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Old 04-11-2014, 09:05 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Hello All, I am very new here, and right out of the gate, I am going to ask a very inappropriate question!

My daughter (age 11) and I have spent the better part of a month researching hedgehogs and deciding if we wanted to have one as a pet. This coming weekend we are heading back to the breeder in our area to pick out our new lil buddy...

I had read several things that did say that male hedgehogs have a tendency to... uhhh..... "self-pleasure" quite frequently?

This is making me lean slightly toward wanting to adopt a female... But I thought before I ruled out males completely, I'd see what seasoned owners think, and whether or not it's not as big of a deal as some of the owner handbooks make it sound to be.

Thanks in advance, and sorry for the awkward topic.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Haha no worries. The term is acceptable to say here. Yes, male hedgehogs upon reaching maturity does 'boy time' almost daily. It is quite normal and should not be a cause of concern for you
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:34 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I wouldn't concentrate on finding a female because of this. If you find a male hedgehog who is social, healthy and clicks with you, get him. Don't overlook that perfect match because the hedgehog has male anatomy and tendencies.

I think people tend to make a bigger deal out of this than needs to be. I find what hedgehogs do to be far less obvious than a male dog "cleaning" himself. I've had far fewer boys in my home than girls over the years, but of those boys, most did this when they were the most relaxed, and that was often when they were hiding in a snuggle bag, or under a blanket or in their cage. This is a perfectly normal behavior and shouldn't be of concern.
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Old 04-11-2014, 11:18 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have only owned girls thus far but I would not rule out a boy because of that. You say your daughter is 11? It might be a good ice breaker for the dreaded "birds and bees" talk. In any case, I do think they tend to do it in private for the most part and if you find a nice little boy I would not worry about it.
I have a friend who rescues hedgies and there are lots of very nice boys that I would want to adopt if I did not have 2 girls already.
BTW, regardless of which sex you choose I would highly recommend that as a new hedgehog owner you consider getting pet insurance for your new friend. It can save you worry and money on down the line if something comes up health wise, they also cover most all preventative care.
Good luck deciding!
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Old 04-11-2014, 02:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thank you everyone!

We have two boy dogs, and LOTS of "cleaning" so we're not rookies in that department, I suppose! haha!

We will see which hedgie we connect with when we go to pick ours out!
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Old 04-12-2014, 09:28 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I wasn't sure where to put this but I have a question regarding "boy time".

My hedgie enjoys himself verrry regularly. Every night, sometimes many times a night. He's very comfortable around me and isn't shy about it at all (does it every night right in front of me and even on my lap). At first it kind of grossed me out, but eventually I realized that this is normal.
All good EXCEPT, a couple days ago, his penis came out (like it always does when he's excited) but this time it didn't go back in. It stayed out for 24 hours. It looked awful. Really red and extremely swollen. I took him to the vet the next day. Basically his foreskin tightened around the base of his penis, it filled with fluid and then couldn't get back in. She anesthetized him, reduced the swelling and put his penis "back in".
The total cost for this was $300 and there is no guarantee that it won't happen again.
She advised me that all I could do to prevent it from happening again is to MAKE HIM STOP MASTURBATING.
I have absolutely no idea how I am going to do this. She suggested changing his environment to keep him busy and interested in other things.
Please, any further advice is greatly appreciated. I love my hedgie and I want to keep him happy and healthy as best I can.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Bilbo, start your own thread in the health section for this. I'd be more concerned that this is an underlying health issue and not a behavior problem created by boredom. I'd seek a second opinion, or ask your vet if a hormonal imbalance could cause this behavior.
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Old 04-14-2014, 08:38 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hi princetonhouse! As others said, I wouldn't let that be the thing that stops you from getting a boy, if he's the best fit. My hedgehog is a girl, but my guinea pigs are both boys. There is "boar glue" all over the place in their cage. And Gus, the dominant one, is constantly humping Jack to remind him of his place in the world. My kids don't even seem to really notice, except that Jack seems to get really irritated by the whole process.

Don't let it worry you. It's not as big of a deal as you might think. Besides, if you have a small pet, you're going to be dealing with other bodily functions on a regular basis. What's one more?
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Old 04-14-2014, 05:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Hopefully if you choose a hedgie who happens to be a boy, you'll get lucky and he'll be discreet about it. Most of the time I don't see my Rowdy ummm "performing" his boy time routine (lol not sure exactly what to call it); however, I have witnessed it first had. One time on my lap and another time in my hands holding him. I was a tad weirded out the first time, but now it's not an issue. I just take it that he's comfortable around me! As long as you and you're daughter are prepared that it could happen in front of you and won't be disturbed it shouldn't be a big issue. Good luck
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