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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the idea of putting some high grit sandpaper around my hedgie's wheel (say 4 strips evenly placed) in order to postpone or eliminate nail trimming.

I thought I had come up with quite an intuitive idea until I came across information on a website describing the same method.

Does this work? Do their pads get torn too easily even with a high grit sandpaper?

I'd appreciate any comments from anyone that has experimented with this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
And of course right after posting that I came across a new post with the following response by dorasdaddy:

"This has been covered on the board before. To keep you hedgehogs nails a safe and healthy length the only thing you can do is trim them. Hedgies walk on the soles of their feet and if the nails are long enough to be worn down by something then they are WAY too long. Also, anything rough enough to wear down hedgies nails would be painful for the bottoms of their feet, one of our little girls ran her feet raw on her comfort wheel this weekend causing them to bleed profusely. Imagine how bad it would be on sandpaper or anything else that would be used to file down the nails.."

Given that... I'm assuming even a high grit sandpaper would be unacceptable.....?
 

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Sandpaper can hurt the little ones feet.
They walk on the pad's of their feet so walking on the sandpaper will make their feet sore and raw.
It's better and safer to just trim their nails.
I wouldn't even try the high grit.
Think of it as running on asphalt when your use to always wearing shoes. :|
 

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No, do not use sandpaper of any type. All it will do is rip up his feet. Hedgehogs walk on the pads of their feet and their nails do not even come in contact with the ground so to use sandpaper is not only useless for wearing down nails, but it injures their feet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm skeptical..... although not trying to deny the experience behind the advice I have been given.

A very, very high grit sandpaper is not very abrasive. Not to say that it can't injure the pads on a hedgie.... but I personally wouldn't rule it out as an option with my limited (or maybe irrelevant) experience.

It must be considered that dogs kept indoors, in lawns, etc., commonly rip their pads on 'abrasive' surfaces. Naturally, this is less of a problem, but domesticated dogs are not conditioned to rough surfaces (in general). Even dogs that consistently run on gravel or hard asphalt rip their pads simply from natural injury.

Domesticated hedgehogs don't seem so different. They run on their pads, just like dogs. Their claws can become overgrown, despite lots of running on soft surfaces. And it seems they can rupture their pads when exposed to a rough running surface.

I'm wondering if a hedgehog that is slowly trained to a lower grit sand paper over time would benefit by having naturally trimmed nails.... or at least less frequent nail trimmings. Much the same as dogs that are allowed to run around on abrasive surfaces on a regular basis. Consider that a wild hedgehog wears down its nails enough in a natural environment to not rely on human care.

Is this thought process just ridiculous?

I'm not condoning taking an "easy out" when it comes to nail trimming. Simply considering a logical approach.

Feel free to give me any information regarding this topic. I'm simply looking for more info to benefit Crash. ;)
 

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The difference between most domesticated dogs and domesticated hedgehogs though, is that domesticated dogs don't run on abrasive surfaces that much. Hedgehogs can run miles in a night, and that much running on a surface that is even slightly abrasive can tear their feet to shreds. Dorasdaddy said that one of his girls managed to do that on a Comfort wheel, which just has small ridges to help with gripping. It seems like even high grit sandpaper would be much more abrasive than those ridges.
And even if you could toughen up the hedgehog's pads, it still seems likely that their nails would still be a bit too long and could get caught on things more easily. Maybe hedgehogs in the wild do have to do without getting pedicures, but remember that the difference between our hedgies and wild hedgies is that they only live about two years and ours can live up to six years. Seems likely that infection could be a cause of death, and ripping off toenails could easily lead to infection.
 

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Another thing to keep in mind, minor cuts aren't as much of a big threat to dogs as it is hedgehogs. They are also easily treated by any vet, with lots of experience on how to handle something like that. Dog feet are also easier to wrap and clean. Last winter, my dog sliced one of his paw pads open on the ice. We cleaned it out with betadine, swabbed on some polysporin, and wrapped it with gauze and vet wrap. Simple, easy, didn't need to see a vet. Cleaned it twice a day and changed his bandages, no infection kicked in, and he healed.

Now with a hedgehog, it would be impossible to wrap, meaning that their open sores will continue to run through urine and feces, as you cannot keep them from running. As Kelsey said, they run for miles a night. Chad(Dorasdaddy)'s girl cracked a hip? I think, if I remember correctly, and he couldn't keep her from running. It was either run on an injury, or have her try to climb and hurt herself more.

I can't imagine how much it would hurt to run a mile on sand paper, or asphalt. And it would be better to just stick with actual nail trimming, rather than risking your hedgie ripping his pads. Infections can easily set in, and you'd need a good exotics vet to keep him healthy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
"The difference between most domesticated dogs and domesticated hedgehogs though, is that domesticated dogs don't run on abrasive surfaces that much"

I'm not sure if this was a typo... but domesticated dogs should be walked quite a bit every day and DO encounter abrasive surfaces. If they are not walked multiple times every day, the phrase "domesticated dog" is being abused. In comparison, a hedgehog "walks" quite a bit every day and should encounter natural, abrasive surfaces.Obviously a hedgehog cannot be "walked" realistically... so we rely on wheels.

"Hedgehogs can run miles in a night, and that much running on a surface that is even slightly abrasive can tear their feet to shreds. Dorasdaddy said that one of his girls managed to do that on a Comfort wheel, which just has small ridges to help with gripping. It seems like even high grit sandpaper would be much more abrasive than those ridges."

Sure. I'm not denying that it can cause damage. I have a comfort wheel and there are no problems. I could have a fleece surface and report ripped pads, or i could have a wheel of spikes, and have no problems. What I'm saying is that if my dog ripped a pad playing ball in the street, I'd let him recover and not worry about it. Chances are he would be more resistant to it with more practice. You are telling me the same thing I have already acknowledged..... hedgies could rip their pads. But you are ignoring what I am proposing as carefully monitored conditioning.

"And even if you could toughen up the hedgehog's pads, it still seems likely that their nails would still be a bit too long and could get caught on things more easily. Maybe hedgehogs in the wild do have to do without getting pedicures, but remember that the difference between our hedgies and wild hedgies is that they only live about two years and ours can live up to six years. Seems likely that infection could be a cause of death, and ripping off toenails could "

So "possibly" wearing down nails would likely leave the nails too long. I'm wondering what the nails could get caught in with a bucket wheel, fleece, a burrow, and a food/water bowl.

On another note. I would really like to see the evidence that the natural life of a wild hedgehog is less than that of a domestic hedgehog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Immortalia said:
Another thing to keep in mind, minor cuts aren't as much of a big threat to dogs as it is hedgehogs. They are also easily treated by any vet, with lots of experience on how to handle something like that. Dog feet are also easier to wrap and clean. Last winter, my dog sliced one of his paw pads open on the ice. We cleaned it out with betadine, swabbed on some polysporin, and wrapped it with gauze and vet wrap. Simple, easy, didn't need to see a vet. Cleaned it twice a day and changed his bandages, no infection kicked in, and he healed.

Now with a hedgehog, it would be impossible to wrap, meaning that their open sores will continue to run through urine and feces, as you cannot keep them from running. As Kelsey said, they run for miles a night. Chad(Dorasdaddy)'s girl cracked a hip? I think, if I remember correctly, and he couldn't keep her from running. It was either run on an injury, or have her try to climb and hurt herself more.

I can't imagine how much it would hurt to run a mile on sand paper, or asphalt. And it would be better to just stick with actual nail trimming, rather than risking your hedgie ripping his pads. Infections can easily set in, and you'd need a good exotics vet to keep him healthy.
good point :)
 

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ReMz said:
I'm skeptical..... although not trying to deny the experience behind the advice I have been given.

A very, very high grit sandpaper is not very abrasive. Not to say that it can't injure the pads on a hedgie.... but I personally wouldn't rule it out as an option with my limited (or maybe irrelevant) experience.

It must be considered that dogs kept indoors, in lawns, etc., commonly rip their pads on 'abrasive' surfaces. Naturally, this is less of a problem, but domesticated dogs are not conditioned to rough surfaces (in general). Even dogs that consistently run on gravel or hard asphalt rip their pads simply from natural injury.

Domesticated hedgehogs don't seem so different. They run on their pads, just like dogs. Their claws can become overgrown, despite lots of running on soft surfaces. And it seems they can rupture their pads when exposed to a rough running surface.

I'm wondering if a hedgehog that is slowly trained to a lower grit sand paper over time would benefit by having naturally trimmed nails.... or at least less frequent nail trimmings. Much the same as dogs that are allowed to run around on abrasive surfaces on a regular basis. Consider that a wild hedgehog wears down its nails enough in a natural environment to not rely on human care.

Is this thought process just ridiculous?

I'm not condoning taking an "easy out" when it comes to nail trimming. Simply considering a logical approach.

Feel free to give me any information regarding this topic. I'm simply looking for more info to benefit Crash. ;)
In my reply I stated that hedgehogs nails DO NOT come in contact with the ground as they walk. Sandpaper or rough surfaces accomplish nothing when it comes to wearing down their nails. Why do it and risk hurting their feet when it isn't going to accomplish anything. Look at your hedgehogs foot as he stands. Unless his nails are extremely long and curling under, they are not in contact with the ground.

In the wild, hedgehogs are constantly digging in the ground for bugs which wears their nails down. Our hedgehogs don't have that opportunity so they need to be trimmed. There is no easy solution.
 

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I dont know if you can really see it or not, but that liner is the one that was in Doras cage the night she shreded her paws. That is not poo on the liner, it s dried blood and a lot of it. The wheel was even worse. These little ones can lose alot of blood in a very short amount of time, and like Imortalia pointed out they will not stop running so they are constantly putting open wounds in urine, feces, and possible even small pieces of food if they are a messy eater like my girl. My biggest question here is the same one i ask alot, If there is even a slight chance it is going to hurt your beloved pet then why even risk it?[attachment=0:3oz9xnbv]100_0473.jpg[/attachment:3oz9xnbv]
 

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I too have a very bloody liner photo somewhere. It belonged to Ivory and when I saw the amount of blood in his cage that morning I screamed for my husband because I was certain he could not have survived that blood loss. I can handle just about anything these hedgehogs do and my hubby is not a hedgehog person so you know how bad it had to have been that I was afraid to look. Ivory was fine except for being woken up.

He had bled so much it was even sprayed on the walls of his bin and every inch of his liner was covered with a spray of blood. It left clean circles where his dishes were.

I agree. When we know there is a risk of injury with something, why ever would we use it.
 

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I agree with all the safety issues that have been brought up, but another issue is...how do you keep a wheel covered in sandpaper clean? you'd have to change it every day....there would be no way to wash it without ruining the sandpaper and you wouldn't want to leave it there for any period of time without cleaning.
 

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As Nancy stated the nail doesn't touch the ground at all times. So even if you used 1500 grit paper you would be causing more "sanding" to the fleshy part of the foot and the nails only occasionally. So you still end up with a hedgie with bloody feet. And no they don't form callous the same way we do. Sandpaper, Emory cloth, rocks, cement, almost everything has been tried. And none of it has worked. It is one of those things you just need to learn to do. Dogs in the city have been tried with everything imaginable but the owner ends up with a "scoop" or shovel and little poop bags. Some things there is no easy fix. You just need to man up and learn to trim your hedgies nails. It also helps in the bonding experience. The hedgie while reluctant will learn you are not trying to kill it.
 

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I admire the OP's search for knowledge and persistence but it frustrates me to see someone relatively new to the hedgehog experience argue with the experienced members of the board. I am very inexperienced compared to many other members on this board and understand the confusion that comes with being new to such unusual creatures. This is why I think it is best to do as much research as possible and to listen to board members who have as much experience as Nancy and Reaper for instances.
 

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hedgielover said:
I admire the OP's search for knowledge and persistence but it frustrates me to see someone relatively new to the hedgehog experience argue with the experienced members of the board. I am very inexperienced compared to many other members on this board and understand the confusion that comes with being new to such unusual creatures. This is why I think it is best to do as much research as possible and to listen to board members who have as much experience as Nancy and Reaper for instances.
I dunno... I was interpreting it differently; ie, that the OP had an idea and was trying to figure out what would and would not work and why. It's through these kinds of discussions that people learn more.

For instance, I knew the sanding wheel wouldn't work because: (1) hedgie's nails don't touch the ground the way a dog's do and by the time a hedgie's nail got to the point where they did contact the ground, they'd already be way too long and (2) hedgies have soft feet and run a lot so sandpaper would chew up their feet and leave them with bloody little stumps.

The new thing I've learned from Reaper is: unlike humans, whose feet can become hardened/calloused over time to withstand rough terrain, hedgehogs' feet do not.
 

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I too am looking for a natural way to keep my hedgie's nails in check.

I would t think a sanding wheel would ever be a good idea, but I have tried filing my girls nails, she just bites the Emory board.

I noticed you said that hedgehogs dig in nature, and that keeps their nails short. Is this a fact? If so, couldn't a cleverly designed dig box, containing natural elements work in our hedgehogs care?

I don't feel that harassing and stressing out our babies is necessary. I think there must be a more natural way to keep nails safe.
 

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I too am looking for a natural way to keep my hedgie's nails in check.

I would t think a sanding wheel would ever be a good idea, but I have tried filing my girls nails, she just bites the Emory board.

I noticed you said that hedgehogs dig in nature, and that keeps their nails short. Is this a fact? If so, couldn't a cleverly designed dig box, containing natural elements work in our hedgehogs care?

I don't feel that harassing and stressing out our babies is necessary. I think there must be a more natural way to keep nails safe.
This post is from 2009, you should start a new one since this is basically dead.
 
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