OUTCH! Is it just me or is it him? - Hedgehog Central – Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default OUTCH! Is it just me or is it him?

Hello, I guess I'm kinda new even though I've been reading on this forum for what seems like forever...

We just adopted a 15 month old little boy and I think things are progressing pretty good. When we met the lady selling him, she had explained that she had another female, a ferret and 3 cats and just didn't have time for this grumpy little boy.

We have had him now for almost 2 weeks, he seems to be doing pretty good and I wouldn't call him grumpy just scared or shy.

He loves walking around the kitchen/living room. He comes out of his igloo in the evening, with me watching and the tv on, to run in his wheel, forage for mealies in his dig box and chomp on his food. We take him out 15min in the morning, about 1h in the afternoon and at least 1 hour in the evening. Before he would wiggle and try to explore when on the couch with us, on a blanket but now he will cuddle up on a blanket and fall asleep... yeah!!

The problem is, I can't pick him up without him hissing, popping, clicking and turning into a ball of rage. I need at least four layers of thick fleece to wrap around him then deposit him on a blanket between my legs on the couch then he comes out. His quills are ALWAYS sticking up. To bathe a have to use a paint pan, you know the one with the slope, so he can unball and then I pour water near his feet (and on his quills when needed, he was full of strawberry mousse lol) and he continues to try to ball up.

My question is, do I just have to get used to the quills hurting me like that, its worst than accidently putting your hand on a cactus, or will he just relax a bit more and let me pick him up or even go near him with my hands to check him out.

Yesterday, for the first time I saw his quills a little more relaxed when he slept.

I can pick up my friend's hedgehop no problem but this guy really really hurts and with the popping... arg!

Sorry for the long story but sometimes background info helps
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Old 01-10-2014, 12:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sounds like you're making progress 2 weeks isn't long, for some hedgehogs it takes months to come around. He'll most likely get less huffy when he gets more used to you.

I've got a rehome since August and the first time I saw him he was a huffing, clicking ball of quills but I haven't heard him clicking since and the huffing is getting less and less as well. Every hedgehog is different of course so you can't tell how yours is going to be, but most of them become less 'grumpy' when they get used to you and trust you more. Just keep handling him but it sounds like you're doing well.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:32 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you Draenog, I'm just affraid that he will always be like this! I've read that some hedgies don't like to be touched at all and I respect that but it would be nice if I could cut his hind nails and relax a little more when his feet are in the water. I wouldn't want him to get an URI.

We do the flleece in the pyjamas everynight and I talk to him a lot so he doesn't flinch as much but I cannot touch him at all. He seems less affraid of my Maltese dog than of us lol

Does less huffy mean less jabbing quills? :P
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Fleece provides just about zero protection from quills, even multi layers of fleece. Try using something that is tighter woven. I use a flannel baby receiving blanket folded either in half or in quarter and it provides good protection.

Some hedgehogs simply do not like to be picked up but are social otherwise. Give him time and he may continue to get calmer and relax his quills.
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Old 01-10-2014, 01:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Yes with less huffy I just mean less huffing/clicking and stabby quills... the whole 'grumpy' thing

There are hedgehogs who don't like interaction with humans that much but I think the majority comes around from what I've seen...
If he likes to explore you could let him explore your room, or set up a play pen, and just sit with him on the ground and watch him walk around. Don't touch him, just let him do whatever he wants.
I've done this with my hedgies as well, my previous hedgehogs were the sweetest and most easygoing hogs but like I said my current rehome was a grumpy butt in the beginning. But he likes to explore and run around, and when you're sitting on the ground with them they can come back to you when they want it. Move slowly so he doesn't get scared. Sometimes I walk around on purpose, sudden movements made him put his visor down and quills up, huffing. By walking around he gets used to my movements even the quicker unexpected ones (start slow) and now he doesn't flinch anymore. He is much more relaxed and starts to enjoy things like cuddling/petting more and more. Just give your hedgie the space he needs to get more familiar with you.
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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His evening outting always starts on the floor, he loves it. He'll walk around the kitchen and living room with the dog in tow. I leave blankets on the floor and little toys. While he does this, I'll do my dishes and my son takes his shower after that we just sit there or lie there on our stomachs. It's the only way I can check his feet and legs. When he walks up to his pen, I put him back and he usually goes for the litter or for food and a drink. Then we take him out and put him on a blanket in front of us on the couch with a few treats, he really likes the dog food. For the past 2 nights, he's cradled up against us and fallen asleep.

Before we couldn't even have his fleece pouch touch him when he was out but yesterday he wiggled under it right next to me and fell asleep.

He is doing really good, I'm so proud of him!

I just have to wait and see if he'll ever get used to our hands being near him, or anything else for that matter... little rhino dude!

Thanks again for all your help, it's very encouraging
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Old 01-10-2014, 02:33 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
Fleece provides just about zero protection from quills, even multi layers of fleece. Try using something that is tighter woven. I use a flannel baby receiving blanket folded either in half or in quarter and it provides good protection.
Thank you Nancy, I'll try that! It's just that I made these cute 4 ply fleece blankets for my son to use and he chose the fabric... Angry Birds.

It was my compromise since he wanted the whole pen lined with this black fleece full of red, yellow and blue... Angry Birds.

I have a bunch of receiving blanket in my daycare so I'll definately try it. I just need to run them thru a unscented soap wash first.
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Old 01-10-2014, 11:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I also use a receiving blanked with my Tuesday. She was a big huffy girl when I first adopted her but it's getting better with daily handling. She still huffs when I pick her up but will soon settle down when she settles into the crook of my arm.
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