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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
About two months ago I got my first hedgehog, my boy Myles. He is the sweetest little guy in the world loves to be held and played with, and his quills do not hurt at all even when he gets scared and goes into a ball. Then about a month later I got my girl Ivy, and she is scared of me, and every sound she hears. And her quills hurt when I get poked, often her quills break my skin.
The point here is why are their quills so different, is that normal? and is there anyway I can get my girl to be less scared?

Now for my next question, can hedgehogs catch human illnesses? I might have come down with the flu, and I'm afraid to play with them. I don't want to get them sick, but I also don't want to leave them alone till I'm better because I don't know how long that will be.

My girl Ivy
My boy Myles
 

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If she is younger, her quills may be sharper than your males. Young adult and baby quills tend to be pretty sharp compared to older adults. With that said, there are older adults that just have wicked sharp quills. I had a 2.5 year old male that came to me who's quills were sharper than any other hedgehog I've encountered. Basically even as adults some their quills can vary in thickness and sharpness.

Some hedgehogs are just more defensive than others. If you have only had her a short time she could be taking longer to adjust to her new home and to bond with you. Spend lots of good quality time with her. I've had rescues take a year before they fully learned to trust me. And I've had adults who I had since they were 7 weeks that were just jumpy and defensive hedgehogs.

As far as illness. I tend to lean on the side of caution and minimize contact with my hedgehogs when I'm sick. I've never had one get anything from me, but I don't take many risks when it comes to their well being either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Okay, I'll have my mother get them out till I'm better, or atleast well enough to were they wont catch anything from me.

Age could be a factor between my hedgies quills, my boy is a month or two older than my girl. As for Ivy's personality, it has improved greatly since I first got her, she's just still very jumpy and timid. I also can't get her to eat meal worms, where Myles eats them like crazy. Is it possible my girl just doesn't like them?
 

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Just to make sure...you are keeping them both seperated right? Males and females can't even have supervised play time together, they should never come into contact with each other. If they have been together at all, there is a good chance your female is pregnant...and you need to read up on the threads in the breeding section

If this is something you already know and have kept them totally seperate, then please forgive me for posting this but I just needed to make sure :)
 

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LittleMiss said:
I also can't get her to eat meal worms, where Myles eats them like crazy. Is it possible my girl just doesn't like them?
some hedgehog don't like them. Some prefer them live to dead others prefer them dead. Quigley thankfully is not that picky he will eat canned, live, or freshly dead. If you are feeding freeze dried then pickier hedgehogs tend not to eat them because they have less of a smell so that could be a reason as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I give them live meal worms, but have also tried newly dead ones, Myles doesn't care how they are and eats them up, but Ivy flat out ignores them. I feel bad because I'd like to give her a treat every now and then, but I'm not really sure what else to try.

And yes nikki I know that :) I did a lot of research before I got my babbies. I never let them be near eachother, usually for play time I take one out for a bit, then the other. Or if I have a friend over, or my mom wants to play with my boy I have both out but FAR away from one another.
 

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The only illness I know for certain can be passed between humans and hedgehogs is fungal infections. Ringworm is the classic one, but I did once share an infection of athlete's foot fungus with a young hedgehog named Velcro. There were no actual feet involved--he had it behind his ears and I got it on my hands. Considering the likelihood of randomly getting athlete's foot on your hands, I probably got it from handling him--and what's worse, his quills left enough tiny scratches and punctures in my skin for the fungal organisms to burrow deep down. We both ended up on some serious anti-fungal medications.

Just for the record, Velcro was a pet-store hedgehog--the last one I ever got. He was a sweet, sweet boy, but ill from the beginning, and contagious too, most likely.

I don't believe I've ever shared another illness with a hedgehog, but I make a habit of cleaning my hands before and after I handle one . . . it can't hurt. And it's likely to keep you from getting nipped, just in case you smell too much like lunch. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Myles is always niping at my mom because she always handles food before touching him :lol: She always wonders why and when I tell her she just tells me I'm wrong. (She's not very bright some times)
 

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padawanslacker said:
The only illness I know for certain can be passed between humans and hedgehogs is fungal infections. Ringworm is the classic one, but I did once share an infection of athlete's foot fungus with a young hedgehog named Velcro.
Just wanted to note: pink eye and bordatella (a kind of bacteria that causes coughing for us and kennel cough in them) can be spread between people and pets, as well as herpes (so if you have a cold sore, be SURE to wash your hands).

Anytime you're sick wash your hands and arms well with soap and warm water before handling. I also change my shirt to be sure I didn't get any germs on an area my hedgie may be touching. Also don't cough or sneeze in their direction. You don't have to totally not go around them, just minimize interaction and take precautions before touching them or anything in their cages. And if they start showing any symptoms, get to the vet immediately.

Hope you feel better soon!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I've been doing all of those things, I don't give them as much play time as I usually do because I've got a really bad cough, and my mom just found out she has swine flu, and I either gave it to her, or will catch it. I wash up change shirts and just handle them enough to wake them up a little and maybe give Myles a mealworm.

Oh, and I've got a couple other questions:
What kind of fruits can they eat? and will/can they eat veggies?
How often should I give them a bath?
And Is it safe to wipe down their cages with clorox(sp?) wipes when I clean their cages?
 

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If you use the search function up in the left corner of the boards, you will be able to find an answer to the fruits/veggies, and bathtime. Both things have been talked about quite a bit. :) As for Clorox wipes, I think there's better alternatives to cleaning the cage. A lot of people on here use vinegar/water solutions to wipe down wheels and cages, and I know that a few people, me included, use chlorhexidine solution, which you can buy online (or maybe in a store, but I'm not sure). I make wipes out of the diluted chlorhexidine solution and they work great and I know they're completely safe for Lily.
 

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Most viruses are incommunicable between different species. Reading about influenza in particular, apparently only H7N7 has the characteristic of being communicable between humans and non-human animals. That said, they will communicate between species if the virus mutates. This is pretty rare. H1N1, for instance, is the cause of most flus, and comes in four flavors including human, avian, and swine influenza. The non-human variants rarely become an illness in humans. Only prolonged exposure to avian and swine flus that have not mutated will result in illness (because the virus has a chance to mutate).

So anyway, viruses will only transmit to pets on very rare occasions. It is the profoundly unfortunate owner whose pet catches a human virus. Even then, it will probably just be a cold. That doesn't mean you ought not to be cautious. You might as well. But your hedgies probably won't get sick.

I don't know as much about bacterial infections. I'd imagine they are more easily communicated, since they don't inherently rely on human cell biology and human DNA. Fungal infections, as we have read, are communicable. So if you have a virus, your pets are fine. Bacteria and fungi are another story, and I would quarantine the infected for the duration of the illness.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm going to just keep time limited with them, and wash my hands and change shirts if I need to pick them up. I was just officially told I have H1N1 and it's too late to get me on meds so I have to wait like a week or so till I can be around people (I kinda feel like an outcast) :D Good thing my hedgies will always love me.

Also I've started to notice that Ivy has a little bit of dry skin, which might be because I used baby shampoo to wash her (I didn't realize until today that baby shampoo drys out their skin) I bought some aveeno oatmeal bath to wash them in insted. But I also read that flax seed oil on their food can help. Will they actually eat it? or ignore their food? Myles isn't really picky, but Ivy turns her nose up at most things.
 

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LittleMiss said:
I'm going to just keep time limited with them, and wash my hands and change shirts if I need to pick them up. I was just officially told I have H1N1 and it's too late to get me on meds so I have to wait like a week or so till I can be around people (I kinda feel like an outcast) :D Good thing my hedgies will always love me.

Also I've started to notice that Ivy has a little bit of dry skin, which might be because I used baby shampoo to wash her (I didn't realize until today that baby shampoo drys out their skin) I bought some aveeno oatmeal bath to wash them in insted. But I also read that flax seed oil on their food can help. Will they actually eat it? or ignore their food? Myles isn't really picky, but Ivy turns her nose up at most things.
Hope you get well soon ;)
 

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LittleMiss said:
Also I've started to notice that Ivy has a little bit of dry skin, which might be because I used baby shampoo to wash her (I didn't realize until today that baby shampoo drys out their skin) I bought some aveeno oatmeal bath to wash them in insted. But I also read that flax seed oil on their food can help. Will they actually eat it? or ignore their food? Myles isn't really picky, but Ivy turns her nose up at most things.
I don't think she would notice it, but sometimes they like to surprise us. :lol: But flaxseed oil doesn't have a taste, and very little smell, so with luck she won't notice it. Lily doesn't mind whether her food has oil on it or not.
 

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Quilgey will not eat his food with flax seed oil on it. If his food gets a little bit wet he ignores it so I think that was his problem with the flax oil. There is no harm in trying it though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Alright, if the oatmeal bath doesn't help I'll try the flax seed oil. I just didn't want to spend $6 on something they wouldn't eat.
 
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