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Old 04-16-2012, 09:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default New Owner with a few questions

Hi!
Uh so I bought little 2 and a half month old Hiccup last Thursday. Since then, I have found out a few of his habits that I can't seem to explain.
The first couple of nights I would wake up in the middle of the night (he sleeps in my room) because I would hear him rattling the cage and sometimes a big thud. On the second night, I found out that what he was doing was climbing up the cage (I have one that's a plastic bottom with wire sides and ceiling) and then onto the little wooden house in there. Is this normal? I was worried because he'd get his feet stuck in between the bars and had to wiggle himself free most of the time as well as sometimes falling backwards when climbing and I thought those actions would hurt him. Then he would jump off the house and onto the bottom which just about gave me a heart attack.
So on the third day of having him (the day after I found out about his attempts to fly), I bought him a hedgehog wheel. Well, I noticed that he hadn't been eating his food lately though the food was the same as the food he was fed while at the pet store. Then I saw that he was biting the side of the plastic wheel. When I saw this I immediately did my best to make him stop. Is he teething? Going through some sort of weird phase? I really don't want him to get sick. Should I take the wheel out? He likes it a lot though and does less of his climbing.
Um another thing. He is adamant about not sleeping in the house. From the very first day, I had my shirt under the house and then I spread it further out into the cage because he seemed to avoid it. He just sleeps in this one corner away from my shirt and house but he will go into the house, just not sleep in it or stay long in it. Should I take my shirt out or just let it be?
I'm sorry for the bombardment of questions. I really want to be a good owner towards him. Thank you for any help you can provide! Also, thank you so much for this website! It is amazing and helped me learn so much about hedgehogs and how to take care of them.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:12 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

Hello and congrats on your new hedgie!!

Yes, climbing, re-arranging, and total destruction of cage is normal for the first week or so. Some hedgies do it nightly. Try not to encourage the climbing though, as hedgies can hurt themselves by falling. Move things away from the side of the cage if possible.

If he is getting his feet stuck between the bars, then I highly recommend you look into a different style of cage. I wouldn't want your hedgie to get a broken leg.

Wheel.. What type do you have?
Only two or three types are recommend. You want one with an open front, and a solid flat running surface.

Hedgies will bite at a variety of new things and then foam at the mouth, then lick the foam onto their quills..that is annointing and it is very common and normal.

The main thing with your shirt is that he just gets use to your smell. I would replace it with a freshly used shirt daily.

Also, don't worry if he doesn't sleep in his house. Some hedgies use them, some don't and some only use them sometimes.

If you have not yet, then you might want to locate a hedgie veterinarian in your area. Get him checked out and make sure he is out. Then put money back for hedgie emergencies.
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Old 04-16-2012, 12:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

Thank you for the response! He does almost little to no climbing with the wheel in his cage now so I'm not as worried. My main concern is his seeming to eat the plastic from the wheel. It is an open front with a solid running surface. I researched it before buying one. However, he is biting off chunks of the plastic edges from the open front and seems to be eating it. He barely touches his food. In fact, he seems to avoid his food as much as possible. And it does seem like he's hungry because when I place the food bowl next to the wheel while he's in it, his nose directs him to the food but he'll just huff at it and return either running or eating the plastic. He anointed the very first night I got him and I haven't seen him do it ever since so I don't think that's it. Should I be concerned about this or let him be? And the pet store where I bought him from has a vet that will take hedgehogs as patients.
I'm glad him not sleeping in his house is a preference and not something I caused. Thank you again for the response!
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Old 04-16-2012, 01:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

im curious to what brand of wheel you have that he is able to bite pieces off? most of the recomended wheels would be to thick to bite and do any damage?
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Old 04-16-2012, 04:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

I live in Korea currently so it was a Korean brand. The wheel is about probably 3 cm thick. It's not big chunks but on some parts of the edges there are a few small dents. I took the wheel out and washed it, it did no good. I took it out again later and he just started biting the metal bars of the cage. Is he teething? We got him a little teething block in the shape of a corn for that but he just steps on that and ignores it as well. I really don't know what to do anymore...
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

I measured the wheel. It about half a centimeter (thought centimeters were smaller). I also looked over the wheel. There's only about 2 noticeable dents of where he bit off. Besides that, I really can't find any evidence of him biting it. And he did eat a little bit more of his food last night so that makes me a little less worried. I did some more research and many people say he's just bored. I would let him out but the pet store employee told me to wait 2 weeks before trying to handle him. Plus he still huffs a lot at me if my hand accidentally gets too close. But he recognizes my voice and allows my hand in the cage without rolling up and huffing which is great progress from the beginning so I will continue to be very patient and watch. ^^
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Old 04-16-2012, 06:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

I'm not sure why he's chewing things he shouldn't be. It could be boredom. Did he recently decide to not eat his food, or did you recently change the food? About handling him, 2 weeks is too long to wait. You want to wait 24 hours after you bring him home to let him get used to his new cage, but you shouldn't wait 2 weeks. He needs to bond with you and spend time with you. He needs to get used to your smell, your voice and movements. If he's really balled up and difficult to pick up, then you can use a piece of fleece or a blanket to pick him up with. Then let him sit in that blanket or fleece while on your lap and if he feels like exploring, then let him as long as he can be safe. I have no idea why someone would tell you to wait 2 weeks to handle him.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

It was the same exact food as the one in the pet store. I changed his bowl because the other one was too light and he'd dump the food out and play with it. Do you think that's got anything to do with it? I did put in a worm last night and he gobbled it up then I put in food and he ate some. I think he realizes now that that's his food bowl.
Oh really? Yeah, I think he knows my voice now and as long as I don't move too fast he's okay but I haven't even tried picking him up since the person told me no. I kept seeing on the Internet about waiting or day or two but I figured since the employee knew hiccup, it was better to listen to him. Thank you do much for letting me know!
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

So, I did take out Hiccup last night for about 30 minutes. He seems to be doing better and he's eating more so I'm satisfied Thank you do much for all the advice and help!!
I just have one last question. He won't roll up into a ball when I try to pick him up. Instead he lifts his quills, huffs, and occasionally does a little twitch jump type motion, jabbing whatever is nearby with his quills. Are there any suggestions on how to pick him up? I know a blanket is suggested but how do you even pick him up with a blanket?
Thank you again!
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Old 04-17-2012, 11:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New Owner with a few questions

Oh, that sounds normal for a new hedgie. You can just drape the blanket on top of him and then scoop him with two hands like you are scooping water to splash on your face. I'm so glad you're able to spend time with him.
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