Hi! Thank you for responding!krbshappy71 said:Welcome!
Just a few things come to mind. They do need a wheel, and the mesh one you described isn't recommended as they can get their little toes and nails caught in it. I'd replace the wheel right away with a solid-surface one.
Itchiness brings to mind "mites". Which I'm guessing would cause her to be uncomfortable. You mention shavings, and occasionally those can have mites. (from what I've learned here) I'd have her tested for that.
I'm guessing a good, sturdy, non-squeaking wheel would help her expend some of that nervous energy.
I will replace the wheel as soon as possible (I live in Northeast US and we've had some serious snow which = difficulty driving)! I had the mesh one because they breeder uses them (she said the sturdy/ plastic ones collect feces, etc). But I will investigate the one you suggested because it sounds like a better plan!
I use "Guardian Condensed Softwood Pellet Horse Bedding" at the moment (again, from the breeder...I'm guessing that is what they use). I'm not sure what kind of wood it is made from, but basically the pellets turn into small very soft bedding with water added...and I'm not sure if its better to leave them as pellets or add the water.
And I will check for mites, although I did work at a small animal (dog/cat, not exotics) vet hospital for a while and it doesn't seem like she has mites but I will have her tested if the itching doesn't subside. Her skin is also a little pink between where the quills and the belly-fur are and behind her ears. It's been like 10 years since my last hedgie so I'm not sure if this is normal or a sign of something else.
Anyway I'm just telling you this b/c your answer was very helpful and you seem to know a lot so any further/ additional advice is appreciated! Thanks again!