Hibernation is when an animal turns its biological processes slow to conserve energy. Hedgehogs are one of those mammals which hibernate all winter long. On the contrary, pet hedgehogs do not have sufficient fat reserves, so hibernating for them is dangerous. But how do you move a hibernating hedgehog?
You can move a hibernating hedgehog by placing a cloth over it and holding it gently.
It is important to remember that you should not make any sudden movements. Otherwise, you risk waking the hedgehog. If the hedgehog is in a dangerous spot, you must move it somewhere comfortable, a place that has lots of leaves and provides insulation.
However, it would help not move the hedgehog too far away from its hibernation place.
Is it Safe to Move a Hibernating Hedgehog?
Coming across a hibernating hedgehog will have you stepping on eggshells because you do not want to disturb it. However, at times you may find a hibernating hedgehog in a dangerous situation. Therefore, it becomes essential that you relocate the hedgehog.
If you are worried about moving the hedgehog, it is completely safe to do so as long as you do it carefully. Any sudden movements or jerks will startle the hedgehog, and it is not healthy to wake from hibernation this way. Therefore, you must remain alert, slow, and cautious as you move the hedgehog.
It will help if you use a thick towel to hold the hedgehog, so the quills do not hurt you. In addition, you should not move the hedgehog too far away from its original location. When a hedgehog wakes from hibernation, it immediately looks for food. Hence, waking in a new place can confuse the hedgehog as they remember their territory.
How to Know If a Hedgehog is Hibernating and Not Dead
For someone that comes across a hibernating hedgehog, it can be easy to think it is dead. A hibernating hedgehog has slow breathing, is curled into a ball, does not move, and is unresponsive. There are a few signs you can look out for to know that a hedgehog is not dead.
You will not find hedgehogs dead in a curled-up position. So, if you come across a hedgehog curled in a ball that does not move, it is probably hibernating. You can further check that the hedgehog is hibernating by touching the spines.
As you touch the spines of a hibernating hedgehog, it will let out a shudder or will make a snoring sound. In addition, a hibernating hedgehog will feel cold.
What Are the Symptoms of a Hedgehog Hibernating?
It is essential to keep an eye on your hedgehog and monitor it for any hibernation symptoms. You can help your hedgehog get out of hibernation mode if you detect the symptoms early.
One of the first signs of a hibernating hedgehog is that it will feel cool to touch. On the contrary, when you touch your hedgehog normally, it will not be as cool but will be warm.
In addition, your hedgehog will also become lazy. Usually, hedgehogs are active animals, but they become slow when they begin to enter their hibernation mode. If you have bonded well with your hedgehog, you will notice the sudden shift in its behaviour more easily.
If there is one thing hedgehogs love, it is to eat. However, one of the symptoms of hibernation is your hedgehog having a loss of appetite. Your hedgehog will eat less and then gradually refuse to eat completely.
Hedgehogs wanting to hibernate will begin to sway and wobble. This walk can alarm owners, but it can be something serious if funny walking is the only symptom you see. Therefore, it is important to spend time with your hedgehog, learn its habits, so you notice any changes straight away.
Hedgehogs may shiver and not want to uncurl, which indicates they are getting ready to hibernate.
How Do I Get My Hedgehog Out of Hibernation?
As aforementioned, a pet hedgehog should not be hibernating as it does not have enough fat reserves to survive. Therefore, any attempts of your hedgehog hibernating should immediately be thwarted. It is important to keep the room warm and not let the temperature go down as your hedgehog will attempt to hibernate.
If you ever find your hedgehog in hibernation, it is important to take immediate action. Firstly, you must focus on raising your hedgehog’s body temperature. You can do so by providing your hedgehog with some body heat.
It is also essential to raise the temperature gradually and not all at once. Some skin-to-skin contact with your hedgehog will help raise its temperature levels.
In addition, you can also keep your hedgehog in towels, clothes, and blankets to keep it warm. Other methods include placing a warm heating pad under the cage so it becomes warm and slowly raises the room’s temperature.
However, you must first use the simpler methods to raise the temperature slowly, and doing it too fast can harm your hedgehog.
You may come across a hibernating hedgehog in a dangerous position and wonder how to move it. By using a thick towel or cloth and holding the hedgehog gently, you can relocate it. Moving a hibernating hedgehog is not dangerous as some people would like to believe.
As long as you are gentle and do not make any sudden movements, you will be fine. You can tell that a hedgehog is hibernating and not dead as it will be curled and let out a shudder or snore as you touch its spines.
You can tell that your pet hedgehog is hibernating if it becomes cold to touch, lazy, and displays a lack of appetite. You can wake your hedgehog from hibernation by increasing its body temperature through skin-to-skin contact and putting it in a warm cloth and blanket.