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Old 02-03-2009, 02:06 AM   #1 (permalink)
 
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Post OWIE! Hedgie Bite

So I've had Oscar for about 25 days now, and hes still very unsure about me which does break my heart because, well because he's my Oscar

SO today I was holding him in my arms at the kitchen table, he seemed a bit distressed, but seemed more calm than usual.

SO I was talking with my mom while I was holding oscar when all of a sudden *CHOMP* I felt Oscars terrible grip of doom upon my poor little pinky finger, I talked quietly to him, asking him to please let go, he just kept strengthening his grip, so I stroked his quills gently, but things got worse, he jerked his head at about 5 seconds and I felt the skin tear so now in a bit more pain I touched his forequills (I had no Idea what to do) and he just kept his grip! I was so shocked. He eventually loosened up and did a bit of a huff, so I walked over with him and put him back in his cage and he let go...the whole thing must have lasted about 12 seconds...ummm

Anyways, this was the first time he bit me so, has anyone got any info on what to do with a hedgehog who has his death grip of doom upon you? Any tricks to get him to let go?
AND is it normal for a hedgehog to hold on for a long period of time?
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Old 02-03-2009, 05:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

Ouch! Sorry about your finger!

I have heard that hedgehogs lock their jaws when they bite down. I have not had this happen and I don't know how to get them to let go. I guess by returning him to his cage he felt more secure and thats why he let go. I would use that method if it ever happens again.

When you are holding him do you let him cuddle in a blanket or something so he can hide if he wants? If you don't you may want to try it and he may feel more secure and not try to bite you again. It sounds like he was scared and that would be a normal reaction to fear. Some hedgies will nibble if they smell something interesting on your fingers. Try washing your hands before handling him just in case he did it because you smelled yummy.
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Old 02-03-2009, 09:01 AM   #3 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

I'm a new hedgehog owner too. When i first got Pepper, she also bit me and locked her jaws. I had seen dogs do it, but never had a small animal try, so it shocked me. My first instinct was to apply slight pressure to the corners of her mouth, like you would with a dog that won't let go of a toy. It worked almost immediately, just keep in mind that hedgehogs are small, so be careful. After she bit me, I put her back in her cage, and I'm a lot more careful when she starts acting annoyed. We haven't had any problems since, so don't give up with yours.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

Ouch, boy do i know how that feels. My first hedgie was a biter his whole life and i had that happen quite a number of times before i learned to work around his taste for flesh. ( and no i don't know how to make them let go, he always let go.... eventually )

Keep in mind that putting them back into the cage immediately after getting bitten can actually have the adverse effect of encouraging them to bite you more. They are quite smart at getting what they want and immediately putting them back teaches them that they can get what they want by biting you when they feel like it.
Of course that does not mean to force an annoyed/grumpy/tired hedgie to stay out for hours after they bite you but just to allow a few minutes to pass before putting them back.
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Old 02-05-2009, 03:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

one other thing that discourages them from biting is if they do push the bitten part back at them . It makes it uncomfortable for them to keep it up and teaches them its not such a good idea ..
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Old 02-05-2009, 08:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

I have a few biters. Usually there is a reason they bite but figuring out that reason can be difficult. Do you feed him treats from your fingers? Often that can encourage biting as they begin to associate your fingers with food. Of course this doesn't happen with all, but I don't feed babies from my fingers and only some adults.

Some hedgehogs are very oral and love to chew on fabric. The armpit area and neck of your t-shirt is especially interesting. If your hedgehog likes to chew, just make sure the clothing is loose so he can't accidentally grab skin too.

Having one bite and hold on is painful but I've found the best thing to do is nothing but sit still and talk quietly. Any movement can make some of them latch on harder or grind teeth to get a better grip. You also want to avoid him rolling into a ball while your finger is still in his mouth, talk about double the pain.

Try to avoid the bite by keeping exposed skin out of mouth range. When Quillson was going through his foot and almost daily foot baths issues, he would bite me daily but he was a sneaky one and learned to wait until I let my guard down.

The best advice I can give it to try and minimize the risk of him biting.
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:05 AM   #7 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

Juicebox bit me the first day I got her. It was my fault though. I had just finished eating some chicken and I guess she thought she would try some off my fingers too. But now even if ive washed my hands THROUGHLY and put antibacterial hand sanitizer on them she tries to bite me. Shes only ever bit me once and it was barely a tiny little nibble but why does she do it if shes not mad and just exploring her cage?
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

I've heard that if the hedgie is just doing little nips, it's good to blow on their noses. I think it's to get your scent into them--let them know it's you--as well as it discomforts them.
For hard biting, I read that if they have your finger, push the finger to the back of the throat and they will usually let go. As well, if they refuse to let go, someone said that putting a dab of rubbing alcohol on their noses might do the trick.
Sorry about the bite!
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:45 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ahava
I've heard that if the hedgie is just doing little nips, it's good to blow on their noses. I think it's to get your scent into them--let them know it's you--as well as it discomforts them.
For hard biting, I read that if they have your finger, push the finger to the back of the throat and they will usually let go. As well, if they refuse to let go, someone said that putting a dab of rubbing alcohol on their noses might do the trick.
Sorry about the bite!
Never use rubbing alcohol or push your finger down there throat unless you want your hedgie to hate you if you dont want them to bite then spend more time bonding with them or learn the reason they are bitting you! How would you like those things done to you?
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Old 03-28-2009, 01:49 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: OWIE! Hedgie Bite

lol okay Aleasha. These are merely things that I have read. I have been very lucky so far that Teddi hasn't bitten me. Of course I would reccomend that you try to find out what is wrong and why your hedgie might be biting but if your hedgie is NOT letting go, I am suggesting alternatives that I have read about. As well, every hedgie is different and different methods work for different personalities. Needing more bonding time may be the problem, but some hedgies--like people--don't respond to kind and soothing words. If the hedgie is refusing to let go, people need to know that there are a few alternatives that they could TRY.
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