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Hedgehog!

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  • Hedgehog!

    So, I suddenly became the owner of a rescued hedgehog. She's my first hedgehog, although I've interacted with them before and have owned other small pets. I do have some questions, in case anyone has owned these guys before. My little girl is 2 years old and blind, and she's awesome.

    1) Do I, or do I not, bathe her in winter? I've heard mixed things. I have damp ragged her feet and tail. I don't want her to freeze!

    2) Foodwise- another forum recommended that I purchase the food from one of the many breeders on that board. They mix the food themselves. But, none of them will say what's in the food, and that worries me about quality control. Do they know enough about nutrition to do a good job, or am I paying more and paying shipping for something crappy? Right now, as recommended by a book, I've got her on good, low fat cat food (blue buffalo weight control). There are commercial hedgehog foods available... but I worry about quality there as well. She also gets a meal worm or two a day, and the offer of some fruits or veggies.

    3) She'll sleep a few hours, be very active, then sleep more. I know most hedgies sleep longer stretches and are active overnight. I'm wondering if her lack of vision could make her schedule less 'normal'?

    4) How the heck do I trim her nails?! They're looking good now, but I want to start working.

    5) Should I worry about brushing teeth or ear cleaning?

    6) Any special steps I should take to care for a blind hedgie?

    I've owned her four days now, and she crawls right in my hand if I place it next to her. She's a little put off by DS's excited squeal, but she's getting used to it and he's learning to whisper to her. Her bigger cage arrives today. She's great, and I want to do right by her, but I'm having trouble finding knowledgeable people. The hedgie forum I mentioned has an average of 5 posts a month.

  • #2
    I don't know anything about them, but they are so cute. Try searching UK pet forums. Can you post a picture of the little prickly beast?
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

    Comment


    • #3
      First off - why would she freeze?? You're not keeping her outside, are you?? The Hedgehogs that are bred/sold these days as pets - just like rabbits - shouldn't be kept outdoors as livestock/curiousities. They should be living indoors WITH YOU.

      Second - ASAP find a vet that treats exotic animals & pick their brains as to the best way to keep your new pet. They'll also be your best bet as to which commercial food is the healthiest.

      While you say you've "interacted with them before", that's not the same as knowledge, & you seem woefully uneducated re: the care required. In addition to finding a good vet, I'd be visiting the library, bookstore, &/or the internet for more info than just some vague "hedgehog forum" that no one visits. Frankly, I'm surprised that any "rescue" would have allowed you to adopt with so little experience or knowledge about the animal's care - not to mention a "special needs" animal that's blind. Didn't the rescue give you ANY care info??

      I'm sorry if I sound snarky, but posts like this that read "I just adopted a "goat, sheep, hyena, etc., etc." - now answer my 30 questions & tell me how to take care of it", just rub me the wrong way. You didn't just get a used car, it's an animal. Unless an animal was unexpectedly dumped on you, the time to do care research was BEFORE the adoption.

      Comment


      • #4
        I wanted one, but after doing some research decided that my house is kept too cold for one to be comfortable. I found a lot of useful info here:

        http://hedgehogcentral.com/care.shtml
        You are what you dare.

        Comment


        • #5
          It is apparent from the OP's original post that she didn't herself adopt it. She "suddenly became the owner of" one. Sounds to me like someone gave it to her out of nowhere for some unknown reason. Maybe the original owner had to move or got evicted or something. The OP is here searching for information, which GotGait helpfully provided.
          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
            First off - why would she freeze?? You're not keeping her outside, are you?? She's inside. But our house is kept at 68. She, like most other hedgies, like it around 72 to 78. She's happy with a heating lamp and a snuggly pile of fleece in her hut.

            Second - ASAP find a vet that treats exotic animals & pick their brains as to the best way to keep your new pet. They'll also be your best bet as to which commercial food is the healthiest. I'm working on the vet angle. I got her late Friday, and haven't been able to speak to a vet. I also don't think vets are always the end all be all for nutrition, since many recommend science diet for dogs and cats.

            While you say you've "interacted with them before", that's not the same as knowledge, & you seem woefully uneducated re: the care required. In addition to finding a good vet, I'd be visiting the library, bookstore, &/or the internet for more info than just some vague "hedgehog forum" that no one visits. Frankly, I'm surprised that any "rescue" would have allowed you to adopt with so little experience or knowledge about the animal's care - not to mention a "special needs" animal that's blind. Didn't the rescue give you ANY care info?? I got her off freecycle. She was posted as a 'first come first get her'. Since we're happy to spend money on pets as needed and are willing to put a lot of care into all pets, big and small, we took her. Her previous owners were careless and she lost her eyes. Hence, rescue. The others interested in her... she's better with me, lack of knowledge and all. The only care instructions I was given was to keep her water clean and that she'd use a litter box. I have read two books, have on one reserve at the library, and like I mentioned, am looking for a vet. But I find other owners a great resource. COTH is awesome for horse owners to help one another. I'd love a knowledge base like that, since the books I've read have had short, paragraph long segments on the importance of nail clipping and feeding well, but not how to go about it.

            I'm sorry if I sound snarky, but posts like this that read "I just adopted a "goat, sheep, hyena, etc., etc." - now answer my 30 questions & tell me how to take care of it", just rub me the wrong way. You didn't just get a used car, it's an animal. Unless an animal was unexpectedly dumped on you, the time to do care research was BEFORE the adoption. I know. I took her because I've worked with a number of exotics and know I will give her proper care. She's eating well, playign well, and is warm and safe in a good sized cage. I've learned a lot, but want to learn more. I'm in rescue, and don't do impulse pets usually (injured animal by the side of the road excepted). But I had a really bad feeling when I saw her posted 'first come first serve' and jumped on it. We've spent well over 150 bucks situating her in the first four days, and expect to spend more. But since working with some at the vet is the limit of my experience, I wanted to talk to people who can say more than "buy Betty Breeder's food! She's never studied nutrition, but I think it's good!"
            See my replies in bold. I've been in rescue. I get the frustration. But I've also done enough in rescue to know that snark only turns people off. I've talked sweetly to people who used puppies as fish bait, and got the dogs to a safe spot, where snark in the past didn't work. I'm doing the best I can in a sudden tight spot.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Oh, and the freeze from the bath... the forum and care sites I found said "bathe weekly!" Then a newbie owner panics bc the hedgie shivers post bath, and they're lectured that they shouldn't bath in the winter unless you crank the heat to nearly 80. But if that same owner says the hedgie is dirty, they're told to bath. Our heat doesn't reach 80. She shivered in the car ride home with the heat blasting. She's cold at about 68 and balls for warmth.

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Originally posted by GotGait View Post
                I wanted one, but after doing some research decided that my house is kept too cold for one to be comfortable. I found a lot of useful info here:

                http://hedgehogcentral.com/care.shtml
                Thanks! Just so you know, the books and sites I have found have said that heating lamps work well. Our apartment is pretty draft free (and this will be a feature we look for in all future homes for her sake) and we've got a heat lamp on her. Since I got the heat lamp on her she's been pretty happy.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SarEQ View Post
                  See my replies in bold. I've been in rescue. I get the frustration. But I've also done enough in rescue to know that snark only turns people off. I've talked sweetly to people who used puppies as fish bait, and got the dogs to a safe spot, where snark in the past didn't work. I'm doing the best I can in a sudden tight spot.
                  And your replies provide a WEALTH of information that your original post did not. Your original post sounded like someone who just adopted a "rescue" hedgehog without a clue. If you'd posted more info at the outset instead of sounding like a clueless newbee, I wouldn't have posted what I did.

                  But I'll let my first post stand, because I still think it's a proper response to your initial post, & maybe more newbees will do more research before they adopt. (Not likely, but one can always hope.)

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Bacardi1 View Post
                    And your replies provide a WEALTH of information that your original post did not. Your original post sounded like someone who just adopted a "rescue" hedgehog without a clue. If you'd posted more info at the outset instead of sounding like a clueless newbee, I wouldn't have posted what I did.

                    But I'll let my first post stand, because I still think it's a proper response to your initial post, & maybe more newbees will do more research before they adopt. (Not likely, but one can always hope.)
                    And I'll let my response stand as well. Yup, I didn't add a lot of info in my first post. I maybe should have added more, but I'm in the middle of potty training my toddler, taking care of Ms Hedgie, and trying to convince my black lab that the one pound hedge hog won't eat her. I still think that despite the frustration and stupidity of the people you meet while doing rescue, being nice initially gets you farther than snarkiness. I've missed chances to help animals because I was harsh with the owners. Those animals ended up in high kill shelters and were put down before I could get them out, because my 'training advice' was snarky. Yup, it was the owner's choice, but if I'd been nice at first, who knows? Those dogs might be alive. Now, a bit of snark doesn't get me all butt-hurt. But it will make a lot of people stop listening to you. You had good advice, based on what you knew, but more people listen if you don't go about it harshly. No matter how much you want to smack the idiot you're speaking to (not calling you an idiot... I'm sure we've had a lot of similar conversations with a lot of similar idiots. I took this girl because I figured the clueless owner desperate to learn was better than the common idiot who wouldn't).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      But YOUR original post sounded like an amateur idiot. Thus I responded to it as such. Especially when it was couched via someone who had adopted an animal that they had no experience with.

                      Want to be responded to like the experienced person you are? (Toddler & other problems, notwithstanding, which have NOTHING to do with the hedgehog.) Then post like one to begin with.

                      Giving folks who adopt animals who don't know a thing about them the warm fuzzies just keeps them adopting more animals they don't know a thing about.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Even if she sounded like an amateur idiot, she sounded like an amateur idiot who knew to ask for help... which, honestly, takes her out of the idiot catagory, IMO. To me she sounded like a person who had some knowledge of the animal's needs, was serious about taking the best possible care of her new pet and was seeking information in as many places as possible... that is a good thing. Not a bad thing. Treating her like she's a horrible person for not knowing every little thing about how to care for an exotic pet before she got it makes you look like an ass, Bacardi1. She had a few specific questions... not a general "what the heck does it eat and how do I house it now that I have it" kinds of questions.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Mistyblue is a rehabber (I think). Try PMing her and maybe she will share her info here for general education.
                          On keeping warm: I wrapped the exterior of my cat bed with heavy clear painter's drop cloth, and made a plastic flap over the entrance with an upside down baggie. This is placed next to the radiator for my heat loving cat.
                          Just sticking my hand in there it's toasty hot.
                          Of course since she is not in a cage she can leave it if it gets too hot.

                          ....just thought about this, since it's a hedge hog, maybe plastic is a bad idea, he might ingest it. Okay, forget that suggestion.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I've got nothing for you because I've only pet sat for hedgehogs or worked with them at the clinic (not very many though). So...i'll just wish you luck!

                            They're awfully cute!
                            A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

                            Might be a reason, never an excuse...

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