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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello HHC!
I got a male hedgie baby probably about 8-10 weeks old from a well respected mom-and-pop pet shop in the area. I am a pre-veterinary student and animal science major, and I did little physical exams on all the hedgies. They all appeared healthy and the only real thing I noticed was a bite mark on the one I got, which healed quickly with a bit of TLC. The salesman working with me was an acquaintance of mine and he said this litter was the friendliest one they've ever had.

Anyways, within the first two days, Chowder had bitten my finger and latched on. No grinding, no licking, he wasn't even in a ball. It was just my boyfriend and I in the room. I assumed maybe it was just being a bit overwhelmed, although he had not been handled for long when he bit. I didn't really read stress through his body language, but we made the mistake of putting him back into the cage, which I'm afraid may have triggered that "bites = being let down". In the first two weeks, he had bitten my fingers 4 times within a variety of settings: dark and light, alone and with other people, night and day. Most bites he's generally been calm with quills down and everything.

He's also bitten my boyfriend's palm, two friends who were holding him in a blanket and had just washed their hands with scentless soap. In another situation, he bit my exposed groin area but let go quickly, which I assume was just him "exploring". Today, he bit me while trying to burrow in my shirt. Almost every time he's broken skin and he's drawn blood on multiple occasions. I still have scars on my body from every bite.

He also loves biting blankets, bean bag chairs, and at first it seemed like his fangs were stuck in the fabric, but then I realized that he just loves to clamp down on whatever he can. He's also gone for metal parts of necklaces before whether I'm wearing them or not. I've tried to discipline him for this behavior as well to hopefully put in some association of biting = bad.

The push technique and the blow techniques don't work. He LOVES being blown on, and it even calms him down, but still not enough to let go. Chowder is truly a freak. Loud sounds / NO doesn't work either and it usually makes him clamp harder. The only things that have worked are letting him let go on his own or pulling him away or prying open his jaw.

For a while I thought that maybe it could've been quilling since he's recently past 12 weeks, but he's not losing them as much as he has been.

I don't really know where to go from from here? He can be a cuddlebug but also has outbursts of adorable zoomies energy. When he's calm, he'll usually let me stroke him while he burrows between my knees under my laptop or in the bend in my arm. I've had a shirt that smells like me for a while, and recently swapped it out in case maybe it didn't smell enough like me and put in a shirt that I wore under sweaters for 48 hours straight :)lol:). Nothing anyone recommends, not even vets that I work with seem to work. I'm just getting concerned. He seems healthy, isn't in pain, he'll even let me grab his feet sometimes to clip his nails (but has never bitten me in those situations). Temp is always over 70 degrees and we try to keep the area from getting too dry.

Any advice? Thank you!

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Do you put your worn tshirt in his cage so he gets used to your scent? Always wash your hands with the same unperfumed soap and avoid wearing different perfumes etc.

Do you offer him treats when he's out of the cage and when he's being good? Bribing normally helps and encourages good behaviour ^^. Maybe he doesn't feel comfortable being handled so much yet, how long do you have him out/ hold him for? If he seems to get restless is this when he starts to bite? I'd only have him out 30 mins or whatever he can handle before getting restless and build it up slowly... I'd also try laying a blanket over your lap to avoid him biting your skin. My boy also likes laying inside his sleeping sack on my lap when he's out with us, he feels more secure this way as he doesn't like to be out in the open (always tries to hide/burrow under something!)

My boy has only bitten my boyfriend and I on a few occasions. The first day we bought him home, which is understandable, then other times is just when he's had enough/gets restless or we've forgotten to wash our hands before handling him and maybe there was a food smell present. Generally he's very mellow and just wants to sleep on us and be massaged! ^^
He does also have a thing for biting fabrics/playing tug of war with them(!) and seems to especially like metal, haha I wonder why some are like that?! :)
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