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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Edit: pics further down on page 1 :D

Yesterday, I got a hedgehog from a pet store (I know i know). The owners seemed very knowledgeable and even said they even had a couple of hedgehogs themselves. They also assured me that they took the hedgehogs out of their cage daily to play with them. - What I didn't like was that they had males and females in the same cage with a wire mesh wheel :? .

Anyways, this guy seemed very sociable at the store and only quilled and huffed up when he was startled by loud noises. Other than that, he loved being stroked and was running around sniffing everything. Checked out on my list for a clean bill of health. Owners said he was approx 5 months old.

When I introduced him to his new home, he actually surprised me by immediately exploring the cage and learning the new silent wheel. He was popping and hissing a lot after the car ride, so this was a pleasant surprise. He played for hours and hours seemingly undisturbed.... On top of that, he touched noses with my dog through the cage and seems completely uninterested in him while my dog was watching very intently. Quite the little explorer hedgie :D

This evening he spent a great deal of time on my lap in his hedgie bag before getting bored and sniffing all over my bed trying to find a place to burrow. Didn't huff or quill once and I was handling him quite a bit. Guess I got lucky with this guy eh?

I've done a ton of research, but considering the fact that I'm new to these forums... I'm sure I still have a lot to learn. So I do have a few questions:

1) His nails really need to be trimmed. I can handle him fairly well already.... so this shouldn't be overly difficult with him. Should I wait a couple of days for him to settle in before I mess with trimming his nails though? Any expert suggestions when it comes to the process of trimming nails?

2) He needs a bath as well. Same thing: Should I wait a bit for him to settle before I torture him too much :lol:

3) Last night he started whimpering and making all these squeaky hedgehog noises around 4am. I didn't really come across much info on this.... Does it mean anything in particular or is he just being a hedgehog?

4) He was being fed 8 in 1 Hedgehog Ultra food from the petstore (which checks out as an acceptable food here). I'd like to start adding some high quality catfood into the mix. Should I wait about a week before mixing new food in?

Thanks in advance for the help.

Oh, and I'll get some pictures up asap. My camera wasn't charged for our first little bonding session this evening.
 

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What kind of wheel did you get? If it is the Silent Spinner it is just as dangerous as the mesh wheel, if not more so...the slits can catch toes/nails, the nut can come loose while the hedgie is running causing it to fall and hurt the little one, and the base us very unstable. Since the floor of the wheel is shaped like a U then if you cover up the slits to make them safe for toes then you are now trapping in all of the urine.

As far as handling the general consensus is to leave them alone for the first 24 hours to allow them to adjust to their new homes.

We have found that the best method to trimming nails is the "tag team" approach, one if us will scruff one of the girls while the other one trims the nails. We use baby nail clippers and make sure to have corn starch close by in case we accidentally get the quick.


I would wait until day 3 or 4 to bathe/trim nails, the squeaking is usually just them happily exploring, and as long as you do a gradual change i would say you could start mixing in the new food now...the way i would do it is count out how much 8 in 1 is in one table spoon....remove 5 pieces and replace it with 5 pieces of the new cat food....do this for 2 or 3 days then go to 10/10 for 2 or 3 days...keep doing this, adding 5 more of the new cat food and removing 5 more of the 8 in 1 every 2 or 3 days until you have the mix at the ratio that you want it. Also remember to only introduce one new food at a time and to keep it in for two weeks before adding another food...this way if there is a reaction to the food you will know which one it is. That being said, most hedgies wont touch 8 in 1 after a high quality cat food is introduced, if this is the case as evidenced by your morning food count, then just remove the 8 in 1 from the mix and feed 1 tablespoon of the cat food each night...just dont introduce a new food for a couple of weeks and when you do, do it in the manner i described above.

On a side note, if you have a Petco nearby that is where i would suggest buying your food. Hedgies can be very picky and these foods can be pretty expensive. Petco has a 30 return policy as long as you have the receipt. Just return the unused portion with the receipt within 30 days for a full refund...then you can just use that to try another food....keeps from wasting 8 - 20 dollars a bag until he decides that you have found the right food.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
no no no. I did a lot of research as to what was acceptable in his cage. He has the "bucket" style wheel. Basically the cheap/commercial version of the one that a lot of breeders make with a ball bearing. I've attached it to the side of the cage with a slight angle so the waste drains out (now i just need to find a tray that will work as a proper litter tray).

He's currently in a 3' x 16" cage... I'm devising some plans to build an enclosed second floor with a tube ramp. I'll certainly make a topic with pictures when that is complete.

He had 24 hours to adjust.... although he spent a lot of that time exploring and running on his wheel like a mad man. I'm still trying to figure out if he is more of a cuddler or an explorer. As I type this he is curled up in my lap (sleeping I believe) in a fleece. If I don't have his hedgie bag or a fleece, he runs about sniffing until he finds something fun to burrow in.

I was thinking at least day 4 before bathing/trimming... so I'm glad I was on the right track.

I'm a frequent Petsmart client, as I go there for most of my fish supplies
<------ Fish nut

I'm not sure if they have the same policy, but I have a Petco membership aswell. Thanks for the tip. That could certainly save me a lot of money considering I don't own a cat.

Thanks a lot for taking the time to give me some sound advice. Much appreciated. I should have some pics up tomorrow.
 

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ReMz said:
I'm a frequent Petsmart client, as I go there for most of my fish supplies
<------ Fish nut

I'm not sure if they have the same policy, but I have a Petco membership aswell. Thanks for the tip. That could certainly save me a lot of money considering I don't own a cat.
Yep, PetsMart does have the same return policy as Petco! And with both of them, if you do happen to lose your receipt, they will either do an exchange or put your credit on a gift card. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
drpepperheather said:
ReMz said:
I'm a frequent Petsmart client, as I go there for most of my fish supplies
<------ Fish nut

I'm not sure if they have the same policy, but I have a Petco membership aswell. Thanks for the tip. That could certainly save me a lot of money considering I don't own a cat.
Yep, PetsMart does have the same return policy as Petco! And with both of them, if you do happen to lose your receipt, they will either do an exchange or put your credit on a gift card. :)
Good to know. I've been fairly upset with their fish policies in the past.... so at least they have a decent policy on "material goods".

On another note (and I'll make a new topic if I don't get many responses here), I'm now becoming paranoid that I don't have a male. My biggest concern was that the males/females were being housed together... so I let my hedgie un-ball in my hands and decided he was a male. The owner told me she believed that the hedgie was a male as well..... but she also said she was cautious to give a definite answer because she would not want to add to problems and compromise the stores reputation. So on that note, she said she thought it was a male... I thought it was a male..... and I walked out shaking my head considering that the pet shop was more concerned about liability (bit of a red flag). Given the stores 3 day vet inspection policy, I am scheduling a checkup first think Wed. morning.

I'm now doing all kinds of research on pregnant hedgies and male/female differentiation. Perhaps I'm just a paranoid owner of a new hedgehog. BUT, the middle of my hedgies tummy towards the bottom seems kind of 'poofy'. I don't know if this is normal since I'm a first time owner..... but after owning many, many kinds of animals/livestock in my life, this looks questionable.

Last night my girlfriend had to tell me to relax because I was concerned the temperature was too low in my hedgies home and he was trying to hibernate :lol: -- he was 78 degrees under his indirect heat lamp :p

* A belly button fairly high up on a hedgehog indicates a male correct (almost middle of the tummy)? What does a swollen lower abdomen indicate (not excess weight gain)?

I'm thinking that my hedgie has been sleeping all day hasn't gone to the 'restroom' even while i've been handling him. So perhaps I'm just paranoid.

Someone put my mind to rest or let me know if there is a major indicator of concern.

I'll try to take pictures when I can... I realize that description only tells so much.
 

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yes, sounds as if you have a male. what kind of bedding did they have him on, and what kind is he on now? has he pooed or peed since you have had him? how much? If the belly is extremely swollen it may be an impaction, but if you can put him in a foot bath (just a half inch to and inch of water in the sink, he should be fine with this) and get him to go ahead and poo and pee then he may just be eating and drinking alot (are you counting his kibbles so you can monitor his intake?) and this could be the cause of a slight belly swell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He was kept in a clean "newspaper" environment from what I could see. Lots of clean scraps all over the cage.

He now is on a fleece bedding with lots of fleece scraps scattered all over his "shack" and some more scattered around his cage.

He has pooed and peed since i've had him.... especially since being on the wheel. Seems a bit less lately..... but this would be my 2nd night with him, so my info is not very reliable.

He has a very generous bowl of food that had gone down slightly. Tomorrow I will re-distribute the food so I can keep track.

I'll give him a foot bath only if he seems comfortable (odds are favorable)
 

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Halfway down the page under "Things to Look for" I have a picture of a male and a female (all credit to Nancy for the pics). http://sinister-intentions.net/hedgiein ... -tips.html Hopefully that will help in your gender situation.
As for the "swollen" area, if it's a male the testicles are internal and often they will have an area down there that sticks out a little more than the belly. If you hold them up so you can get a clear view of the tummy with feet hanging down, there will normally be a fairly large bulge which will get bigger as he gets older. The area below his "belly button" is where the bulge should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
A few pics as promised. Not the best, but it was a one handed photo shoot attempt.

Meet Crash:






 

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what an adorable little guy!
 
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