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-   -   New hedgehog..extremely grumpy? (https://www.hedgehogcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8730)

seanyboy 03-05-2011 01:54 AM

New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Hello, so after doing some research and talking to someone at work who owns one, I bought a hedgehog 4 days ago. Ever since I've brought her home, though, she's been hissing anytime I get near or rolling into a spikey ball (whether it's night or day)..I'm just curious if this is normal? I know it's only been 4 days, but just about anything makes her hiss; picking her up, petting her, walking by the cage to get to my closet...I was just in bed eating chips and the crunching sound caused her to hiss, even though I'm about 6 feet from the cage.

I tried the shirt trick (putting a shirt in her cage) but she still hisses at me.The first day I held her she bit me pretty hard, too. Will she grow out of this, or did I just get a very anti-social hedgehog? I think she's 7 months old, that's what she said at the petshop.

In rare cases if I pet her after bringing her onto my bed she won't hiss...but that lasts about 30 seconds.

Here's pictures of my grumpy partner, Izzy:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...p/IMG_5644.jpg

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...IMG_5646-1.jpg

Her setup:

http://i7.photobucket.com/albums/y28...p/IMG_5658.jpg

Thanks for looking.

alex_le_renar 03-05-2011 07:11 AM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Hi!
Congratulations for your new hedgy :)
As someone else suggested in another thread (sorry I do not recall the nick name) if you are a new hedgy owner it is a good idea to read the behaviour threads. I am new one myself and it helped me a lot. My hedgie is a male, 6 months old and the first two-three days he balled up very tight. I kept holding him on my palms until he got used to me. Now he has been with us for two weeks and he doesnt even bother to stay balled after we pick him up. He has never bitten me, but I have read people who say that some hedgies only bit one or two times in their lives, when they were scared or smelled something delicious, and others, that are just.. bitters. But yours is stil adapting, so I would not worry about that.
I also have two comments on the pictures: from the side she looks slightly overweight. I am not an expert, most of my training comes from fotos, so maybe an expert will come by to let us know.. So maybe she needs a change of nutrition.
And also, what is her bedding? I can not see if it is liners, but the third day that I decided to change my hedgie to liners, and also gave him blankets to hide, he felt much more comfortable. And a slight worry about his toes getting stuck between the wood pieces of the cylinder..
I hope I helped a bit..Good luck with her. Lots of love will do the trick :)

MissC 03-05-2011 07:51 AM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Patience, Grasshopper, patience. It could take weeks, month, years to develop a trusting relationship with a hedgie.

Speak gently, move slowly (better yet, just don't move), breathe and relax....try taking her out of her cage with the shirt or a piece of fleece and place her on your lap. Try this for 20-30 minutes every single day of your life. Let her sleep on you...your only goal is to get her comfortable being near you. Over time, she may start to explore around her...just let her (safety first!) and slowly, try putting your hand near her...then on her while she's covered...then try to sneak a hand under the blanket and touch her - don't pet, yet...just touch.

Get it? You may end up petting a hedgie bag (something I am all too familiar with) but you're still developing a relationship. Yes, it's basically with a piece of fleece but if you're patient, you will see changes.

Immortalia 03-05-2011 11:39 AM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Congrats on your new hedgie! Everything behavioural was basically covered. To make you feel better my boy still hisses at me everytime I disrupt his beauty sleep.....2 years later lol

Now about the other stuff...
Silent spinners are dangerous wheels. You need to ducttape the center crack so no hedgie nails get stuck and ripped off. And you need to secure it very well and check the bearings daily as the have been know to come apart and fall on the hedgie.

You bought her from a petstore? Were there other hedgies housed with her? And you are sure she is female? Whether you saw her housed with another or not you should still be prepared for surprise babies just in case. It may be good to read up the breeding section on all the "help! Surprise babies!" threads. I don't wanna scare you but it's better to be prepared as for some strange reason a lot of petstore don't seem to understand that male+female=babies and the poor new owners get that lovely bombshell.

Anything wood generally doesn't get used around hedgies unless it's been treated as otherwise it can harbor mites. Also with that wood ladder/house thing it's easy for a hedgie to climb then fall off the edge. They have very poor depth perception and will fall off just about anything and their bones are much too fragile for that.

What sort of food did the petstore tell you was good to feed?

seanyboy 03-05-2011 12:34 PM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Thank you everyone for the really quick replies and advice (and congratulations!)

MissC, I'll try and let her out when she's sleeping and have her sit on me. I'll also try the blanket trick and see if that works. When I had y shirt in the cage she crawled into it, so I took it out since I didn't want her to get stuck or suffocate..but it's okay if they hide under it then?

I'll make sure to check out the behaviour threads too, Alex. I did some browsing around here the night I got her (this forum being the reason I got rid of her old aquarium cage and got a bunny cage the next day). I think Izzy probably just smelt something on me, it was a pretty powerful bite. She usually licks me now, but I'm afraid that might be followed by a bite. Maybe I taste good to her :shock:

As for her being overweight, I'll watch what she eats. I'll try and get some liners in the cage and a litter box as well.

I may get a better hut for him too, one of those plastic igloos. The few petshops I went to had them as cover for their hedgehogs, so I went with it.

Immortalia, I can usually get her a little calmer once I take her out of the cage and give her a mealworm. As for the wheel, is regular silver duct tape okay for her? And would I just change it everytime I clean the wheel?

She was in a cage alone at a pet shop, but I'm not sure of if she is female. They told me at the store she is a she, and they had her for 3 months before anyone bought her, so I think I'm safe on the pregnant side, although I'll check out the babies thread to make sure everything checks out. For all I know, Izzy could be a guy!

I'll look around for a better hut, too, one that's made of platic perhaps. The petshop recommended hedgehog food. I got a box of it (it just says "Nutrient Rich Hedgehog Diet" on the box), and she seems to enjoy that, with a mealworm every day/every other day. I heard I can feed her dry cat food as long as it's high in protein, should I see if she likes that?

Thanks again for all the responses. I'll make sure to supe her cage up a bit the next day I'm off and can go to the petshop.

PJM 03-05-2011 05:09 PM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Welcome to HHC & congratulations! She's adorable.

As has been mentioned before...be patient, gentle & consistent.

A very common warning of a bite is a lick. Usually it's lick, lick, lick, BITE. :lol: So when she licks you, move that body part away - unless you WANT a bite. :lol:

There's lots & lots of great info in the threads. Feel free to ask questions - we're here to help. And post as many pictures as you want! We love those. :D




Immortalia 03-05-2011 06:23 PM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
The duct tape is essentially a quick fix till you get a better wheel. Or even just return it for a comfort wheel. Yes that duct tape is fine and it will need to be changed daily since you'd need to scrub the wheel down daily anyways.

As for the food, do check out the food section of the forum which will have loads of info. But the basic range you want is ~30% protein and <15% fat. You also want meat in the first 5 ingredient, #1 is better obviously. Try to stay away from food that has lots of corn and BHT.
Most hedgehog food out there is crap, dangerous/deadly to feed, or nutritionally incomplete but not immediately harmful.

Also you may want to put her in a clear bowl and look up to see if she really is a girl or if she has the " bellybutton".

seanyboy 03-05-2011 09:52 PM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PJM
Welcome to HHC & congratulations! She's adorable.

As has been mentioned before...be patient, gentle & consistent.

A very common warning of a bite is a lick. Usually it's lick, lick, lick, BITE. :lol: So when she licks you, move that body part away - unless you WANT a bite. :lol:

There's lots & lots of great info in the threads. Feel free to ask questions - we're here to help. And post as many pictures as you want! We love those. :D

Ahh that explains it. She always licks my hand...I'm a little wiser now, haha

Quote:

Originally Posted by Immortalia
The duct tape is essentially a quick fix till you get a better wheel. Or even just return it for a comfort wheel. Yes that duct tape is fine and it will need to be changed daily since you'd need to scrub the wheel down daily anyways.

As for the food, do check out the food section of the forum which will have loads of info. But the basic range you want is ~30% protein and <15% fat. You also want meat in the first 5 ingredient, #1 is better obviously. Try to stay away from food that has lots of corn and BHT.
Most hedgehog food out there is crap, dangerous/deadly to feed, or nutritionally incomplete but not immediately harmful.

Also you may want to put her in a clear bowl and look up to see if she really is a girl or if she has the " bellybutton".

Alright, is there any recommended wheels I should get? I spent $15.00 on a square-grid wheel because the guy at the petshop said "oh it's fine"...so I bought it, found out I can't use it when I checked these forums, so I had to spend $35.00 on this wheel (which is pretty pricey for a wheel) when I went to another pet shop. I guess good wheels are hard to find around here because besides this silent spinner, they're all either square grids or mesh. Ugh. Should I just take this one out of her cage til I get a new one? I can't afford another one until next pay (Friday)

And thanks for the heads up on what kind of food to specifically look for. I'll pick that up on Friday as well.

seanyboy 03-05-2011 10:24 PM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
Sorry to double post, but I played it safe and took out the wheel. Unfortunately she may be without one for a few days, but it's better than her getting her toes caught, or the whole thing tipping over and hurting her. I'll find a better hut for her to hide in as well. I heard those plastic igloos are good for them, eh?

Thanks again for the helpful replies, everyone. Unfortunately the people at the petshop would rather sell me generic pet equipment than the proper stuff, sigh. :?

NoDivision 03-05-2011 10:29 PM

Re: New hedgehog..extremely grumpy?
 
I think a lot of the behavior is probably due to her being a pet store hedgie - she probably lived in a noisy, bright, peculiar environment with little to no real human contact or socialization. It's going to take time to get her used to you :)

As far as being a she - if she was a he, you would be able to tell from a glimpse at the belly XD

Now as far as wheels go - hands down the best that the large majority of us use and love is the carolina storm wheel, made and sold by Larry here on the forums. The thread is here. viewtopic.php?f=20&t=4844&st=0&sk=t&sd=a
It's a shame you've already spend so much on wheels so I'm sure the price might make you a bit concerned again, to be spending that much more, but the wheel is one of the number one things that your hedgie is going to need to stay healthy. It's an investment that is very very worth it. It will help as far as keeping a healthy weight and stimulation -a running hedgie is a happy and healthy hedgie!

And yes, the igloos are great! My boy doesn't always use his, of course. If you switch to fleece liners, which I REALLY recommend, you may find that she just sleeps under the fleece.


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