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Old 10-15-2010, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hi All!

Just wanted to check-in with a little background...
We've had Ralph for a couple of weeks now and he finally seems to be settling in.
He is about 10 weeks old and our first hedgie...I got him as a gift for my partner who has always wanted a hedgehog. I used to think it was a little "odd" to keep hedgehogs as pets - i originally come from England and had never heard of such a thing, as far as I was concerned they were wild animals that would pay an occasional visit to the yard for some cat kibble.
However, Ralph is just OMG cute and I wonder why we never had a hedgie sooner!

It has been quite the learning curve these last couple of weeks, despite all the extra reading before Ralph came home.
It was very worrisome at times as he didn't seem to be eating or drinking at all. I even left work at lunch one day to take the afternoon off to get the supplies required to syringe feed him....I think he knew though, when I actually got home and counted his kibbles, he had eaten some, so i let him be as i didn't want to stress him further.
We tried him with all kinds of "treats" too, he just wasn't interested...even his meal worms managed to make a break for it and he didn't care!
In the first 10 days Ralph managed to lose 10% of his body weight he got down to 141g and we were panic stricken. I was ready to take him to the vet this Tuesday just gone and have him checked out as we were worried he was just going to starve to death, it just didn't make sense though as he had started eating his kibble but he was still losing weight. Anyway, when i weighed him earlier in the week he had gained a couple of grams, then Monday night he ate like a hog and when i weighed him Tuesday morning he had gained more weight and last night he is back up to the weight he was when we got him!! - oh and his poop is back to 'normal" (good lord, hedgies can produce some noxious substances!!!)
Apparently Ralph responds well to "threats" LOl!
It was a scary time though, neither myself or my BF got much sleep as we were so worried.

Currently Ralph's cage is in a room where the temp is usually around 24c, he has a light fitted for a regular daylight schedule now that the days are getting shorter.
I still count and crush his kibble (i had tried moistening it too - he didn't like it) He eats mostly Nutrience Kitten and I am slowly introducing an Innova kibble (IMO one of the best kibble's out there) he doesn't entertain treats still but we will slowly keep trying so that he has variety in his diet....particularly now he has settled more.
He comes out for cuddles at 8pm everyday - he is still very much a sleeper and likes to snuggle wherever he can get to on a person pant legs, sweater arms, in between legs, he's not fussy as long as it's warm and soft! My BF and I share handling so he is used to both of us. We do look forward to "Ralph time."
He does seem well socialised and rarely fusses when handled and if he does ball up, he soon comes out of it....he isn't too bothered by the cat either, though he does the "frown" if Cleo gets too close.
Ralph does like to use his wheel and when he does decide to explore the room when out of his cage - man he can run fast! (He also looks cute and a little comical when scooting around )
I am going to need to tackle his nails very soon - I figure if I can do Cleo the cat, I can do Ralph...I'll keep you posted on my attempts.

I am considering shifting to fleece lining in the next week once we finish the small bag of Aspen shavings.
He does have a fleece "blankie" in his house that he snuggles into - it gets checked everyday and probably changed every two.

We are still learning and this site has been great for information but I am hoping we have the basics covered at the very least
Ralph does seem to have settled in and we will continue to monitor him very closely for a while - daily weigh-ins and counting kibble etc but we are so relieved he is making progress!

We aim to be good hedgie parents and provide Ralph with everything he needs to have a long and happy life
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Old 10-15-2010, 02:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ralph sounds like a total sweetie. Would love to see some pics of him!
Pliny can be a terribly fussy eater. Whenever I start to introduce something new into his diet, such as a new type of kibble, he staunchly refuses to eat it and sticks to the old stuff in the mix, until suddenly one day he decides the new stuff is the greatest thing ever and he inhales it like a little pig.
Can definitely recommend the fleece liners. When I switched from carefresh to fabric everything got cleaner and easier to maintain. Pliny also prefers his liners as I think he is quite sensitive to dust and was sneezing some with the paper bedding. He also started to use his litterbox more often with the liners.
It sounds like you are doing a great job with little Ralph. Just be patient and have fun!
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Old 10-15-2010, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Welcome!

Congrats on your new hedgie/child, can't wait to see pics of him. It's amazing how much we bond to these little guys. Our Hercules has had some sickness issues, and 3 vet visits in 4 months have cost over $600, but we wouldn't trade him for anything. I would also recommend switching over to fleece liners. You don't find those little pieces of bedding all over the house (which we found everywhere, even though Herc only has limited access to the house). The liners also seem to help his breathing, as the vet says he's sensitive to most scents and dust.

They can be a HUGE stress sometimes, especially if you think they may be sick, but in the end they're so worth it. Welcome
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks

I have a couple of pics, I just have to get around to uploading them..
I'm thinking we'll get the fleece sorted out this weekend.
I'm trying to figure out what colouring he has - I'm not sure if he's old enough for me to be certain yet though. I'm thinking he's either a grey or a chocolate...he has quite a large brown mask which goes up and around his eyes and a really dark nose...maybe I'll get the photos up and someone can help on that one...
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:22 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Just noticed you're in Alberta-glad to have another Alberta member in the forum
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Old 10-15-2010, 06:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
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excellent!
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Old 10-15-2010, 07:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hey there's lots of us Albertans here I see!
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Old 10-15-2010, 08:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Welcome to HHC & congrats on Ralph! My boy Cholla is also a very picky eater.
We can't wait to see pictures & hear more stories of the adventures of Ralph.



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Old 10-15-2010, 08:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikki
Hey there's lots of us Albertans here I see!
Woot Woot!
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Old 10-16-2010, 12:56 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Grats on your new hedgie and Welcome to HHC
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