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Discussion Starter #1
So I've quite recently brought home a 2 year old hedgehog from a facebook friend who was selling him, as she said she didnt have time to take care of him properly and had intentions to travel. I am a new hedgehog owner, and when I picked him up from her house, he wasn't terribly friendly (balling and hissing/huffing) but I then assumed it to be because of her packing up all of his things and getting him ready for me. It's been 7 days, and I dont know what to make of his behavior.

After a couple days, I was able to enter my room without him huffing about, and another day or so passed and he will walk about his cage a little while I'm in the room... I'm hoping that this is a good indicator of the chance at having an outgoing hedgie.

Each night, I've managed to scoop him out of the cage using a waffletowel, and get him into my lap or on my arm. He mostly just sits and will huff and puff for most of the time, but I've been able to get him to rest most of his quills after a while (untill i make even the slightest movement, anyway.) So far he's managed to nip at me twice and my boyfriend once, with just the light gentle handling.

ADDITIONALLY

I've also got a slight concern with his skin... When he has all his quills spiked up, (nearly ALWAYS) I can notice some almost golden skin flakes surrounding the bases of most quills. I've gotten out a jewelers loop and looked for mites, (read they looked kind of like spiders but didnt see anything) so I think it might just be dry skin from lack of nutrition? She said she only really gave him the dry catfood and didnt bother with supplementing the diet. I've tried giving him a few different wet catfoods, and some tiny pieces of plain meat but he wont eat anything else. I've got some 3-6-9 Omega fish/flax oil capsules, and was wondering if it would be safe to squirt the oil over some of the catfood pieces to help his skin. :s

ALL IN ALL,

I'm mostly wondering if theres anything I should try differently, or what else I can do to aide the bonding process, or if it sounds like he can be bonded at all. It seems from what she's told me, theres been little time invested to him, and he hasn't been previously socialized. Any suggestions? :(
 

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I'm a new Hedgie owner as well, all I can offer is advice about handling/bonding. Pickle and I are going into week 4 and it's still a little touch and go. She came from a less than loving environment, ate only dry cat food, had no toys or even a hidey house (awful!!!). We made some headway a couple of days ago but she slipped back into her huffy / pokey ways. I see little changes here and there but it will take time. Already the little advances that she's made have made it all worth it. Don't give up :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks. :) I looveee the picture in your signature!! It took me a minute to realize that 'sharp' was a pun.

I'm hoping that he'll turn around and become a friendly little furry face, but things always seem kinda bleak when starting out.
 

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It can take a lot of time. I have a rehome at the moment that was well socialized who has been in my home for a week. She's friendly but it doesn't take much to make her a little defensive... and this is from a hedgehog that spent lots of time with her previous owner. She's still trying to figure out if I'm OK, what our routine is, and what is going on.

With one who hasn't been handled a lot or is a little defensive normally, expect at least the first month to be spent with a defensive hedgehog. I've had some that took over 6 months before I saw their face, by a year they were friendly.

How long it takes to gain their trust will depend on the hedgehog. Some never fully trust humans, others seem to bond quickly. Its only been a week, be patient and just continue to take him out, handle him and if he acts like he doesn't like something, don't do it. Back off and go slow. Oh and offer mealworms if he likes them. I swear insects can can make a huge difference sometimes.
 

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Be patient, consistent & don't give up.

Bribes are great (Kalandra mentioned mealworms - they're great for many hedgies).

I would also give him a plce to hide while on your lap. I always have a bit of fleece blanket or something in my lap- for 2 reasons. 1) in case there's an accident. 2) I let them curl up in it & hide. Resting my hand on them. They get used to you being there, but feel more safe than if they were out in the open.

Keep it up! We're here to help.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Funny, I went and spent a ton on the dried mealworms, and he just sniffs them or pushes them around with his nose and wont eat them. :s

I expect it to take a while, I just was unsure of a 'normal' time frame for this kind of situation. Looks like I'll be expecting crankyness for some time! xD

Also, I scheduled a Vet appt for next friday for his skin flakiness... I'm hoping that goes well too. :(
 
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purrball2007 said:
Funny, I went and spent a ton on the dried mealworms, and he just sniffs them or pushes them around with his nose and wont eat them. :s

I expect it to take a while, I just was unsure of a 'normal' time frame for this kind of situation. Looks like I'll be expecting crankyness for some time! xD

Also, I scheduled a Vet appt for next friday for his skin flakiness... I'm hoping that goes well too. :(
Too many freeze dried insect have been reported to cause blockages and even with live ones it may take a hedgie sometime to figure out its food keep at it some will not try things for weeks.

Most hedgies love mealies and crickets and they go nuts its worth it for their happiness for sure :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Phwew, that's good to hear!

I'm thinking I might also try to make a switch to fleece liners. Can it be like any fleece from a fabric store, Or does it have to be a specific kind? Should it be sewn off at the edges, or just cut? Could I knot the edges like those trendy throws? :) Theres just so many questions. xD
 
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purrball2007 said:
Phwew, that's good to hear!

I'm thinking I might also try to make a switch to fleece liners. Can it be like any fleece from a fabric store, Or does it have to be a specific kind? Should it be sewn off at the edges, or just cut? Could I knot the edges like those trendy throws? :) Theres just so many questions. xD
anti-pill fleece is best, enough to fold over fleece is fine as fleece doesn't have loose threads
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ooh. Okay. :) I'll hope to pick up some fleece tomorrow. I bought a pack of the carefresh paper bedding, but after reading on it, I figure I may as well return it and try the fleeces. :)

Ooooh. :D I have Dexter out, and he's resting on my chest and he's finally stopped huffing. He's even mostly relaxed his quills. ^__^ Yaay.
 

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Yep anti-pill fleece is the best and you don't have to sew the ends, but can if you want. I just wanted to add in that hedgehogs don't need wet cat food unless they are older and have a hard time chewing. Typically a good quality dry cat food is sufficient. :) So glad he seems to be opening up!

Carefresh isn't horrible, but some people report dry skin and dust with it...
 
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