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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thanks for a great forum, I've been spending a lot of time here reading tips and general information. I just got my first hedgie - Polly - a few weeks ago, and it's going quite good, I think.

I built a house with a ladder and a "second floor" for her, but she refuses to go in the house, and prefers to sleep rolled up in a blanket next to it - should I try putting her in the house or just let her figure it out on her own?

She doesn't like being handled, but will unroll and seems very curious, problem is, I just can't keep her still, she'll try to escape and run out on the floor. It's very hard to get the half-an-hour-a-day-bonding done, when she refuses to stay still. Only way is to wrap her up in a blanket or my shirt and hold on to her tightly, but even that doesn't always work.

She doesn't mind being petted when in the cage, and doesn't seem that scared of me generally. Is it a good idea to spend some time by the cage, talking to her and touching her, or is it too invasive?

Thanks so much! :)

Katinka (and Polly)[attachment=0:h42k69q7]l_a587c6bc4fad4dfda012406414a4b5fd.jpg[/attachment:h42k69q7]
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Also, is it okay to take her out during daytime at all? I haven't done it, since it seems unfair to wake her up, but as it is now she wakes up VERY late, (she's actually only awake around midnight and then all night). I assume this will change when the days don't go on forever.
 

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I built a house with a ladder and a "second floor" for her
Is the ladder and 2nd floor solid and completely enclosed for her? Many hedgehogs don't want to go through the effort to go up to a loft, also, and prefer to stay on the first floor. Hedgies will sleep where they are comfortable. It seems like she decided that her sleeping place was not your sleeping place. :lol:

She doesn't like being handled, but will unroll and seems very curious, problem is, I just can't keep her still, she'll try to escape and run out on the floor.
You may just have a runner/explorer on your hands. Some want nothing to do with people and are content to just run around. As long as you take her out and let her get comfortable around you, she should be fine just running around. She doesn't have to be in your hands every minute she's out.

She doesn't mind being petted when in the cage, and doesn't seem that scared of me generally. Is it a good idea to spend some time by the cage, talking to her and touching her, or is it too invasive?
No, that's good! Sounds like she's already comfortable with you. Talking to her, petting her, everything you listed are great ways to get her to associate you with safety and security.

Also, is it okay to take her out during daytime at all? I haven't done it, since it seems unfair to wake her up, but as it is now she wakes up VERY late, (she's actually only awake around midnight and then all night). I assume this will change when the days don't go on forever.
Yep, it's fine to take her out during the day. Be warned, though, she might just want to sleep. :roll: Since she's nocturnal, she'll always be getting up late like that.

Congrats on Polly, and welcome to HHC! :)
 

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She is a beautiful little hedgie girl. I think can't wait to see how Tak's personality develops. I think she may be a snuggler because she has yet to be brave enough to leave my lap. I can see her being an explorer too though because she is so curious about everything! I think this is my favorite time in hedgie ownership. I love betting to know my new little one!
 

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She is so adorable!!
Congratulations!!!
 

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Katinka said:
I built a house with a ladder and a "second floor" for her, but she refuses to go in the house, and prefers to sleep rolled up in a blanket next to it - should I try putting her in the house or just let her figure it out on her own?
Is it actually a ladder, like you would have for rodents? If so, she probably will never go up it--and it would injure her if you put her up there and she tried to come down. Any ramps need to be solid, enclosed surfaces at a slight angle. Hedgies can't grip with their feet very well, so climbing steps on a ladder is dangerous and something she probably won't do. If you do have one that's flat, the reason it needs to be enclosed is because they don't see very well and she might accidentally fall off the side and injure herself--the same reason a second story needs to be enclosed as well. The only way to get out of a second story (other than an opening on the top for you) should be that ramp, to ensure that she isn't injured needlessly by falling. The ramp should be at a slight angle, also, or she may not want anything to do with it.

That said, some hedgies will not use ramps at all, anyway, and prefer to have a single story cage. It all depends on personality and preference--even if you put together a wonderful second story with all the works, she may never want anything to do with it. Hedgies can thwart the best laid plans very easily. But you gotta love 'em. ;)

Katinka said:
Also, is it okay to take her out during daytime at all? I haven't done it, since it seems unfair to wake her up, but as it is now she wakes up VERY late, (she's actually only awake around midnight and then all night). I assume this will change when the days don't go on forever.
What do you mean by "days don't go on forever"? Do you mean when the seasons change and it's not summer anymore? I'm not sure what you're referring to exactly, sorry. If you mean by days getting shorter in fall/winter, that actually shouldn't even come into play. You should try to keep steady lighting for about 12 hours each day, even if you have to do it artificially with lamps and timers. You don't want her to think the days are shorter because she might try to attempt to hibernate if she does, and that can be fatal to hedgehogs.

It's best to try to get on a schedule with your hedgie. Try to wake her up at the same time each night (9 or 10 pm, if that works for you). Then again in the morning around 7 or 8 to check on her and check her legs, etc. for a few minutes before letting her sleep for the day. Many hedgies will get into that routine and expect it every day. 9-10 pm allows you to get her up for inspection and playtime, while not being too early, and may actually encourage her to start her nightly routine a little earlier than midnight (mine starts eating and running by 11 or so). Taking her occasionally during the day is fine, but try not to do it way too much because that's definitely night-time for her.

Congratulations on your new little girl, by the way. She's definitely a beauty. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all for your replies. It's nice to have found a place where people know about hedgies and care. It took me a long time to even find a hedgie where I live, Scandinavia, Europe, which brings us to the next point, the days DO go on forever here these days, acutally it's midsummer today, which we celebrate with bunfires. She sun doesn't set untill around midnight, and at the darkest of winter, the sun's only up for a few hours, so I suppose that's what I meant. I read somewhere that there was a big difference in activity level for very nothern hedgies. Hopyfully she'll start to rise just a bit earlier, so I get to see more of her (and not just coming out from her fleece to eat and go right back to bed, lol.)

Regarding the house... the roof is acutally quite low, so she won't hurt herself if she falls. She likes the ladder now, and will gladly venture up on the roof, she just won't go in the house. It's a very wide wooden ladder with no holes in it, so her little feet can't slip through it! (I should have just posted a photo.) Anyway, I hope it safe.

Yesterday I picked her up and put her on the sofa, and she seemed find, as long as she had her fleece to snuggle up in. What a nice discovery!

Thanks again! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay then, so I'm taking the ladder out. I'm just curious, where did you get this information about hedgehogs being so fragile?

Just wondering, 'cause with most animals they have their do's and don't encoded very well in their DNA, and won't do anything that could be harmful to themselves as part of the whole survival thing, so I'm just wondering is if have a suicididal /self-mutilating hedgie on my hands; she will gladly venture up on the roof and jump down from there (a few inches) and doesn't really seem hurt or depressed. But then, she is a teenage girl. I've never seen any other pet jumping from a height that wasn't safe for them ...
 

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I don't think is that they gladly JUMP. jaja
Its that they have pretty bad eyesight and are adventuresome little fellows and thus while exploring...oops, the fall off an edge cause they really just walk over anything...
I watch my little Raisin like a hawk cause he will walk off anything i know it :p
 

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Yeah, it's more that they don't realize how far the fall is. Lily's fallen off my bed before, and off a chair, and I feel horrible each time. :? I watch her very close now when I get her out. I got very lucky that she wasn't hurt either time.
 

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Katinka said:
Okay then, so I'm taking the ladder out. I'm just curious, where did you get this information about hedgehogs being so fragile?

Just wondering, 'cause with most animals they have their do's and don't encoded very well in their DNA, and won't do anything that could be harmful to themselves as part of the whole survival thing, so I'm just wondering is if have a suicididal /self-mutilating hedgie on my hands; she will gladly venture up on the roof and jump down from there (a few inches) and doesn't really seem hurt or depressed. But then, she is a teenage girl. I've never seen any other pet jumping from a height that wasn't safe for them ...
Hedgehogs have limited eyesight and depth perception. For the most part, they don't even recognize they are on the edge of something. Most hedgehogs will run off the edge of anything without a moments hesitation. Some will stop, but more won't.

In the wild, it is said that they can fall from quite high because they ball up and their quills cushion the impact. Our social little ones do not have quite that same instinct to ball up so usually when they fall, it is SPLAT onto the floor. Do some searching. There are many cases of falls resulting in broken bones as well as internal injuries causing death.

A broken bone can happen from a fall from a very short distance depending on where and how they land. It's no different than us or any other species of animal. Look how many people trip and break an ankle or their wrist or arm even though they didn't fall very far. Why would a hedgehog be any different? Phone any veterinarian and they will tell you of dogs and cats they have treated for broken bones from jumping off something. So what happened in those cases if pets are supposed to know what height isn't safe for them?
 

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My little Millie (r.i.p.) jumped from my hands into the tub only a few inches, but it broke the humerus on her left front leg....Almost a month later she died from what we can only assume was a stroke due to the behaviour that preceded it....the fall and subsequent broken leg could have caused a blood clot the resulted in the stroke...Falls from only a few inches can be fatal.
 

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dorasdaddy said:
My little Millie (r.i.p.) jumped from my hands into the tub only a few inches, but it broke the humerus on her left front leg....Almost a month later she died from what we can only assume was a stroke due to the behaviour that preceded it....the fall and subsequent broken leg could have caused a blood clot the resulted in the stroke...Falls from only a few inches can be fatal.
Dorasdaddy i am so sorry for your loss :(
This explains alot about your passion for the safety and well being of every hedgehog yours or anyone elses.
I know you catch alot flak for your post but i personally respect you for your honesty and ability to play the perfect devils advocate. :D
 

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dorasdaddy said:
My little Millie (r.i.p.) jumped from my hands into the tub only a few inches, but it broke the humerus on her left front leg....Almost a month later she died from what we can only assume was a stroke due to the behaviour that preceded it....the fall and subsequent broken leg could have caused a blood clot the resulted in the stroke...Falls from only a few inches can be fatal.
It must have been hard on you bringing up such painful memories. I hope this will help people become more aware of how dangerous a short fall can be. Dora is lucky to have such a caring Daddy. I'm sorry about Millie, she was so sweet.
(((HUGS)))

 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Nancy,

I don't really know what happened in those cases, that's why I'm asking. I won't let Polly run loose on the sofa, that's all I know. :

I don't think it makes too much sense comparing hedgehogs to both humans and cats, since the two are as different as can be, bone-wise. I know many cats that have fallen from the 2nd, 3rd floor without breaking a single bone, a human hardly ever does. But from what I can gather, hedgehogs are more vulnerable than cats, and more like humans. Now I'm just curious to see if I can find a vet that knows about hedgehog in this area ...

Thanks again, all of you, and sorry to hear about Millie.


Kat
 
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