Nutritional Q & A's

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Nutritional Q & A's

Post by animal addict on Tue Aug 28, 2012 3:55 pm

Help – My hedgie isn’t eating?

Have you just got your hedgie home? If so, he/she may be stressed and settling in and should start eating within a day or two. Sometimes it is hard to see just by looking if your hedgie has eaten any cat biscuits so whenever there is a concern start counting the biscuits and record. When ill or stressed, hedgehogs won't eat as much so counting their biscuits will show you exactly how much he/she has eaten. If there is no obvious reason for your hedgie to stop eating then seek a vet’s opinion to rule out any physical problems.

Help – My hedgie isn’t eating cat biscuits only wet food?

Start with just putting a bowl of biscuits in, separately to the wet food and gradually cut down on the wet and keep the dry topped up. It is essential you see him/her eating the dry before completely phasing out the wet food though. You can also be introducing fresh, cooked chicken and beef mince too.

Help – My hedgie won’t eat the food I am trying to change him/her onto?

Store the foods together so that the new one smells like the old one and is therefore familiar to your hedgie. Any change over should be done gradually. Sprinkle or mix in other familiar foods to encourage him/her. Consider trying other foods if no success. Ensure your hedgie is eating the new food and is maintaining their weigh before completely phasing out the old food.

Help – My hedgie won’t eat a varied diet?

APH can be notoriously suspicious of new things and can take a little time to realise what is food!! Keep trying and hopefully in time you will be rewarded! Try attempting different preparations e.g. canned crickets if refusing live, boiled egg instead of scrambled egg etc. Mixing in already accepted foods can help your hedgie attempt new foods, e.g. sprinkling dried mealies onto their cat food or mixing mealies (live or dried) in with chicken or mince. Sometimes hedgies will remain suspicious and avoidant and as long as they are eating a good quality cat biscuit and maintaining a good weight then that is acceptable.

Help – How much should my hedgie be eating?

This is entirely down to each individual hedgie – providing he/she is of a healthy shape and able to curl into a tight ball with no visible folds of fat then you have no need to worry! It’s a good idea every so often to count the amount of cat biscuits your hedgie has eaten so you know a rough idea.

Help – My hedgie is losing weight?

Is your hedgie over exercising? Some hedgies can overuse their wheels (runner hogs) and will sometimes require reduced wheel access or adding in a higher fat biscuit into their current food mix. Weigh twice weekly to monitor! If your hedgie is losing weight over a period of time with no apparent reason then this is possibly indicative of an underlying problem and a vet’s opinion should be sought!

Help – My hedgie is overweight?

A hedgie that is round or apple shaped, has visible folds of fat, cannot curl into a tight ball or when does ball looks like the skin is
stretched etc is overweight and should be placed on a diet. Weight loss should be slow and steady. Minimise the giving of mealies and switch to a low fat brand of cat biscuits if possible. Biscuits may need to be rationed and monitor exercise levels. Seek vets assistance if no change.

How much should my hedgie weigh?

This is completely dependent on your hedgie!! APH can vary widely in weight and more consideration is given to the shape of your hedgie than how much he or she actually weighs. Your hedgie should be teardrop shaped when viewed from above with no
sunken sides. Average weights seem to be between 280g – 600g with more common weights between the 300g-500g range.

Should I be giving my hedgie supplements?

According to my vet – as long as you are feeding good quality food then the answer is no! Over supplementing can be as hazardous as under supplementing. If there are concerns over your hedgie’s dietary intake safe supplements include nutrobal or pure calcium or P@H small animal vitamins (water soluble).






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