece that she likes to sleep in during the day. She also has a hedgie bag- which she doesnt sleep in. I put a snuggle safe heat disc where she used to try to hibernate and she just tried going to another place in the cage. Ugh! The little stinker! So today I redid the entire layout of the cage. I put her wheel up against the side where she tries to crawl under. I put things all around the liner so she cant get under. The last time I did this she spilled her water everywhere trying to get under the liner. Im going to try again tho.
When I first brought her home she used to sleep under the liner all of the time during the day and she never felt cool. I guess I will have to keep on trying!
 

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Hmm, you make no mention of a place to sleep...
Does she have an igloo of some sort?

My boy prefers to sleep in a folded fleece blanket, so that is what he has, instead of an igloo. Perhaps you could try putting an actual piece of fleece in the cage with her, and see if that would solve the going under the liner problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah I have a little house with fleece pieces and fleece randomly on the flooring for her to burrow under. I went to Lowe's today and bought some porcelain floor tiles (The longer skinny ones) to hold down the perimeter of her liner. I dont know if she will like it. I sanded the edges so they aren't sharp and washed them up good. Is anyone opposed to this idea? I'm all out of ideas! I am going to be nervous when I go to sleep tonight to see how she does.

Oh and one more thing. What are the rules of running the air conditioning with a hedgie?
 

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For a/c the thermometer will say the temp is at (ie)75, however, it will feel colder than 75. So you have to keep that in mind. My boy's cage is kept at 75, and when I have the a/c on, I set the a/c thermostat to about 78(Luckily, I like warmer temperatures anyways).

However, since you are using a CHE, as long as there isn't a/c air blowing directly at the cage, then you will be fine, as the thermostat you have for your CHE will kick in and keep the cage at a steady temperature.
 

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Some hedgies like to sleep on the bare plastic and there really is not much you can do about it if they are determined. I've also had ones that sometimes would be under the liner on the plastic but other times would be on top of the liner in their igloo or bag. shrug

If she is still attempting hibernation despite 79F temps with no draft and 12-14 hours of light per day, she may need to have a heating pad as well. Although I don't agree with using a heating pad as cage heating, there are some hedgies that start to need a heating pad as well as a warm cage. I've had a few that despite a 76-78F or higher room, they needed a heating pad 24/7.

I suggest you try a cage temp of 76F and the heating pad under one end. Wrap the heating pad in a towel. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks! I will try it! The porcelain floor tiles did not work- she busted through them! LOL! She is crazy! Im afraid that if I turn the temp down to 76 then she may attempt to hibernate again. Do you think it is a good idea to keep the temp at 83 and use a heating pad too? Or is that too hot? Or I can turn it down to like 79 again and use a heating pad. Hmm.... What do you think?
 

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84 is hot to begin with so adding a heating pad at that temperature would be way to much I think. I'd go with Nancy's suggestion and turn the heat down a little then add the heating pad. She has ton of hedgie experience so anytime Nancy gives a suggestion it holds a lot of weight with me.
 

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Artemis has 2 Sterilites linked together with a tube. She burrows under her liners, so her bedroom I just let her rearrange however she wants and I tape the liner down with painter's tape or masking tape in the other side so she won't spill her water dish and food. She's only gotten through the tape once!

Good luck with your hedgie, I hope she feels better soon and stops trying to hibernate! I got a really great heating pad at Walgreens that Pepper likes--she got the cold hibernation belly a few times and she liked splatting out a fleece over the heating pad. She's doing just fine now.
 

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I read on one of your other threads that you have a 4' wire cage with one emitter. That might be the problem. What is the temperature of your room? If you have nothing around the ends and back of the cage, one emitter won't heat up that much area. Have you tried a thermometer at each end and in the middle to see what the temperature is in all areas?

If hedgie is staying in the warm area and then ventures to the cooler side, that can trigger a hibernation attempt.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Okay here is what I have done:
1. I have wrapped two fleece blankets around the sides of the cage and around the back and clothespinned them to the cage.
2. I turned the temp down to about 79-80 degrees. (The a/c runs only during the day at 79)
3. I put a heat disc (microwaved for 3 min.) over night under her liners so she can snuggle against it.
4. I heat it for another 2 min. during the day and put it under her house where she sleeps.

So far, this method has been working out great! Munchkin has not attempted hibernation and she stays warm! She has been pooping regularly and eating and drinking! PHEW!!! Thanks for the help everyone!!
I still can't believe that she likes it that hot still AND needs a heat disc. But I figured if she gets too hot from it, then she will move away from it- and she hasn't yet!
HOORAY and thank you ALL!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay. So I have controlled the temperature and she has not attempted hibernation for over a week now. I am so relieved. Now she is still not going to the bathroom regularly. She goes about every other day or every two days in her wheel. And when she does go it is just a little bit. I have given her canned pumpkin and it worked, but now she won't eat it. I am starting to try baby food sweet potatoes. Yesterday I plopped her in some warm water and she went. It looked like she was struggling a little. The stool looked normal. Along with not going potty she is not eating her food unless I give it to her when she is in her bag or under a blanket. I give her eyedroppers of water a couple times a day to make sure she is hydrated. She is only active for about an hour or two each night and then goes under her liner to snuggle up to the heat disc and there she will stay until morning. I know this b/c I check on her frequently throughout the night. The vet just said to make sure I make her go potty for now. Any suggestions as to what is up? Or is this normal behavior?
 
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