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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone
I got my little Ball a few days ago.
I find that after holding the lil girl, if I am not extremely careful, I get itchy eyes and a runny nose.
I am kinda annoyed I did not figure this out earlier.
I want to keep the girl, but I would have to change my clothes and all after I hold it each time.
My thinking is this...
I get a easy to setup pen built large for my carpeted floor, and I take the hog out and let it explore the ground, with me just outside of the pen(So I do not get covered in what ever I am allergic too) Yet still able to be close by and have her smell me, and interact with my hands...
I feel I would be able to interact and enjoy the lil girl like this, avoiding alot of hassle of dealing with allergies.
Is this suitable?
Or is this being unfair to the hog, and I should contact the breeder to discuss reselling her?

Or, does any one else here suffer mild allergies from their hog? Any ideas or remedied I can try? other then washing my hands well after I hold it...

One way of my thinking was to go and buy one of those big 'snugglies' (large blanket with arm holes and sleeves) and just draping my self with that so my clothes stay allergen free.

So bottom line, how should I deal with my allergies while interacting with a hedgehog. All suggestions welcome.
Thanks
 

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I think the snuggie thing would help a lot, and you could just make sure to wash your hands after handling her. It might also be that she has something on her that you're allergic to, so maybe you could try giving her a bath and see if it helps? Sometimes people have mild skin reactions to quill pokes if their hedgehog hasn't been bathed in awhile. Maybe you could also take some sort of allergy medicine about half hour before handling her and it might help keep them in check while you're playing with her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Also, something I did not find exclusive information on;
when is it best to take the hogs out? Evening? Morning? Day?
Normally I take all my other creatures out when they decide to roam their cages.
So far in 3 nights, I have only seen the hog come out early am(2am'ish)
So does everyone else wake theirs up to take out?

And I understand 'quilling' however would love assurance if I am right, my girl is about 5-6months I believe, and I find 1 or 2 halfinch quills inside the cage almost daily since I got her.
I chalked it off to stress of moving or quilling. Hoping it is quilling...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lilysmommy said:
I think the snuggie thing would help a lot, and you could just make sure to wash your hands after handling her. It might also be that she has something on her that you're allergic to, so maybe you could try giving her a bath and see if it helps? Sometimes people have mild skin reactions to quill pokes if their hedgehog hasn't been bathed in awhile. Maybe you could also take some sort of allergy medicine about half hour before handling her and it might help keep them in check while you're playing with her.
Interesting I did not think of a bath to see if that worked better.
I do of course wash my hands after each 'play' however say she crawls up my arm a bit, and i forget to wash that far up, later one it gets to my face and it itches.
The quills do cause a very mild skin itch locally to where I was poked, this goes away almost immedietly after I wash my hands with the alcoholic hand sanitizer.
And I shall try allergy medicines over the next few days.

Keep the ideas coming.
 

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hedgehogs produce very little dander. It is likely an allergy to the bedding she used to be on *wood shavings) or something she anointed with. A bath will most likely solve your problems. (i am mildly allergic to all animals EXCEPT vex)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
azyrios said:
hedgehogs produce very little dander. It is likely an allergy to the bedding she used to be on *wood shavings) or something she anointed with. A bath will most likely solve your problems. (i am mildly allergic to all animals EXCEPT vex)
AWESOME!!!!!!!
I think she was on carefresh with the breeder.
I have installed fleece liners which is what I plan to keep her on.
I will bathe her tonight in that case. The breeder gave me a baby shampoo she says I should use.
 

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baby shampoo can dry the skin...you need to get aveeno lightly scented baby wash. it has oatmeal to help the skin.
 

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Also, on the time to take her out...I do wake Lily for her cuddle time. I usually wake her anywhere from 8 pm to 10 pm, depending on how late I'm staying up that night. Then I keep her out to cuddle until I go to bed, usually at about 12 am. She's always still asleep when I get her out, but she's a sweetie about being woken up. Of course, a mealworm makes a good bribe to make sure she doesn't hold a grudge. :lol: But yes, evening is the best time, and the later, the better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
dorasdaddy said:
baby shampoo can dry the skin...you need to get aveeno lightly scented baby wash. it has oatmeal to help the skin.
When I get home from work I will look, the breeder gave me the shampoo and said 'use this kind I find it works really well, I use it on all 20 of my breeders"
I will post the exact name tonight. If we still decide there is a better alternative I will try and find it at shoppers this weekend.

I work 12-10pm, usually up until 2am. In the last few days I have been turning my lights out for it at 1am. usually within 30min she is out and about.
So I will take it out, then when I put it back, I will turn out my lights, giving it darkness to do his business and take a jog.

I am so relieved some of you are saying they do not produce much dander and what-not, I read that some people may be allergic to them, one page did infact recommend handling one before purchase to see if there is a reaction, kinda ticked at my self, I did not head that advice.
 

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GoodSmeagol said:
I am so relieved some of you are saying they do not produce much dander and what-not, I read that some people may be allergic to them, one page did in fact recommend handling one before purchase to see if there is a reaction, kinda ticked at my self, I did not head that advice.
I think that was an extreme case where the person was allergic to most everything under the sun already....most of the time when allergies occur from hedgehogs it is from something on the quill not from something the produce
 

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Hedgehogs are prone to dry skin and dander and unfortunately, many people are allergic to them. I've taken in numerous hedgehogs from owners who were allergic to them as well as a couple of my babies needed new homes because of allergies. It is unfortunate that many websites promote hedgehogs as not causing allergies like cats and dogs do, but that is false. Many people who are allergic to cats and dogs are fine with a hedgehog, but there are many people who are not allergic to anything but hedgehogs.

First off give her a bath with water only. Her quills and nails can push tiny bits of whatever is on her quills into your skin and you could be reacting to that and anything you bath her in could do the same. Rinse her very well using warm water to get any bedding residue off her.

Sometimes it is the urine people react to so frequent baths and using liners with daily cage cleaning will help. My Smokey's urine used to bother me and I had to make sure he didn't go more than two days before changing his cage.

I hope by giving her a bath and using regularly changed liners the problem will clear up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The allergies I feel from her, is closer to how I would react to cat hair(dog hair does not bother me)
If I fail to wash every part of my skin the hog touches, and later touch my face, my eyes get itchy and red.
If I touch the clothes I wear when she walks accross me, the same result.
When she scratches me lightly with quills/nails, my skin feels just a TAD irritated, which clears once I wash down.

I think this hedgehog is one of my coolest exotics, and SOO want to keep it, so my plan is a 2 week schedule.
I am going to bathe her tonight,
leave her alone tomorrow all day
handle her on the carpet, in 'dirty' clothes(worn for a day, ready for the wash, not DIRTY DIRTY, just worn)
carry this on for a week.
at the end of the week I will bathe again, and then reasses how allergic I feel I am.
After the first week if I feel even after precautions I am being bothers, I will attempt to use a sleeved blanket, and see those results
At this point I will either be happy with how I can handle this allergy, or contact the breeder and discuss resell.
However keep the suggestions coming!

BTW she is on fleece liners, I have 12, and the cage is built in a way, that each liner covers HALF the bottom. So 2 liners at a time.
So far, she has only done the dirty on the wheel, and around it where I have an old cafeteria tray with several layers of paper towel.
If she does not go peepee on the liner, how often should I change it? I was thinkin a weekly change, or once soiled.
 

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ive found myself to be allergic to my hedgie as well (and everything else in existance =/ lol) but what ive found seems to work well is to have a designated hedgie holding hoodie, keep her from annointing on anything i know im allergic to, and let her go for regular swims (not baths theres no soap involved but then im allergic to most of that too -_-) to rinse off any allergens that may be there. so far its working quite well and the designated hedgie hoodie even seems to help w/ socializing her. My hoodie always smells like both me and her so its always familiar and i notice a biig difference in how she behaves when i pick her up in that hoodie and pick her up w/ out it. shes for more explorative and calm and huffs and puffs less about being picked up than she does if i try to pick her up w/ out the familiarness of my hoodie lol
 

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Very nice, good to hear this alergy is managable.
I still have a mild reaction if my hands are not tripple washed.
Soapy warm water to my elbows, dry down, alcohol sanitizer, then a pure hot water rinse.

I have ordered my 'snugglie' blanket (blanket with sleeves) to use as my hedgehog handling get-up, I hope this will work like your hoodie.
And decided last night, I would wake up 30 min early every morning and handle the hog then, leaving me free to then go and have my shower afterwards.

She will not be allowed to be on my couch, and I have semi opaque plexi glass strips all taped together to make a pen on my carpet.

So now I shall wait and see how I feel about this allergy in a few weeks time.
 

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Just another suggestion:

You should be washing your hands before handling the hedgehog (with something non-scented). I'm allergic to a million types of grass, and it gets a million times worse if it gets rubbed into my skin somehow (my ears get puffier, my nose goes like crazy!). So if you have allergies to anything else in the house (grass, dust, etc.), the quills might be poking that stuff into your skin, and making your existing allergies worse.

Your allergies sound a lot like a reaction to pet dander, but it also sounds a lot like hay fever too (allergies to grass or pollen).

If you're going to use allergy meds, remember to pick out non-drowsy stuff! (Claritin is best)
 

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You are not going to know for possibly up to a year or year and a half how manageable the allergic reaction is going to be. Chances are high that it is only going to continue to get worse as is normal with increased exposure. All the hedgehogs I have here that have come from allergic owners have started out being manageable and all have become unbearable at around a year of ownership.

Living on allergy meds just to own a pet is neither sensible or healthy and I say this from experience as we had to give up our dog because of my increasing reaction to her. Many substances we cannot avoid so taking the meds is no option. While we still love the pet, when being around it is misery, we start to avoid it which is not fair to either the pet or the allergic person.

Certainly do everything possible to try and minimize the contact but be prepared that over the next weeks and months things are probably only going to get worse.
 

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Thanks Nancy
Months to a year?
After a week, I feel them getting worse, after handling, I now find I need to take asthma medication.
I know it is unfair to the lil hog, if I do not give it the attention it needs.
I am so found of this new pet, I really do not want to call the breeder, and ask what she would like me to do, ie; resell, my self, or through her.
Itchyness I can deal with, once asthma gets into the mix, it is to dangerous for me to continue.
I am bummed out! And it is all my fault :( I did read I should handle one before I purchased it, I used to handle them years ago when a friend had one. I thought that would have been sufficient, I was wrong.

Thanks for all your advice everyone!
 

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If you are starting to have a respiratory reaction, it is not a good idea to keep her. That is where I was with our dog and it was terrible. I couldn't even have her in the same room with me which upset her horribly as she had been my shadow.

Handling one before purchase may not have helped as usually it takes a while of being in contact for the allergy to build up.

I suggest contacting the breeder. Most breeders will take babies back or she will have someone you could sell her to. I'd do it soon because the baby needs socialization and if you are unable to do it she is better off to be in a new home soon.

I'm sorry this is happening. Allergies SUCK!
 

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So I have emailed the breeder, and linked to this thread.
I really can not afford to get a severe asthma attack, and the fact that you think the allergies will only get worse, scares the crap outta me.
And you are totaly right, taking drugs to allow me around my pet would be silly.
Taking drugs to visit a friends pet, would make sense tho.
Really sucks! This is/was my coolest pet, and the most interesting thats fursure. My dragon sits and stairs, looking pretty. My snakes hide, and slither and could careless about me. The hedgehog explores, plays, and has a personality.
****!
Thanks to everyone who tried to help
well, did help, handling is fine,
asthma however was the breaking point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
update on my hog

So after several more days.
The breeder sugegsted baths to help control respritory problems(asthma) After I bathed her well, I found there to be no decernable difference in my asthma, (I did not get any wheezing)

Soo....
How often can I have a full bath?
Idealy I want to bathe 2-3times a week.
Thats every 2-3time I have her out.

I gave her a 'shower'
I let her walk around in half inch of water, rubbed her feetsies clean.
Then with Aveeno(sp) shampoo for babies, I applied some to my wet hand, lathered slightly,
then held her tummy with one hand and stroked her quills with my 'soapy' hand,
I then poured 76o water down her back gently massaging her quills as the water ran down.
I poured a litre of water down her back, then about 200ml into a cleaned bath tub, I saw no foam, so assumed it was all off her.
Right track?
She squirmed a little.
But I found doing so, cleared up ALOT of my itchyness allergy too.
Which was awesome!
Thanks again for all your help guys and girls!
 
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