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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Our little girl is still getting used to us slowly. I let her wade in about 2 inches of water in the tub to clean her feet and I noticed how horribly long her toenails are, especially the back ones. She is about 8 months old and I am not sure they have ever been trimmed. Anyway, she will sit in your lap, but don't even try to touch her or she will ball up and hiss and pop at you. We have even tried to touch her feet in the tub and she still tries to ball up and put her face in the water.

Any suggestions for trimming her nails? They are really long and we are worried they might curl over.
 

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the only thing that we have found that works it to do a "tag team " approach. one of us will scruff Dora while the other one clips. If the hedgie absolutely wont unball and the nails are getting to a dangerous length then you may have to make a trip to the vet and have the little one sedated to complete the procedure, but this should be a very last resort.
 

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what i do is get a few mealies in a small bowl and while decaf is busy eating them i cut his nails. i do 1 or 2 feet a day. and that seems to work for me. hope this helps...
 

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I also have an older hedgie (7 months) who had never had her nail trims. I tried going about the patient route, trying to play with her feet and get her used to me touching her toes, I tried clipping while bathing, after bathing, and with help from other people, but nothing worked. Then at her first vet visit last week, the vet clipped her nails in under a minute, I was shocked :lol: She did it by getting her technician to scruff her while wearing non-slip gloves. They showed me how to do it too but I haven't attempted it myself yet and it's hard to explain. They said it's kinda like "peeling an orange" although I'm not too sure I get that analogy yet :lol: If you can figure out how to scruff her yourself, I'd reccommend giving it a try, especially with an older more difficult hedgie. Otherwise it probably wouldn't hurt to take her to a vet if she is 8 months and has never seen one, one initial health check is usually a good idea even if you don't go every year, just to make sure everything's all good to begin with. And if they're a good vet who knows how to handle hedgies, they won't sedate and will most likely scruff.
 

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thelostsock said:
May I ask what you mean by "Scruff"?
Hedgehogs like dogs and cats have excess skin on the neck which can be held onto, and doesn't cause the hedgehog any discomfort. Mother dogs and cats use this skin to pick up their puppies/kittens when they need to transport them. I imagine it's the same with hedgies.
It's easiest to do with two hands with hedgies and only works when they're unballed. I think you have to kinda scoop the skin with both hands, until you have a good grip. I would search up how to do it exactly tho if you're gonna attempt it, since I have never done it personally so my explanation probably sucks lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Haven't posted in awhile, but thought I would give an update.

We are still having trouble with trimming. I did manage to get her back feet trimmed a few weeks ago in the tub, but tried again this evening to do her front and she balled in the water, dunked her head and ears, oh my it was a bad tubby time. I just hope she does not get sick from getting her whole head/ears wet. I tried drying them the best she would let me.

I did manage to calm her down, wrap her in her fleece, and pinned her front legs in between my fingers to trim the long ones, but it was a struggle. Did not bite, but I am completely broke out from her spines against me.

Does this ever get any easier?
 

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cyntarihedgie said:
Haven't posted in awhile, but thought I would give an update.

We are still having trouble with trimming. I did manage to get her back feet trimmed a few weeks ago in the tub, but tried again this evening to do her front and she balled in the water, dunked her head and ears, oh my it was a bad tubby time. I just hope she does not get sick from getting her whole head/ears wet. I tried drying them the best she would let me.

I did manage to calm her down, wrap her in her fleece, and pinned her front legs in between my fingers to trim the long ones, but it was a struggle. Did not bite, but I am completely broke out from her spines against me.

Does this ever get any easier?
Don't give up hope it does get easier I promise! I managed to trim almost all of both my hedgies' nails in one sitting today believe it or not! I just gently scruff them with one hand, so I pull enough skin from their necks so that they stay still and can't quite ball up but I didn't completely scruff them so that they couldnt move at all and then I quickly trim the nails that are starting to curl or that have enough length that I can safely clip without hitting the quick. Honestly some of the nails don't really need to be trimmed at all.

Hedgies don't usually ball up in the water so I'm surprised yours did. Watch for any signs of shaking the head, or any gunk in the ears as I know animals can develop ear irritations after getting water in their ears. I don't try trim nails in the water anymore because sometimes the water throws off your line of sight and it's awkward pulling one leg out of the water I find. Try trimming after the bath when they are feeling more relaxed. Hold your hedgie so that your hand is right under the tummy and they have to ball up completely around your hand if they try. Mine don't like to curl around my hand so they don't. I hold them so the back legs hand down and the front legs are between my fingers and then clip as quick as possible. Don't worry if you can't do it all in one sitting, the important thing is to get those nails that are starting to curl, but otherwise trimming doesn't need to be done that often.

Good luck!!! and don't give up :)
 

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I know I'm resurrecting an old thread here, but i'm having the same problem. I've tried to scruff her, but as soon as she sees a hand coming toward her she balls up, and all that loose skin to grab onto just goes away. I've tried the bath thing too, but she hates the water and really freaks out if I put her in there. I think it's time for a vet visit, but I'm wondering if there might be something else to try before I spend the money. Is there somewhere to read up on how to scruff? I googled it, but not to much luck there....
 

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You should try coming at her from behind, not above or in front. They can't see behind their backs, so if you sneak up while she is unsuspecting it might help. Good luck!
 

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I can't advise on scruffing but for trimming I try to let one foot fall between my fingers when she's in my palm & then slightly 'pinch' the leg to 'trap' it there while I clip. I'm sitting and keep her half sitting on my lap, half pressed into my body. I also find that Sylvie is a lot calmer to clip when the lights are dimmer and there's less noise, but make sure to have enough light to see what you're doing. I think hedgies are like dogs too, when I start getting agitated because she's wiggling or puffing, then she get's worse. When I stay calm so does she. Now it took a bit to get here, there was a lot of huffing & puffing when we first started. I now keep her clippers near her crate so anytime I'm handling her & notice her nails are long she gets a clipping. I think the frequency is actually better for her as it's become routine.
 

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I was just wondering what everyone thought about wheel trimmers. I know that they are good for sugar gliders, but was not sure how they would be for Hedgies. I have not tried one and will not unless I know its safe, but just thought of suggesting it since I had not seen it anywhere and if its ok might help those that arent good at trimming. Please dont hate on me. Im just asking. :)
 

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Since hedgehogs run so much, you can't use them. They can run their feet raw & bloody on just normal surfaces, so imagine what that would do to them!

(well, that and they have sensitive feet)
 

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This thread has helped alot, i was wondering the same, my lil hedgies toenails are sooo long at the back, his front are fine, but his back are very long and hes only 7 weeks old. As hes just getting used to us and his new home i dont want to start prodding with his little feet :(
 

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It's actually best to start when they are babies. Once you start handling your baby more, start playing with their feet.

When I brought my boy home, he'd actually fall asleep in my lap, and I'd take advantage of that time to trim all of his nails(he'd be dead asleep and wouldn't wake up). And as he grew, he became a lighter sleeper, but I would keep picking up his feet, rubbing them, clipping them.

Nowadays, I have no problems with trimming his nails at all. He's a pro at his back legs. The front ones take some maneuvering, but luckily, front grows much MUCH slower than the back nails. Now, at almost 11 months old, I can trim all of his back nails in one sitting, without him putting up much of a fuss. And every so often, I'll slip in a front nail to cut and he's good with it as well.

So start young. Even if you just gently rub their paws between your fingers, then let them go. It's a start to get them used to having their feet handled.
 

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Thats great advice. I think hes ok with his feet. I have been looking at them and handling them to judge how long his nails are and he's never put up a fuss, I'm just so worried about cutting them myself. You can clearly see where to cut his nails to because they're that long, but one little manouvre from him ..... and i dont bear to think about it. I gather vets will cut them for you? I may give it a go but i'd be so nervous.
 

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Everyone who has clipped animals nails has nicked the quick at some point. Sometimes it's really bad, sometimes it's not. The front nails are the hardest especially when they are long and curling because they are so close to the skin (and man do they bleed when you cut one too short). the only advice I have that hasn't been mentioned is to have some flour or cornstarch on hand to stop the bleeding (in a little dish right beside you) and start with the back feet.
 
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