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Old 02-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default No more nail clipping?

When i took Kiara into the vets, i asked for some help for nail clipping! She said that i could put a piece of sand paper on her wheel that will file her nails down when she runs on it! Is this a good idea? I was scared that maybe her feet will get really raw or start bleeding if she runs to much! My hedgie is very shy and huffs everytime i come close, so i dont know how well nail clipping would go! I dont want to hurt her! Help please!
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Old 02-26-2012, 05:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: No more nail clipping?

I'm glad you asked before using it. Sandpaper is a horrible idea. Hedgehogs do not walk on their nails. All it will do is cut up her feet. Unbelievable that a vet would recommend it. Not a very knowledgeable vet.
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: No more nail clipping?

My reaction to that coming from a vet is pretty much D:

Some people use normal small human nail clippers, though in my experience cuticle clippers (which was what my breeder suggested) are so much easier to handle. They let you see what you're doing and get a few different positions. A good time to trim nails can be after a foot bath, because it softens the nails. Until your hedgehog gets used to it, they'll probably not be very cooperative or squirmy, so you have to be patient, and it's not unheard of to only do a few at a time and then try again the next day. For Archimedes, one of us will hold him (stomach against palm of the hand/inner wrist area) and catch one of his feet between fingers - not so much holding it by the fingertips, more like catching it between the fingers, which keeps it poking out long enough to trim them. There's a lot of changing of position, but it gets done. It's much easier with two people, which is a nice thing about sharing the hedgehog responsibility with my boyfriend, but it's not too hard to do it on your own; I've done it a few times, it just takes practice, and figuring out what works best for your hedgehog in particular. The method we use for Ares isn't necessarily the best method for every hedgehog. Having a few little treats on hand, even just pieces of kibble, can help to make them more cooperative. We also do it in the bathroom with the water running (most of the time it's right after a foot bath anyway) because Archimedes particularly likes the sound of running water; it would soothe him and make him relax somewhat even when he was at the peak of being a quilling-and-grumpy little terror. Again, that's not the same for every hedgehog; Ares happens to like baths, whereas for hedgehogs that don't, running water might make them nervous. But, that's the sort of thing to think about in general for making nail clipping easier - distracting the hedgehog with treats, or doing it when they're particularly relaxed and comfortable, or whatever seems to work best. It'll be trial and error in the beginning.

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Old 02-26-2012, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: No more nail clipping?

How long have you had your hedgie? My breeder told me that during any kind of handling, I should try and touch and hold my hedgies feet, even for just a couple seconds at a time, to get her used to me touching them. If you're having trouble, maybe you should start from scratch with brief interactions like that.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:57 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Location: Neptune City, New Jersey
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Default Re: No more nail clipping?

Good exotic vets are hard to come by...
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