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Old 01-20-2013, 06:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Hi.
I recently inherited three hogs.
I haven't really got a clue about them. I work for the local spca and we do not have a building so I said I would take them until we found proper homes.
There are two males and one female.
The male and female are housed in a rabbit cage. (male is fixed.) They have apparently lived together peacefully for a year and so far I have not had problems. The other male is in a guinea pig cage. They have carefresh bedding for now.
I plan on making some new homes for them when I get paid on wednesday.

As far as food goes the old owner was feeding them Sojos turkey cat food, crickets and blueberries.

I literally just got these cuties today and I'm looking for any help I can get!!

One of the males who lives by himself has a large cut on his side and unfortunately I live where we only have a vet that comes up every three months and has no knowledge of small animals. I have not don't anything with the cut because I do not want to make it worse.
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Oh jeeze...glad these guys have found someone who will take good care of them!

Are you guys 100% certain that the male with the female is fixed? I know people have neutered males before to keep them with females or just to avoid possible escapes & surprise babies, but since hedgehogs can be difficult to notice the testicles on, just make sure you're absolutely sure. Personally, I'd still try separating them if you're making new cages, and see if they do okay with that. It's easier to keep an eye on health, food eaten, etc. when they're all in their own cage. But I know some hedgehogs that are housed together can get very upset if they're separated from their cagemate, so that might not work for them.

I'm not 100% sure what to do about the cut if you can't have a vet look at it. At the very least, I'd make sure it's cleaned out, and switch him off Carefresh bedding, since it's dusty and it could get stuck in it. Most people on here prefer fleece or fabric liners, which I think would work better for him while his cut heals. You could put the other two on them too, but Carefresh isn't completely terrible for a loose bedding if you want to stick with it. It's main drawbacks are that it can introduce mites to them (which you can help prevent with freezing it overnight) and it's very dusty and messy. Hopefully one of the more experienced breeders/owners might have more suggestions on how to help the cut. It might also help if you could post a picture of it.

Past that, I'd say the best way for you to get yourself up to speed on hedgehogs quickly is by reading this care book written by LizardGirl, one of our mods - http://www.westcoasthedgehogs.com/files ... index.html You can download it for free, and it contains all of the main info you need (much of it found on the forums), well organized. It's a great thing to have on hand! I'd recommend it to the hedgies' future owners too, if you find new homes for them.

Last thing I want to mention - make sure they're staying warm and getting plenty of light. Hedgehogs need to be kept at 73-78*F, with the temperature staying steady. They also need 12-14 hours of light daily, around the same times. Most people use a lamp on a timer for this, natural light usually isn't enough, especially in the winter.

Good luck with these guys and keep us updated! I hope they settle in well with you!
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Old 01-20-2013, 06:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Thanks.
I know for sure the male is neutered, they came with vet papers.
I have read a little about the hogs since I knew I was going to get them.
It was a very fast thing haha.
I plan on trying to separate them once I make some cages.
I have only had them for two hours so I have not handled them yet as I'm letting them adjust to all the moving around, and the keeping warm thing is not a worry I have mice so I always have a heater on in my room.
I got a light with them so I have that on.

Unfortunately I don't have a camera but I will borrow one tomorrow!

They seem to be in good health and their previous owner did seem to really love them, however their was death in his family and they are all moving. It's kind of a crappy situation.

I will switch out the males cage to some old dog blankets I have for now until I can get some fleece.

As far as the carefresh goes, it was already frozen. I live in the arctic circle so most things freeze on the way up! haha.

The only other thing I was wondering about was dry skin, The seem to have dry skin but I have seen no sign of mites. This is not unusual for pets here as the climate is very very dry and I was wondering if in a couple weeks once they are settled whether there was a supplement I could add to their food, I was thinking something like dr. maggies or halo dreamcoat. (They are products for dogs/cats)
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Glad they seem to be doing well then! Make sure you have a thermometer to keep track of temperature too - if one does attempt hibernation, that one will need to be kept a couple degrees warmer afterwards, so it's useful to know what the temp in the cages is, just in case. If no one else has any suggestions for the cut and helping it heal, perhaps someone who still has hogs can ask one of their vets for advice for home care for it. They could show their vet the picture, if you can get one. I know that's been done before for a more worrisome situation - a hedgehog in Tajikistan (if I'm remembering right!) that was rescued and had a healed compound fractured leg or something, where there was still an open sore. Through talking to vets in the States, the rescuer managed to work out a care plan for her that eventually healed it good as new!

Hedgehogs are pretty prone to dry skin, so that plus the weather and Carefresh isn't surprising. Carefresh is notorious for drying skin out as well, since it's so dry and dusty. Their skin may improve a bit if you can get all of them off that and onto fleece bedding. Another thing that can help is oatmeal baths - just take a handful of plain whole oatmeal in sock or something like that and swish/squish it around in the water until it goes cloudy. A product that's been popular lately for helping dry skin is Humilac, but I'm not sure if you could get any up there.

I looked up the two supplements you mentioned - I think I'd try Halo Dreamcoat first out of the two of them, since it's pretty much just oils and whatnot. I'm not sure on the active ingredients in Dr. Maggie's, nor have I heard of it being used with hedgehogs, so I'd be a bit more cautious in trying that one, personally.
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Thanks so much for the suggestions! I might be re-homing the the two healthy ones but If I can I will keep them all, It's just a bit tight for space in my house. Four dogs, three cats, reptiles mice and now hedgies!! Haha, it's a zoo.
I will definitely work on getting photos of all of them just so I can get opinions on their health and size and what not.

I've just handled them all just quickly so i can look them over and make sure there are no other obvious health problems and the female has very scabby ears so it might be mites after all, though I'm honestly not sure how they'd survive up north- we don't get fleas or lice up here.
I have switched the carefresh out (I can use it for my snakes.) and put some blankets in. ( I made sure there were no loose threads.)
I also added water bowls as they came with bottles but I've kept the bottles in just in case they won't drink from the bowls.

I've just been reading that many people have their hogs litter trained and once I have new homes I plan to do this! And I need to get wheels for them.

So far they seem happy though, one has even been chirping after I switched the bedding.

=]
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

The scabby ears usually just comes from wear and tear, not typically mites. If she (or any of them) had mites, there'd be a lot of quill loss, and a lot of frantic scratching. You can help get the ears looking better by rubbing them with something like bag balm, lotion, etc. Just try to use something that's not strongly scented since that can upset them - I tried using lanolin (human nipple cream) on my girl Lily once...biggest temper tantrum she ever threw in her life!

Sounds like you're doing great with them so far! Wheels would be a great thing to get asap. Be prepared though, you may not get them really "litter-trained". Almost all hedgies will potty on their wheel when they have one, and most owners go with it by putting the litter box under the wheel to catch "run-off", heh. Some hedgehogs do tend to potty in one place, but just as many are real hogs and go all over the place!
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

I hope they are not infected with mites! I don't think they are, it's only the female who itches and her skin is very dry. I'm assuming it is just the shitty weather and the use of carefresh. I have lubriderm which I was going to try it is unscented. I don't want to bug them too much today as they have been stressed from moving. But as the week goes on I will handle them more and more.

I'm going to see if I can get some wheels in town for now but I plan on ordering the ones I've seen on this site, the Carolina ones? That is assuming the ship to Canada!

I'm really excited about these little critters! The are certainly funny and adorable. I'm just worried about the one male, he is much smaller then the others and he's cut thing looked a bit inflamed and infected. It really sucks living somewhere without a vet!!

I've been looking at the cage set ups on this website and I'm definitely going to try to make one of the c&c's.

I even bought some of the wire bin thingy's from the store. I just need to but some chloroplast and rearrange the room they are in.
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Old 01-20-2013, 09:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Hehe, Larry's shipped all around the world to different countries, so he definitely ships to Canada! You might ask him who the breeder in Canada is that stocks his wheels - I forget which one she is (I know she's on the forum too), but you might get them from her instead, since shipping would be cheaper.

I'm sorry I can't offer more help with the cut...the only thing I can think of is putting some Polysporin on it, but there's been a couple issues with that before, and if it's looking a bit inflamed, that might not be enough.
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Old 01-21-2013, 02:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Thank you so much for all the help.
I really wish I had more time to prepare for these guys but it was an awkward situation!
I'm learning quite a bit from this site it is great. =]
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:59 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Inherited hedgehogs! Need help!

Just thought I'd update.
I've only had them for a while but I'm in love.
I'm slowly finding things for a c&c cage and for now they are in their original cages, however today I separated the neutered male from the female as I woke to squealing last night. For now he is in a dog crate with cardboard on the sides to prevent climbing. The injured male seems to be perking up and has eaten quite a bit today-his cut is also scabbing over so hopefully I can get him to 100% very soon.

I need to clip their nails but they are not used to me and I'm still barely able to handle them so unfortunately that will have to wait.

I hope I can find some good food for them tomorrow and I will buy the rest of supplies that I need for their cages. Although I do not know if I can even get coroplast. I may have to use something else.
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