I really don't mean this to offend anybody, and I hope it doesn't, but I've only been on the forums for a few weeks and I feel like I have seen too much of this problem already. I'm sure it has been said many times, but somehow people are getting hedghogs without this bit of information first..
There are a lot of posts on the different boards where the poster mentions a problem with their hedgie, such as an upset tummy, not eating, injuries from the wheel, etc. Very often, it is discovered that the original poster is feeding a very BAD kind of food, or has a BAD wheel, or the WRONG kind of bedding, or is in an INAPPROPRIATE cage, or at too LOW of a temperature, and when other members encourage them to seek out a healthier brand of food or better more suitable accessories for a hedgehog, these are the responses:
"Well the better quality food is a lot more expensive.."
"It's hard to get that kind of wheel in my country/state/province.."
"I don't have time to go shopping.."
"It's too difficult to keep the whole house warm enough and I can't afford a space heater.."
"You can't have that kind of cage shipped to where I live.."
These are things that must be considered BEFORE GETTING A HEDGEHOG! Before one even considers adopting a hedgehog and bringing it home, you should make absolute certain that you are able to provide
-a good quality cage that is appropriate for hedgehogs
-PLENTY of high-quality recommended cat food
-a suitable wheel
-a comfortable temperature.
-veterinary care with someone experienced in hedgehogs
It is CRUCIAL to the poor hedgehog's health, and it is NOT okay to "compromise" the quality of a hedgie's bedding, wheel, food, or home just because it isn't available in your area or because it's too expensive. If that is the case, then a hedgehog is not the pet for you.
EDIT: This was mentioned and also needs to be addressed. Before you get a hedgehog you must acknowledge that you will probably need to take him or her to the vet one day, and taking an exotic to the vet can be expensive. Plus, not all vets can treat hedgehogs, not even all exotic vets, so it is imperative that you are sure of one before bringing the hedgie home! There is a list right here on Hedgehog Central, so the situation should never arise when someone is frantically calling around to different vets while their hedgie is sick or injured.
I really don't want to make anyone upset, but it is horrible to sacrifice your pet's health and happiness because you weren't able to prepare for them and can't provide the kind of environment a hedgehog NEEDS for a long and healthy life. If you can't get your hands on the right supplies that are needed to own a hedgehog, you need to look into rehoming the poor baby immediately.