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Old 11-02-2011, 12:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Very Angry Hedgehog

Hi. I have had my hedgehog since August and he balls up and hisses whenever I go near him. When I do take him out and let him wander on the coffee table will come out of his ball eventually and wander around, but every time that I move he freaks out again. I just wanted to see if I should maybe not take him out as much since he seams like he really doesn't want anything to do with. Also, and I have been reading and see that this is a common problem, but it is so hard to clip his nails. The guys just balls up and won't come out. I managed to get the two front feet yesterday, but it took over half an hour. Does anyone have any ideas on how to make it easier? I read in another thread about scruffing him so maybe I will try that.
My other question has to do with quilling. He was born in April/May and when I got him in August he was loosing a few quills and then in September he started really losing them. The quilling stopped for a while, but last week I notice some quills in his cage again and everyday I find more. He does not have any bald spot and I can't see anything crawling on him. Is it possible he is quilling again?
Thanks for any help you can give.
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Old 11-02-2011, 06:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very Angry Hedgehog

It sounds like your hedgie needs some serious quality time to work on socialization. Every day or even every other day, you should make the effort to take him out of his cage, put him in a snuggle sack or a piece of fleece, and hang out with him on your lap. Start off slowly, with him wrapped up in the fleece or burrowed in the snuggle bag on your lap. Take baby steps with getting him used to you. When he seems to be a little more comfortable hanging out on your lap, rest your hand near his face while he's relaxing or sleeping so he can start to learn your scent and realize that you aren't a big bad predator. Then move on to resting your hand on top of the fleece he's in while he's resting, then work on picking him up without the fleece and holding him with your bare hands, etc. Hedgehogs aren't known for being social butterflies, and a lot of owners have to teach them tolerance of being interacted with and touched. This includes lots of time and patience, even if it's just an hour a day of actual interaction. It may be that you have a cranky hedgie (like mine!) who will never be very thrilled about hanging out with you, but if that's the case, you shouldn't give up on him. My Mildred is a huffy pants and she definitely lets me know when she's not keen on cuddling at night, but I plow on and make her do it. It took a few months for us to get where we are now (her sleeping on me, being OK with me picking her up bare handed, being a total sweetheart once in a while), but it was all worth it. If you take him out during the day, he'll be much more likely to be OK going to sleep near you.

The last thing you should do is reward your hedgehog's cranky behavior with putting him back in his cage when he's cranky or not taking him out as often. All that does is teach him that if he hisses and balls up, he doesn't have to be by you. Also, letting him explore is good, but try to balance out exploring time with cuddle time.

As for nail clipping, there are dozens of threads here that will give you some new ideas. Check 'em out in the Health section.

Generally if there are no bald spots and his skin looks clear, it's just considered normal quill shedding. My hog is 7 months old and she still loses quills on a regular basis.

Let us know how things are going and don't be afraid to ask for advice. Owning a hog can be hard at times, but if you put in the effort it will pay off in the end.
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This message was brought to you by Mildred the Hedgehog's slave, Hannah! ^.^
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Old 11-02-2011, 10:04 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very Angry Hedgehog

We also have a very grumpy hog. We've had him since late June and he's still a grump. we work with everyday even if it's just for a few mins a day. Somedays we make some progress and others he's back to being a bratt lol. Like previously said don't put them back in their cage if they are showing unwanted behaviour. Don't give up.
About the nail clipping with our grumpier hedgie we do it while giving a foot bath. It still takes two of us though. My fiance holds him still and his paw while I clip. Usually it's a work in progress and I'll call it a success if I can get two feet done.
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Old 11-02-2011, 11:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very Angry Hedgehog

Mine's a class-A piece of work... But I can clip nails okay in the bath. When his quills are all flat from being wet, while in the water, I put my hand on top and grab him and flip belly up with one hand, with the clippers ready in the other hand and nab quickly at the nails (carefully) while his little legs are all sprawled out.

Good luck with working on socializing. I'm finally just starting to get Dexter to stop huffing at me when he's on my chest/lap. It takes a lot of patience, and consistency.

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Old 11-03-2011, 01:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very Angry Hedgehog

I can't really offer advice, but... is your username a reference to Les Mis? That's my favorite musical!

"And so Javert you see it's true;
this man bears no more guilt than you.
Who am I?

*fangirl moment*
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Old 05-12-2014, 08:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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my hedgie Brillo became anti social overnight... :/ starting over....
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Old 05-13-2014, 03:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Please remember hissing, huffing and balling up aren't because the hedgie is angry or grumpy, it's because they are scared! They are being defensive.

It takes a lot of time and patience. Sometimes for every step forward you take two steps back. You will have to take the time to learn their personalities and when they like to be up and what they want to do-explore or nap.
For instance, my Nara will want to nap for awhile and then she'll be more alert and be ready to chase crickets. She also hates to be touched on the head, but there's a place on her back that she likes to have "scritched".
Time and patience.
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Old 12-25-2016, 02:25 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Unhappy Hedgehog gone mad

I have A 7 month old hedgy and she is a little grump and when i go near her sho curls up in a ball and hisses and quills up to where i cant pick her up and also she BITES and she bites when your petting her WHAT DO I DO?
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