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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just got a new hedgehog, he is 6 months old. Everytime i come near it he hisses and freakes out. he curls up into a little ball, and starts shaking. When i can manage to hold him, i can't let him come near me because he bites me. The previous owners must not have held him much or something i think. he doesn't do much in his cage either, he seems to afraid to, he simply just sleeps like he is afraid or too scared to do anything. I haven't hardly had him a day, and i will continue to spend time with him, but i don't want to hurt him or cause him too much stress. Any help is appreciated.
 

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If you just got him today, leave him alone in his cage. This is a big change for him and he's probably scared and unsure of himself. Make sure he has someplace safe to hide in his cage. He isn't likely to come out and explore much with you watching, either, especially if there's lights on. Don't bother him at all tonight except to give him food and water. Just give him the time to settle into his new cage and get used to the new smells and sounds of your house. Tomorrow evening, you can take him out for some time socializing. A good way to do this with a hedgehog that's afraid is to pick him up with a fleece blanket, then just let him sit in your lap on the blanket. You might drape part of the blanket over him to help him feel more secure. Don't try to pet him or stick your hand in his face, if he gets scared, he's likely to try biting your hand, or he'll stay in his ball. If he falls asleep, that's fine. He's still getting used to your scent, and he'll connect it with the pleasure and comfort of sleeping in the fleece blanket. If he starts to explore, just let him and be careful if you're sitting in a chair, that he doesn't fall off.
If he hasn't been held a lot, it'll probably take him awhile to get used to you. Some hedgehogs can take up to months to get completely settled with a new owner. Just remember to be patient and take it slow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
kk, so someone told me to put a shirt of mine in his cage so he can get used to the scent... Well for about the last ten minutes he has been just chewing and gnawing at my shirt. does this mean he wants to eat me? it that why he may be biting me?
 

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He's probably just chewing because of some scent he finds interesting that might be on the shirt, either perfume, cologne, or deodorant. Just make sure he's not tearing the fabric or anything, and make sure there's no loose strings on the shirt.
He was probably biting you because your fingers smelled tasty (if you hadn't washed them before picking him up) or because he was scared. Make sure you don't encourage the behavior, if he bites during future cuddle/socialization times, don't put him down directly after a bite. Hold him for a bit longer to make sure he knows he can't get away with it.

Edit: Btw, here's a good post to read- viewtopic.php?f=16&t=13
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for all of the help ^.^ I greatly appreciate all of it. I am trying very hard to try and take care of him and give him a nice new home. I want him to feel loved, and i want to be loved back :). But one last thing. I heard corn cob bedding was bad, but that is what was already in his cage. So can I get this other bedding stuff i found called "carefresh" how does that suffice as a good bedding? recommended? and last question is, he is itching... A LOT.. but i have noticed no quills or anything laying around so i am hoping its not mites. Could it be just dry skin? would bathing him with some flax seed oil do well to help him?
 

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I haven't tried the carefresh my self so can't really comment on that. It is better then the corncob stuff though.
When I got my girls they were on pine shavings. I didn't like the mess of it getting thrown out of the cages so I now use liners they are a lot cleaner IMO and easier to clean the cages. plus my girls are litter trained. so their cages don't get very messy anyway.

And for the itching and dry skin.
Mine were this way when I got them as well.
Oatmeal bath helps a lot. and put some flax seed oil in the bath. I've also heard of putting Olive Oil in the bath water but I haven't tried that.
 

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Carefresh is alright to use, you just have to watch him to make sure he doesn't try to eat any of it. As Shelby's Mom said, liners are used by most people on here, and they work very well if your hedgehog doesn't like to poop all over the cage. You do need to get rid of the corn cob, as it can get stuck in private parts and cause problems.
For itchiness, you can also put flaxseed oil on his food once a week, that'll help from the inside.
 

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Oop's I forgot about putting the flaxseed IN the food as well. I do that also.
It helped wonders for my girls. just took a few days for the dry skin to clear up.
 

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Sorry to hijack thread, but my new hoggy is itching and has dry skin.. I've given him an oaty bath, he's having a hard time as he's quilling. Where do you buy this flaxseed oil? Also, how do you put it in their food/bath?
 

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Leonora said:
Sorry to hijack thread, but my new hoggy is itching and has dry skin.. I've given him an oaty bath, he's having a hard time as he's quilling. Where do you buy this flaxseed oil? Also, how do you put it in their food/bath?
Flaxseed capsules can be found in the pharmacy area of any store, walmart, target, shoppers etc etc. Make sure you buy capules, as the actual oil goes bad pretty quickly.

I use the oil on both the back and in food. Once a week, I poke open a capsule and dribble onto his favorite kibble(the kibble that is always finished, and always picked out first) so that ensures they get pretty much the entire capsule.

You can drop the oil directly onto their backs.

I prefer an oil/water rinse, because I feel it covers the entire back better. And it makes it less clumpy. For the oil/water, I pop open a capsule, squeeze it all into a small cup(which I normally use to scoop water onto his back), add in some water, stir it up a bit to break the oil up into smaller droplets rather than one big glob, and pour onto the back, avoiding the head. Keep bathing to a minimal, as that dries out natural oils, so if you're going to do the oil/water rinse, just rinse, and don't use soap(since you said you already gave him a bath).

Hope that helps and that I wasn't too confusing. ^_^
 

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I never tried Carefresh but do use it for my guinea pig and hamster. The lady at the rescue center (our hedgie was adopted by us after an unpleasant previous owner - she, too, started out afraid but is a love to us all now and it happened really quickly) told us Carefresh can get inbetween their quills. They were using shredded newspaper.

We did the t-shirt thing, too, but basically our hedgie melted when she was comfortable in our little animal haven...Give him some time. I would recommend positive reinforcement w/ treats (mealworms) after letting you hold him, etc. Ours has yet to bite, but I've heard they do anoint frequently when they find an interesting smell or taste, so we were ready for this. Our friends' hedgie has nipped them quite a bit in this manner, I think.


Is he on a good diet? Ours was being fed the poorest hedgie out there and instantly took to the combo of Wellness and Solid Gold.

Good luck,
Dana
 

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Just on some of the above comments:
1 - I'd advise against carefresh. I used it with my new hedgie and found it really contributes to drying their skin. Wood shavings of some sort are IMO a better option.
2 - Flaxseed oil is also known as Linseed oil in certain areas so if you can't find one try looking for the other.
3 - My hedgie also has (and to an extend still has) a terrible time with itching during his quillling, he scratched himself raw in many places, mostly around his ears. It's only been going on to 3 weeks we've had him now and he's almost 8 weeks old, it seems to be getting better, he still scratches a bit but it seems to be improving. The best thing I found, which was recommended to me here, was after his bath to rinse in oatmeal water with flax-seed oil on it twice a week and then give flax-seed on the kibble once a week. Sadly he had terrible quillling, he's only now starting to get fur back behind his ears the poor dear but the carefresh drying his skin didn't help one bit.
 
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