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Old 02-26-2012, 05:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trying to bond, tips for a fussy hedgie?

I put Kiara in her snuggle sack and lay her on my stomach, she slightly falls asleep, i barely move and she huffs and is all pokey! Is there any way that i can get her to calm down enough to just sleep and bond with me?
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Old 02-26-2012, 07:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to bond, tips for a fussy hedgie?

How old is she? (From looking at your other posts, I see you got your hedgehog about a week ago, so I'm guessing somewhere around 7-8 weeks right now.)

This sounds a lot like a phase Ares went through while quilling. Quilling will make hedgehogs grumpy and particularly sensitive, some moreso than others. For Ares, he had a phase of at least 3-4 weeks when he would pop and huff at any little thing, and while sleeping in a bag in my lap, any little move I made could very easily set him off. It's important to take the time every day to handle your hedgehog, even if it doesn't seem like bonding is happening. My boyfriend and I made a point of socializing Ares for at least 1-2 hours every day (often more like 3-4 in total), which sometimes was just letting him sleep in a bag near us or crawl around on the bed and find places to hide, but we also would take him out on trips to the store or whatever around twice a week. We continued to do this no matter how grumpy and huffy and uncooperative he was, and when he got to the end of quilling, his mood improved considerably - it was like suddenly all that effort had paid off, after 5-6 weeks of being increasingly frustrated. We knew the whole time that it was from the quilling, and that it was a temporary thing, and sure enough, he's now extremely bonded with both of us and friendly and relaxed with other people and all different situations.

For hedgehogs that are grumpy because of going through quilling, there isn't really any way to just make them stop huffing, etc. Just remember that it's not personal, and it doesn't mean your hedgehog hates you or will never be able to bond.

I like to think about it in terms of when I had my wisdom teeth pulled two years ago; the oral surgeon didn't want to give me vicodin because I'm barely over 100lb, so instead he gave me codeine, which was not at all enough for the pain post-surgery. Because of the physical discomfort, I was in a horrible mood and pretty much hated the whole world - it didn't matter who you were. For hedgehogs, the actual pain is probably more along the lines of a baby that's teething, but the point is that the physical discomfort is enough that it can easily dominate everything else. Some hedgehogs are lucky, in that it doesn't seem to affect them as much, but a large majority of them go through that. Except for an occasional oatmeal bath (which can soften the skin and give some temporary relief), there's not really anything we can do about it besides just being patient and loving and waiting for it to pass.
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Old 02-26-2012, 08:48 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to bond, tips for a fussy hedgie?

Just be patient. And maybe avoid touching her too much on her back, since it will be sensitive if she is in fact, quilling. If you are having trouble getting her to come out, mine seems to like it when I gently rock her a little bit from side to side.
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Old 02-27-2012, 08:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Trying to bond, tips for a fussy hedgie?

Patience. I also have Einstein on a strict schedule of when he comes out and between working, being pregnant (the morning sickness has kicked in... Ugh!), and taking care of my animals, I feel like I don't get to spend time with him. However, every morning at 6 am he comes running out of his igloo waiting for me to hold him... And he knows I'll give him a meal worm and scratch his butt. I hold him at 6 am for an hour and at 9 pm for another hour, if I try to do it any other time, he's grumpy as heck lol.
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