Quilling? Or new? Or hates me? - Hedgehog Central Hedgehog pet care & owner forum
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:16 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Quilling? Or new? Or hates me?

I got Sonic (6ish week old male) for Christmas, and I've been paging through all the advice to help get him acclimated to me and happy in his new home. I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or he's quilling - he's started getting very huffy if I so much as touch him on his back. I get him out for two ten minute (give or take) bonding sessions per day. He's got a snuggle sack or he goes in a tshirt or sweatshirt that I've worn and we go chill on the couch until he relaxes. Today I literally can't pet him without him jumping and huffing, and I'm so new that it makes me nervous to have him out to explore, because I'm afraid I'm hurting him if I touch him.

His bedding is the tiny chip aspen that the store suggested, so I can't tell if he's losing quills. He is eating and drinking, his poo gets a little soft when he's out, but not bad... does it sound like just quilling/adjusting? Does he hate me? Any suggestions to make him happier and more comfy? I'm planning on switching his bedding to fleece liners as soon as I can make some, but I also didn't want to change too much too fast for him.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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He is probably quilling and stressed because of his new home. Quilling is very painful so try not to touch his back too much. Bathes with Aveeno Oatmeal Baby wash help to soothe the skin. Just wait it out and be patient. Good luck! P.s. he does not hate you! He is just trying to adjust and cope with the quilling pain! After all, there are sharp spines stabbing through his skin!

Last edited by Poppy_the_hedgie; 01-02-2017 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 01-02-2017, 10:50 AM   #3 (permalink)
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When you bond with him, what time are you doing so? You said you take him out for two 10 minute sessions. Usually bonding should be 30 minutes to an hour at the minimum. The more you bond, the better your relationship will be and he will become more acclimatized (obviously this takes times).

If he is quilling, you should see quills poking through as well.

Hope this helps.
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I get him out in the morning and evening. My husband keeps telling me not to push it, which is why it's split and about 10-15 minutes (unless sonic can go longer without getting grumpy). I want to have him out more but I'm afraid of stressing him out too much
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Old 01-02-2017, 12:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I would skip the morning session. Hedgehogs are heading to bed for the day in the morning & they're typically grumpier then. It would be better to get him out in the evening for 30-60 minutes, even up to a couple hours. If you put him away when he starts to get grumpy, he's learning that getting huffy & quilly is what will get him put back in his cage & left alone and he'll keep doing it.
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Old 01-02-2017, 01:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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He actually napped on my lap in his newest snuggle sack for almost an hour this morning!!! Still huffy when I touch his back, but as long as I just talked to him and let him burrow in his sack, he was a happy camper! ? I still can't tell if there's new quills coming in, he either wants to be burrowing or on the move.

The morning session won't be long term. I've just been on vacation so had time in the morning to also handle him. Some mornings he's been great, very inquisitive once he woke up a bit, others he was grumpy. I try not to put him away right after he's quilly/huffy/nippy because I know it teaches bad habits tho. Starting tomorrow I'm back to work early so he'll be out for longer in the evenings and just a quick wheel clean before work.
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Old 01-02-2017, 08:22 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I'm sure he doesn't hate you, he is probably just getting used to his new surroundings. Quilling or not, usually hedgehogs don't like when you touch their quills in general. I recommend petting the soft fur under his ear instead of touching his back. This way he will also be able to see when you are going to pet him so he might not get as scared.
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