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Old 10-24-2011, 10:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Picking up by the scruff

I have read about picking up hedgies by the scruff on this forum, but never completely understood where the "scruff" was exactly. I found this picture that cleared it up for me:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

Do many people try this method of handling?
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

I sort of grab pickle there when I massage her back but I don't pick her up. She really enjoys it
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:32 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

It's difficult with hedgehogs, because they can still ball up, which will be painful if you're holding them by the scruff. I personally wouldn't, because of that, and I'm not sure if it's safe for them either. Whenever I pickup Lillian, I scoop under her, and work my fingers between her legs, so that she can't run away, or jump off, but I am still supporting her from underneath
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Old 10-26-2011, 10:52 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

It is okay to scruff a hedgehog as long as you do it properly. I also support their bottom as I am scruffing so that all their weight is hanging. Some hedgehogs are really easy to scruff and others are just about impossible.
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Old 10-26-2011, 01:40 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

I've made it a point to try & scruff my hedgies occasionally during cuddle time. (I use my thumb & all my fingers, instead of just thumb & index). A gentle scruff for a few seconds, until they relax, then put them back down, pet & give a treat.

My whole reason in doing this is so that if there is ever a need in the future, both the hedgies & I will be used to it & comfortable with it. Well, as comfortable as possible - No one likes it. It's come in handy here lately, as Zoey's been sick & we've had to give her meds. I'm trying to get better at swaddling, because it looks a bit more comfortable.



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Old 10-26-2011, 02:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

i've had to scruff A LOT lately with my little man Jakob being sick and having to give him meds. he screams at the top of his lungs after about 5 seconds so i have to be quick, but he's such a trooper. tried to give his meds while he was in a ball, but problem is the little **** won't ever ball up he's so laid back so i have to scruff him to get any meds in him. tried swaddling and that too is a no go with mr i'm gonna wiggle to get away like someone trying to kill me

jeremiah on the other hand is another story lol. i can pet his back, but as soon as i touch over to the side one little bit his quills go up and he's in a ball so he is one that is almost impossible to scruff. i've been able to do it once and ever since then he's went back into his shy, VERY grumpy, won't let me even look at him without huffing let alone do anything else personality. i think it messed him up psychologically cuz he had no idea what was going on lol (didn't hurt him, but scared him enough that all the work i've put in with him the last few months to get him to open up went right out the window and we have to start all over). needless to say we're not going to be scruffing him again if we can avoid it at all costs. a positive is he takes meds really well when he's balled up. i just have to stick the syring on the side of his mouth and he generally opens his mouth right up to take them so i think i can avoid the scruffing with him anyway
so i guess point is sometimes scruffing is necessary, but not something that i would ever do on a daily basis just to pick them up like that. there are much better ways to pick up a hedgie and handle them.
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Old 10-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

Awhile ago I read that if you scruff a hedgehog wrong their eyes can pop out Does anyone know if this is true or not?
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Old 10-30-2011, 10:56 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

I think that would be a myth or very rough handling of the hedgehog. I wouldn't worry about that so much as choking a hedgehog. (trying not to be morbid, but I think I failed...)
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:27 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

I was going to ask the vet if she could show me how to scruff, but I already didn't like the way she was handling Petunia. Instead of easing her out of her hedge bag, she turned it upside-down and dumped her out! Then she was talking so loud and just constantly startling her. Made me so anxious, and I know Toonie was stressed out.
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Old 10-30-2011, 01:27 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Picking up by the scruff

I scruff when I'm trimming toenails if it's a hard one. The only difference is when I do it, it doesn't quite look like the picture. I use my whole thumb on one side and all four of my fingers on the other. I go to pet them and will run my hand on each side by the skirt line and then gently bring my thumb towards my other fingers (almost like a squeeze but not in anyway rough). My one hedgie is really big so it's hard to do this but it works well for my other smaller hedgie. I found that if I make sure my hand is maintaining a firm but gentle pressure right above their shoulders that they don't try to wiggle away. I have a funny picture in my Sandra thread, it looks very similar to how I'd scruff her the only difference is I was just holding her like that.
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