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Old 11-27-2011, 10:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default The Nail Trimming Problem

Hey guys,

My hedgehog Crowley hates when I try to trim his nails. As soon as I start doing it, he gets huffy and curls up in a ball. When I tried to do it in the bath, he bit me, and I hate to say it did make me lose a bit of confidence when handling him. I am debating taking him to the vet to do it, but I would rather do it on my own. Can anyone give me some tips on what to do?
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Old 11-27-2011, 11:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Nail Trimming Problem

vet would probably ask you to hold him while trimming the nails (and the same thing will happen as when you do-biting?)or sometimes from what I have read they will gas the hedgie- which is not the best choice just to do his nails.
have you tried to lure him with a mealworm just to make him concentrate on the mealworm rather than you- like hold the worm close to his nose, but not too close...so to get his attention fixed on the worm?
or can he trust you to do his nails while he is asleep on your lap? I only ask cause Dilly allows me to trim when he is asleep.
sometimes I ask my partner to do Dill's nails while i hold him (sometimes I hold his little feet as well so we can have a nice clean cut).
I am sure the experts will have better advice than me.
I am just trying to give some ideas...
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Old 11-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Nail Trimming Problem

Penny hates having her nails clipped too. I've become an opportunity clipper. I always clip after foot baths so the nails are softened and the quick is visible, and basically I let her hang out in her fleece to dry off a bit, and when she decides to explore, I wait for my chance to clip a nail. As long as I'm not restraining her too much she doesn't seem to mind. The actual clipping doesn't bother her at all. It's the handling. Sometimes I can get at a nail while she's sitting on me or next to me on the couch. Other times, I'll gently take hold of a back foot when she's stretching. She's even been known to consent to having a nail done when I'm holding her, lol. I do one or two nails a night, and that's it. It means clipping more often, but the experience is less stressful on her and doesn't harm our relationship.
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Old 11-28-2011, 06:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Nail Trimming Problem

It's a good idea to get them used to having their feet touched. One thing you can do is to touch their feet, rub them, play with them a bit during cuddle times. Offer them a little treat afterwards. For some hedgies, it's not a big deal. For others, you will have to work at it & they may never like it. But it may help when it comes time to clip their nails. They are used to you touching their feet & even though they don't like it, it can be less stressful.

I also just get a nail here & there when I can. Don't give up!



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Old 12-15-2011, 02:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Nail Trimming Problem

Hello I hope you are well.

I just figured out what works for my hedgehog Izzie and I for nail trimming time. She is not a biter, so this may or may not be a solution for you. But, I thought I'd share.

Tonight I let Izzie roam in the apartment for a while to wake up, become energetic and have a fun time. When she was done and coming around to find me as she does, I picked her up in a towel. She pretty much knows what a towel means, either bath time or nail clipping time (or both, in that order).

So she was kind of mad. But she was awake enough that her balling up only lasted a few moments before she unballed and let her feet flail for me to try to catch.

I had my clippers in hand, and attempted to grab hold of a flailing foot, to poor luck. She would ball and then quickly the process would start over. SO I instead tried to get at a foot, WHILE she was balled up.

Silly I know, but I was patient and tolerant of getting poked a few times in the finger. What I did was, when she was in her ball, I rested my fingers near the opening. As she slowly opened up, she got used to my fingers being there (after balling a few times, she eventually tolerated my fingers super close to her face).

As she started to come around, I moved my fingers toward the food I desired to clip. Again, she would ball up a bit, but I left my fingers there, firm. Eventually, she would sort of be in a half ball, but there was enough room for me to fit my fingers inside her little ball and grab hold of her foot with index finger and thumb. She would try to pull it away by balling again, but she was already in a ball--- her foot had no where to go! I got her!

Very carefully, I was able to get my clippers near the inside of her little ball (with room to see and move about. Wait for the perfect moment) After feeling that she was no longer struggling against me, she let me clip her nails, one by one.

It was very close to her face, but my safety clippers allowed me to ONLY clip her nails. No fur or whiskers got in the way. The trick is to be patient and let her get used to your fingers just sitting there. Then, when the moment is right, grab the paw, hold on for a few moments, then clip when you are sure she is done struggling.

I wish I had a better way to describe it, but I was able to cut all of her nails. After grabbing the third paw, she had pretty much given up, and let me do it. She remained mostly balled up, so she felt safe and protected from me, but at the same time, she let me just.. do what I needed to do with the paw I had grabbed.

In a couple of weeks when it's time to clip again, I'll hope I can remember to have my boyfriend take video to show you. It's sort of scary sounding, but honestly it was a way in which both she and I felt comfortable!
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Nail Trimming Problem

Dash is bad too, so what we do is let him walk in my hands until one foot is sticking out. I am standing in front of hubby's chair. When a little paw sticks through, I hold it between my fingers softly and he clips. Dash never even knows. Easy!
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