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Old 09-27-2010, 12:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

My 9 week old baby Nora who I just got Friday was out in the Hedgie Play Pen with Sophie, my year old who is at least twice Nora's size. They were perfectly content playing around with the balls and toys and tubes and doing their own thing and occasionally sniffing each other. They have been sharing the same cage with total success. Sophie sniffed Nora while she was in a corner behind the litter box, having Nora totally surrounded. Then Nora bit Sophie under the neck, near her nipple. Was she having post weaning issues, being territorial or simply lashing out because she got cornered? I'd call my breeder but it's a quarter to midnight. Should I separate them tonight? Currently they're back in the cage which is three separate levels and one is sleeping on one level and the other is sleeping on the other level. Should I let them be? Sophie was pretty spooked, and did not want to be touched where she was bitten, but after 5 minutes or so unballed and went to go eat, then crawled into her sleep sack. At least Sophie is ok. Nora got checked for wounds as well and is fine. No blood was shed.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:22 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

My understanding is that hedgehogs housed together, or even who just play together, including females, can get territorial and fight to the death at the drop of a hat. I'm so glad there was no serious damage, as I've read a couple of horror stories on the internet which started with a similar situation. Fighting is more likely if they don't each have their own wheel, food dish, etc (meaning two of each item in cage) but sometimes even that isn't enough. Sometimes they'll have been seemingly happy room mates for a very long time before the problems start, so it's hard to predict. If your girls don't seem to be getting along, my advice would be to separate them immediately! As to exactly why Nora bit Sophie in this case, it would be hard to say for sure whether it was territoriality or self defense, but whatever the cause, aggression is aggression, and I personally wouldn't take the risk, particularly when there's already been one instance of violence. Good luck, I hope all goes well, whatever decision you come to!

*edited for typos
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

I watched them interact in the cage (which has 3 sleep sacks, 2 sets of bowls and two wheels and more than enough tubes and TP rolls) and they seemed to be doing fine. I'm going to avoid putting them together in the play pen for a while though, since it is smaller and they are forced to interact more. I'm going to be calling my breeder this afternoon just to make sure.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

May I ask why you are trying to do this?

Any financial gain by having them share a cage will be greatly off-set by a vet bill when one attacks the other one severely. (not to mention the fear and pain involved just in the situation you already witnessed) Hedgehogs in general are solitary animals, personally I choose to respect that and have all three of mine in separate quarters. From what I've read on here even females can fight, if they are littermates there's a better chance of them getting along but that's not a hard & fast rule either.

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They have been sharing the same cage with total success.
You say they have shared the cage with total success, may I ask how you know this? (i.e do you have a night video cam set up to watch them at night? Do you stay up all night with them to witness other encounters?) This may have not been the first situation they have had to fight, just the first one you have witnessed.

My opinion is that they should be given their own space.
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Old 09-27-2010, 01:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

As I said before, in certain cases I've read, having separate toys and other supplies weren't enough to prevent very serious fighting. I know there is a lot of conflicting evidence out there, but the personal accounts are what really convinced me on this particular issue. I'm not saying you would ever do anything to intentionally harm them, but you can never tell for sure when hedgehogs of either sex will snap when housed together, regardless. I was going to get two females from my breeder until I googled the subject for a while and found some tragic stories.

Just a quick search of this forum right now turned up an example. Here's an excerpt:
Quote:
Originally Posted by HedgieIsabella
at 11:50 tonight Isabella passed away, this is because of me, i made a very stupid mistake. i thought it would be perfectly ok to house two females together. tonight i came home to find Isabella lying flat by her water dish , so i picked her up to see what was the matter., she was very limp and lifeless,
I omitted the grisly details, for obvious reasons, but her other female hedgehog, Kaila, killed Isabella. The poster felt terrible, and posted the story as a cautionary tale. Just something to think about, and maybe bring up with the breeder when you get in touch today.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

You just got the baby on Friday and you've already put them together?! They should still be in quarantine (minimum of 4 weeks) not to mention have time to get to know each other for at least a few weeks before you even consider putting them in the same cage. Two hedgehogs sharing even a very large cage is generally not a good idea. Especially in this situation. You're lucky that Sophie didn't become territorial and kill the baby because that is what is likely to happen when you bring in a new creature to invade another's space.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

I have separated them until Nora gets a bit older. I'll potentially try again in several weeks, though not if another incident like this happens.
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Old 09-27-2010, 03:40 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

Apart from what others are saying, I am very curious how they are doing now?

What size is their cage?

I think its a good idea to keep them separate (for quarantine purposes) for a while anyways.

I do have to say that I searched "Isabella" and it was such a tragic story.. Isabella was killed by her other hedgie Kaila. After Isabella was killed, she felt the need to rehome Kaila because she couldn't look at Kaila without feeling a deep grief for Isabella. Other than missing her ear, it appeared that Isabella wasn't seriously injured externally; she died of stress and shock following the attack. Also, Isabella was 4 months old, and Kaila was 5 months old... HedgieIsabella said "please learn from my experience, i would never want this to happen again."
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

I can understand where having two females together would be kind of cool, though as everyone has pointed out, if you're thinking "they'll keep each other company" then at least with hedgehogs, that's not the case, they are nature's true outlaws and loners. But I would be concerned about their situation, not just from what happened in this thread, I was a touch concern with your youtube video from my thread last Friday.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG1P_JiW19o

At roughly 1:10, Sophie shows a little aggression towards Nora with a quick snap towards her face, I don't know if this would be typical behavior when two females meet, I've seen videos of pairs playing together but that to me is kind of a flag that its not going to work out.

In the end its your call, but as the story of Isabella and Kaila, things can turn bad really quickly, all it takes is a split second. Happen to me when I was a kid, I had a lab, we also had a little yorkie. One night someone got near someone's food and with a snap of the fingers the lab had bitten and removed half the yorkie's face who had to be put down. The lab was also put down. Its not fun.

If you're going to try, just make sure you have a backup cage or someway of keeping them housed apart, I wouldn't try and cage them for a long time, just supervised playtime.

As for quarantine, I'd still keep them seperated but its probably a moot point since they've shared homes, dishes, wheels and the whole nine, if someone has something, the other probably does by now.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:43 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Baby bit adult? PLEASE HELP! Normal?

They should not be together. The way the bigger one snapped at the little one in the video after a few seconds of meeting, is not a good indication of how they are going to continue to relate. At 9 weeks old, she is too young and too small to be left with a much larger female that isn't her mother. Once she is an adult and full grown, perhaps try play times again and see how they behave.

How long did you quarantine for and how old was she when you got her? If you have done a proper 4 week quarantine, that would mean she was only 5 weeks old.
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