Originally Posted by aesthetics
Right, as I mentioned, I didn't think you were planning on breeding.
WHS is genetic, and even lines where people don't think it's in it, sometimes it does pop up. It's hard to regulate that. This reason alone shouldn't prevent you from rescuing a hedgehog. All animals should be checked by the vet, regardless. The hedgehog probably wasn't used to your smell, which may have triggered it, it also is probably handled by strangers constantly, and thus why it was a little under the weather. But if it's free, and most pet stores have a thirty-day money back policy, it's worth the risk, imo. Impulse buyers probably wouldn't know how to care for it, and they'd probably give it a water bottle, no wheel, and feed it a bad branded hedgie food. In the end, it's inevitably up to you. I know a few breeders in my area that don't hold up to the WHS in my area; and most will want you to go through their vet. So, if you buy from a breeder that lives hours away, guess what. In order to redeem that, you have to make constant visits out of city. This isn't always the case, but on most breeder websites, it will state the process (such as a vet through THEIR choice, etc.)
It could get better, or worse. I'd look at the pet store's policy, and make a decision. If you can nurse a baby hedgie who gets handled constantly by strangers, who needs a little TLC, that would probably be enjoyable for you. I've rescued a hedgehog, and my friend has too (from insane craigslist people, which by the way, the breeders wouldn't take the hedgehog back in the first place), and it was a beautiful, life-changing process. To go from a hedgehog that popped every five seconds, to one that you can literally kiss on the cheek with no negative response, it's an accomplishment.
And if that little guy already tolerates being held, you're only 1/2 the way. :]
But yeah, vet bills can become troublesome. Sneezing doesn't always mean "Uuhg, I'm sooo sick!", so Idk.
People post stuff on craigslist all the time -- might I suggest rescuing a hedgie from there?