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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So at Puff's first visit to the vet today (which went very well :D except when she bit me when I tried to stop her from running off the exam table :lol: ) we were told that she has the beginnings of fat pockets under her armpits and that to avoid fatty liver disease or becoming obese she needs to try get rid of them/prevent more from forming. I'm guessing these are from the 3-4 months she spent being fed Nutro Nat Choice Kitten food (21% fat, 35% protein) before I got her :roll:

The vet suggested feeding her more "hedgehog" food in her mix and less cat food, because of the artificial protein boosting in cat food, however I don't know if I totally agree with this. She is currently eating all natural foods with around 30% protein and no more than 12% fat (most are under 10% though): CSFTCLS Light, Nat Bal Green Pea & Duck, Wellness Healthy Weight, Blue Spa Weight Management, By Natural Organics Chicken Formula and Techni-cal Natural Blends Adult (as her junk - 28% protein, 12% fat, all natural ingredients). I was gonna add some Solid Gold Katz-N-Flocken and possibly some Fromm Mature Gold as well.

I have REMOVED the Royal Canin Indoor Light 40 (which had 40% protein) and the Nutro Nat. Choice Indoor Adult (which had lots of corn fillers/protein boosters) that I was feeding her as "junk"/comfort foods, so do I really need to feed her more hedgehog food? I have tried offering her 8in1 Ultra (which Chloe my other hedgie eats in her mix) but Puff will not touch it.

Can I just keep feeding her the all natural healthy low-fat, 30% protein mix and try making her get some more out of the cage exercise (she runs on her wheel like crazy) or is there other precautions I should be taking too? Don't want my baby to get fatty liver disease :( Any advice is greatly appreciated!!!
 

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Sounds like you're making some good decisions about her kibble... getting the protein% and fat% in range. You're right that you can get the amounts right by sticking with high quality cat foods.

A few other things you can do are to put the kibbles in a few different places so she has to run around to eat them, consider live crickets to chase (and eat), and get her some veggies.
 

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Almost all vets will say that hedgehogs need hedgehog food and I've heard of one clinic that won't even continue to treat hedgehogs that are not being fed hedgehog food. :shock:

You can try giving her veggies in the evening to fill up on a bit. Then she will eat less kibble. How many kibble does she eat per day?

Try and get her exercising. Rearrange her cage each night so she has to walk to find things. You can give her a little bit of kibble in her dish and set kibbles here and there throughout the cage.

You want her to loose weight slowly so proceed slowly with any changes. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
She weighs anywhere from 367-382g depending on the time of day I weigh her (I've been weighing her once each morning and once each night) and she weighed 380g at the vet.

She doesn't eat a lot of kibble though. The most she will ever has ever eaten in one night is 35-40, but that's rare. Lately she's been eating 15-25 kibble a night, as well as a couple of freeze-dried crickets and never any more than 3 mealies per day. I make her "chase" live crickets every couple of days, but it usually ends in me holding them down for her to eat cause she sucks at catching them. :lol:

I've tried feeding her many different fruits without any success, so I'm not sure if she'd touch the veggies. Are there any veggies that are favourites among hedgies? What about offering veggie/fruit baby food? She will occassionaly eat baby food lol.

I will try hiding some kibble and some freeze-dried crickets to make her forage for them. I've heard putting some in those plastic easter eggs and making them open them up works well too. Has any one ever tried letting crickets or mealies loose in the cages so she'll have to hunt for them at night? Or is this not recommended?

Thanks for all the advice!
 

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Unless she is a very small framed hedgehog, it's difficult to believe she is overweight. 367-382g is on the smaller side of average. 15-25 kibble is certainly not an excessive amount.

Do you have pictures of her?

Have fun with the crickets. They will get loose and you will hear them chirping all night and possibly be visited by one. One time I woke out of a sound sleep to something crawling on me. I am deathly afraid of spiders and was just about to scream when it dawned on me it was possibly a cricket. It was. :lol: Wayward crickets are great fun for cats.
 

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I have a cricket horror story! Several years ago I had a PacMan frog, and we fed him crickets. Turns out my hubby is afraid of crickets, so when I would ask him to feed the frog, if any escaped out of the tube he used to transport them to the cage, he would not grab them and just let them go. Several months later it sounded like our apartment was in the middle of a huge field since there was non-stop chirping! Turns out all the escapees had found their way to our tortoise pen (full of nice warm bark, water, and leafy greens) and had been mass-reproducing. By the time we realized this, we had HUNDREDS of crickets running around our tiny one-bedroom apartment! My hubby almost had a heart attack! It took us lots and lots of sticky mouse traps to get rid of them all...though I guess maybe we should have just borrowed a cat!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nancy said:
Unless she is a very small framed hedgehog, it's difficult to believe she is overweight. 367-382g is on the smaller side of average. 15-25 kibble is certainly not an excessive amount.

Do you have pictures of her?

Have fun with the crickets. They will get loose and you will hear them chirping all night and possibly be visited by one. One time I woke out of a sound sleep to something crawling on me. I am deathly afraid of spiders and was just about to scream when it dawned on me it was possibly a cricket. It was. :lol: Wayward crickets are great fun for cats.
I don't think the problem was so much overweight, as it was when the vet did a full body "lump check" she could feel the fat pockets beginning to form under her armpits. I think she just wanted me to make sure Puff didn't get any more fat pockets there in order for her not to become obese. So I guess "diet" wasn't the best term to use lol, what I really need is a preventative. Although it probably wouldn't be bad if she could somehow lose the fat under her armpits without becoming underweight. Mind you I can't feel them because the only way the vet got at them was when she got the tech to scruff her.

I have some pics on a different computer, but my camera sucks (that's why I haven't posted any Puff picks or pics of my new hedgie yet), I'll try take some more tonight, or post any good ones I can find so there's a visual. I personally don't think she's fat either lol.

My kitty cat Magic would absolutely LOVE wayward crickets, so perhaps I'll set a few lose tonight in Puff's cage. I've been bitten by spiders and had them drop on top of me from the ceiling while in bed so I'm pretty sure a cricket crawling on me would scare me half to death too thinking it was a spider!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here's some pics of Puff. She's been weighing around 360-370 the past few days, so if anything she's losing a bit of weight not eating the higher protein foods she had in her mix (royal canin, nutro nat. bal). She's back to eating 30 kibbles per night tho so hopefully she won't lose too much weight. I dunno I kinda think she's tiny but the vet insisted she has fatty lumps under her armpits and that she would become obese if she got any more so I dont know :? lol. Any thoughts?











Here's some more pics if those ones aren't enough to tell:
http://s635.photobucket.com/albums/uu76/Puff_and_Chloe/Puff/
 

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I'm no expert but she doesn't look fat to me.
I think she's perfect just the way she is.
All of mine weigh more then she does.
 

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I don't think she looks overweight. She can roll up quite well and she doesn't seem like she has excess fat under her arms, IMO.
 

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She looks fine to me as well, though I'm still new at all this too ^_^

And my boy is approx 320g and eats more than she does! He usually averages about 50 kibbles daily. His current mix is Wellness indoor and NB green pea&duck. I just started giving him Solid Gold as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks everyone for the advice. I'm thinking it was just one of those vet things "if you don't feed your hedgehog hedgehog food its gonna get fat" :lol: I won't hold it against the vet tho, she did an amazing job otherwise and what vet doesnt reccommend hedgie food really :roll:
 
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