constipated and wont eat pumpkin!

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SpineyPigFaceLover

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if its not one thing its another.

my hedgehog Grumpy (named for obvious reasons) has been running on his wheel less and pooping considerably less than normal for the past few days. i think this may be due to the fact that i completely cut out the sunseed hedgehog food from his normal food. i used to mic about 3/4 blue buffalo weight control and 1/4 sunseed but decided to take it out. now looking at the bag i realised i may have been taking away a big source of his fiber intake since its 12% fiber whereas the cat food is only 3. ive put the sunseed back in today but need a more immediate solution.

i put a few drops of flax sed oil on his food last night. ive also tried feeding him cooked pumpkin and squash but he will have none of it. i put him in warm water and tried rubbing his tummy but him being so onry i couldnt do much. what poop he did produced was harder to the touch. i have an appointment scheduled on monday for the vet but i cant stand to know he may be uncomfortable for the next 3 days.

i dont have a syringe and dont know where to buy one for the time being to try to force feed him pumpkin. is there anything else i can possibly do for him? im a worried hegie mom!
 

Kalandra

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A few other things you can try.

1. Put a couple of inches of warm water in a sink and let him walk around in it. Quite often hedgehogs will poop in their baths.

2. Syringe feed him the pumpkin.

3. Encourage him to exercise. Put him on your lap and encourage him to walk up your chest. Put a blanket on the floor and try to get him to run around. Most hedgehogs will poop as they exercise, so encouraging them to move more may get the gut moving.

4. You can also try squash.
 

SpineyPigFaceLover

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ill try another water bath tonight but he didnt produce much last night when i tried. i also tried squash and pumpkin last night but wont eat it on his own. i even left both in his cage overnight and he didnt touch it.

i dont know where to get a syringe! i want to syringe feed but need help on where to find one!
 

Kalandra

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You may be able to find a feeding syringe at a pet store. They tend to be more costly than if you buy them online or get them free from a veterinarian. But often you can find one in the dog/cat section near where they keep supplements and bottles for feeding pups/kittens. You may want to call around and ask if they sell oral feeding syringes.

Here is an example of a brand that Petsmart at least carries online:
http://www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp?productId=11147223

As an example of cost. I buy a similar syringe online for $0.37. If you lived near by I would give you a few. I like the 10cc variety and have oh 4-5 doz on hand at the moment.
 

SpineyPigFaceLover

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thank you so much! i live in southern indiana so looks like i wont be showing up on your doorstep tomorrow! haha!

im so glad that i could potentially find one at a pet store since im not seeing the vet until monday. im going to do that first thing in the morning! in the meantime ill try the water and some other foods to try and get him going!
 

Kalandra

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Any luck last night? We have our quills crossed here that you had a poopy cage to clean!
 
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I know with birds you can give them Lactulose, it is available at Drug Stores.
I am unsure if it is safe for your little one though.

I hope Grumpy will be okay.
 

SpineyPigFaceLover

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Not very much, still. He's pooping but very little. and his poos are harder than normal still. I made an awful discovery last night when I found he was tearing up the inside of his fleece bag he sleeps in. I thought I had made it 100% safe, but I think I used a different type of fleece than I thought. I don't know if he's tearing at it with his teeth or his paws. I took it away from him as soon as I heard him scratching!

I gave him a buffet of squash, pumpkin, sweet potato, papaya, and crushed grapenuts. I even formed the grapenuts into a powder and sprinkled a bit on his food but he hardly ate any of it last night. I'm really worried now.

I'm getting a syringe today, in fact in a few minutes and will try to feed him something. I am seeing my vet first thing on Monday still. I hope it's not something worse. Someone let me know about Lactulose as I can use anything I can get!
 

Kalandra

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I have no experience with Lactulose. I would be hesitant to use it without discussing it with a veterinarian first. it is a laxative, but I've not heard of its use in hedgehogs before.

Do you think he was eating the fuzzies from the bag? If he was eating the fuzzies from the bedding he may have an impaction which should be seen by a vet before Monday. If you think his condition is worsening, you really need to find someone to see him.

Is he still drinking plenty? Is he dehydrated? If you pinch the skin on his back, does it go back into place quickly? How does his eyes look? Are they sunken in or not as bright as usual? If he is showing signs of dehydration, get him to a vet and get him a sub-q of fluids.

Does his abdomen appear bloated, or is it firm to the touch?
 

SpineyPigFaceLover

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I don't think he has been eating the fuzzies at this point. his abdomen looks and feels normal. He's always been a very muscular hedgehog and i don't see or feel anything out of the ordinary. He doesn't seem lethargic, sick, or otherwise abnormal as well. he's as grumpy as ever. his nose looks moist and feels cool to the touch. his eyes look normal, his ears look good. I heard him eating a few bites of his kibble earlier.

he has always been a huffy hedgehog, and so I don't know how to pinch the skin on his back without him immediately quilling up. ive tried some other areas around his sides and underbelly but I can't really tell without looking and when I lift him up he balls up (which is also normal for him).

I tried syringing him some water as practice before I syringe him his pumpkin but he wont bite the syringe and when I try to force it in, he pushes away. I'm so frustrated!
 

Kalandra

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Take your time and be patient. Remember if you are getting frustrated, he is going to react too. I hate syringing water and do about anything I can to avoid it.

To me a huffy hedgehog who has always been huffy is a good thing. When a huffy hedgehog starts to cooperate and be "friendly" is worrisome for me as it can mean they don't feel up to fighting.

When syringing the pumpkin, approach him from the side of his mouth. Hedgehogs have very tiny hairs around their mouths and those hairs are very sensitive. They will either jerk their head away or try to push the syringe away more often.

Does he like baby food chicken? You could try to add a little of that to the pumpkin to help flavor it a little. You don't want to add a lot since you are trying to get the pumpkin in for added fiber.

Sounds like he is at least still behaving fairly normally. Watch his weight, count his kibble and watch to see that he continues to drink.

I'm really hoping he has a good bowel movement for you soon.
 

LexieHeg

I'm a Hedgie kinda girl
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I've used lactulose. You can feed 0.8 ml of lactulose every 12 hours to loosen up stool for a hedgie. It doesnt work immediately but it does make them feel better. You should see poop in about 24 hours. You should syringe feed it to ensure you get the right dosage, too much can cause diarrhea which can cause dehydration quickly. If he starts to get wet stools, feed him once a day or once every other day until he has about two-three days normal poops.
 

LexieHeg

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Sorry I didn't mention I am currently treating my hedgehog with this, on vet instructions.

Also you can get squash or pumpkin baby food, and if your hedge will let you rub it onto their lip and under their nose they will lick it off.

Keep an eye on his food intake...count his kibbles. I had almost an identical experience with Lexie a week ago and we thought she was constipated when in fact she wasn't eating and that's why she wasn't pooping enough. Good for you booking a vet visit, he needs it.

Good luck!
 

Kalandra

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Rachel, Thanks for sharing that. I had never heard of its use, but I haven't dealt with a constipated hedgehog for a long time. Do you have to get it from a vet?
 

SpineyPigFaceLover

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thanks everyone for your advice! the syringing has not gone well. and i think your right, he may just not be eating a ton. he seems absolutely normal other than the fact that he doesnt eat or poop as much as my other hedgehog. i had some poops last night: they were tiny but its something!

heres my thought: he has a lot of anxiety when people are around. if he knows people are out and about he absolutely refuses to come out to eat drink or do anything. his cage is in our living room since we have a tiny 1 br apartment. sookie will come out and say hi and eat nomatter if there are people there or not. since i dont get home from work until midnight and dont usually go to bed until around 1 or 2am, he may just not be eating due to anxiety issues. i found today when i put him on my lap with a blanket over him and barely moving, i stuck his food in his hidey spot, he ate a ton! after all of this, i think he might just need xanax, LOL!

im still going to try to syringe him some pumpkin and i went ahead and powdered grapenuts and sprinkled it on his food. ill let you know what the vet says tomorrow!
 

LexieHeg

I'm a Hedgie kinda girl
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Kalandra - I got it from a vet. I am not sure about getting it from the drugstore as it may very well have different ingredients when its made for humans. I also believe the one from the vet was modified to make it yummy to exotics, it had a syrupy flavour and was really sticky. I have to admit, it works really well - I was quite pleased. Only catch is they will smell syrupy for about a week after you stop treatment, its really sticky and gets stuck in quills and fur and its not very easy to bathe their face!

SpineyPigFaceLover - I would really be careful with that and keep your vet appt for sure. Lexie was having these issues for two weeks before she started to act off and by then it was almost too late.

Good luck!!
 

Kalandra

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I agree, I'd still go in for a veterinary visit to ensure there is nothing else going on. How is his weight? Do you weigh him regularly?

I have one now that will not come out if the lights are on or if there is activity in the room. For her, I put a few pieces of kibble in her bed so that she can eat without leaving bed.

Rachel, thanks. It sounds like interesting stuff and something I'll have to keep in mind to ask about should we ever get into a situation that may need it.
 

SpineyPigFaceLover

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Just thought I would update:

I went to the vet today and both my hedgies she said were healthy, when I asked her about the fact that grumpy eats, but not as much as Sookie and he doesn't do his business as much as she does, her response was basically that at 275 grams his weight is good and she doesn't think eating more than what he is is necessary. I have to do more research on healthy weights since I'm skeptical about this vet. I let her know about the fleece bag he tore up and how he poos but they are smaller and not in as big of quantity as what I see in Sookie and she thinks he is healthy and that it isn't a concern. She took a stool sample (after putting him in water with a lot of coaxing) and the test turned out fine.

Overall though I did not have a good vet experience. This was the first vet I've ever tried and I feel as though she didn't take the time or patience she should have with Grumpy. She almost immediately wanted to sedate him, but unfortunately I didn't have the money and when I asked her to give him a little more time and work slowly, she pretty much told me she couldn't look at his teeth, cut his nails, or do a full pelvic exam without sedating him. I have been checking his tummy daily and I told her he seems absolutely fine in the stomach, that it didn't feel hard or out of the ordinary. She told me that was good and after the stool samples came back fine, she reconfirmed that he is in good health.

She tried to tell me that cat food is not a good long-term diet and tried to sell me Pretty Pets hedgehog food. She said that hedgehogs become overweight faster and do not live as long when they eat a cat food diet. I asked to see the ingredients on this food and when I saw that the first ingredients were basically corn, I pretty much called her out on it. I'm sorry, but I trust my blue buffalo cat food more with chicken being the first ingredient than that corn crap! My hedgehogs do not seem overweight and I've been feeding them my food for over six months. They're fine. I feel like she didn't want to take the time with me or my hedgies and kept referring to them as "hedgehog 1" and "hedgehog 2". Ugh.

So for now, it seems that everything is in order. I will keep a very close eye on Grumpy, weigh him often myself, and pay attention to how much he eats. If he suddenly gets sick, I'm taking my business elsewhere. I feel that I got more out of talking to experienced breeders and hedgehog enthusiasts on-line for free than I did with this vet paying $130.
 

charlie

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Keep track of his weight as others have suggested (at minimum once a day if not twice). You see him every day and I think you'll be a better judge of when he is ill then this seemingly uninterested vet. Trust your instincts.

As for the fleece bag, I recommend removing it and using a hedgie bag lined with corduroy instead (fleece can still be used as a middle layer as long as it is not exposed). With diggers it is better to be safe rather than sorry.

Hopefully you can find a better vet so that when an emergency dies strike, you have someone who is more invested.

Also papaya is also a good suggestion to assist with regulating the bowels.
 

Kalandra

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Pretty pets, yuck. Not only are the ingredients crap, but most hedgehogs will not eat it if they are offered anything else. This is the food that one of my hedgehogs actually carried every piece into his toilet.
 
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