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Old 01-19-2012, 01:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

My hedgehog, Franklin, has been acting very odd these last few days. He's taken to being very antisocial, and even has gone so far as to bite my mother, and now has bitten me. He refuses to be taken out of his cage, spends nights digging at the bottom, and is generally very moody. We have had him for about three weeks, and he will be three months old next week. Any ideas? |:
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Old 01-19-2012, 01:47 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

To bond with him were a shirt for the night then stick ur shirt were he sleps or wrap him in it **** get use to ur smeel also grab him with a towel and lay a thick blaknt on ur legs then lay him on it also give him treats when his out of his cage that way he will think it good to come out of his cage for treats they like meal worms and bolled eggs or scrambled eggs but dont add salt or pepper they also like allples watter mellon no seeds hope this helps
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:56 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

Sounds like he's probably quilling, which can cause some serious grumpiness because it can be very uncomfortable. Have you noticed quills (more than the occasional one or two, which is typical) around his cage or coming off when you're handling him? If he's quilling, you should avoid touching his back and be very gentle when you have to. You can help the discomfort with a bath with Aveeno oatmeal baby wash or similar, and you can also put a few drops of flaxseed oil on his back - both of these are usual methods of helping with dry skin, but they're also soothing (at least temporarily) for quilling.

Also, have you made any recent changes? (schedule, food, environment, etc) - for hedgehogs, change easily causes stress.

They'll bite out of reflex if they're scared, or if they think you're tasty; the latter will follow some amount of licking or interested sniffing at your skin. The best thing you can do for that is to just give him as few opportunities to do so as possible; take your hand away if he starts to lick, and don't put your hands near his face (which can also be intimidating to them).

If there's nothing out of the ordinary about his activity level, appetite, or bodily functions (particularly poop), then there's most likely nothing medical that's wrong with him. You should continue to handle him and spend time with him, and it's a good idea to not put him back in his cage when he's being cranky - wait until he settles, otherwise there's the chance that he'll start thinking "being grumpy = get left alone" and it could reinforce the behavior. When he's not cooperating with being handled, you should still give him time to bond and be in close proximity by letting him just huddle and sleep in your lap for a while, or something like that. If he's more at ease being inside a hedgie bag or blanket, that's fine.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

He's in the same environment as before. Hence my confusion. He probably is quilling, though. I haven't noticed it, but he is getting to the 12 week mark. He was just hanging out in his towel, wrapped up, when he decided to just go for it. I didn't even feel him sniffing or licking, hence my concern. He's started huffing at me as I walk past his cage, as well. So we'll see how this progresses.
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Old 01-19-2012, 02:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

Yep, the best way to describe quilling is like if a toddler goes through teething AND the terrible 2s all at the same time. Good luck, and may the hedgie force be with you.
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Old 01-19-2012, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Christemo
Yep, the best way to describe quilling is like if a toddler goes through teething AND the terrible 2s all at the same time. Good luck, and may the hedgie force be with you.
That's very apt. XD

Ares is just shy of 8 weeks and he's quilling like crazy (and he's completely changed color, turned into a snowflake!) - some days he's absolutely precious and relaxed and cuddly and some days he's completely grumpy and uncooperative. I know from the good days that the grumpiness isn't his "true self", so it's just a matter of being patient. And even when he's at his worst, he's so effing cute when he's snoozing in my lap. I can't possibly hold it against him, I just dribble a little flaxseed oil on his back every day and try to take my cues from his behavior. If he doesn't want to be handled one day, I don't force the issue, I just stick him in my lap in his bag for an hour or two, and that seems to be a nice compromise.
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

Thanks everyone. Franklin's in a much better mood today. He was climbing, and rolling around in his ball without any issue. He did nip me, but that was my fault, for not washing my arms after making pizza. He even let me pet his belly, so he may have just been moody/quilling
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

That's great to hear! Chances are some of those mood swings will happen for a little longer, considering what his age is - or maybe you're lucky and he got done with his week-12 quilling a little bit early. Just play it one day at a time until he's gotten over it completely. :]
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Old 01-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezerBurn
Thanks everyone. Franklin's in a much better mood today. He was climbing, and rolling around in his ball without any issue. He did nip me, but that was my fault, for not washing my arms after making pizza. He even let me pet his belly, so he may have just been moody/quilling
Be careful with the ball - running balls aren't recommended as they can injure little toes and nails. HHC recommends not using them as it's so unsanitary for them to roll around in their excrement and there's no way for us to tell if they're having fun or if they're terrified.

It definitely does sound like quilling. Poor guy! I feel so bad for anyone's hog when they quill. It definitely can't be fun, and I totally understand the grouchiness that comes along with it. Once in a while, a hog that is a sweetheart before quilling ends up being a major grump for the rest of their life after a bad quill, so be very patient and gentle with him.
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Old 01-19-2012, 10:54 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Very strange behaviour, three weeks later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hanhan27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreezerBurn
Thanks everyone. Franklin's in a much better mood today. He was climbing, and rolling around in his ball without any issue. He did nip me, but that was my fault, for not washing my arms after making pizza. He even let me pet his belly, so he may have just been moody/quilling
Be careful with the ball - running balls aren't recommended as they can injure little toes and nails. HHC recommends not using them as it's so unsanitary for them to roll around in their excrement and there's no way for us to tell if they're having fun or if they're terrified.

It definitely does sound like quilling. Poor guy! I feel so bad for anyone's hog when they quill. It definitely can't be fun, and I totally understand the grouchiness that comes along with it. Once in a while, a hog that is a sweetheart before quilling ends up being a major grump for the rest of their life after a bad quill, so be very patient and gentle with him.

I did hedgehog proof the ball, prior to him using it. He's the type of hog to dash once your back is turned, so we can't keep him in the playpen he has now. He does like the ball, however, moreso than his wheel (He's a very peculiar little guy). It also gets cleaned every day, before and after use (sometimes during ). We're working on not letting the grumpiness stick around though.
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