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Old 08-05-2011, 11:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Doing our Research!

Hello everyone. I'm new to the forum so thought I post and say hello.

So why am I here in the short version. My daughter who is 16yrs old has come to us and asked about a hedgie. So I decided we better do some research and reading to learn more about them before deciding. Our search turned up this nice forum which I must say has a TON of information.

A little background, growing up I had the pleasure of 2 ferrets owning me. They were by far my greatest pet and I remember my parents saying no way to them at first. Took lots of convincing on my part but they eventually gave in.

So I would really like to allow my daughter the opportunity to have and be owned by her hedgie . But not without putting in the time to learn and understand the responsibility that comes with one.

I've read up on the housing, diet, medical issues and even the heat lamp thread which we will acquire. But my main concern right now is our Veterinarian. She doesn't work with hedgehogs. The one she recommend is about an hour away (we live out in the country). I will continue to research more and see if we are able to find one closer. How much of a factor could this be for us? We are willing to make the drive if need be.

Thank you for any suggestion..
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:30 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doing our Research!

Kudos to you for being an involved parent many times a parent caves to their child's whim and doesn't really learn about a hedgehog and the responsibility a hedgehog will need so its very refreshing to see your post.

First and foremost a hedgehog is a very expensive start-up animal as you have probably found to properly housed, feed, provide proper exercise, and heating/lighting.

Since you've said you've read through a lot here on the forums I will just assist with the main question.

An hour drive for a vet some would consider a luxury, I know of members here who travel much farther for their hedgehogs. It is important to ensure you have a experience hedgehog vet so once/if you get a hedgehog schedule a wellness check-up for their health and this will also give you a size up of your vets knowledge and ability with a hedgehog.

The only concern is if your hedgehog will handle travel well, some do and some do not, otherwise it should be fine as you've probably read hedgehogs can come down with some serious illness at times.

Welcome to the community I hope it helps you better understand our quilled little friends
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doing our Research!

Welcome to the forums! That's great that you're so willing to let her have the experience of owning an animal and taking care of it. And even better that you're doing research first!

As TWCOGAR said, I would definitely check out the vet that was recommended to you. Call them and ask how many hedgehogs they've seen. If there's several vets, see if all of them have experience or if you'll need to request to see one specific vet when you make appointments. You'll want to take your new hedgehog in for a wellness check, to introduce her to the vet, and so you can see how the vet works with her. An hour really isn't too bad for distance, I go about 40-45 minutes away for my vet and I know many people on here travel somewhere between 1-2 hours, and sometimes even more.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doing our Research!

Yup...we will be doing a 1.5 hours road-trip with Sumo tomorrow to see his vet. In case of an emergency, we can see the local guy who willingly seeks advice from exotic vets, but we have made this road trip for one reason or another every three months since time began.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doing our Research!

Welcome to the forum! If you give us your location another member may know of a good vet around that area.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Have you checked out the vet list here on hhc? It has a lot of vets listed

https://hedgehogcentral.com/vets.shtml

enjoy!
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you for the responses. I will take your suggestions and call the recommend vet this afternoon. We are located outside Binghamton, NY 13905

We found that after visiting our local pet stores, none of them carry hedgies. They are special orders only. We have no intentions of going this route and are trying to locate the nearest reputable breeder so that hopefully we may plan a family visit to better understand the hedgehog and get a up close and personal experience with some hedgies. After all none of us has even met a hedgehog yet or held one. But looking at pictures our favorite is the Algerian Black snowflake with a black mask.

Myself and my wife must admit after reading and researching now for almost a week we find ourselves excited about the idea of having a hedgehog but have to restrain from letting our daughter know until further research is done. My wife already wanted to order the Carolina Storm Wheel to get it heading this way . Had to reign her in..

So I feel uncomfortable asking this next question but have learned in the past that there is always negative factors to equal positive factors. Can anyone tell us some negative points about owning a hedgehog? Other then price of ownership including housing, light, and heat setup which isn't a concern are there any major concerns? Are home is quiet, no little kids youngest being 16. One very small dog.

So far we have not found anything in our research that would be a concern for our family owning a hedgehog.

As always thank you for any comments. Off to read more in the forum.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doing our Research!

Like you said, the cost is usually the biggest issue. Babies often have strong-smelling poop and pee, which can bug people, especially if they have the hedgehog caged in their room. The smell usually gets better as they get older though.

They also go through a period of quilling, which is painful for them and makes them quite grumpy most of the time. Sometimes they can stay grumpy after the quilling and never warm back up to people. Some hedgehogs don't like to cuddle and would rather be left alone completely or be allowed to run around and explore rather than in someone's arms. For the ones that would rather be left alone, you can still get them out, they'll just be cranky about it.

Cost, smell, and possible behavior are really the only negatives I can think of...Maybe someone else will mention something I missed.
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:59 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Doing our Research!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dadofthree
Thank you for the responses. I will take your suggestions and call the recommend vet this afternoon. We are located outside Binghamton, NY 13905

We found that after visiting our local pet stores, none of them carry hedgies. They are special orders only. We have no intentions of going this route and are trying to locate the nearest reputable breeder so that hopefully we may plan a family visit to better understand the hedgehog and get a up close and personal experience with some hedgies. After all none of us has even met a hedgehog yet or held one. But looking at pictures our favorite is the Algerian Black snowflake with a black mask.

Myself and my wife must admit after reading and researching now for almost a week we find ourselves excited about the idea of having a hedgehog but have to restrain from letting our daughter know until further research is done. My wife already wanted to order the Carolina Storm Wheel to get it heading this way . Had to reign her in..

So I feel uncomfortable asking this next question but have learned in the past that there is always negative factors to equal positive factors. Can anyone tell us some negative points about owning a hedgehog? Other then price of ownership including housing, light, and heat setup which isn't a concern are there any major concerns? Are home is quiet, no little kids youngest being 16. One very small dog.

So far we have not found anything in our research that would be a concern for our family owning a hedgehog.

As always thank you for any comments. Off to read more in the forum.
Um... lets see.... well! There is a chance of being poked but only if you irritate them and pet them in the wrong direction I assume you know that the wheel has to be cleaned every other day + foot baths to get off poopy feet from running on the wheel. If you dont properly clean the cage it could smell... >.< Other than that, nothing major....seems like you got the vet covered and the housing covered The pros outweigh the cons by 1000% They really are amazing creatures They are so sweet (if you tame them correctly) and they grow attached to you You will enjoy your future quilled friend Lilysmommy pretty much covered it all ^.^
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Old 08-05-2011, 01:06 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I will put a small list:

1) Financial strain - Hedgehogs can cost depending on vets and they can easily cause a large vet bill

2) Many health issues they can develop are heart wrenching to deal with especially once your little quilled one has forever burrowed a place in your heart

3) You never know the personality of a hedgehog you may find a breeder and get the most friendly explorative type of hedgehog at the breeders and once you get home you can expect they will likely be very timid, puffy, and less of what you saw at the breeders. They are smelling new things and a new environment and it terrifies them at first but it passes with time and handling.

4) Sometimes you may get a biter, usually there is a direct reason such as hunger, scent, or something to why they bite, but if its immediate and aggressive its possible you have a biter and you have to adapt for handling of such a hedgie

5) Quilling can change a hedgehogs personality drastically you may fall in love with a very friendly cuddle monster who then quills and wants less or no human interaction in the ideals of cuddling.

6) Each hedgehog is different and none is the same they all have their own personality (This is a pro IMO, but can be a CON)

Those are a few I can think of off the top of my head
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