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Old 05-17-2011, 02:04 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

I'm trying to clip Slash's nails for the first time and he won't sit still for even a moment! The only time he is ever still is for the first 5 seconds when he's balled up after being rudely awaken. Any suggestions?
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

Probably not rudely waking him up would be my first suggestion Then he won't associate nail trimming with negitivity. Try for the positive reinforcement approach.
Do you have someone who can help you? Maybe someone else can try distracting him with a treat as you calmly and gently coax one limb in to your grasp. Also you don't have to do it all at once. Do a few at a time and then try again later during the next play sesh. Also maybe try after a bath. when youre drying him off see if you can get one foot to stick out of the towel and quicklydo a few.
Remember don't rush, keep calm and be patient. They can sense if you're stressed out or anxious. Also keep some styptic powder or cornstarch nearby in case of an accident.
Goodluck!
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

Well, there are many different and innovative ways of trimming nails, and I doubt I'd be able to remember them all.

The most common is to cut while in a bath. The nails are soft, clean and easy to see. They also tend not to curl up as then they'd end up snorting some water.

The next common is having an extra set of hands, whether it be to hold, or to scruff while the other one clips.

Some(I do this sometimes) is to wake them up when you're doing the nightly cleaning duties, and before they are fully awake, snip a nail or two.

But the most important, is to always play with their feet. I played with my boy's feet from the day I brought him home at 7weeks. I actually clipped his nails(one each night) almost every single night just to get him used to it, and it was easy as a baby, cause he was usually passed out. Nowadays, he barely struggles when I pick up one of his feet, and he'll wait till I'm done. Doesn't ball up, doesn't hiss. So I can basically do his nails whenever I want, however I want.
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Old 05-17-2011, 02:56 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

@yellow: Should have explained more about the rude awakenings. He gets waken up when I clean his cage at night and is the grumpiest little thing which is how I know he's mine. It's seriously the only time he will ball up but immediately uncurls when I pick him up and then he becomes SUPER active. He's definitely NOT a cuddlier. I got him in my t-shirt after I gave him a bath and I tried to hold his little foot out but he did not like that very much. I can pet his feet but he will definitely not let me hold them.
@immortalia: That's great! My baby is about 11 weeks old now and has always been active from the start...that's mostly why I chose him. He wasn't balled up like the others and would climb and dig all over the place! I'm definitely going to try the bath next time. I managed to snip a few of his nails on his hind leg but getting the front is going to be challenging because he wants to bite the nail clippers and he seems to think it's a pair of tweezers and THOSE usually have meal worms on them!
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

Yeah I love their personalities. Let us know how the progress goes.
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

Definitely. Thanks for your help!
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Old 05-17-2011, 03:15 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

Distractions go over big in my house. I put him in the sink in a footbath, and then give him a mealie. He's so busy nomming he doesn't notice me grab a foot and do a couple nails. Also, even if you only do 1 or 2 nails a night, it's better than nothing at all, at least until Slash is used to it.
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Old 05-17-2011, 06:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

I use Hercsmom's method. Snarf is the WORST with baths and nails...he hates having his feet touched in general, never mind someone messing with them. But...if I just try to do one nail while he's having a footbath...just one...eventually they all get done. I use the kitchen sink and when he's facing away from me, I hook a finger around a foot, hang on for dear life and take a snip. It's a quick snip and I never get much cuz I err on the side of the least blood loss, but at least one nail gets a bit of a trim.

Snarf's vet does nail trims as part of their regular exam and will trim the nails for free in between visits. So that may be an option for you, too.

You can only do what you can do.
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:03 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

My new hog (a rehome) Pippin has never had his nail trimmed with his other family. They were horribly long and terribly dirty. I just got him on Saturday and have had NO CHOICE but to start him right out with a bath and tonight I JUST had to try and clip a couple of the bad nails.

I washed his poopy boots and he is quite a monkey about trying to climb out of the wash tub. So, while he spent all his strength on trying to climb out into the towel my daughter was holding I ways able to cut two of the really bad nails. It was hard, and I hate to stress him out so early in our relationship ...... but I try to be calm and get what I can and get out!!!!

Always just baby steps.

Good luck!
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Old 05-18-2011, 12:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Cutting a fussy hedgie's nails.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KathyTNY
but I try to be calm and get what I can and get out!!!!

Always just baby steps.
Best. Advice. Ever.

That's why my goal is always one little nail...anything more is a bonus. And being calm probably makes the most difference!
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