Hedgehog Central banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello! I am new to hedgehog owning. I have done TONS of research, but as I am aware, every hog is different.
My hog is about 3 months old. She came from a breeder who said she never hissed or bit. I knew it would take time for my hog to bond with me and to become more comfortable, but I wonder if anyone can offer some insight.

Time Owned:
We've had Dr. Pickles since August 3rd, almost 4 weeks.

Living Space:
We live in a small apartment, but from what I've read, she has an adequately sized cage (14" x 42"). She doesn't have a room to herself, however, our house is pretty quiet during the day, most often. She has a wheel, which she sometimes uses*, a felt camping tent, which she primarily uses as her bed (and seems to enjoy), a log, and a food + water dish. We use a lightless heat lamp, and her temperature generally ranges from 75-80. She has a thick fleece mat that lines her cage, lots of fleece shreds, and a wee mat under her wheel.

Food:
She seems to have a healthy appetite. I feed her what was recommended by her breeder (about 2 Tbsp of a cat food blend), supplemented with mealworms as treats. Every few days, depending on her demeanor, I try other forms of treats. So far she's liked chicken breast, dandelion greens, scrambled egg, and cooked carrot. She does not seem to like duck liver (who does!), or dried beef (these are single protein dried treats). (I am fully aware of the implications of fat and sugar in their diet, and am very careful with how much I offer - we are a whole foods family, so feeding her whole foods is important to me).

Activity & Handling:
We handle her every day, most often in the late evening, although sometimes during the day when needed. We are cognizant of introducing her to new smells/places so as to get her comfortable/desensitize her. She seems to like being outdoors, and after a few tries, she does okay running around our home, also. I am careful to transition her from one situation to another with a snuggle in between to make her feel safe, and to hopefully help her know that I, in particular, am safe (as well as my partner). She is not very playful with her toys, although I understand some hogs are not. I have a modular pen set up over a fleece where I put her to play when I can't watch her around the house. She mostly tries to hide, but one rare occasion will engage with her dig box.

Quilling:
We were told by the breeder that she was in the midst of quilling when we got her, but did not see any quills for the first 7-10 days. When the breeder confirmed again that she is likely not finished quilling, I began giving her oat baths (no soap unless she super stinky) every 4-5 days, and we began noticing rogue quills within a day after her first soak. I haven't seen many in a few days, so I suspect she might be finishing.

Behavior:
She's never bitten, although she huffs far more than I would have expected, based on what the breeder told us. I understand they huff and ball as their defense, but she does it every time I get her out of her cage. Often, I go ahead and pick her up, in hopes that I'm teaching her I'm not the threat she thinks I am, and she usually calms right down. Sometimes I'll let her smell me when she huffs, and again, she almost always calms down. So, it seems to me she does know my scent, and knows I am safe. She seems fairly lethargic, which I thought might be due to the quilling, plus I've read that baby hedgehogs sleep more than adult hogs. Over the past week, it doesn't appear that she's done much on her wheel or around her cage at night. We did set up a camera for two nights. The first night she didn't do much, mostly slept and came out to eat a few times. The second night she was slightly more active, took a stroll in her wheel and burrowed under her wee mat (I was not happy about that, but hey!)

All in all, I suppose I expected her to become more comfortable by now. I try not to stress her out, but at the same time I try to introduce her to new things so as to desensitize her.

Specifically, my questions are:
1) How long should I expect it to take for her to stop huffing at us on the regular?
2) If quilling makes them irritable/lethargic, how long after they finish should I expect her to become more happy?
3) At what rate should a baby hedgehog gain weight? She seems to be growing fast, but maybe that's normal?

I'm sure I have more, but that's all I can think of at the moment. Any insight would be helpful.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I can't answer the second and third question right now, but I'm sure someone else will weigh in. :)
I've had my hedgehog for a year and a half, and he hasn't stopped huffing at me. If he were to stop huffing at me, I would be seriously concerned for his health. Every hedgehog is different, but from my experience, huffing is a normal every day thing. When you wake a hedgehog up, they just tend to be grumpy and huff. :) Since she calms down when she smells you (just like my boy does), I wouldn't be too concerned about it. I think of it this way: I can be pretty disoriented when someone wakes me from my sleep, so I guess that's what it's like for hedgehogs, too. Hope this helps and I'll try to come back to answer the other questions soon. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, but my concern comes from the fact that the breeder said that she didn't huff. I understand every hog is different and has different personalities, but according to the breeder, this hog didn't ever huff. Now she does, often.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
If I'm being honest, I'm not quite sure if the breeder was being completely honest. I don't think I have ever heard of hedgehog that doesn't huff. Did she start huffing as soon as you got her, or is this a new thing that just started recently?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
If I'm being honest, I'm not quite sure if the breeder was being completely honest. I don't think I have ever heard of hedgehog that doesn't huff. Did she start huffing as soon as you got her, or is this a new thing that just started recently?
It started as soon as we got her, but it seems to be worse the last few days. That's why I'm wondering if it has to do with her quilling? I thhought we were making progress with her, but she seems far more stressed/moody lately.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
Yes, I think quilling could have something to do with it. I also wonder if such frequent baths might be stressing her out. Every 4-5 days seems to be a little much, even when quilling. Keep an eye out for dry skin, because that could be irritating her as well. I'm not very knowledgeable on oatmeal baths, though, so you might wait for someone to weigh in on if the frequency is too much or not. :) Just something to consider. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
How long after they are done quilling should their behavior change? I understand hedgehogs are more lethargic when they are younger, when does that change?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Hi, I just got 2 girls from my breeder (I previously had 6 boys) and the girls seem to be similar to yours. They do sleep a lot even during night time. My boys would stay awake most of the night, but that was when they were older. I don't remember much about their activity when they were young, sorry. I noticed my girls do scratch a lot, but I think it may be to quilling and/or dry skin. From other posts and websites baths should be limited to around 6 weeks or more, I guess it depends on the hedgehog. Dry skin can cause other problems, but I haven't experienced that myself. It sounds like you really care about her, so I think being patient with her huffiness and she should get more comfortable with you and sleep less soon. Good luck, hope this help somewhat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
28 Posts
Forgot to mention, check out the Hedgehog Welfare Society website for good info and links.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
Yes, I think quilling could have something to do with it. I also wonder if such frequent baths might be stressing her out. Every 4-5 days seems to be a little much, even when quilling. Keep an eye out for dry skin, because that could be irritating her as well. I'm not very knowledgeable on oatmeal baths, though, so you might wait for someone to weigh in on if the frequency is too much or not. :) Just something to consider. :)
I understand not bathing them very often but my daughter's hedgehog walks through his poop on his wheel every day. She often has him in a little water cleaning his feet. Is this bad?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
110 Posts
I understand not bathing them very often but my daughter's hedgehog walks through his poop on his wheel every day. She often has him in a little water cleaning his feet. Is this bad?
That's definitely normal for hedgehogs! Mine has poop boots all the time. Foot baths are fine. I always try to clean my boy's feet off with a baby wipe first, but foot baths are totally okay. Just make sure the water isn't so deep that it turns into a full bath every time. :)
 

·
Registered
Holly is 3 years old. Super cuddly and loving.
Joined
·
2,144 Posts
I understand not bathing them very often but my daughter's hedgehog walks through his poop on his wheel every day. She often has him in a little water cleaning his feet. Is this bad?
Totally normal, I got lucky as my girl tries to keep her own feet first, but I will always opt for trying damp paper towel and before putting her in a shallow water for a foot bath.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top