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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all- I put a ton of research into getting a hedgie. I've now had Linny for about a month. (She's 4 months old).

I'm trying to do all the right things for her, but I am totally overwhelmed & confused.
I'll try to pare my questions down to just this one post:

1. A breeder told me to just hold her/keep her in my lap when out of the cage the first several weeks to bond with her (i.e., don't let her roam and explore). Well, she's insanely squirmy, and I worry my holding her is only stressing her out and creating negative associations with me. Should I let her roam if she's squirmy?

2. Everytime I have her out, she poops all over me, even if I allow her time to poop in the cage. Someone told me this indicates she's scared/stressed.... how am I to know?

3. This leads to my next question, litter training has been unsuccessful: she poops EVERYWHERE. She has the infamous poopy feet, and the cleanliness issue worries me as I do let her roam and play. How often can I give her a foot bath?

4. Her nails are way long & catching on things (especially poop), but I live alone and can't clip them on my own as she's too squirmy. Or can I? What to do?

Bottom line: I can't keep up with all the copious, random pooping (and this is just ONE Hedgie). My apartment smells horrible. (& I'm good about keeping her cage clean). I'm so frustrated. :( Please help!
 

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The poop amount will start to lessen soon. Babies are poop machines.

If she is an explorer, don't try holding her back. Let her explore you.

All pooping on you indicates is that she has been up long enough and now she has to go.

Most hedgehogs will never become fully litter trained. You can keep trying and hope for the best. With age, I find the poop boots tend to lessen. Babies are the worst. You can give her foot bath only daily if absolutely necessary but it's best to do it every couple days. As for her running around with poop boots, it's only dried hedgie poop that the vacuum will easily pick up. :lol:

Try to clip one nail or foot per day or every couple of days. It only frustrates you both if you try doing all at once. If she annoints, try to get her annointing over a new smell and then clip while she is busy. Again, don't try all nails at once.
 

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I have to clip nails by myself. There's no one who will help me, plus I live alone for the most part, unless I'm visiting home.

You should start playing with her feet as well as everything Nancy already suggested. Just hold her little feet, rub it a bit, then let her go. It gets her used to having her feet handled. Also, some find that nail clipping during a bath is easiest, as hedgies don't ball up in the water.

But for the most part, I wake mine up in the middle of the day, roll him out of bed, and clip his nails. Or I do it after a bath when he's tired. I also clip with him wrapped in a fleecie and snuggled up against me and I'll get his foot.

Front ones are a little harder, but luckily, they don't need to be done as often either. Mine has gotten pretty good with his hind feet. It just takes a lot of patience.
 

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The smelly poop could be from what (s)he eat's.
depends on what he is being fed.
The smell from mine was pretty bad when I got them but after changing their food you can't smell them and I have 3 in 1 bedroom.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you SO much!! :D

It is a huge relief to know the poop issue will lessen, and get less stinky. That's really my biggest issue.

Lilysmommy- Do you think a bath this soon with me her will freak her out? (She didn't seem to enjoy her foot bath). I do handle her feet, but she's soooo squirmy, I can't hold one for but a second. Clipping one nail at a time sounds like a great idea!

I do let her roam on me and the sofa and explore, sh'e not leaving poop on anything, I just worry about the hygeine of dried poop running all over my couch. Am I worrying needlessly?

Shelbys mom- what do you feed yours? Spike's delite gave her loose stool/diarrhea. All the cat foods Reaper reccomends I never heard of and have no idea where to get.

Reaper- I tried a water dish, she didn't take to it at all and got poop and bedding in it.
Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate. I was beginning to think I would need to give her up.
 

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If you've had her for a month, you could still try the water idea. Water will stress some hedgehogs out, no matter what, but they still will need baths occasionally. If you know that she doesn't like water, though, I'd try Nancy's idea first, just gently handle her feet until she gets used to it, then quickly clip a nail. Make sure to not get too close to the quick, but if you accidentally catch it (everyone does at some point), just dip the toe into flour to stop the bleeding. If you can't get a shot at the toes while she's dry, you can try the bath idea, or distracting her with something to annoint over, like Nancy said.
If she doesn't enjoy water and foot baths, another way to clean her feet is to soak a piece of fleece in warm water and let her walk on that. She won't get as wet, but it should still clean most of the poop off.
Most of the cat foods can be found at stores like Petsmart, Petco, and Pet Supplies Plus. I'm sure if you look up the pet stores around you, you'll find at least a few of those foods. Make sure to switch her over slowly, though, so as not to upset her stomach.
If she's used to a water bottle, she may not understand what the water bowl is used for. Try having both a bottle and a bowl in her cage for a couple of weeks and see if she gets the hang of it, while she still has the bottle to drink from. Just continue to clean the water out each morning, she may stop filling it with junk after a bit.
 

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Linny where are you located? I was having a HUGE trouble finding any of the foods on Reaper's list and then discovered a wonderful little Canadian franchise called Global Pet Foods that specialize in high quality & natural foods. So if you're up on this side of the border you might be able to find the foods there. http://www.globalpetfoods.ca/home/home.htm

As for pooping. When Sylvie first came home she would have daily 'foot baths' when she was first out of her cage. I did this in part to clean her overly poopy feet & also because she'd go to the bathroom in the bath a whole bunch & then was fine to be out & play. *Note: some people agree with this and others are concerned about the frequency of bath times.

She did not like her foot or regular baths at all in the beginning & would try to get out, but slowly she's become more - shall we say - calm. She's still not a fan but will be patient until they're over. I also find baths REALLY calm her down (once she's out of them & wrapped up). I take this opportunity to clip her nails. I straddle her in my palm, pressed gentle against my chest & wrapped in a towel with her feet hanging down. I then gently hold her foot with my fingers (the hand holding her) & clip the nails. I think the combination of the bath, snuggling in a towel & being slightly pressed against me calms her down & i can usually get all four feet done like this. If she starts to get worked up, I find drapping the towel over her head calms her down (works for other things like applying ointments too!).

I'm still a 'new' hedgie owner myself, with Sylvie coming home last Oct but that's some 'tricks' I've learnt. Hope it helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Again mucho thanks to all!
silvercat, I live in chicago, am hoping to find a good hedgie food on reaper's list at the store where i found Linny.

I'm curious: what constitutes a proper foot bath? I've only tried it once, and just used shallow luke warm water and a wash cloth & my body heat to dry her.

She's currently sleeping in the corner of my couch. Poopiness aside, I love her. She's amazingly tolerant of being handled for a youngster.
 

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I don't have a hedgie yet, but another idea:
Using baking soda or an unscented "deoderizer" (like the ones found at hardware stores to absorb the smell of fresh paint, etc) may help to reduce the smell of the poop. I haven't heard of anyone trying it on this board yet, but its worth a shot.
 

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Linny said:
Thank you SO much!! :D

It is a huge relief to know the poop issue will lessen, and get less stinky. That's really my biggest issue.

Shelbys mom- what do you feed yours? Spike's delite gave her loose stool/diarrhea. All the cat foods Reaper reccomends I never heard of and have no idea where to get.
I feed my girls
by Nature Organics Chicken Formula Dry Cat Food
All 3 of them seem to really like it.
And I couldn't switch Shelby slowly (like she should of been) the way I did her last food because she would pick it out and leave the other stuff.
The other 2 don't seem to care what they eat as long as they can eat it. :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Lilysmommy said:
If she doesn't enjoy water and foot baths, another way to clean her feet is to soak a piece of fleece in warm water and let her walk on that. She won't get as wet, but it should still clean most of the poop off.
Thanks again Lilysmommy. When giving a footbath, should I use a bit of baby shampoo?
Last time I used plain water & a wash cloth and it wasn't too effective.
 

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if you just let her run around in the shallow water for 5 minutes it should come off. That is what i let vex do, just play. Usually he poops and pees for the night when he takes a bath and all the poop comes off his feet. He gets a foot bath every 2-3 days (1/4-1/2 inch of water) and a full bath every 2 weeks.
 

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Linny said:
Thanks again Lilysmommy. When giving a footbath, should I use a bit of baby shampoo?
Last time I used plain water & a wash cloth and it wasn't too effective.
I thoroughly soak a towel or washcloth and let Quentin walk on it. That loosens up the junk on his feet enough that I can take a corner of the towel and lightly rub to get off what didn't come off from walking around. He's pretty relaxed about his feet being messed with (unless he's getting nails cut and then he's all wiggly) so I don't have much of a problem doing that. You might try that. I don't like letting him run around in the shallow water because somehow he always manages to get soaked doing it (silly boy) and it basically turns into a full bath anyway; the best way I've found for him is using the towel. You may have different luck trying azyrios's suggestion, though. Good luck :)
 

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towel? careful of the loops, fleece,(when u make the liners, u can cut a small square out for bathtime :D ) or a bathmat can be safe alternatives!!!! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Tonight's project: Bath with an attempt at nail clipping.
I'm hoping she'll mellow in the water; because there's no way I can clip even one nail; she's way too active and squirmy- her feet are in constant motion.
I'm nervous it won't go well.
Will update.
 
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