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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
food he doesn't like?
I adopted a 4 month old super, outgoing, friendly, sweet little guy 4 days ago (and I am head over heels!!!!).
I am a sort of nervous pet owner and I came home and he was running around his cage and looking fine but when I looked closer in the cage- he seems to have a little bit of chewed food in the corner- possibly vomit.

He is currently on Innova low fat cat food. He went to the vet 2 days ago and got a clean bill of health (including fecal float) and a sample bag of Pretty Pets Hedgehog food. We have been adding little bits of the PP into his regular food. The Innova is a medium brown while the PP is a lighter tan color. The "vomit" (just in case it isn't vomit, I put in quotation marks) was a lighter tan color and rather dry (moist but not liquid or discolored). It is possible that any liquid soaked into the bedding (we are currently on aspen though I am working on cloth liners for his cage).

He went to lie down in the corner under his little light and seemed to be heaving like he might throw up-- again being a nervous pet owner, I am not the first to trust my reactions in these things because I tend to panic with my pets (I know- not a good thing). But I couldn't tell - he kind of looked like our dog does if she is about to puke. But then he lay down and went to sleep all relaxed and semi-stretched out.

His poops are normal (again, I am on a steep learning curve but they are the described "almost toothpaste like consistency and a medium to dark brown color"). I haven't had him long enough to know what his normal sleep and activity schedule is or his quirks and behaviors-- or those of any hedgehog.

I did look very closely at the vomit and dissected it a bit and it appeared to be chewed and spat out food- like when a dog eats and throws up food- rather dry. I picked him up and he balled and relaxed and then he sniffed and got active and then I put him down to see how he was in his cage and he meandered over to his food dish and began eating. After about 3 Innova pellets, he picked up a PP pellet, it took a half second before he spit it out without chewing and selected another Innove pellet and ate that.

His color is good, he is hydrated and drinking well and since I saw him eat, he is doing that too. Should I be worried or is this because he doesn't like his food? I put a call into the vet but I am worried. Any advice for a new hedgie momma?

After 4 days I am so in love I am a neurotic momma! I want him to be so healthy and live forever (I know- 4 years is a noble goal though I may wish for 100). Anything else I should look for?
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I wanted to add that since I don't know what regular hedgehog poop actually looks like I can't guarantee that he doesn't have a touch of diarrhea. Some stools are softer than others but none of them are like water- they all have shape for sure. They do form the long poops and they do harden and turn dark.
 

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First, take out the PP immediately. You're basically feeding him cardboard.

It sounds like it's possible that he knows better and is not eating the PP, or possibly some of it got caught on the roof of his mouth and he struggled to get it out.

His poop sounds normal to me.

Take out the PP and feed only the Innova and see if you still find "vomit spots"

Some questions that may pop up eventually... How much is he eating. Is he drinking ok. What is the temp at.
 

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Yes, please get rid of the Pretty Pets. I'm glad it was only a sample bag. It is so low quality that hedgies can die from eating it.

Innova is a good food but from what I recall is a higher protein food. If you are trying to improve his diet you should look into adding another good cat food to the Innova to balance out the protein.

As for spitting the food out (if that's what he did) I don't blame him. Pretty Pets must taste like eating your own excrement :? . If it was vomit, perhaps the food didn't agree with him. Keep an eye on him to make sure he isn't sick and it wasn't the food, make sure he's nice and warm and chuck the Pretty Pets quickly. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you!
I took the PP out and he has gone back at least once since I posted and eaten a couple more pellets of the Innova.
I also cut up a towel and made a single layer liner for now so I can get a better take on poop and any other vomit or anything. So no more aspen.
The vet called and told me to keep an eye on him and watch out for more vomiting, diarrhea and any lethargy.

He is snoozing which I think is pretty normal for him for this time of day (about 7ish in the eve). Also he is so new to the house and though he is really easy going, we have been doing lots of handling and taking him out and about with us (walks, in the car on errands, etc.) in a custom bag with bottom and sides and screen windows with an insertable polar fleece nest (so you can replace them if he poops) that you can fold down or up depending on if he wants to burrow. He is really adventurous and likes to go out and about. He is less and less timid (he wasn't very timid to begin with anyway). But with all the research I did-- hours and hours and months and months, I think we were a bit more hands on than we should have been for him being so new we were just trying to do some scent imprints on him.

As soon as I switched to the towel-cut liner, he was sniffing like crazy and climbing up the sides (we have a 90qt sterilite- and plans for having my carpenter hubby make a fancy-shmancy cage we saw online-- tee hee hee) and wanting to be picked up and then put back down to explore again and rearranging his polar fleece tunnel and stuff. He ate, drank a bit and then pooped-- I still can't believe how MUCH comes out of a little hedgehog! And then he went to sleep and is still snoozing all snuggled up under his heat light next to the fleece tunnel. I will keep an eye on him but it sounds like it was new food and new surroundings and some stress.

I can't believe how in love I am. I really really can't. I am so scared that he will die of some random thing that I can't settle in and really enjoy him yet. I have read so much that I am spewing facts when people ask about him like a crazy person but I am just trying to expand my knowledge without freaking myself out- I am hypochondriac with my pets- though not with my children (something about understand human illnesses because I'm human but not other animal illnesses).

Should I just let him settle into his new home for a week or two before I introduce fruit, veggies or cooked meats- you know, anything potentially new to his diet? What do you recommend?
 

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Careful with using a towel, because his nails can get caught in the tiny fabric loops and he can end up pulling a muscle, or pulling out a nail. They like to dig and scratch a lot at fabric, which is why fleece is a better choice. If you need to, can always use paper towels for now, just so you can see how his poop, pee and "vomit" is.

As for the new foods, there are many threads on different treats, you can do a search through the upper right corner and look for different treat ideas. And as for food, definitely pick another off of Reaper's cat food list. The most popular seem to be Wellness, Natural Balance, Solid Gold, Frommes, Blue Spa and Chicken soup for.....etc lol
 

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NoisyCottage said:
Should I just let him settle into his new home for a week or two before I introduce fruit, veggies or cooked meats- you know, anything potentially new to his diet? What do you recommend?
Looks like you already got some great answers on everything.

And yes I think you should wait about a week or so before introducing any new food's or treats to him just to let him settle.

I hope your little guy is doing well and wasn't sick and just didn't like the pretty pets food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Oh I love this board!!-- Quick answers and I am not alone with the vet on speed dial! LOL

The vet we have is a specialty exotic vet and was super comfortable with Chster Tiddly Winks but he does highly recommend PP food so I will definitely check in with you guys for second opinions on things because I asked about mites (which the vet says he doesn't have signs of) and they use the invermectin.

Chester is super active this morning. He needs a wheel which we are getting this weekend since he dug in the corner during the night, flipped the fabric and presumably pooped while he dug and so the cage needs to be cleaned in that corner. He is very into digging-- he LOVES it.
In any case, I picked him up this morning-- less and less huffing when he gets startled-- and he has been crawling around and snuggling and then crawling around some more. He seems to be in great spirits and there was no spit up or vomit this morning-- just the messy poo smeared all over where he was digging (and he has some poopy feet this morning!). He is eating and drinking and peeing. So, I am guessing he didn't like the food and either grabbed a bite and walked away and spit it out when he tasted it or (the vet suggest like some of you) that he choked and threw it up. In either case he HATES the PP food and won't touch it so he is strictly on the Innova right now.
I will be sure to start reading up on your suggestions for the food. I will switch to polar fleece for the liners. I am so in love, I want to get everything right, you know?
 

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Do a search of Invermectin in the health section and you'll see lots of warnings about how dangerous it can be. Since it's injected subcutaneously a too high dose causes a lot of health problems very rapidly and can even kill the hedgehog. Most people on this website will tell you to use Revolution for cats. If you do a search for revolution you'll find the correct dosage (.01 mL per 400g? I can't remember who figured this out) as your vet may not know. Also make sure to check out Reaper's dry cat food list. He's done an amazing job of putting together a list of the best and most appropriate cat foods that will suit a hedgehog's diet. The one you have him on now (minus the PP) is a good one but you may want to add a second, different brand to the mix. Most of the owners on here recommend mixing 2 or 3 brands to diversify their diet and cover all the bases. And as the others said wait a few more days to introduce a new treat. Although he may be handling the change in residence like a trooper a new treat might push his little G.I. track over the edge. Make sure to check out the diet/nutrition section for lists of approved veggies, fruits, meats, and insects. And lastly, welcome to the forum!
 
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