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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone,
I just adopted my first hedgehog on Monday the 12th, and he seems to be starting to get used to me. He is a rehome, but I would be more likely to call it a rescue. Apparently the poor thing barely got any attention at all at his last home. The cage he came in was absolutely disgusting and looked like it was very rarely cleaned. The most immediate problem I'm having though is that he is VERY dirty. His quills look grimy all over, but the ones around his face and near his feet are positively caked with poop. Some of them are thick with it, and a couple are stuck together in all of the gunk. And it probably goes without saying, but he's pretty smelly! I feel terrible for the little guy, but I wanted to give him a few days before I upset him with the stress of a bath. So, any suggestions on how to clean the caked on poop without hurting him?

On a happier note, he seems to be warming up to me rather quickly. When I first brought him out of his cage, he was a huffing ball of quills, but it wasn't long before he was out exploring. He snuffles around and seems very curious, but he'll twitch and raise his quills if he hears a noise or sees a sudden movement. All normal hedgie behaviour, as far as I can tell.

I'm very happy to have taken in this little guy, and I'm going to do the absolute best that I can to provide him with the best possible life and care. Thanks!
 

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Hey, congrats on taking in the little guy!

I would go grab a clean toothbrush, some moisturizing soap (with oatmeal preferably), nail clippers, and some baby receiving blankets to start. Fill the sink with about 2" of warm water, and use your hands/a cup to get him wet. Hopefully he won't flail or attempt to ball up, if he seems like he is really hating it I would try another day after he's settled in a bit more. You can squeeze some of the soap into your hands and lather up his belly and quills, and use the toothbrush to loosen up anything that is really stuck on there. I wouldn't ordinarily suggest using anything for scrubbing, but he really should get clean. What gunk doesn't come out, you can try using a wet washcloth on afterwards. Once he is clean, you can gently rinse him off and try trimming nails if necessary. This is usually a good time to do so. Since his face should not have gotten wet, now is the time to grab a paper towel/washcloth and gently try wiping away whatever is on his face. Once you are done you can wrap him up in an absorbent towel (fleece doesn't work well and terry can catch nails) like a receiving blanket. Keep him out until he is dry to make sure he doesn't get cold, and then you can put him back.

Hopefully that makes sense!
 

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If once you have followed LG's bathing advice and you still find that you can't get certain areas(like the face, ears, quills) clean, then I would suggest a "steam clean".

And by "steam clean" I mean get a moderately warm washcloth(not hot, warm to the touch, but still comfortable) and while your hedgie is in your lap, place this washcloth over your hedgie(be sure that there are breath holes). Once the washcloth cools a little, repeat again by wringing it in warm water again, and place it over your hedgie once more. This time, you can gently rub the washcloth over the face, ears and quills, and hopefully, that should get most of the dirt off.

And congrats on your new hedgie!
 

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Awesome. Where did you find him?

Caked on poop can be difficult to get off and you may not get it all in one bath. Often it needs to soak for some time. Dried hedgie poop it like glue. Follow LG's advice and good luck. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the tips! I ended up bathing him a couple days ago and it went pretty well. I bought some oatmeal wash for him and used a new toothbrush to gently scrub between his quills. He didn't love the bath, but he didn't seem to hate it either. He's lovely and clean now though, and almost looks a different colour than when I got him! :lol:

I ended up finding him on craigslist. His owners couldn't take care of him any more, and said they hadn't really had time to get to know him or give him the attention he deserved. They were his second owners, and I'm not really sure where he was before that. Regardless, he's becoming a friendly, curious little guy and is settling in nicely.
 
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