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Thread: Is my hedgehog depressed/lonely? What should I do?

  1. #1
    Member Teri Lee's Avatar
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    Is my hedgehog depressed/lonely? What should I do?

    Hello!

    I have a question regarding the state of my 3 year old female hedgehog Teela. She has been housed with her mother ever since she was born and they got along perfectly with one another through their years together. Her mother recently passed away and I believe it has upset her as much as it has with me. She has been by herself now for about three weeks and I have already noticed a change in her. She doesn't eat too much (though she does eat a bit), hardly runs on the wheel (or perhaps she does a bit when I'm in a deep sleep), and would prefer to sleep over anything else. She has always been a calm and laid back hedgehog but I have definitely noticed a difference in her daily routine. What concerns me the most is that I have noticed she feels thinner than usual. She was always a porker as a baby and now when I pick her up she feels kind of mushy like the fat on her is thinning out.

    I don't want her to continue on like this that's why I need some advice. What should I do to prevent her from getting worse? I only saw a difference in her after her mother passed. Should I add more protein to her diet like giving her more treats (healthy treats)? Should I change up her diet to make it more interesting for her? I hold her everyday to give her that affection she is probably craving but I know it is different in comparison to her mother being there with her. I know hedgehogs are solitary animals but she has been with her mother since birth so her situation is a little different. She seems to be the type that is dependent on others.

    Would getting another hedgehog be an option? At the moment I wouldn't really want to get another, considering the death of her mother wasn't even a month ago and I'd feel like I'm just replacing her. Possibly in the months to come or even in a years time I'd think about it. I know that Teela would be fine with another hedgehog because of her nature being so laid back and calm, but would it just stress her out even more having a new hedgehog she doesn't know in her cage? The cage is very large that they would have enough space for themselves. If I were to buy another hedgehog I would buy one that is a couple months ago so that she could get used to Teela as well as myself. Is that a good idea though, housing a baby with an older (3 years old) hedgehog?

    Sorry about all the questions I just really want some answers as to what I should do for her.

    Thank you so much and please reply back soon.

    Teri

  2. #2
    She may benefit from more attention from you or from another hedgehog. It would not be like her mom though so it is hard to say. Most female hedgehogs can get along, but not all. Age doesn't have as much to do with it as personality does. If you have a breeder or rescue near you, you could ask if you could bring her along. No guarantee that they would act the same there as in their own cage though.

    She may get used to being alone and enjoy it though-most hedgehogs do not miss the company and love having their own cage, wheel, etc. You could always give it some more time and see how she does. 3 weeks is not a very long time. Personally I would say wait until you are ready for another hedgehog yourself
    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
    Member Teri Lee's Avatar
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    Thank you for your reply. Teela and I have a very close relationship, she hardly puffs up at me at all. I bottle fed her when she was baby, because her mother was not well at the time to do it herself. I suppose she recognizes me as her second mom.
    I'll wait and see how she is doing in the months/year to come before I even starting to look for a friend for her. I'm 90% sure she would be okay with another hedgehog because of her nature. But as you said I want to make sure that I am ready as well before bring a new hedgie into my home.

    Thanks again,
    Teri

  4. #4
    Junior Member sauvemir's Avatar
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    I'm sorry to hear this, my hedgie as well craves attention (when not pregnant!! Lol). If I have to have a sitter for even a couple of days she gets all moody and takes a couple days to be happy with me again after I get back. I would say let your hedgie grieve with you and be there for her since she finds comfort in you, even if you can't be her mama, you are someone she trusts. Give her and yourself the time, if you're not ready she most likely isn't either. Best of luck.

    P.S. with the treats I would definitely offer her some lovely healthy treats and hopes she enjoys them.

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