Wally is scared of me but needs his nails cut. (very new, please help) - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:21 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Wally is scared of me but needs his nails cut. (very new, please help)

I just got my hedgehog Walter on Sunday (today is Wednesday). To be honest, I didn't know a lot about hedgehogs, but I am a dedicated and loving soul so I set to learning about them. I didn't touch him for two days, just wanted to let him relax and get used to the new surroundings, but I did read to him so that he would grow accustomed to my voice. I did some reading and was confident that he wasn't stressed, just fussing, so I decided to try picking him up tonight (I used gloves- is that a huge mistake?).

He was unpleasant, as I've read a hedgehog will often remain for weeks or sometimes months. But I was very concerned when I saw his nails. Walter is over a year old, although I'm not sure of his exact age, and has had TWO previous owners. The first I know nothing about, but I don't believe the second owners really had an idea of the uniqueness of the animal and how much attention they need. His nails are extremely long and gnarled and they overlap.

My concern is whether he is likely to be in pain, with nails like that, and if so, how should I go about cutting them? He is not familiar with me whatsoever, keep in mind, and he jerks away if my hands or face come anywhere near him, both of which are necessary components of hedgehog nail clipping. I would like to get him taken care of though, because I felt very sad for him when I saw his poor little feets. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-04-2014, 02:46 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi !
Ive had my hedgehog since dec 2013 he was just a baby but ive read your not suppose to use gloves because they need to get use to your smell also put tshirt in his cage to get use to your smell he will use it as a blanket as far as his nail go you can take him to a vet since its your first time call and ask if they see hedgehogs first or you can watch youtube videos that helped me alot
hope this helps !!
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:24 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would suggest a vet visit. They can put him under just a bit of anesthesia so that they can clip his nails without having it be a huge fight or be extremely upsetting for him. That'll give you at least a few weeks longer to continue bonding with him and getting him used to you. Once you're able to, play with his feet and legs as much as you can. Touch them, rub them, grab a foot and hold on to it for a second before letting go, once he's more comfortable with that, grab a foot & pull it away from his body a bit, then let go, etc. Play with them every time you have him out and he may get more used to it.

It's best not to use gloves to handle him as it can mask your scent and feel even scarier. If you're nervous about his quills or that he might bite you, use a fleece blanket to pick him up and hold him. Try to have him out for a minimum of 30 minutes every night. The longer, the better, up to a few hours. If he's extremely defensive, don't try to interact with him right away. Just sit & watch tv or read or work on your laptop, etc. and have him in your lap, covered up. He may get comfortable enough to start exploring or to curl up and take a nap. Either thing is a good sign.
~*~*~ Kelsey ~*~*~

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Old 09-04-2014, 02:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies guys. I have opted out of gloves and have begun picking him up with a shirt I like to sleep in. Maybe he's just an especially friendly/curious little guy, but this is the fourth day I've known him and right now he is running around on my bed. I think I will take him to the vet this weekend to clip his nails, though, because he keeps getting them caught on my blankets, poor baby boy. I think this is the beginning of a very strong bong
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Old 09-04-2014, 04:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I pick up my hedge with a bathroom hand towel, fwiw. I also keep her in said towel and slightly swaddle her up and clip one paw's nails at a time with a cuticle nipper (which is far easier than a regular nail clipper). I would also agree with the Vet advice in this case. Best of luck!
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