Although Hedgehogs are small animals, they need a proper diet to maintain a healthy diet. If your Hedgehogs suddenly stops eating their regular diet, then it can be of major concern for their owners. They often wonder, why is my Hedgehog not eating? Should I be worried? Let’s find out!
If your Hedgehog has stopped eating, then it clearly indicates that something is wrong with him. It could either be a mental trauma or a physical one. Some of the common reasons for the same include health issues, old age, extreme stress, dehydration, uncomfortable environment, or change in their diet.
Lack of nutrition can even lead to a deterioration in our Hedgehog’s health. You will also notice that older Hedgehogs tend to be less interested in their food than young Hedgehogs, which is quite natural. If you feel that your pet is not well, take them to a vet.
We have discussed below some of the common reasons due to which your Hedgehog might have stopped eating. We have also discussed the solutions for the same to help you act accordingly to protect your pet at the right time or before it is too late. So, without wasting any more time, let’s get started.
Why Has My Hedgehog Stopped Eating?
If your Hedgehog has suddenly stopped eating, then there are chances that something is wrong with him. The reason behind this can either be physical or mental.
Our pets need to eat to live a healthy and happy life. Therefore, we need to find out the possible reasons for such behavior in our hedgehogs and implement the necessary solutions ASAP.
Some of the common reasons due to while your Hedgehog might have stopped eating are listed below:
- He Might Be New To Your House: If you have got yourself a new Hedgehog, then he might take some time to adjust. Give them some time to adjust to the surroundings and the new people around them. Once your Hedgehog has adjusted, he will start to eat and drink normally.
- They Might Be Dehydrated: Dehydration is one of the significant reasons due to which your pet might not be eating his meals. Dehydration often leads to a loss of appetite. If your Hedgehog is dehydrated, he will barely eat anything. Therefore, you need to make sure your pet drinks enough water.
- They Might Be Under Stress: Most Hedgehogs stop eating when they are stressed. You Hedgehog might be stressed due to several reasons. Some of the common reasons for stress in Hedgehogs include sudden loud noises, a new environment, etc.
- Abrupt Change In Their Diet: Introduction of a new brand of kibble or a new treat can affect your Hedgehog’s diet. If you have recently introduced a particular food to your Hedgehog’s diet, then switch back to their regular diet. In most cases, this method works.
- Unstable Temperature: Hedgehogs need to be around 72°F-80°F (22°C- 27°C). This is the ideal temperature for a Hedgehog to live a happy life. If there are regular fluctuations in the temperature around your pet’s cage, then they will probably stop eating.
- They Underwent Surgery: Surgical procedures are quite stressful and painful for Hedgehogs. If your Hedgehog recently underwent surgery (even a minor one), then it will affect their food consumption. In such cases, the best option is to consult a vet.
- Other Medical Issues: If your pet is sick, then he will stop eating. In most cases, it could either be dental pain or some digestive issues. Such health problems can easily lead to a loss of appetite in Hedgehogs.
While we can cure some of these problems at home, others need immediate professional attention. If you are not sure about your Hedgehog’s health, I would advise you to visit a vet.
What Do You Do If Your Hedgehog Isn’t Eating?
You need to pay attention to your pet if he has stopped eating his food. If your Hedgehog has not been eating for a while now, you need to take certain steps to take care of the same.
Most Hedgehogs stop eating due to mental trauma or physical trauma. If your pet has gone through any of the two, you will see a significant change in his appetite.
Also, if your Hedgehog is suffering from a health problem, then they may stop eating or drink. You need to observe your Hedgehog understand their behavior.
If you are unable to find out the reason for the same, take your pet to a vet. You must also look out for other unusual symptoms and gather the necessary details to let the vet understand the situation quickly.
Hedgehog Not Eating And Drinking
If your Hedgehog has suddenly stopped eating and drinking, then it is a clear indication that your pet is suffering from some kind of medical condition. In such cases, you must take your Hedgehog to a vet.
You need to understand the fact that your pet’s health can decline pretty quickly. Therefore, you need to make decisions quickly. Some of the common health problems that can affect your Hedgehog’s drinking and eating habits include dental complications, gastrointestinal problems, and other digestive issues.
Hedgehog Not Eating Or Pooping
If your Hedgehog has not been eating for some time now, then it is quite obvious for them to stop poop. This even indicates that your pet’s gut movement might have slowed down.
A sudden change in your pet’s diet, improper food, or some digestive issues can trigger such behavior in your pet Hedgehog. Also, if you see a significant decline in your Hedgehog’s weight, then take them to a vet as soon as possible.
Hedgehog Not Eating And Lethargic
Hedgehogs often get bored easily. Also, boredom leads to excessive stress and depression in Hedgehogs. If your pet is stressed or depressed, he will probably stop eating or drinking.
Therefore, I would advise you to provide your pet with plenty of playtimes. Also, spend as much time you can with your Hedgehog. This will surely induce mental stimulation in them.
Hedgehog Not Eating Or Running
If your Hedgehog has not been eating for a while, then it will turn weak in no time. Also, the lack of nutrition in their body will restrict their movements.
Some other reasons for the same include dental complications, respiratory issues, or something even more serious. In such cases, immediately take your Hedgehog to a vet. Your vet will do the needful.
Hedgehog Not Eating After Surgergy
If your Hedgehog has recently been operated on, then there are chances that he might be under a lot of pain and stress. It does not matter if the surgery is a minor or major one. Your Hedgehog will be affected. You will even notice a visible change in their appetite and behavior.
Besides the mental trauma and pain, the antibiotics prescribed by the vet after the surgery could impact our Hedgehog’s diet. They may not feel hungry if their body lacks nutrition.
In such cases, it is important to provide your Hedgehog with proper care and attention. The syringe feeding works the best in these cases.
Hedgehog Not Eating After Hibernation
It is common for Hedgehogs to not eat immediately after waking from hibernation. In most cases, you will see that their appetite returns after a week or two.
If your pet is showing disinterest in his food even after two weeks, it might be due to an underlying health problem. You must try to find out the reason behind the same and take the necessary steps. If nothing works, visit a vet immediately.
Hedgehog Not Eating And Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome
If your Hedgehog has WHS (Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome), you will see a significant decline in their weight. This is because he must have stopped eating or moving much. You will even notice a decline in their energy.
In such cases, I would recommend you to syringe-feed your Hedgehog. This works in most of the cases. If not, take your pet to the vet as soon as possible.
Old Hedgehog Not Eating
If your Hedgehog is aged or quite old, they will spend more of their time sleeping or just hiding in the corner of their cage. You will see that they are lazier in comparison to the younger ones.
Also, aged Hedgehogs tend to each much little. You must try giving them more soft food than hard food. This will induce them to eat more.
Baby Hedgehog Not Eating
If the baby Hedgehog is with his mother, you need not be worried about their food and drinking habits. Once separated, you can induce them to eat more.
If you have any suspicions about your Hedgehog’s health, I advise you to take them to a vet as soon as possible.
How Do I Get My Hedgehog To Eat?
Sometimes it becomes to difficult for an owner to feed their pet. Listed below are some of the tips that will induce your Hedgehog to eat more.
- If you have introduced a new food in your Hedgehog’s diet, gradually switch back to their old food.
- Provide your Hedgehogs with high-quality food. Do not provide them with low-quality kibble.
- Never serve your pet with spoiled food. Make sure that you check the expiration date on the packet of the kibble before serving it to your pet.
- Your Hedgehog might get bored by eating the same food for a long time. You can try to bring a variation to their diet.
- Make sure that the food you serve your Hedgehog is of the right temperate.
- Make a feeding schedule for your pet. Try to serve your Hedgehogs their meal at the same time every day.
- Encourage your Hedgehogs to stay more active. Provide them with plenty of toys in their cage.
- Do not feed them an excess of treats. Stick to the limit.
- Lastly, do not punish your Hedgehog for not eating. You need to be patient and supportive to gain the trust of your pet.
How Long Can A Hedgehog Go Without Eating?
Hedgehogs can go much longer without eating compared to other small pets. In a controlled environment, they are even known to live about 10 weeks without eating. However, do not try the same with your pet Hedgehog.
It is important to provide our pets with a healthy diet to keep them healthy. Even if your Hedgehog can live with food for long, you will see a significant decline in their health once they are deprived of food.
Also, you will see that your Hedgehog starts to become lean and weak if he has not eaten anything for a while. You should never put your pet’s life at risk. If you have any doubts about your Hedgehog’s health, then I recommend you to take them to a vet.
How To Force Feed A Hedgehog? (Syringe-Feeding A Hedgehog)
If your pet is not willing to eat even after several attempts, then you have no other option left than to syringe feed them. Syringe-feeding can help your Hedgehog to recover.
Although no Hedgehog owner would like to experience this, it is important to be prepared for the same. These steps will help you syringe feed your Hedgehog effortlessly:
- The first step is to get an appropriate-sized syringe for your pet. I use a curved dental syringe for my Hedgehog. This syringe easy and convenient to use.
- You can feed your Hedgehog with the food the vet suggests you. You can even feed them with grounded pellets with some water.
- Fill the syringe with the blended food, and then bring the tip of the syringe close to your pet’s mouth. Slip the tip of the syringe in your Hedgehog’s mouth and slowly press the plunger. Do not hurry. Your Hedgehog will need some time to swallow the food.
- After feeding a few times, keenly observe your Hedgehog. If your pet still shows no interest in his food, encourage them to play and move around. Physical activity will promote their movement.
If you are not sure about syringe-feeding or if syringe-feeding does not work with your Hedgehog, then the best option would be to take your pet to a vet.