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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I just got a rescue hedgehog... albino, sweet, sweet girl, She is terribly skittish. I was told that she is probably a little over 6 months old. She's started to let me hold her with her being comfortable and to walk around for me, but not for anyone else. She snuffles a lot, and won't eat anything but her dry food, and sometimes a meal worm. It breaks my heart that she's just so... She seems sad, or regressed, if that makes sense. She won't go into her hideaway castle, and never really does anything other than sleep under her blankets, unless she's using the litter or eating. Her toenails are so, so long, but she's so skittish that there's no way she'll let me touch her feetsies.

This is my first hedgehog, so I'm learning as I go, but I've read everything on here, and I just couldn't let this poor baby live in the conditions she was in. I didn't know anything except that I could do a much better job with my limited knowledge than the pet store could. ANY advice and help would do wonders for me. I love this baby so much, and I know that since I got her older, she might not bond to me, but even if she doesn't I want her to feel safe enough and confident enough to not be so scared all of the time. I have an inhuman amount of patience, but I don't want to be patient doing the wrong things. :)

Thank you in advance for all of your help, Tallulah and I both appreciate it.
 

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If she is sniffling, she likely has a URI. That would explain her acting so depressed. Can you have her taken to your vet? She can be treated before it gets worse, and I'll bet she'll start acting more lively.

Her nails might be hurting her feet, too. If you give her a bath in a sink, you can trim them then. She won't be able to ball up because of the water and you can get them done quickly.

I hope she continues to warm up to you and starts feeling better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's less sniffling and more the... balling up and hissing when there's any kind of sound or movement around her, but I am planning a vet visit as soon as I can locate one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not yet, at the pet store I found her at, they only had the metal ones with the slats, and I didn't think that would be good. I'm going to go look around at the petsmart I have here after reading all of the stuff here on different wheels and all of that.
 

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Tallulah = best name ever. Now, moving on to more serious matters...

You're absolutely right about the metal wheel, under no circumstances should a hedgehog - or any animal, really - be given one of those. Seems like you're already on the right track with this little one.

As I'm sure you already know, putting a shirt that you've worn for a couple of days/nights in with her will help her get used to your scent. I would also recommend getting her a blanket of her very own that no other animal is allowed to use. If you're handy with a needle and thread, you could make one, or if you'd rather, you could commission me to make one. ;D Hinthint. Make sure it's soft, or the hedgie probably won't like it. My two have nice comfy blankets that they get carted around in, and they absolutely love taking naps in them. In fact, Quillamina is sleeping on my lap in hers at this very moment.

To get her used to your voice, talk to her quietly and sweetly, and, if you're a singer, let her hear your musical talents! I bonded with Quillamina over soft rock and showtunes - yes, showtunes, mostly Broadway - and Loki over the same. Just make sure you don't sing anything too harsh or loud to her just yet, since she's not used to you.

The nails may be a bit of a problem, with Tallulah being as new to you as she is, but as LG said, putting them in water is the best way to keep them unballed. Thank god, Quillamina has never needed me to do her nails in the bath, and Loki is usually very good, although we did have some issues during his clipping last night that ended up in a nicked quick and hurt feelings. (I still feel badly about it, but at least the styptic worked fast and Loki got over it.) For nail clippings, always, always, ALWAYS make sure you have some styptic, preferably the powder type, but a pencil will do in a pinch. With the powder, be sure to have some Q-tips on hand with which to apply it, and stay calm. Even if you feel badly, if you're getting all upset, chances are the hedgie will too. The little buggers are very perceptive, I've noticed.

If you need any advice on how to bond with your little rescue, (Quillamina was one too) feel free to ask me anything. I'll be more than happy to help you, if I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Haha yeah, Tallulah Mae.... I fell in love with the name Tallulah after hearing it on a Dr Who episode XD The character always introduced herself as "tallulah, three L's and an H" It stuck with me haha

Tried bath time. Warm water, not too hot, not too cold... not too deep with something in the water for her to rest on. This did not go over well. I kept her in my hand and slowly lowered her into the water and she just kept trying to escape up my arm :/ Any tips on this? DO some of them just not like water much?

I actually started sewing a big soft fleece pocket to wear around my neck that she could chill in before I read your post! XD She loves this thing, it's hard for me to make her get out when it's time to go back into her cage, haha. I'm really glad she's relaxed in her pouch.

Thank you ALL for the help, it's all amazing and you can keep it coming! lol
 

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Yes some hedgehogs hate water making bath time and nail clipping a challenge. If you find a vet and do a check up the vet may be able to clip the nails while you are there.

For Quigley's first full check up the vet gave him a bit of gas anesthetic to make him sleepy but not put him right out that way he was not freaking out the whole time. Most people don't recommend this but for Quigley (and maybe other older skittish hogs) it works because the vet appointment would just be so stressful otherwise.
 

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My vet says that a little bit of gas is usually necessary for hedgies when they're getting a checkup. I've been lucky with Quillamina, she behaves ridiculously well at the vet, but unfortunately, most piggies don't like it. If you can get Tallulah used to being held by lots of different people (remember, socialization is key) she likely won't be so upset when you have to take her to the vet for a checkup or anything else. It will also, of course, make her much less likely to react badly to strangers.
 
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