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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,

I am now the proud owner of a new hedgehog. He was an early Christmas gift from my boyfriend. My boyfriend got him from a pet store, and he is six months old. (is that old?) The reason my boyfriend decided to buy him was because he knew I'm big on animal rescue, and he felt bad for the poor little guy.

I have a couple of concerns though..

1) He is really, really, really shy. Just by putting my hand in the cage to change water and such he huffs up and puffs up and starts to make the little chainsaw like noise. My boyfriend had held on to him for about 2 weeks or less, and he said that Pokey was starting to come around to him. Thus he wanted to give him to me early before Pokey got to accustomed. Is Pokey acting like this to me because its a new environment and a new person? How can I make him more comfortable and start to poke his adorable little head out?

2) His skin looks very, very dry and dusty. I pretty sure the poor thing has never been bathed. I was reading around and said that dry skin could mean mites or parasites or something.. I don't think he has them but i'm not 100% sure. Do they scratch themselves if they have mites? Should I go ahead and give him a bath or wait until he's comfortable with me?

3) I'm not 100% sure if he's sleeping or hiding but he does it all the time. He will only come out around 4am to eat, look around and then go back in his little hut. Is this normal?

4) I"m holding him with a towel right now because he's pretty sharp and huffs in a ball form pretty tightly. Should I suck it up and hold him with my hands?

5) Any suggestions will be great. I just want the little guy to have a good home, and know that he is loved and want him to be more comfortable with me.
 

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Congrats on your new little one :)

The hissing and puffing up when you come near is probably just out of fear. He may have not had a lot of handling before you got him so he doesn't know that people aren't going to harm him. He may come around in time with work or he may not but the good thing is that either way he has a good home now :) I'd just keep trying with him :)

With the itching it could be a lot of things but one thing it could be is from the bedding he was on. I'd wait for some more opinions but if he was itching really bad I'd probably try giving him a quick oatmeal bath. This may not be the right thing though so I'd wait for some other posts first but my thinking would be that even if it was a little stressful it seems like it would be very uncomfortable to continually itch. This way if the itching continues after you know it may be something you have to see a vet for.

I think him staying in his hide so much is normal. Everything is new to him and he probably feels safest in there. Mine will only stay out if he hears me but if he can hear other people even my husband or daughter from the other room he will run back in. He might start coming out more when he's been with you more time and gets used to his surroundings. Sometimes too they won't come out if there is lights on so most suggest 12-14 with the lights turned on then turning them off to simulate day and night.

For holding him if you can't pick him up with your hands you could one of his blankets. Sometimes that can be less scary cause it has their scent on it and with towels you always run the risk of them getting a toe or foot snagged in the loops. I'd try to get him used to your hands though once you get him out. I was afraid I'd drop mine at first so I'd get him out and then sit right on the floor just in case.

I hope this helps and congrats again on your new addition :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
hey!

Thanks that sounds good.

I coaxed him to poke his head out with some treats today. But he didn't want them, he did come out for a little bit though. But now he's hiding again, not really huffing loudly but he is in ball format. :p
 

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hedgy89 said:
he is six months old. (is that old?)
No. 6 months is like 9 years for a human. He's just a kid :)

hedgy89 said:
1) He is really, really, really shy... Is Pokey acting like this to me because its a new environment and a new person? How can I make him more comfortable and start to poke his adorable little head out?
Yep, you're a new person in his life. Spend time with him on a consistent basis and he should come around.

hedgy89 said:
2) His skin looks very, very dry and dusty. I pretty sure the poor thing has never been bathed. I was reading around and said that dry skin could mean mites or parasites or something.. I don't think he has them but i'm not 100% sure. Do they scratch themselves if they have mites? Should I go ahead and give him a bath or wait until he's comfortable with me?
Yes, he'd likely be scratching himself if he has mites. You can give him an oatmeal bath to help with the dry skin. But don't bathe too often... too much bathing leads to dry skin. But one once in awhile is good... particularly if he's never been bathed before. Just put an inch or so of warm water and add oatmeal in a sock to the water or get aveeno oatmeal bath (or store brand) for him. A couple drops of flax seed oil in his rinse water and he should be all set.

hedgy89 said:
3) I'm not 100% sure if he's sleeping or hiding but he does it all the time. He will only come out around 4am to eat, look around and then go back in his little hut. Is this normal?
Hedgies are nocturnal and rather private creatures. While you can find some exceptions, it's pretty normal to not see them during the day. Does he have a wheel to run on at night? You can help him feel more ready to come out and play at night by keeping the room really dark and quiet.

hedgy89 said:
4) I"m holding him with a towel right now because he's pretty sharp and huffs in a ball form pretty tightly. Should I suck it up and hold him with my hands?
Good job on the towel - glad you're not using gloves :) If he's a really quilly guy, I'd use the towel for a bit longer... be careful with it though. Little hedgie toenails can get caught in towel loops, so never leave him alone with it. If you have a scrap of fleece, that might work better. As he gets used to you and your scent, I suspect he'll be less quilly and you'll be able to hold him without the towel or a fleece blankey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Do you think I should wait to give him the bath until he is a little more comfortable? I'm afraid he wont unroll and drown. I don't know if im being silly in thinking this. haha. Thank you so much for all the advice though! I really appreciate it!
 

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I am a new hedgehog owner myself. Only had one for 6 days. I waited four days then gave my guy a bath with the Aveeno Oatmeal wash for babies.

He was curled up in a ball when I placed him it the water. I placed on his back ( I feared he would drown to) however as soon as he hit the water he uncurled and waded through the water. He even let me touch him long enough to apply the wash and rinse him.

So I would say give him a few days then try the bath. I do not think he will drown.
 

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Hey

I am also a new owner. I picked up Egon 2 weeks ago....the day after thanksgiving. He was 6 weeks old when I got him, just stopped feeding from the mother I believe. Well my suggestion to you, as I see it works best for me so far is try to be fearless!

Mine, like most I assume, gets huffy when I try to pick him up at first-especially if he is sleeping. I usually go in with a small towel like a face cloth and just pick him up. As soon as he is off the ground he stops huffing at me and comes out. When I am home, he is never in the cage. I am trying as hard as I can to make him social and keep him social. He is also new so I want him to become very familiar with me. I spend a lot of time online so I keep him on a thin towel on my lap (because he still poops on me sometimes =/) and just pet him as he sleeps. He relaxes his quills after a few seconds of being touched. I also bought him this little fleece cup bed (its PERFECT for them...very small) He loves it. He always goes and sleeps in it...its just the cutest thing ever. I even brought him to my bfs when I stayed over the weekend so he always has me with him. I bought a 20 dollar cage which does the job quite well.

I would honestly just suggest letting him become familiar with you. Always stick your finger in front of him and let him sniff you a minute so he recognizes the scent. Try to not use the towel to pick him up or handle him all the time so he doesn't get too used to that. My baby only really comes out completely at night, all night. I will hear him rolling the balls around in the cage and running on his wheel all night...sipping from the water bottle. I have actually become quite used to it and sleeping isn't so bad. I also put a towel over the cage to prevent the smell of him running on the poop covered wheel from waking me up-works like a charm. He has his good days where I wake up and the wheel is practically clean. =)

Just don't neglect him regardless of his attitude and I am sure he will come around. =) goodluck!
 

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I went to pet smart. It is seriously mega tiny....like 4-5 inches across. I don't know what they are called exactly. It looks like a cat bed, only baby hedgehog size. It is adorable and my little guy loves it. It isn't on the petsmart website, but I found it in the store in the small animals section.
 
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