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Old 05-14-2019, 05:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default A few questions...

So I've had my hedgehog for about 5 months now (she was 4 months old when I got her). I recently took her to the vet who said she was looking pretty healthy, other than the possibility of mites which she was treated for, and now seem to have gone away. However I was confused by a couple things... the main reason I brought her in was for her nails, which I absolutely could not cut! I realize that going that long without ever having trimmed her nails was probably not good, but they hadn't started curling back to much and I really wanted to be able to do it myself. (They were very long) however) Eventually I decided that they needed to be cut so I asked them to do it. Unfortunately they did have to sedate her to be able to do it which was quite nerve racking, but everything went smoothly. What confused me though was that the vet said despite them being long, she could have gone another couple months before it was necessary for them to be cut. Don't most people cut their hedgehog's nails every other week or two? The vet also said that they wouldn't need to be trimmed again for a very long time, but they are already looking quite long again despite it being less than a month since the appointment. I am anxious for them to be cut again, although I am determined to do it myself this time. I really don't want to bring her into the vet again just for her nails, seeing as it was quite expensive, I don't want her to be sedated again, and this is really something I should figure out for myself. The only method I haven't yet tried when it comes to clipping her nails is the screen method. (Setting the hedgehog down on top of some sort of screen and clipping the nails from underneath) I'll try it soon if nothing else works but I can't really see that working out. Basically, I have an EXTREMELY skittish hedgehog who curls up at the first sign of movement, despite me handling her almost every day. I still can't even handle her without using a blanket because if I try and pick her up with my hair hands it's pretty painful and it's caused my palms to bleed. She does seem more tame than when I got her though as she uncurls a lot faster when I'm quiet and when she's on the floor. The main problem is that I still can't pick her up without her staying curled up. Sorry this is really long! Anyone have any ideas or tips?
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Old 05-14-2019, 05:54 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hey there! It can take a fair amount of time for a hedgehog to become comfortable and trustworthy of you, so while you may not be seeing much improvement now, don’t give up handling her every day as this daily contact is an important aspect of bonding!
Some hedgehog nails grow much faster than others. While hedgehog nails should never be so long that they are curling, they also don’t need to be cut down as far as they can go either. My hedgehog, Christina, gets her nails cut maybe once a month or even every six weeks- they just don’t grow that fast.
I personally wouldn’t encourage going to the vet every time you might need a nail trim because yes, you’ll rack up quite a bill, but it’s also extremely stressful on her health to be put under that often. Keep working with her bonding so that she becomes more comfortable with you.
I find it easiest to clip Christina’s nails when she’s in the sink. While I don’t bathe her often, I give her shallow foot baths fairly frequently, and I’ve found that’s the easiest time to hook my finger around her little feet and take a look at her nails. She used to be a VERY terrified girl (and really still is) so it did take me quite a while, maybe even a year, before she was comfortable with me enough to handle her feet that much. Some hedgehogs just take a lot of time to trust you!
You might also try sitting treats out in front of her if you haven’t already and while she’s eating, hook a back foot with your finger to cut it.
Hope this helps 🙂
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Old 05-14-2019, 07:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Okay, thank you! I will most likely try and clip her nails tomorrow while she's having a bath. I tried it before a while back with no luck but she might be more relaxed this time around. I'll just keep trying everyday until I figure it out I suppose!
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi, my Hedgehog was exactly the same when I first got her. It can take a little while for them to start opening up. Keep on handling your Hedgehog, outside of the cage everyday. Hedgehogs are always more inclined to open up when they are away from their cage. Try not to make any sudden movements, but try carrying her round the house with you, it's good to get them used to your smell and the environment she is living in. A good tip is to reward any good behaviour with mealworms. Even if this is sniffing your hand or uncurling. Rewarding even the slightest of improvements, will build up her trust in you. Trimming her nails in the bath is most likely going to be the easiest method. Make sure the water is shallow enough for her to stand, as this will make it easier to trim her nails. Hedgehogs are often very nervous about scissors, so try letting her sniff them and only use a small pair. Again, reward her with mealworms even if you only get to trim one nail. Don't worry if you can't trim all her nails in one go, try again next week. You don't want to overdue it as she will get annoyed with it. Don't give up, even though sometimes it seems like they will never be tame, if you keep going with handling, you will be surprised with the progress that is made. Hope this helps! 😀
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Old 05-15-2019, 09:04 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I use the smoosh method that I saw on you tube in combination with a foot bath. Sammy is under a year old (8 mo) and I am his 3rd home. Play with hedgies feet everyday, you will both get used to it. You should be checking their feet\toes\legs for wrapped thread\hairs daily anyway. Good luck hope this is helpful
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