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Old 04-19-2009, 07:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Default New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

Hi all- I put a ton of research into getting a hedgie. I've now had Linny for about a month. (She's 4 months old).

I'm trying to do all the right things for her, but I am totally overwhelmed & confused.
I'll try to pare my questions down to just this one post:

1. A breeder told me to just hold her/keep her in my lap when out of the cage the first several weeks to bond with her (i.e., don't let her roam and explore). Well, she's insanely squirmy, and I worry my holding her is only stressing her out and creating negative associations with me. Should I let her roam if she's squirmy?

2. Everytime I have her out, she poops all over me, even if I allow her time to poop in the cage. Someone told me this indicates she's scared/stressed.... how am I to know?

3. This leads to my next question, litter training has been unsuccessful: she poops EVERYWHERE. She has the infamous poopy feet, and the cleanliness issue worries me as I do let her roam and play. How often can I give her a foot bath?

4. Her nails are way long & catching on things (especially poop), but I live alone and can't clip them on my own as she's too squirmy. Or can I? What to do?

Bottom line: I can't keep up with all the copious, random pooping (and this is just ONE Hedgie). My apartment smells horrible. (& I'm good about keeping her cage clean). I'm so frustrated. Please help!
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:24 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

The poop amount will start to lessen soon. Babies are poop machines.

If she is an explorer, don't try holding her back. Let her explore you.

All pooping on you indicates is that she has been up long enough and now she has to go.

Most hedgehogs will never become fully litter trained. You can keep trying and hope for the best. With age, I find the poop boots tend to lessen. Babies are the worst. You can give her foot bath only daily if absolutely necessary but it's best to do it every couple days. As for her running around with poop boots, it's only dried hedgie poop that the vacuum will easily pick up.

Try to clip one nail or foot per day or every couple of days. It only frustrates you both if you try doing all at once. If she annoints, try to get her annointing over a new smell and then clip while she is busy. Again, don't try all nails at once.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

You can also try clipping in the bath. They can't ball up in the water without breathing in water, so that'll make clipping easier.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:34 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

I have to clip nails by myself. There's no one who will help me, plus I live alone for the most part, unless I'm visiting home.

You should start playing with her feet as well as everything Nancy already suggested. Just hold her little feet, rub it a bit, then let her go. It gets her used to having her feet handled. Also, some find that nail clipping during a bath is easiest, as hedgies don't ball up in the water.

But for the most part, I wake mine up in the middle of the day, roll him out of bed, and clip his nails. Or I do it after a bath when he's tired. I also clip with him wrapped in a fleecie and snuggled up against me and I'll get his foot.

Front ones are a little harder, but luckily, they don't need to be done as often either. Mine has gotten pretty good with his hind feet. It just takes a lot of patience.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

The smelly poop could be from what (s)he eat's.
depends on what he is being fed.
The smell from mine was pretty bad when I got them but after changing their food you can't smell them and I have 3 in 1 bedroom.
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:59 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

Baby poop is also usually a lot stinkier than adult poo.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

So is baby pee. If she is on a bottle change her to a water bowl. She will drink more and thus dilute the pee so the scent isn't as strong.
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Old 04-19-2009, 08:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lilysmommy
Baby poop is also usually a lot stinkier than adult poo.
I was going to ask about that in my post and forgot.
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Old 04-20-2009, 08:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

Thank you SO much!!

It is a huge relief to know the poop issue will lessen, and get less stinky. That's really my biggest issue.

Lilysmommy- Do you think a bath this soon with me her will freak her out? (She didn't seem to enjoy her foot bath). I do handle her feet, but she's soooo squirmy, I can't hold one for but a second. Clipping one nail at a time sounds like a great idea!

I do let her roam on me and the sofa and explore, sh'e not leaving poop on anything, I just worry about the hygeine of dried poop running all over my couch. Am I worrying needlessly?

Shelbys mom- what do you feed yours? Spike's delite gave her loose stool/diarrhea. All the cat foods Reaper reccomends I never heard of and have no idea where to get.

Reaper- I tried a water dish, she didn't take to it at all and got poop and bedding in it.
Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate. I was beginning to think I would need to give her up.
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Old 04-20-2009, 09:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: New owner getting conflicting advice... please help!

If you've had her for a month, you could still try the water idea. Water will stress some hedgehogs out, no matter what, but they still will need baths occasionally. If you know that she doesn't like water, though, I'd try Nancy's idea first, just gently handle her feet until she gets used to it, then quickly clip a nail. Make sure to not get too close to the quick, but if you accidentally catch it (everyone does at some point), just dip the toe into flour to stop the bleeding. If you can't get a shot at the toes while she's dry, you can try the bath idea, or distracting her with something to annoint over, like Nancy said.
If she doesn't enjoy water and foot baths, another way to clean her feet is to soak a piece of fleece in warm water and let her walk on that. She won't get as wet, but it should still clean most of the poop off.
Most of the cat foods can be found at stores like Petsmart, Petco, and Pet Supplies Plus. I'm sure if you look up the pet stores around you, you'll find at least a few of those foods. Make sure to switch her over slowly, though, so as not to upset her stomach.
If she's used to a water bottle, she may not understand what the water bowl is used for. Try having both a bottle and a bowl in her cage for a couple of weeks and see if she gets the hang of it, while she still has the bottle to drink from. Just continue to clean the water out each morning, she may stop filling it with junk after a bit.
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