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Old 01-18-2013, 07:08 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Scared hedgehog due to hair dye smell?

I really had no idea which thread to put this in, but this seemed like the best option. It's kind of a strange question/observation, but I wanted to post it here anyways, in case anyone else had any insight as to why this happened or if they've experienced it as well.

My friend was over to spend the night tonight, and we were planning on dyeing our hair while she was over and we could help each other with it. (I promise, this does relate to my hedgehog eventually xP) So, we did our hair, and all was well, and once we were done and everything we went upstairs because my friend wanted to play with my hedgehog. As she usually is, Penny was sleeping in her blankie, and my friend reached in to grab her when she started to hiss and ball up. A normal reaction from my hedgie, so I wasn't too worried and grabbed a second blankie to lift her out with. She seemed very agitated, though, and wouldn't let me get close without getting very upset, and even started making the weirdest sort of click noise as well as her usual hissing. I thought maybe she just wasn't used to my friend, so I gently lifted her out of the cage and wrapped her in the blanket, trying to calm her down.

In the end, she spent a solid ten minutes constantly hissing and spitting and doing that click noise, even when I put her back in her cage, and for a while there I thought something was seriously wrong with her, or that she was going to work herself up into such a frenzy that she'd have a heart attack or something. It was really frightening, to be honest, but eventually she finally calmed down and poked her little head out and uncurled, walking around again. Even after that, she was still on edge, quills hacked up and sensitive to even the smallest noise. It was my mom who pointed out the fact that both my friend and I had recently dyed our hair (recently meaning within the past couple of hours or so) and thought maybe the strong scent from the hair dye might have caused her to freak out, possibly by not recognizing it and being startled by it. I don't know if that would cause such a strong reaction from her, or if it was just something else - a new person trying to handle her (though, this friend has been around Penny before as well, so not a total stranger), her just being in a bad mood, anything - that set her off, but either way... I thought it was quite strange. Had a bit of a scare there as well, too, and I'm just glad she's alright right now - I pretty much had the 24 hour vet service number dialed when she kept going, so I'm just relieved that she's okay. Curious to know if anyone else has any idea what might have set her off so badly!
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scared hedgehog due to hair dye smell?

As one of millions of women who color their hair, I have to admit that the odor associated with most dyes is pretty strong. Even after a few washes I can still smell the difference in my hair. I can only imagine how strong it is for Penny. It seems to me your Mom is probably right in this instance. I would give it a couple days for her to get acquainted with your new smell. A few extra washes to help lessen that dye smell might not hurt either. Since you did it at home your hands probably smell different too, and that's most likely what she reacted to. Hope that eases your mind some.
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Old 01-18-2013, 07:36 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scared hedgehog due to hair dye smell?

I agree with Avarris. They're very sensitive to smells, especially strong ones, and it most likely masked the "you" smell that she's used to, causing her to be disoriented and viewing you as a stranger and therefore a "threat". Give her some time to get used to the residual smell, she'll be fine.
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:13 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scared hedgehog due to hair dye smell?

Okay, phew! Glad to know that the assumption wasn't completely out there or anything like that I knew it was strong when we were actually doing our hair, but the thought didn't even occur to me for some reason when we went to go check on Penny, and I was just confused by her reaction until my mom pointed out the obvious potential source for her freakout... heh Will definitely be giving my hair another couple of rinses tomorrow just to try and get the smell out as much as possible, so as to not frighten her more than necessary :P By the time I got her to calm down, though, she was letting me hold her without balling up again, so I'm guessing(/hoping) it was just the smell catching her off guard. It definitely eases my mind to know that that was probably the case, though, so thank you both for the reassurances there!
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:52 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scared hedgehog due to hair dye smell?

Mine eventually got used to the hair dye smell, but the thing they can't stand is when I get fills done on my nails. I always have to explain to the nail tech why there are little teeth marks in my nails...
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Old 01-18-2013, 12:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scared hedgehog due to hair dye smell?

The only time Barnabus ever bit me was the day that I dyed my hair. He hasn't done it any other time. And he bit HARD drew blood and everything!
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Old 01-18-2013, 05:59 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Scared hedgehog due to hair dye smell?

I love the signature picture of Penny. It's the look of innocence and youth. My Mimzy will do the same when I dye my hair.
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