December 14, 2008

Hedgehog Nurse

At bedtime Friday evening it was noted that Bootsy (B.Ridget's Hedgehog) was sleeping in his Chube (chewy tube thing) instead of his Igloo. This odd occurrence was noted, and in the morning we found him in the exact same position. His breathing was faint and slow as well. This put us into panic mode, since they're somewhat delicate little creatures and B.Ridget almost lost him to dehydration earlier in the year.
He was turbo balled up and didn't even acknowledge the fact that I picked him up (hedgie's are grumpy and they make that fact known with some snuffles and noise in most situations). We then put him in the tub to try to get him unballed (which is the thing to do to unball one of these critters) and he just sat there in the water all balled up for a few minutes. During this time we started to get even more worried, this was very weird behavior. However after a few minutes he started to unfurl himself and open his little beady eyes. The problem however is that he was walking like a drunken sailor and shaking all over the place.

While all this was happening, B.Ridge jumped on the computer and did some research and we came to realize that the little buddy had gone into hibernation. Apparently if the temp drops below 68 or so, this is not uncommon. The problem though is that African Hedgehogs (like Boots) don't know how to properly prepare for hibernation by storing up the needed fat, and a pet hedgehog that goes into hibernation will likely be dead in a few days.

Here are some pics of Bootsy waking up and me as his doting nurse.
*notice the hedgehog wrangling gloves, as he's pokey as shit when in ball form*

The remedy to our situation was human body heat, blankets, and a heating fan. After about an hour or so of sitting under some blankets with us on the couch he came around and started acting like his grumpy old self, and he now has a heater next to his cage to make sure this doesn't happen again.

1 comment:

Burd said...

Ha ha, that's awesome.