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Old 01-22-2013, 10:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Handling my hedgehog when..?

Should I handle Axel when I'm not feeling quite right?

I have a mild case of depression, and some days I'm just very emotional and upset and just tired. I love my hedgehog to death and he's one of the best things I have, but when I try handling him when I feel so bad, he's squirmy and trying to bite, as well as using the bathroom all over me...
I keep him in an old shirt when I handle him, and when I don't feel good, he bites and tears at it. Other days, when I'm okay, he just sleeps on me.

I know I'm supposed to handle him every day, and I try to. But most days I feel down, and I have read that hedgehogs pick up on emotions... Should I keep handling him? Or is there some other way to calm him down while I handle him on those few days?


...I have had this problem for a week or so with him, and I was tempted not to ask. But I feel like a bad owner when I handle him and he bites and squirms.
I don't know if I'm just tricking myself into believing something's wrong or what...
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

I know exactly what you mean about the tired thing. Like, sometimes the smallest task sounds like more energy than I have. I haven't really the issue you're having because Zannah's almost always just happy to crawl around on my lap for a bit and then snuggle up and fall asleep.
Handling everyday is good because that's more socialization that would hopefully make him less likely to be really grumpy/bitey/etc. But at the same time, I know how depression goes, and I don't think you should feel like you have to handle him on a day you're just not feeling it. I think as long as you're still giving him attention most days, handling him, and all that, you should do whatever you feel comfortable with as far as handling on your off days.
It wouldn't surprise me if they can at least pick up on emotion somewhat, although that hasn't been my experience too much with my hedgehog. Whatever you feel comfortable with, I think, is what's best for the both of you. Good luck!
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Old 01-22-2013, 10:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

@cardiologineer
Thank you so much. I just worry that I'm ignoring him or something. He's not a very grumpy hedgehog; he doesn't mind squeezing under my hand or between my fingers, and doesn't hiss or pop at me.
I'll keep that in mind though and try not to worry myself too much.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:00 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

I'd suggest spending just a little time with him when your feeling "off." Nothing huge... Just enough that you can look him over for any bad mojo... Like a thread wrapped around a toe, cool belly, or whatnot. And he can pick up your scent, know you're around, etc...

When all is well, give him plenty of snuggles.

And don't beat yourself up about it. You two will fall into a rhythm over time.

Who knows...he might be okay snuggling with you when you're feeling down. Hedgies can be good for the soul.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

I know how you feel, I suffer from depression but not as bad you do. Most days I dont want to do anything but i make myself do my college work. When I am having a not so great day I take out Sonic and he makes it a little better. Ive noticed on my bad days sonic is a little sweeter and give me more loving then normal. i hope things work out for you. bet of luck. if you need someone to talk to feel free to privite message me
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Old 01-23-2013, 02:35 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

You're not alone. There are a lot of us out here who are dealing with depression. You can pm me too if you need to talk. When I'm down, Mimzy will snuggle even more. I think she knows that I need more loving at times.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

Just a thought... perhaps if you are feeling bad and holding your hedgie seems like to much, you could sit by his cage and "talk" to him. When I get upset, I sit down and talk to my dogs. They never talk back, they don't argue and I can say what I need to say. **hugs**
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

Thank you so very much momIImany and Sugargliderlove. I'll keep you two in mind if I ever need something. Means a lot to me that you care enough to let me do so.

And @jholstein11
That's true... I do talk to him when I'm alone with him (usually my sister or parents are around). Maybe I should do that more often...might make myself feel a little better.
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Old 01-23-2013, 05:15 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

my husband suffers from depression, so I can sympathize. Often, when he feels down, he can't talk to me, because well... I respond. That's not what he needs.

I encourage him to go outside on the porch and talk to the dogs. They listen, but they keep their opinions to themselves.

If you ever need to chat, my inbox is always open.
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Old 01-23-2013, 06:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Handling my hedgehog when..?

Thank you again.
My mother has depression as well.
She used to talk to the dogs when we had them.

I'll start talking to Axel a little more if he decides to stop running away from me lol

Thank you.
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