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Old 08-19-2012, 10:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Um... this is kinda weird... lol

So, I always figured hedgehogs slept curled up. I mean, there's a LOT of behaviors my hedgehog does that... surprise me. It even surprises my girlfriend who has owned hedgehogs in the past...

My hedgehog will sleep anywhere in any position. She prefers, it seems, to be spread out flat on the ground, starfish style. She will often sleep in her wheel, too. She seems to also like to rest her head on the lip of the cage (you know... where the base meets the bars?).

She does other strange things too, but since i have this open, I guess I have another question...

Whenever I pet her my hands start to sting. Not just when she pokes me, but like, all over. My eyes get itchy, everything. Is it possible to be allergic to hedgehogs? I mean, theres times when she pokes me I actually get small blisters. It just seems weird to be able to be allergic to a pet that doesn't have hair and what not.
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Old 08-19-2012, 10:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Um... this is kinda weird... lol

Technically hedgehogs do have fur on their bellies. And yes, it is possible to have an allergy to them, but it could also be that whatever she has on her quills is what is making you itchy. Give her a bath and be sure to give her quills a good scrub. If she still makes you itch after shes clean, then it probably is an allergy.

There wasn't really a question in your first bit about her random sleeping spots, but yes, thats perfectly normal plenty of hedgies have quirks and like to sleep in weird places and in weird positions. So theres nothing wrong with her, shes just being comfy
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Old 08-20-2012, 01:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Um... this is kinda weird... lol

People actually aren't usually allergic to pet hair. It's the pet dander that people are allergic to. So yes, hedgehogs have dander too. Hedgehogs are not "hypoallergenic" pets. Many people are allergic to hedgehogs, myself included(which surprised me, cause I'm not allergic to many things, especially animals)

Also, many people have allergic reactions to quills poking the skin. Having a clean hedgehog can help a bit at times.
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Old 08-20-2012, 06:22 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Um... this is kinda weird... lol

Yes, you can definitely be allergic to hedgehogs. They wipe a lot of random stuff all over their quills when they are annointing and bacteria can grow on that (and that pushes into your skin when you're poked), they sweat, they have dander, etc.

They also get pee and poop randomly sprayed onto their quills when they are running on the wheel at high speed (as you might imagine with poop and pee landing on the wheel while it's spinning around). I heard that the urine can be quite irritating to the skin. In rabbits, for example, it's often the urine that you're allergic to.

So, the best thing to do is to keep your hedgehog very clean. Give her a bath often with moisturizing products like Aveeno moisturizing body wash and Aveeno Skin Relief shower and bath oil (so that her skin doesn't dry out). Usually, after the bath, you'll be a lot less allergic to your hedgie. But once the stuff like annointing, sweat, pee, poop, etc get back onto the quills you'll be allergic again.

You should also wash your hands before and immediately after you handle your hedgehog. This should wash off the allergens so that you won't accidentally rub your eye or something.

Since you seem to have itchy eyes and stinging on the hands. You might be QUITE allergic to your hedgie. One temporary solution would be to take an antihistamine before you play with her, pick her up with something other than your hands (to avoid getting poked), wear gloves, wear goggles and a dust mask, etc. Basically avoid direct contact. However, it's not really good for you in the long run to be constantly exposed to something you're allergic to.

If it really comes down to it, you may have to give her away. You don't have to feel guilty about it. It's not something you can help when you're allergic. Also, I have heard that some hedgehogs are more allergenic than others.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If your hedgehog sleeps in a weird position, it's okay! They all like sleeping in their own ways and when they spread out like a starfish, it means that they are comfy. Don't worry!

Oh and I'm pretty sure it's just allergies. Hedgehogs have fur underneath their bellies!
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