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Old 02-06-2012, 02:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

I found out today that I got accepted to go with my university to India for 3.5 weeks between May and June of this year. My sister is going to be looking after Annabelle for me and I am in the process of planning everything so my sister will have everything she needs to take care of my baby.

I am writing a "book" about caring for her. I am starting with a calendar of what has to be done every day/week/month, etc. Next I am going to add a "how-to" section (give a bath, clean her cage, etc). Then I am going to add section about what to do if (power goes out, she stops eating, anything).

Is there anything I am forgetting? I am probably going to take Annabelle to the vet closer to the date I leave for a general check up.

My sister is 18 so will be old enough to care for Annabelle, I just want to make sure she has everything she needs.
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Old 02-06-2012, 03:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

Maybe a do not be concerned if... section? I know when my boy annoits he pauses arches his entire body, turns around and falls over licking and foaming. This has caused my roommates and boyfriend to call me and run panicking through the house.
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

very good point!
Thanks so much
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Old 02-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

Quote:
Originally Posted by chelsea.kang
Maybe a do not be concerned if... section? I know when my boy annoits he pauses arches his entire body, turns around and falls over licking and foaming. This has caused my roommates and boyfriend to call me and run panicking through the house.

Hahahahahahhaha!! I had to laugh at this because the exact same thing happens with me and my hedgie (and roommates and boyfriend).
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Old 02-06-2012, 09:36 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

Your sections all sound great. I would also suggest having her join the forums, if she's interested, so she has someplace to go for further advice if you happen to be unavailable, or just if she has minor questions about behavior or hedgehogs that she doesn't want to bug you about.
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Old 02-06-2012, 10:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

Thanks, Kelsey! My plan was to direct her here if she did have any minor questions or if I will not have access to the internet (which I am not sure what the situation will be like).

I appreciate everyone's ideas and suggestions and thank you all in advance for answering my sister's questions!

Katie
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

Ok, here is my mini care book for my sister, do you guys mind reading it and giving me feedback? It would be much appreciated. In most cases I am directing her to come here if she has questions or concerns. I will be in India from late May to late June, so it will be summer time here.
Here it is! (There are some pics in there too, I am just not including them in here):


Chapter 1- Schedule
Every day:
• give 1.5 tablespoons of dry food
• give a new bowl of water
• give ~5 mealworms
• change the puppy pad under the wheel
• spot clean her wheel
• check her urine and fecal output – see section “poop”
• weigh her at the same time each day and keep track of her weight, if it fluctuates significantly let me know and post on Hedgehog central for help
• cuddle at least half an hour per day
• email me with an update EVERY DAY please, even if it’s just “poop is normal, she’s eating well and being cute, she weighs x grams”
• feed the fish (nothing to do with hedgies but please do anyway)

Once every two weeks:
• wash liners
• clean cage
• fully clean wheel

As needed:
• give Annabelle a bath (if shy is dirty or skin gets too dry)
• clip her nails- if they get too long
• give a footbath



Chapter 2- Terms and How-To’s
Anointing:
• when Annabelle eats (or sometimes smells) something yummy and mixes it up in her mouth and then puts the spitty-foody stuff on her quills
• no one knows why hedgehogs do this but it doesn’t harm her/you, if she gets dirty them give her a bath
• This looks really funny/weird/scary when she’s doing it but it’s not rabies, it’s harmless hedgie saliva

Bathing Annabelle:
• fill up the sink/bath tub with about 1.5/2 inches of lukewarm water
• water should be just warm to the touch, test it on the inside of your wrist, too warm or too cold water is not good for them
• take the cheesecloth in the storage part of her cage and fill it with oatmeal. Put this in the water and slosh it around so the water is nice and oatmeal-ey
• when the water is soupy with oatmeal and the right temperature, but the Ariel facecloth down so she can walk around without slipping
• take the Aveeno body wash and put one thin string down her body
• take the orange toothbrush and brush the body wash into her quills
• rinse her off so there are no traces of soap left on her body
• wrap her up in a towel and snuggle so she is warm and clean and happy
• drizzle some flax oil or olive oil down her back and work it into her skin (if she has dry skin)
• be careful not to get any water or soap in her nose, eyes or ears, this can cause infections



Biting:
• she does nip sometimes, don’t freak out if she does this
• most of the time it’s because you taste good
• wash your hands before you handle her with unscented soap
• most of the time she licks before she bites, if she licks then MOVE your hand
• just keep your fingers away from her chompers

Cleaning cage (pic on page 70 if examples thread):
• take out Annabelle and out her somewhere safe- see “outside of cage”
• take everything out of the cage, use the ½ vinegar, ½ water solution in the red spray bottle and wipe down everything
• put liners and fleece stuff in the washer, use the unscented laundry soap
• when done in the washer, put them in the drier
• put the liners back in first, then fleece pieces and accessories

Eating habits:
• Annabelle eats 1.5-2 spoonfuls of kibble per day
• If she doesn’t eat one night, monitor her and check everything the next night, also give her treats and see if she will eat them
o If she continues to stop eating go on Hedgehog Central and ask a question, this could be due to stress or anything else, they can help you figure out why and what to do about it
• Currently she eats a blend of Innova (pink bag) and Authority (Hairball and weight control)


Foot Baths:
• Fill up the sink/tub with about an inch of lukewarm water and let Annabelle walk around to loosed up any poops on her feet
• Use the green toothbrush downstairs in the basement sink to loosen any poops stuck on her feet
• Give them as needed

Going outside:
• You should have no reason to take Annabelle outside, but it will be May and June when I am gone so if you have to/really really want to you can just make sure:
o She is in her playpen the whole time and you use the pegs to put them into the ground
o You are RIGHT BESIDE the playpen the whole time
o It is VERY WARM outside, should be over 25*C, but not too hot either
o The grass has not been treated with and fertilizers /pesticides/other dangerous or harmful substances
o Don’t keep her out for too long

Handling my baby:
• Be careful, don’t let her fall because they can break a leg
• If she’s in her cage she’s probably in the purple tubes, because she likes to sleep there
o To get her out talk to her so she knows you’re there
o Scrunch up the tube and gently nudge her out, push gently from her bum and she will walk out
• Make sure you’re holding her close and let her sleep on you in a blanket/pocket/shirt/sweater
• Give her lots of love
• She doesn’t mind being taken out during the day, just try not to disturb her too much (listen to computer with headphones, try not to move around a lot)
• She LOVES sleeping in the pocket of my housecoat

Heating the cage and temperatures:
• Look at the thermometer (digital) often, it should be at least 75* at all times)
• Look at the non-digital thermometers on levels 2 and three, they should be at least 75*, it’s ok if they’re a little lower but try to get it up
• Don’t open the windows to my room, even a warm breeze can give her a chill
• If the cage temperature is down for any reason (power outage, etc) then follow these steps
• If you need to increase temperature by 1-2 degrees then cover the outside with a blanket to keep heat in
• If you need to increase by more turn the space heater on it my room
• Make sure the door is always closed to keep heat in
• You should be ok with temperature because it will be summer time, also make sure it doesn’t get too hot in her cage (over 80*)

Hibernation:
• If Annabelle gets too cold she will start to hibernate, which can be deadly
• Check her tummy and feel it, it should be warm, if it’s not there is a problem
• If she starts to hibernate first post on Hedgehog Central, they have the best information
o Also take her out and put her on your tummy to slowly warm her up
o DO NOT put her in a hot bath or anything
• If you’re not sure if she is hibernating or not, post symptoms on Hedgehog Central and they can help you. I will most likely not be easy to get a hold of so the forums are your best bet. DO WHAT THEY SAY AND TAKE YOUR ADVICE

Injuries:
• If she gets injured your best bet is to post on HHC and ask what to do and if you need to go to the vet
• For minor cuts (like on feet from running feet raw) put some Polysporin or Neosporin (regular formulation, not extra strength or pain relief) but be sure to ask for help from Hedgehog Central
• For major things book a vet appointment, it’s better to be safe than sorry and I will pay for it when I get back


• If you accidentally cut the quick, use cornstarch to make it stop bleeding and give her mealworms to make her feel better
• Her back nails grow faster than her front nails (which I hardly ever cut)
• You may need to cut one foot one day and the next the other, she squirms so be careful
• You can use this technique to trim Armani’s nails too (the cat)
• See the pic for the right length of cut nails

Outside of her cage:
• Take her outside of the cage for cuddle time, just keep her on your person
• Monitor her interactions carefully with Armani, make sure no one gets hurt
• Annabelle’s nails will need to be trimmed as needed. The nail has the nail part and a pink part at the base that travels up- this is the quick and it is pink because there is blood. You want to use human nail clippers and trim just above the quick.

Mealworms:
• Feed ~5 per day
• If you see any “aliens” (see photo) feed them first because they will morph into beetles and we don’t want them
• Then feed the worms
• I have long reptile tweezers, DO NOT feed the bugs directy to Annabelle because the metal of the tweezers can hurt her teeth, instead put the bugs on the floor/in a dish and Annabelle will eat them from there

more below
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

Poop:
• Annabelle is a really good pooper, pay attention to her poops
• They should be fairly dark and hard, not like diarrhea
• Pay attention to the quantity of her poops, she normally poops quite a bit and fill me in on her poop movements
• If she doesn’t poop one night, it’s ok just make sure she does the next night
• Hedgehogs poop on their wheels, which is why it needs to be spot cleaned daily

Quill loss:
• Hedgies lose quills like we lose hair, 1-3 per day is no big deal
• If she loses a lot of quills that’s a problem
o Let me know and post on hedgehog central
• She will be just over one year old when I leave so she should not be quilling at this time, if she loses a lot of quills it is most likely mites, an infection or some sickness
• A note on mites, she should not get them unless she comes in contact with outside animals or people with pets who might have them so
o DO NOT let anyone other than you and mom hold her unless they are very clean and don’t have pets

Sleep schedule:
• Hedgies sleep during the day, keep my blinds open so the natural sunlight will keep my room bright
• Try to keep her sleeping time bright and night time dark, summer sunlight will be ok

Travel:
• When you are travelling with her make sure that she is warm, but not too hot
• For short trips put her in her small carrier with fleece strips and pieces
• For longer trips (which you shouldn’t have to make) use the huge cat carrier and put the smaller one with Annabelle inside it, make sure there are lots of fleece inside, but not so much that it cuts of ventilation
• For more information see: http://mihog.org/travel.phtml



Treats:
• Mealworms (see section on mealies)
• Fully cooked, unseasoned meat like chicken or turkey
o Don’t feed beef
• She’s not a big fruit or veggies fan, but I haven’t tried watermelon yet which many hedgies like
• Safe treats:
o Meat: fully cooked, not processed, no seasonings
chicken, turkey, beef
o Eggs: hard boiled or scrambled
o Rice
o Veggies: cooked so they are soft, not hard
asparagus, bell peppers, carrots (cooked!), corn, cucumber, peas, green beans, sweet potato
o Fruits: apple, banana, blueberries, honeydew, pineapple, strawberries, watermelon, raspberries
o Baby foods: canned, stage two (no wheat ingredients)
o Yogurt, cottage cheese: very small amounts!
• If you want to try feeding her a treat that you are unsure about type what it is into the search box for Hedgehog Central and there will more likely than not be a post about it
• Do not feed/let Annabelle get into: grapes, raw carrots, tea tree oil,

Vet appointments:
• I will take Annabelle to the vet before I leave
• If something happens and you need to take her to the vet he is:
• It’s better to be safe than sorry, if in doubt, take her to the vet
• If any of the moderators from HHC suggest taking Annabelle to the vet then definitely follow their advice
• Bells Corners Animal Hospital
o 194 Robertson Road, Unit 27B, Nepean, ON K2H 9J5
o Tel: (613) 820-1641
o Dr. David Vanderzon
o


It will be updated closer to the date before I leave with any new information
Thanks so much for all of your input
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Old 02-10-2012, 05:33 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

Everything looks good to me! I would show her how to clip nails before you leave, if you can. That's always a nerve-wracking thing for new owners or caretakers that are unfamiliar with how to do so, so if she gets a chance to do it once or twice with you watching and helping, that may make it easier when you're gone. Same for a bath, if you get a chance to have her help/watch when Annabelle needs a bath at some point. Other than that, I can't think of anything to add to it! I liked the part about emailing every day, even if everything's normal...I'd be the exact same way! "Yes, I want to know that she pooped well, so just tell me!"
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Old 02-10-2012, 06:23 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Hedgehog Babysitter's care book

WOW! A great manual to have on hand. Would it be ok to use your format to set one up for my son in the event I ever had to go out of town? You sure can tell your hedgie is well loved.
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