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Old 05-02-2012, 11:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Help please guys

I just bought a 10 month old male three days ago. His previous owner was using a wire wheel, aspen shavings, and a 24x14 in cage. So far i have gotten him a 12 in solid wheel, replaced his flooring with fleece, and added a platform to add more room for him to walk around in but im still using the same cage. I have a few questions though.
1.He scratches sometimes and i think i have identified a few mites when checking him. Unfortunately i have to wait maybe a week before i can get him to the vet due to their exotic specialist being away. Will he be ok in this time? What should i do in the meantime?
2.He is not a happy camper. His previous owner said he was very affectionate with her, but with me he does nothing but hiss and pop. Once i pick him up he seems ok but is somewhat squirmy. How i can i best get him to like me?
3. Has everything i done for him ok? I followed my care book and what sites have suggested but i would like some feedback as well.
3. I got a little litterbox and seeded it with some dropping but all he does is get mad and fling the litter out of the box. Any suggestions?
4. I have seen him run on his wheel once or twice but ll he really does is sleep eat and drink. Is he ok or just coping with the change?
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

Glad to hear about the changes. The wheel and fleece liners are much better for him! However, unless you have the shelf and the ramp for it completely enclosed, I'd take it back out. Hedgehogs aren't good at edges and tend to walk right off them. They can get seriously hurt by even a short fall, if they land wrong.

1. If he seems to be doing okay, he should be fine until the vet gets back. If he seems extremely uncomfortable and itchy, you could try a bath with olive oil to suffocate the mites. I'd only do it if he seems very uncomfortable and you're sure it's mites though - itching/skin issues can also be from skin infections or fungal infections, which could be made worse by putting oil on the skin.

2. Well, you've only had him for three days, so the biggest thing is patience. It can take hedgies a long time to warm up to someone new. Depending on the hedgie, this could be weeks, months, even years. Take him out every night, around the same time if you can (the schedule will help him come to expect you at a certain time). Do however long you can, but try for at least half an hour a night. Try holding him in your lap while you're doing something quiet - watching tv/movie, on a computer, reading, etc., and have him covered with a blanket. If he's comfortable, he may decide to snuggle in and go to sleep on you. That still counts as bonding - he's associating you with good things, like taking a nice snooze. You can also put a t-shirt you've slept in for a few nights in his cage (check for loose strings) to help him get used to your scent. Treats can also help his opinion of you, just be careful hand-feeding so he doesn't start nipping.

3. So far, sounds good. What kind of food is he on? Doesn't sound like the last owner had very good information, so his food may need to be changed as well. I would also upgrade the cage when you can. 4 square feet is a great size to aim for, bigger if you can. And for the most part, it's easiest to have it be one level - multiple levels need the extra care taken to make them safe, and a lot of hedgies won't use them anyway.

4. What kind of litter is in the box? Any kind of clay cat litter is risky - it can get caught in his penile sheath. The best thing to use in a litter box for males is just plain paper towel. You can keep trying with the litter box, but don't hold out too much hope. It depends completely on the individual hedgehog as to how well they'll littertrain. It might help if you have a litter box that you can put underneath the wheel as well. Hedgehogs are going to potty on their wheel, so might as well go with it.

5. What kind of wheel is it? I know you said solid-bottomed, but what brand? Is it noisy? Can he get on it easily? He may just be avoiding it for now since it's another thing that's changed on him. Make sure the wheel stays steady when he tries to get on it and it's not moving or tipping when he tries to run. Also make sure there's no light in the room, sometimes that can affect whether they want to run or not.

Good luck and glad you took this little guy! We'd love to see pictures when you can get them.
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Old 05-02-2012, 11:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

1. Could definitely be mites since he was on aspen before. You can probably get a normal vet to deal with that, since they're treated with puppy or kitten/cat Revolution for mites. An exotics specialist isn't really necessary for getting those meds. If not, a week won't hurt him, but if it's mites, it's best to get the treatment for them sooner rather than later.

2. It could take a while for him to get used to you, and he might never be all the way friendly. Just keep handling him every day. A hedgie bag is great because you can let him sleep in it in your lap, which still helps with bonding - or just keep him in your lap with a blanket over him so he feels secure. Don't be discouraged by the grumpiness, and don't put him back in his cage when he's being grumpy, since that would enforce the behavior.

3. Sounds good so far but I'd be wary of going by a care book. All of the ones I know of are outdated to some degree. What kind of food do you have him on? What kind of heat/light setup do you have for him?

3 (again). Just put the litter box underneath the wheel. It might be harder for him to learn to use it than it would be for a baby, and a lot of hedgehogs will never be 100% with a litter box. The best idea is to position the wheel at the opposite end of the cage from his bed, since they naturally will go somewhere further away from where they sleep. Put the litter tray under it, and the poop/pee from when he's running will run off into the tray. Even if he doesn't ever learn to use the litter box on his own, doing this will end up with most of it in the tray or on the wheel, not on the liner. Beyond that, you can just pick off any wayward turds and toss them on the tray. Remember that even if he becomes litter trained, hedgehogs won't "hold it" and you should expect to get pooped on from time to time when you're handling him.

4. He's fine. He might start to use it more as he gets used to his new home and his new wheel, or he might not. Not all hedgehogs are wheel-crazy. If you find that he doesn't use it much, it may mean you have to adjust his food appropriately so he stays at a healthy weight. Did you ask the previous owner how much he used his old wheel? If he used that one a lot, then not using the new one is probably due to the new/different wheel and the transition period he's in.
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

Thank you so much for the advice. As far as the food its a cat food brand called Purina one. And as for the landing i made a very shallow ramp for him to walk up all in all its no more than a two inch drop from the platform to the ramp at its highest. Heating wise i have some fleece blankets for him to cuddle in but he mostly chooses to hid under the ramp(its covered in fleece as well) and nap. I forget the brand of wheel but its quite, i had bought him a saucer one but he scraped his foot from running on it(he really liked it) but he got blood on it so i had to clean it up, clean his foot and peroxide it then i got him a bucket style one from petsmart.

Additional q. I am taking him to my parents house for a day while i move my stuff around my apt. can their dog get his mites? (she is a rat terrier and absolute pillow dog so she is no danger to him at all) and is it to stressful for the little guy to be having him there after just getting him here?
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Old 05-03-2012, 12:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

Fleece blankets aren't enough. You need a heat source to keep the cage 72-80 degrees.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:34 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

My apt is kept at 74-76 for cost reasons. is that sufficient?
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch
My apt is kept at 74-76 for cost reasons. is that sufficient?
It should be, but you should have a thermometer in the cage to be sure. Sometimes when rooms are kept to a certain temperature with a thermostat, the cage is actually a lower temperature - especially if it's located on the floor. If the thermometer shows that the cage is cooler than that, you'll need another heat source - though depending on how low it goes, a heating pad might be supplement enough. Make sure you check the temperature at different times of the day, too, since nights are cooler, and often apartment thermostats will turn off during the hours that people are usually in bed.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by twitch
Thank you so much for the advice. As far as the food its a cat food brand called Purina one. And as for the landing i made a very shallow ramp for him to walk up all in all its no more than a two inch drop from the platform to the ramp at its highest. Heating wise i have some fleece blankets for him to cuddle in but he mostly chooses to hid under the ramp(its covered in fleece as well) and nap. I forget the brand of wheel but its quite, i had bought him a saucer one but he scraped his foot from running on it(he really liked it) but he got blood on it so i had to clean it up, clean his foot and peroxide it then i got him a bucket style one from petsmart.

Additional q. I am taking him to my parents house for a day while i move my stuff around my apt. can their dog get his mites? (she is a rat terrier and absolute pillow dog so she is no danger to him at all) and is it to stressful for the little guy to be having him there after just getting him here?
Personally I'd still put a wall up. Two inches is still far enough for them to land wrong on a leg and sprain or break it. Wheel sounds good, but just to check...Is it a Silent Spinner or a Comfort Wheel? Comfort Wheels are the only safe bucket wheels that you can find in a pet store - Silent Spinners have a couple of little openings where the colored part meets the white and it's been known to catch and rip off toenails. There's a picture on the forums somewhere of a Silent Spinner completely coated in blood from a hedgie having her nails ripped off.

If it's just for a day, it might be a tad unhappy for him, but it's not going to hurt anything, I don't think. I would still make sure the dog can't get to him or bother him, just in case, but he should be fine there for that short of a time. If it's during the daytime, he'll likely sleep through the whole time anyway. And nope, the mites that hedgies get from wood are species-specific, so they won't jump ship to the dog.
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Old 05-03-2012, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy
And nope, the mites that hedgies get from wood are species-specific, so they won't jump ship to the dog.
There are actually at least four different species of mites that can affect hedgehogs, and off the top of my head I know at least two of those aren't species-specific. A secondary way of hedgehogs getting mites is from coming in contact with another animal (hedgehog or other pet, including cat or dog) that has them. Depending on the species of mite, it would be possible to transfer them to a dog if they were to come in contact with each other. Otherwise, the chance is very low. They're not like fleas - they won't jump off one animal to get to another - so if there's no contact and the hedgehog isn't kept on/near wood that the mites might transfer to, the chance of giving them to a dog is very minimal.
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Old 05-03-2012, 01:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Help please guys

Quote:
Originally Posted by moxieberry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy
And nope, the mites that hedgies get from wood are species-specific, so they won't jump ship to the dog.
There are actually at least four different species of mites that can affect hedgehogs, and off the top of my head I know at least two of those aren't species-specific. A secondary way of hedgehogs getting mites is from coming in contact with another animal (hedgehog or other pet, including cat or dog) that has them. Depending on the species of mite, it would be possible to transfer them to a dog if they were to come in contact with each other. Otherwise, the chance is very low. They're not like fleas - they won't jump off one animal to get to another - so if there's no contact and the hedgehog isn't kept on/near wood that the mites might transfer to, the chance of giving them to a dog is very minimal.

It would be realling interesting to see where you got this information from? When I spoke to my vet about it I was told that they are species specific.
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