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How To Wake A Hedgehog Up From Hibernation | Hedgehog Hibernation

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Many people search how to wake a hedgehog up from hibernation to no avail.

Usually, Hedgehog's wake up from hibernation on their own. But what happens if that natural instinct becomes damage or worse still doesn’t work at all?

How do you wake up a hedgehog from hibernation if they don’t want to wake up themselves?

When my hedgehog went into hibernation early I realised there was something wrong. I tried to research smart tups to learn how to wake a hedgehog up from hibernation but couldn’t find anything substantial.

In this short article, we’ll debunk the myths and set the record straight.

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Hedgehog Hibernation

Usually, most hedgehogs hibernate to get around the colder months. They do this when the food supply becomes a bit more restricted. However many hedgehogs will choose not to hibernate if they receive food every day.

Hibernation begins around October and November and will usually last for a few months (up until March /April)

  • Hedgehogs do not stay hibernated
  • They do come out of hibernation early and sometimes go back in depending on their environment
  • They still need food just in case they wake up early or are woken up prematurely
  • Also, leave some food and water out just in case
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Here’s what happens when your hedgehog hibernates:

  • Ideal nesting temperature for hibernation is around 5-C but it doesn't go below that.
  • Your hedgehogs will feel very cold
  • Your hedgehogs will stop moving
  • You hedgehogs will have long intermittent breaths
  • Your hedgehog's heart rate will drop
  • Your hedgehog's organs are displaced to assist in the process

How To Wake A Hedgehog Up From Hibernation

Learning how to wake a hedgehog up from hibernation is more of an art than a skill. Each hedgehog needs something a little different and not all will respond in the same way.

With that said here are 4 of the best ways to learn how to wake a hedgehog up from hibernation

These are the tips I used when my hedgehog went into hibernation.

If your Hedgehog needs a bit of help to wake up from hibernation then you can do this

1. Raise their body temperature

Normally, to wake up your hedgehog will metabolise the fat in its body to warm itself up. This helps to warm the blood and get the hedgehog out of hibernation. If this is not happening then bring the hedgehog inside or increase the temperature in the room. This will trick their body into thinking spring has come and its time to come out of hibernation

2. Damp cloth

Use a damp cloth to warm her quills and rub her body gentle. To wake up a hedgehog from hibernation you need to slowly warm their body up. Putting them in a warm bath may sound like a smart thing to do, but it will do more harm than good. This is because the sudden increase in temperate can shock their systems

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3. Outside Environment 

If your hedgehog is outside then encouraged them to come inside. There are lots of dangers outside and if you want them to successfully wake up from hibernation you’ll need to bring them inside where you can observe them more closely.

4. Have water ready

After being asleep for so long your hedgehog needs to drink plenty of fluids. You’ll see a noticeable difference in their weight as they have spent so many months without food. Make sure you have a healthy supply of hedgehog food and water ready and laid out for them as soon as they wake up.

Prevention is better than cure. In the future try to figure out why your hedgehog went into hedgehog in the first place. In the majority of cases, it’s going to do with the LED lighting timing setting around the winter months.

Make sure you adjust the timing to better reflect an environment that doesn’t promote hibernation. Example of this would be changing the LED lighting to match the outside natural sunlight that gets shorter.

​What happens if you wake a hibernating hedgehog?

Usually, a hedgehog will lose about one-third of their body weight while they are hibernating. As your hedgehog wakes up after such a long time hibernating they will be disorientated and very weak. They will also look lethargic and will be unsteady on their feet.

How do you wake a hedgehog up?

Gently, the best way to wake up your hedgehog is to pick it up firmly and hold it flat in your hands right out in front of you. This should be a deliberate and swift movement. Once your hedgehog start to awake it will uncurl and try to put its foot on the ground.

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Is my hedgehog dead or hibernating?

A hedgehog that is hibernating will usually be rolled up tight into a ball and you will not be able to see their face. The quick way to tell if your hedgehog is alive is to touch it gently and watch for a "ripple" effect. You may even hear a sleeping snore sound if you listen very carefully.

How do I know if my hedgehog is happy?

This will depend on your hedgehog and their character. Every hedgehog is different and they all have unique personalities to show their happiness. However, one telltale sign your hedgehog is relaxed and happy is whether or not their quills lay flat or stick up and whiffle.

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