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Old 03-13-2012, 11:40 AM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Default Just a few questions...(with pictures)

Hi there! I'm brand new to the forum (though I've been reading here for quite a few months in preparation!) and I am planning on buying my very first hedgie this weekend. I am getting a female, and I've already decided on a name (Adagio). Ok, on to my questions!

I have built a C&C cage (2x3) and have bought almost all her toys, the only thing missing is the wheel, which my boyfriend is buying me later this week (he works at a pet store and gets a killer discount)! I currently have corn cob bedding in the cage, I am thinking of switching to liners though. The only problem I see with liners is washing them constantly...I live in an apartment and the laundry mat I use is kinda sketchy (so I don't like to be there more than necessary). But I might change my mind and use liners. Question 1: Will corn cob bedding be ok for her for now? I read on the wiki on the front page that it's not suitable for males, and needs to be spot cleaned daily, which I am obviously ok with doing.

I made her five snuggle bags out of fleece (they are in the wash right now, actually!), all the seams are on the inside of the fleece, so no way she can pull out strings. Question 2: Do these look ok? (Incidentally, I have seen lots of requests on the forum for instructions on how to make fleece bags that include pictures. I am more than happy to share my pattern, if these bags are safe.)

I was at the grocery store and I saw this little plushie and thought that my hedgehog might like to snuggle with it! I am obviously going to be cutting off the whiskers and the scarf, but otherwise, does this look safe? I already have a plush platypus dog toy (that my research turned up as safe) that I have been sleeping with to get covered in my scent, so if this little plushie isn't safe, it's no big deal.

I have long hair, and inevitably my carpets are filled with it. I vacuum all the time, but I am not confident that it's all out of the carpets. Now, obviously I am never going to let Adagio out of her cage without my supervision, but if a hair does somehow get around her legs, what's the best way to remove it? I figure a little pair of scissors will work, but what if she rolls up? Sorry, I'm a little paranoid about this! I figure I can keep her on a blanket, but accidents do happen! I want to make sure I'm prepared, just in case!

On the topic of letting her out of her cage: I read on Gail Dick's website that guinea pig balls are ok for hedgies, is this true? Is it a safe idea?

Ok, just one more (for now) Are (empty) spools ok for them to play with? I don't see why not, but I thought maybe I was missing something, and I figured I'd ask!

Sorry for all the questions, I have been reading on here tons, like I said, and these are a few of the questions I just couldn't find answers to!

Thanks for all your information! I am so glad I found this website before I bought my hedgie! Better to be over prepared than ignorant.
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Old 03-13-2012, 12:19 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Just a few questions...(with pictures)

Corn cob bedding is kind of sharp, and to be honest, I wouldn't use it for any kind of small mammal. At the pet store where I work, we only use it for birds. Liners you could handwash in a sink if you had to, but if you make or buy a handful of them (between 5-10, maybe?), you could probably get away with not going to the laundromat any more than what you do now. If you want to use any kind of bedding that can be found in a pet store, the best thing (in my opinion) would be Carefresh - there's still a slight chance of mites and it's a bit drying, but it's not sharp like corn cob bedding or like some shavings can be, and I think there's less chance of there being mites than in wooden bedding. There's also less chance of allergies for you or the hedgie. The main issue is how drying it is when they burrow in it, and that it's dusty (which if you have an open cage or let it sit out to air for a bit before putting it in, that will help with the dust).

The bags look great! The plushie looks fine to me as well, and she may or may not pay attention to the toys. Some hedgies love to have a snuggly thing that they sleep with or carry around, others will ignore them entirely (or poop on them ).

I'm not entirely sure with the hair, amazingly I never had a hair get caught around Lily's legs. If I remember right, there's some sort of scissors you can get where they're flat on the bottom, so you can use them against skin without poking. Unless it gets wrapped tightly though, you should be able to pull it off with your fingers, or break it. Just make sure you check her over before putting her away after cuddle times, and check over her bedding to see if there's any hairs on it.

Some hedgie people do say that runaround balls are okay, but on HHC, we recommend against them. It's too easy for them to catch a nail or toe in the ventilation slits, you'll have poop and pee leaking all over the carpet, and you can't really tell if the hedgie is running and happy about it, or trying to escape the ball. It's best just to set up a hedgie-safe area or play pen for letting them explore. And all out-of-cage time should be supervised just in case.

As long as the holes in the middle aren't big enough for a nose to fit in and get stuck, I don't see why not!
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

RIP my sweet Lily ~ 6/12/08 - 1/20/12
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Just a few questions...(with pictures)

Welcome to the forum! Lilysmommy has it covered. I just wanted to say do not buy The Silent Spinner Wheel from the petstore they can be dangerous, if buying a pet store wheel the Giant Comfort Wheel is the best one they offer IMO.
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:17 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Just a few questions...(with pictures)

what do you mean by spools? I've only had hair/fuzz get stuck around my hedgies feet once or twice even with them running on the carpet as long as you have supervised play time out of the cage and check little feet I wouldn't be too worried. If something does end up getting stuck around the little ones foot I've found it easiest to remove the hair or whatever by putting them in a little bit of warm water like you would for a foot bath with some soap on that foot to loosen it up and possibly take it off....if that doesn't work used some blunt tipped scissors and snip it off
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Old 03-13-2012, 01:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Just a few questions...(with pictures)

Thanks for the replies, everyone!

By spools I mean thread spools left after all the thread is gone. I sew quite a lot and so have a few of these laying around...I figured if they work as toys I don't have to throw them out. "Three R's" and all that!

Warm water and soap is a great idea, I will definitely keep that in mind! Thanks!

Ok, the Giant Comfort Wheel, got it! Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2012, 03:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Just a few questions...(with pictures)

Larry also sells wheels and they are probably the safest, easiest to clean wheels that you will find for a hedgie. A lot of petstore wheels are not safe for hedgies, many have grooves and holes that can easily catch a hedige nail and/or cause cuts and sores on the feet causing pain and bleeding.

I think spools will be fine for her to push around if she wants (obviously only if their is no thread left on there for them to get tangled in).

With long hair you definitely have to be extra careful, but there are many hedgie owners with long hair and its not a huge issue. My breeder has hair down to the back of her knees . As alreay mentioned make sure you check her over completely to make sure there is no hair stuck around a paw or in her quills before you put her to bed and again first thing in the morning to make sure no hair got in her cage that she got caught in over night.
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