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Thread: low-cal food suggestions?

  1. #1

    low-cal food suggestions?

    I took Herman to the vet yesterday (see the post in Disease and Illness- Help Something is Wrong with Herman!) and aside from the lumps on his stomach, she is very concerned about his weight. He is a big boy (2.2 lbs.) and although he runs around the bedroom a few times a week, he hasn't wheeled in a few months. So, the vet immediately recommended that I put him on a lower calorie food. He currently gets a mix of Solid Gold Cat Food, Purina Kitten Chow, and Purina Cat Chow (4 tsp. per day). Any suggestions on a good low-cal non-seafood based cat food? Thanks!

  2. #2
    He IS a big boy-2.2 pounds is almost 1000 grams. Did you get a weight in grams by any chance? Usually that's more precise for the hedgies. How much are you feeding him? If you are free-feeding, I would give him a measured amount every day before making food changes at all.
    Ann
    Connecticut Hedgehogs
    A USDA licensed African pygmy hedgehog breeder located in CT. We serve the tri-state area of CT, New York State and NJ as well as Western MA (and anywhere else you happen to be) Visit our website for more information

  3. #3
    He is 997 grams. I give him 4 level teaspoons of food at night (using a measuring spoon). I bought The Goodlife RecipeŽ Food for Cats
    With Real Chicken, Brown Rice & Garden Greens, last night because it is the only lower fat (min. 9%) foods I could find without fish meal. So, last night I gave him 2 tsp. of his usual mix and 2 tsp. of the new food. This morning all of his food was gone, so I guess he likes it I would eventually like to get him down to 3 tsps. of food per day, but want to ease him into it, so he is not too hungry. I am going to buy a food scale to weigh him once a week, so that I can make sure that I can make sure that he isn't losing weight too quickly. Should I eventually give him the Goodlife food only or 2 tsp of that and 1 tsp of the mix?

  4. #4
    I would gradually reduce his portion size to about 2 tbsp. It's probably as much the amount of food as any particular brand although I have found that the ones that are higher in fat can make some hedgehogs pack on the weight so if you are going with a lower fat food that should help too. Keep putting him on the wheel too-even if they are heavy, some will power walk
    Ann
    Connecticut Hedgehogs
    A USDA licensed African pygmy hedgehog breeder located in CT. We serve the tri-state area of CT, New York State and NJ as well as Western MA (and anywhere else you happen to be) Visit our website for more information

  5. #5
    I only give him 4 teaspoons now (1 1/2 Tablespoons). Do you mean that I should reduce his food to 2 teaspoons? That seems like such a small amount! He hasn't wheeled in a couple of months, and if I put him on it, he either jumps off or rolls off. I am going to get him out running around the bedroom more often. Hopefully after he has lost some weight, he will start wheeling again.

  6. #6
    you can try swimming him in the bathtub for a few minutes. It will help him exercise, and he can't jump off. Be sure to get him nice and dry after. Can he ball all the way up? I've seen very large hedgies that ARE just that big, and others who really are fat. Cutting his food likely won't help him lose the weight, his body will start feeling like it's in starvation mode and put it all to fat. I would recommend moving to 2 TABLESPOONS of the low fat food, that way, his body is getting what it needs - and doesn't feel like it's starving. Swimming may help, assuming he's not just a big boy.
    Terrapin Hedgehogs in MD Serving all of the mid-Atlantic and beyond!|
    Hedgehog World

  7. #7
    Whoops-sorry to confuse Like Stasi said up to 2 tablespoons should be okay
    Ann
    Connecticut Hedgehogs
    A USDA licensed African pygmy hedgehog breeder located in CT. We serve the tri-state area of CT, New York State and NJ as well as Western MA (and anywhere else you happen to be) Visit our website for more information

  8. #8
    So, I am confused, are you suggesting that I almost double his food intake with the low cal food? the vet recommended cutting him down to 3 tsp. of food a day. i was thinking maybe giving him 2 tsp of low-cal food and 1 tsp of the mix or maybe even keeping him at 4 tsp of food- 3 tsp. low-cal and 1 tsp. of mix. From a caloric standpoint, if he eats larger quantities of low-cal food, he probably will not lose weight.

  9. #9
    i will definitely try getting him to swim for a few minutes. he really likes the water, so that's a great idea! thanks for the suggestion. unfortunately he cannot ball up all the way anymore

  10. #10
    So, I am confused, are you suggesting that I almost double his food intake with the low cal food? the vet recommended cutting him down to 3 tsp. of food a day. i was thinking maybe giving him 2 tsp of low-cal food and 1 tsp of the mix or maybe even keeping him at 4 tsp of food- 3 tsp. low-cal and 1 tsp. of mix. From a caloric standpoint, if he eats larger quantities of low-cal food, he probably will not lose weight.
    Nope-I was having a bad measurement day I thought you were feeding 4 tablespoons. If you are feeding 1 1/2 tablespoons/4 teaspoons now, I would not increase it. Try exercise and see if that helps.
    Ann
    Connecticut Hedgehogs
    A USDA licensed African pygmy hedgehog breeder located in CT. We serve the tri-state area of CT, New York State and NJ as well as Western MA (and anywhere else you happen to be) Visit our website for more information

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