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Old 01-28-2014, 08:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Hedgehog quill dying question

First of All, let me start off by saying I DON'T AGREE WITH THIS, I do not wish to ever do this to any pet of mine, and i do not want this post to get filled up with reply's about how bad this is.

I am creating an informative web site for a class with a topic of my choosing, obviously i am writing about hedgehogs. Now i have noticed that most of the hedgie community is against this definitively yet i can not find any real source data about it.

I am going to create a page which will inform the user about this topic, and give them all the information i can about it, so they don't go into it blindly and wind up hurting their hedgie.

Does anyone have a link/information/hard facts/etc about this topic from a legal stand point or even a list of risks that it causes so that i can give a person as much information as possible in one area?

i would also accept temporary coloring options which are deemed 'slightly more acceptable' if yet still not frowned upon for instance, i read that cool aid can work for a relatively short period (24 hours at most)

i appreciate any and all help that i can get, thank you for your comments
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi! I think this sounds like a very interesting topic to write about. I hope you get a good grade on it! Anyway, I am from Kentucky and the only statute I know of that has to do with dying animals is KRS 436.600which has to do with dying chicks/fowl/rabbits.I'm not entirely sure why it is so specific, perhaps some rednecks were coloring chicks and bunnies for Easter, but that's the law for ya! I am a paralegal (legal assistant) so I suggest looking up the statutes in whatever state you live in and searching for animal cruelty laws. Hope that was somewhat helpful. Good luck on your paper! =]
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Old 01-28-2014, 10:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hmm..off topic and I'm very sorry, but funny Aether, ( I was looking at your etsy) we have the same fabric that you have for your boxy pouch...and I made coffee cozys out of them. Hah. Referring to the grey, yellow and white and blue one.

Again sorry this is off topic.
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Old 01-29-2014, 02:35 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Reasons against: even cool-aid can last for a long, long time.
Evidence: this forum post about someone whose albino is all colours of the rainbow, months later.
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Old 01-29-2014, 09:31 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Interesting topic.

I just wanted to add, my Nara is 3.5 years old and she still has a pink quill or two from the breeder's litter marking. The breeder used pink for girls and there was green to indicate her place in the litter. This was acrylic paint, if I recall.

I guess those quills were never shed thru quilling.

There have been stories of people dying their hedgehogs blue also, so they'd be SONIC. You may find some OLD threads if you do a search here on HHC.

So something that was thought of as temporary can last a good long while.

There's a funny story Nancy has about her purple hedgehogs. (Apologies if it's not Nancy!) She may be around later to tell it, otherwise you can search for that also.)

BTW, I believe they used to dye chicks and rabbits pink for Easter.

Good luck with your research and your paper!

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Old 01-29-2014, 11:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I am still curious though as to how it is seen as cruel to animals, again my hog is too dark to dye even if I wanted to, that said just because it lasts a long time hardly seems to mean it is somehow bad for the hoggy. That said it might be bad but I dont know enough about it to know. Can someone answer that?
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Old 01-30-2014, 08:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It's unnecessary chemicals on your hedgie, for one.

Even if it's so-called "non-toxic" it's not really meant to be ingested.

Hedgies are very prone to cancer.

It's totally unnecessary to be coloring the poor little darlings.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:44 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Agreed with MomLady. Everyone says that Kool-aid is safer, as compared to other kinds of dyes or colorings that you might use on animals. But even the ingredients of Kool-aid make me wonder why people drink it, and I wouldn't want to use it on an animal -


I'll admit I don't know how much the likelihood of absorption through the skin is, if there's no breaks in the skin - which there often is anyway with hedgehogs, due to quilling and dry skin. But food dyes (when ingested) are linked to multiple problems, especially allergies, and BHA is on the "absolutely no" list for food you'd want to give your animal (or yourself, for that matter) because it's linked to a myriad of issues, including cancer. It's actually banned in many countries, but still allowed in the US (which we have plenty of things used on foods that are banned in other, saner countries - our FDA is kind of screwed up). Like MomLady said, hedgehogs are already extremely prone to cancer and tumors. So there's no reason to try and dye them different colors using anything that contains known carcinogens.

The other problem I have with dyeing animals, unrelated to the health risks, is that in my opinion, it tends to come off as the animal is being viewed as a possession that you can do what you want with, rather than a living creature in its own right. I'm not saying that's how anyone who dyes their pet views their pet. But that's the impression it gives me. What happens when someone who dyes their animal decides it's not that amusing otherwise? What happens when the dye wears off from an animal that's been dyed to be sold (like in the thread that Annie linked)? "Well, it's not blue or rainbow-colored anymore, I guess I don't really like it anymore."

Again, I'm not trying to say that's how anyone who dyes their pets think of them at all. But I can definitely see a link there, and that's really my main problem with dyeing animals, besides the fact that it's just unnecessary.
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know how much the likelihood of absorption through the skin is
It's complicated, but the TL;DR version is, "high."

With humans, for a particular chemical, if we both breathe it and absorb it through our skin, about 1-27% gets in through absorption and the remainder through breathing.

Rodents absorb way more through their skin than humans (3x), for unknown reasons but possibly because of the hair. If so, I can imagine quills would have a similar effect.

Thicker skin leads to a slower rate of absorption, but sometimes the chemicals get stockpiled in the skin as kind of a reservoir, so the exposure time is longer.

If you handle something like dynamite without gloves on, so much nitrous will be absorbed through your skin after just a few minutes handling over the course of a day that you'll end up with the most intense, horrid migraine. Wearing gloves is right up there in the H&S training with "Don't blow yourself up."
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Old 01-31-2014, 06:21 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There's a local "breeder" that colors her albinos blue with food coloring to try and get them to sell (so, so sad to me!), and in speaking with one of the current owners that bought one from her, I've learned that the hedgehog's skin seemed to react with the coloring. They would bathe her with fresh water and nothing else, and the coloring would wash off a little bit at a time and get onto her skin. Each time, her skin would get very irritated and itchy, even getting hives. They finally made the decision to use a harsher shampoo and just scour her with a toothbrush-- better to get it over with than draw it out. Poor thing is still slightly blue, but since the excess dye is gone, she's stopped getting hives and inflammation.
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