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Old 05-28-2011, 08:27 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default How Do I Handle Erratic/Nerotic Hedgie!

Hello all, I once again have a question regarding Oliver, the rescue hedgie who was sent to us last week. We have determined he isnt blind but he is showing signs of WHS His balaance is terribly off and he keeps falling and laying on his left side... But the problem I wish to address is his erratic and nerotic hyperness.. he literally will run in circles and back and forth around his cage on the couch or wherever he is.He will even hop right of the ground when you try to touch him. You cant even hold him without having to use a strong ( not hurtful) grip and even then he skirms and will wiggle out of your hands not caring about falling or anything. But we dont even want to hold him because we dont want to hurt him by either him falling or having to hold him to tight. The only time he slows down is in the bath, can I use water as a bonding tool? But does anyone know of any aliments that effect hedgies that have those symptoms? Or besides the balance thing would it be behavioral? Its like he has ADHD, I know hes been bounced around a lot and has never had a long relationship with any human, the longest being a few months. Were going to the Vet Thursday but im trying to calm him down so the vet can actually examine him, Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2011, 08:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: How Do I Handle Erratic/Nerotic Hedgie!

Are you certain his wobbliness is WHS? If he has an inner ear infection he may be very wobbly.

Neurotic. Sometimes you just have to comfort them. Have you tried picking him up in a blanket and keep him covered? I have one that hates light. If the lights are on she freaks out. Once the light is dimmed or if I cover her with a blanket she settles down.

Another thought... If he has pain in his ears he may act neurotic too. I had one who had ear mites once. She would be sitting still then suddenly jump sideways, and run. Her case was very mild. Bad cases of ear mites can cause inflammation in the ear canal, head tilt, and loss of balance.
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Old 05-28-2011, 09:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: How Do I Handle Erratic/Nerotic Hedgie!

I second what kalandra said: my first thought when you mentioned the ears was pain. That may explain a lot.

If not...calm and covered...and a LOT of patience. Keep your energy in check - animals sense it and react to it...so act like you represent the safest place in the world and you will emit that energy.
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Old 05-29-2011, 08:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: How Do I Handle Erratic/Nerotic Hedgie!

The ear thing does make a lot of sense, would he be more prone to ear mites coming from a pet store? I will mention your suggestions to the vet on Thursday. The blanket thing only works if your not touching him... he'll go under there o his own on the couch or what not but if you put him in there on you lap or holding him he freaks out... but then again he has been through a tramatic little life. Thanks so much for the input!
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Old 05-29-2011, 11:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: How Do I Handle Erratic/Nerotic Hedgie!

Use the blanket trick to help him feel secure. You don't need to be touching him to bond with him. In fact I hardly ever touch a new hedgehog who is being extremely defensive. I let them crawl around on me under a blanket. If they fall asleep, great they feel comfortable enough to sleep on me. In time they start to learn that your movements are not going to hurt them, they learn your scent and sounds are ok. As they seem to progress to trusting me I start putting my hand under the blanket with them, moving it closer to them, and eventually touching them. Yes they will bounce and possibly curl up, but that's ok. Hopefully in time they won't or will at least uncurl quickly.

Also you must realize that some hedgehogs will always pop and huff when you touch them. Some just don't like touching and it has nothing to do with a bad life. I had one that was born in my home, he would always curl up in a ball when picked up, and was very defensive. It was just his personality. He was friendly, but it had to be on his terms.

Have doc definitely check out the ears. If you got him from a pet store he may have gotten them from there, but not necessarily. The one I had who had ear mites we never figured out where she got them. She had been living with me for quite some time at that point and had come from a good breeder before that. Sometime mites and ear infections just happen.
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Old 05-29-2011, 12:25 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: How Do I Handle Erratic/Nerotic Hedgie!

Great advice, thank you. We have seen a difference in the last few days, like you said he doesnt know our smells and sounds yet and he's never really had human interaction. We have a female that we got from a breeders who hates people touching her, but similar to yours she will crawl on you, sleep on you, ect. but as soon as you go to touch her anywhere but one spot on her bum she starts popping and huffing up a storm! lol So basically patience patience patience.... lol thanks everyone! Ill update on what the vet says~
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