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Old 10-04-2010, 09:43 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How to Scruff a Hedgehog?

So I'm looking for someone to give me detailed instructions on how to scruff a hedgehog, possibly even with pictures. There's been some explanations on the board but I need detail, as I've never done it outside of felines before. Where to grab exactly, what to expect for a reaction and such.

Hester's back nails need to be trimmed, and its yet been a fun experience. I've been lucky and she's only really needed it twice so far, but she's hit a growth spurt nail wise and needs it. Indeed I haven't kept her nails as they should be, but most people have heard the stories of what a cheerful, outgoing and social hedgehog she is, and Satan misses her dearly. I've used the sink method three times, twice successful. Main problem with the sink is lack of light, I use the kitchen sink (after its been cleaned up) but there's no overhead light above the sink, its directly behind me on the ceiling, thus I block a good amount of it. Its always been a rodeo and the last time I attempted she basically went insane, ended up with her motionless in the corner kind of half way up the side, I think she might have overheated or something, but staring at me like "this isn't fun at all". I might attempt the tub since its larger and there's more light, but we'll see how that goes.

Second method is going to be the cage top one, try and get her feet to dangle through so I can get at her feet quickly. Third method is either going to be scruffing her and having someone else actually help me, or we're going to go see the vet and let them trim them down.

But before I attempt scruffing, I wanted to get some details on how to do it. Any other suggestions are welcomed, I don't think the burrito method would work since she loves to ball up on me.
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Old 10-04-2010, 09:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Scruff a Hedgehog?

To scruff a hedgehog is quite simple. It's the only way I can get Basil to let go if he's latched on to someone's finger.

Place your thumb and index finger on either side of your hedgie's back, across his shoulder blades. Wrap them around and under the quill/fur line and squeeze gently, then lift. The grip can vary, I'm sure, but once my boy knows I've got him he's a puppy.
I will always miss you, Basil.
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:08 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Scruff a Hedgehog?

Some hedgehogs are a cinch to scruff, others just about impossible. You grab the skin right between the shoulder blades and up towards the neck. If she is a bigger gal, don't let all her weight hang, I usually support their bum too.

It is best to grab them when quills are down and hedgie is fairly relaxed. Don't think about it before you try or if you are like me, it's harder to do the more you think. Once they are in a ball, it's just about impossible to do.

If she is highly resistant, put a wash cloth over her and leave her alone but watch for when she simmers down and relaxes. Then scruff without moving the washcloth.
* * * Nancy * * *

Retired from breeding

Rescue contact for both the Hedgehog Welfare Society and the IHA
Rescued over 70 (and counting) hedgehogs needing a new home
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:23 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Scruff a Hedgehog? ... I_5953.mp4
My kids are Sweetie, Harvey the Blondie Bear (hoggies), Llama, and Vlada (toy poodles). RIP Lancik and Sniffy. We miss you so much.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Scruff a Hedgehog?

Excellent FC - you recommended it before & I have been practicing with Cholla. Every once in a while during cuddle time. Scruff, mealie. I figured I may need it someday & didn't want us to both be freaked out. Now... about Zoey.
I think it's a great video.
Obviously, your experience may not be so passive the first time, Puffers. I love Nancy's suggestion about the washcloth.
Once you do it - you own her!

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Old 10-05-2010, 12:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Scruff a Hedgehog?

Thanks for the written details Nancy & CoxMD, and the video fracturedcircle, if I hadn't asked I would have been pinching above the skirt line right on the quills which wouldn't have felt good at all.

Think I'll practice a little before actually attempting to trim the nails, to at least get her use to it, I get the feeling she might struggle the first few times, but hopefully it'll draw up memories of her mother (who was also described as "pleasant natured"). Will have to do the wash cloth method like you said Nancy, she's never relaxed on me, she'll put her quills down after awhile but for the most part she's got them up. And second on not thinking, it'll be tricky cause she is quick to ball up when being handled, so I'm thinking if I can get it down to one smooth motion, or attempt to do it in a foot bath, scruff and have someone quickly clip the nails up.

This time around it might be the vet, I have a slight concern at the moment, activity and appetite is fine but her poop has had a touch of green in it and she's also dropping quills, but its possibly she quilling again? She just turned 36 weeks today actually, she's at least quilled once since I got her (was 20 weeks roughly when I adopted her).

@PJM: Good idea on the mealies, and yeah I expect her to probably go insane, reason why I'm pondering maybe attempting in the foot bath, though that might be too much stress for her, concidering our last experience. She ain't going to like it, but maybe she'll lighten up a little bit for me, right now she acts like the boss though I don't let the huffing, hissing and popping stop me from handling her, but she still gives me vocal ****.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:28 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: How to Scruff a Hedgehog?

I used to be able to scruff Loken but he's a big boy now and too big for my hands to do it now. For Sandra I make a petting motion with my hand kinda open and start at her head. I run my thumb down one side and the rest of my fingers on the other (right under the quill line on the skirt). Then I gentally bring my thumb towards my other fingers and lift, and the weight is distributed throughout my hand. I do it as gentally as possible while still having a firm hold. Loken is way to big for my hands to wrap around him so he gets the burrito method lol
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