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Old 07-24-2012, 12:24 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default What did I do wrong?

Hannah used to be the sweetest hedgie ever. When I picked her out at the breeder, she was the only one that didn't ball up when I picked her up. She used to love being petted on her back and would hardly ever ball up. She used to even fight going into a ball when I held her on her back... She loved to snuggle into my neck and hide under my hair.

Now it's a different story. Almost like I have a different hedgie living with me. She puffs and pops every time I try to pick her up, and every time I try to pet her at all. As soon as she even sees my hand, she starts huffing.

I noticed the change in behavior when she was quilling before, but she did go back to normal after a while. I think at this point she is too old to be quilling, but I do see a few new quills poking through and there are loose quills on her liners. So maybe she is quilling late?

The most recent attitude change came when I adopted my rescue Zeke. He was pretty sick when I got him and I had to spend a lot of time with him (giving him medicine, observing his pee and poo as soon as they came out, etc. I've always made sure that I give Hannah at least an hour with me at night and I give her meal worms pretty much every night.

Could she be jealous of having another hedgie in the house?

Is there anything I can do to help her be less puffy? I know that some hedgies change their attitude after quilling and stay that way forever. But I really feel like I've messed up and that's why she she is acting like this now. I feel like a terrible hedgie mom.

She will let me hold her, and sometimes pet her. I leave my old shirts in her cage every night to give her my scent. She has a pretty awesome c&c cage. I just don't know what else I can do for her.

Would she be happier with someone else who can devote all of their time to her, instead of having to share with another hedgie?
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Old 07-24-2012, 12:25 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: What did I do wrong?

How old is Hannah now? If she has new quills poking through, it does sound like she's quilling again, and having a harder time of it or something now. If you've been quarantining properly, she shouldn't know that there's another hedgehog, really, other than you holding her less, so I don't really think another hedgehog specifically would be the problem. It could be a response to being held a bit less, but an hour a day is still a good amount of bonding time. Have you changed anything else recently? New hand soap? New body wash or shampoo? New laundry detergent? I wonder if she could be reacting some other kind of change.

Try not to feel too guilty. If Zeke was that sick when you got him, then obviously you did a great thing by rescuing him and he needed you too. Hannah is still being well taken care of, and it's clear how much you love her. I'm guessing you might be able to give a bit more time to her after Zeke is back up on his feet? Even if not, I'd just hang in there right now with her and see if it's just due to quilling. You're a great hedgie parent!
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