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Old 06-26-2012, 09:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy new owner with questions :)

hello my name is savannah I recently bought a hedgehog from his previous owner. I have renamed him Toby and have had him for about 4 days now. Toby is about a year and a half years old (info provided by previous owner) and has been making great progress since I got him, however his old owner told me that he was not handled very much by him and deemed him, unscocialized. I want to give Toby the best life possible so I have a few questions.

1. I was wondering if you can or should try to give an unsocialized hedgehog a bath. Toby has dry skin which I know is common among hedgehogs iv since gotten him flax seed oil for his food, it helped a little, but I heard the most effective way was to give him a bath with some of the oil in the water. Although I have been handling him the past couple days he is still easily frightened, but I noticed he is not scared by loud noises or talking rather by fast movement, which cause him to ball up and sniffle or hiss followed by jumping and attempts to spike if touched also try to handle him around the same time every day if I have work this is once at 9am and once at 9pm if not it is once at 1pm and once at 9pm.

2. Can a exotics vet give a proper check up/skin scraping to Toby since he isn't very used to people? I'm afraid that since Toby is still scared by people touching him that he may not be able to be treated, will this be a problem? Also can an exotics vet trim hedgehog nails? since I am not used to Toby and vice versa I would rather have someone who knows what their doing help him rather then me hurting him. I think his dry skin might be from mites I am not sure though so how much would a vet trip plus revolution if needed be?

3. This isn't a very important question but I was wondering if there is any way to speed up the bonding process. Like I said Toby is doing (as least as far as I know) very well for only being with me 4 days. Toby will unball if I hold him with a shirt quickly, he dose allot of exploring when I take him out to play he usually walks up to me and sniffs me a little (is that a good sign?) he also eats mealworms from my hand ( I have also tried banana and apple this way, both with him not showing as much interest). Toby sleeps with and is also picked up with one of my tee shirts with my scent on it, I know that bonding can take a long time and I am willing to be patient with him as long as he needs but are there any other bonding methods I should/can try?

any answers will be greatly appreciated
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner with questions :)

Yes you can give him a bath, he will unroll once he hits the water but just try not to scare him so he doesn't huff and do a face plant into the water.

If you vet finds it too difficult to examine him because of his grumpiness then they will often request that the hedgehog come in and be put under anaesthetic so they can examine him fully. This however can be dangerous and if the examination can be done without it that is preferred. I imagine if its a skin scraping they would be able to do it even if he was grumpy because they could still have access to the skin between the quills, but I don't know for sure. Dry skin is fairly common in hedgehogs but if you suspect that it might be mites then a vet visit is a good idea. It really depends where you live how much it would cost. Any time I go to the vet it is usually between $120-$150, however I live in Ontario, Canada.

Most vets can clip hedgehog nails but as you said he was anti-social this may not be possible. I know whenever I brought my hedgehogs to the vet, they were uncomfortable and more scared in the vets hands then in my own. It would depend I guess if your guy would be willing to unball at all, or enough for the vet to be able to clip his nails. Cutting their nails isn't too hard on its own, the quick of the nail is the pink part and the rest of the nail is white. , you only want to cut off the white part and leave some white past the quick to ensure you don't cut it. The hardest part is having them unball and let you grab onto their feet. Most people find this easiest to do if they bath their hedgehog first, but it is tricky!

Just be persistent with your bonding its good that he ate some mealworms out of your hand! As for the bananas and apples, he might never be interested in those at all or may come around eventually, hedgies tend to be very picky with fruits/veg. Hope this helps, best of luck!
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner with questions :)

thank you so much oh and this littlarly just came up when checked on him,he usualy sleeps in his little house i made out of a old shoe box with one of my old tee shirts in place of fleece scraps,but when i checked on him he was under his wheel sleeping, its a plastic bucket wheel is this normal? like he isnt sick or anything is he?
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Old 06-26-2012, 10:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner with questions :)

Well, it doesn't sound particularly abnormal...sometimes when my girl gets too warm in her hedgie bag in her hut she'll go sleep in her tube instead.
Just keep an eye on him
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:12 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: new owner with questions :)

alright thanks for all of the advice oh and i had one other post i was wondering if you might have an answer to ,since im takeing toby to the vet soon i suppose it isnt particularly high priority but if you wouldnt mind could you check it out and let me know what you think?

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