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Discussion Starter #1
I adopted spike 3 days ago from a posting on craigslist. i alaway been an animal lover/rescuer when i had the funds and the room,i jumped at the opportunity. ive been thinking about a hoglet for a long times, did more research on hedgehog then i ever did on ferrets and i had 7 after chemo with adrenal discease so im definatelly a dedicated pet owner. this guy wanted 75 bucks for spike he didnt know his exact age and (oneish), and spike looked in a pitiful state (though the owner handled him and spike wasnt scared (of him). his cage was bare i mean just "sad" cheapest of the chaep shavings that stunk like pine (not good for his lil lungs ) and pee in every corner, most importantly no wheel, i smiled paid him the cash and sent him on his merry way. spike now has a 60 dolar order coming in from exotic pets filled with mealworms, and vedgie and fruit shews, and from ebay hypoallerganic cage bedding, and ferret litter, their dustless and do their job. whether they do use the facilities on their pooping side of the cage, he has a beaitiful 12" ferret soft fabric igloo like a condo(top and bottom with felt. on the inside his cage he has one toy a baby shoe he like to chomp on at night and a t. paper tube cut length wise. so its safe to say he has s great mansion.

Housing asside im having real trouble getting through to him hes completely shut off, he lets me pick him up only to roll into a ferrocius ball. he hisses and spikes, and seems genuinels afraid of me, i repeat ii in a low calming voice "i mean you now harm love" if he only understood. i let him walk on the floor but ehen i go near him its a sonic attack. he smelled me to the enth degree i know his eyesights weak and so is his hearing so i dint over engage him, i let him sleep with a worn t-shirt of mine so he can get use to my smell, when im not around. hes eating well which im sure is a new concept for him, he poops normal,

i'm just miserable because i 'm sure hes scared and i know i mean him now harm, buy am i able to replace the bad memories he has from his previous home or is he 2 far gone?
Any ides on how to get him out of his shell?
 

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Sounds like what you're doing is great. If he wasn't scared of his previous owner, I suspect that he'll be okay with you too given time. He'll need consistency and time to adjust.
 

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Just stick with it. That thread posted is useful. Some hedgies it takes weeks and months, others just days for them to come around. Sounds like you're very loving & so just stick with it. When you get those mealies in, it might earn you some brownie points.... mealie points?
 

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He sounds like a scared hedgehog that hasn't been handled much. You have only had him 3 days... even for friendly hedgehogs that is not that much time to adjust to a new home, new smells and a new owner. Take your time with him and get him used to a schedule.

With really scared ones I will sit with them on my lap or on my chest with a fleece blanket pulled over us. The blanket provides them with a bit of security and being on my body gives them a chance to get to know my scent, my sound and that my movements are not going to hurt them. I try not to actually touch the hedgehog much when they are on my chest. I'd rather they start to move around on their own and get used to me not touching them at first.

Getting them on a schedule helps them settle into your home. Feed him at the same time of day, weigh him at the same time, get him up at the same time.... They learn not only what is going to happen but know when to expect it.

The one thing you will learn from a hedgehog is to be extremely patient with them. With enough patience you will often be rewarded.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
did i mention he had broken toenails to the enth degree one would be a tallon and the others look savagely torn. nut im following all the advice letting him sniff and walk around me with his blanket close by, he isnt even afraid on my lil dixie (chihuaha, maltese mix 5lbs at most) but hes having trouble warming up to me. before i posted i turned on the bube tube and nodded off with him still on my lap i woke up he was tucked under my armpit, maybe theres hope yet.. thanks for all your great advice. ;)
 

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Don't give up hope. Like I said it hasn't been long and if he snuggled with you, you are already making improvements. Hedgehogs can take a good long while to get their trust.

If it helps you, I took in a male hedgehog who's owner said he didn't have time for him anymore. The hedgehog in question was extremely defensive and would bite. Not just a nip either, he would latch on and lock his jaws or grind his teeth. Almost six months later and we have made huge improvements. The biting stopped after about 4 months. He still keeps his quills slightly erect if he is startled, but they are mostly down anymore. I can also touch and hold his feet with no trouble. In fact he is one of the easiest hedgehog I've had to clip nails. He still has a lot of room for improvement, but he's still learning to trust again.

So don't give up hope, it may take many months to make one tiny improvement, but once you achieve that first one you'll be happy you waited.
 

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vedgie and fruit shews, and from ebay hypoallerganic cage bedding, and ferret litter, their dustless and do their job
Just wanted to let you know (in case you aren't aware) that hedgies are not rodents and do not chew, and have no need for any type of rodent (or commercial hedgehog) products. Also, fleece liners are highly, highly recommended as litter far about any particulate bedding. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
his castle has shredds of cut up fabric inside it so he can nest, im talking about bedding where he poops, as he is not litter trained. he know's not to poop in his bed where the fleece liners are, filling his whole cage with fleece would just confuse him, if i trained 3 out of 7 ferrets how to use a litterbox i think i can get through to spike (who am i kidding its up to him..lol) As far as the vedgie and fruit chews, as a novice i relied on proffesional advice which in this case was http://www.exoticnutrition.com (check out the site) specifically under hedgehogs, i got a can of dried meal worms a lil container of the live ones (eww) and a Fruit Chew Tumbler, and Snak Shak Veggie Chew im quite aware he is not a rodent, as i did a lot of research on hedgies, i didnt just dive in blindly. as far as his chewing you should see the toddler shoe that was his solitary toy that he had arrived with, its torn to shreds which leaves me to believe that he both with out a wheel and with out proper playtime (before me) was severely unstimulated. i figured if a distuinguished site like that would have a new hedgie moms best interest at heart. please post post post before the products arrve. I dont want to do my baby harm!!!

UPDATE: spike still hasnt officially cuddled with me but we slept in the same bed.dixie isnt too excited but she stopped yelping and let us be... an ant hill but to me a mountain!!
 

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The tumbler and snak shak are inappropriate for a hedgehog. From their descriptions they sound to be make of fruit wood and are intended for animals that gnaw. As you probably know from your research, hedgehogs do not gnaw on things, since their teeth do not continually grow. A hedgehog may play with the item by pushing it around. But even then I don't like the idea of it being a toy (splinter risks!).

Cancel or return the items if you can. There are many sites that put items (treats, toys, etc. One site has a leap'n ledge for hedgehogs. Hedgehogs don't leap!) that were intended for chinchillas, rats, etc in a hedgehog section. I sometimes wonder if these companies really understand what a hedgehog is... or if they have ever met one. They certainly can make it very easy for new owners to make mistakes. If you see some items you are considering buying for your new quilled one, let us know. We can probably tell you if hedgehogs really like it or not and save you some money.

If you want to try some treats, insects, diced fruits and cooked vegetables are a hit in my home. Watermelon has to be the favorite (other than mealworms) for all 3 of my current quill kids. Tiny pieces of unseasoned cooked salmon, turkey or chicken are good too.
 

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Over here we're (being Sylvie) are crazy about peanut butter. She'll wake up from a dead slumber if I'm eating it. If you want to try it as a treat, make sure it's smooth peanut butter & only a small amount & watch your hedgie the whole time eating. I normally put a little on the end of a spoon or just on the edge of her bowl. I say to watch your hedgie the whole time as Sylvie ones ate some off a cracker & got it stuck to the roof of her mouth, she got unstuck alright though.

I explored around on that site a little bit to see what they're offering. A couple things jumped out at me to be cautious off:

- anything wood for gnawing or chewing (hedgehogs tend to be more diggers/borrowers & explorers than chewers).
- some of their exercise wheels. ideally you should have an extra large wheel with a smooth surface and no bars or objects in the front to get hit with. the 'wodent wheel' is not a good wheel due to the small holes to get off/on - hedgehogs will often jump off the wheel or turn around while the wheel is still moving (same concept as why you don't want a cross bar). The 'nail trimmer' wheels are not good for hedgies as they run on the balls of their feet and not their nails. similarly the wire mesh wheels & silent spinners risk the toes falling through and getting caught. (that said, Sylvie had a SS for the first 6 months and was fine)
- 'super' meal worms - sounds like a great thing but there has been issues. the freeze dried ones are fine as they're already dead. live super meal worms can bit the hedgies throat while being eaten and cause infection, if feeding cut of the super meal worms head first


all in all SSmom, you sound like you're a much more loving home than the little guy was at before. & congratulations on the little bit of cuddling
 

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Unfortunately there are alot of things on the exotic nutrition site that are inappropriate and even dangerous to hedgies that are listed under hedgehogs. The cages they show are multi-level and not safe without modification, they are showing water bottles which are not recommened and alot of their treats are not hedgie friendly/safe. This isn't your fault as you thought you were getting good info.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
First to my dear Nikki, i tottaly agree my ferret mansion had the plastic ramps with the horizontal bump for traction because i saw how they would fall through the aluminum holes and nail fiascos so i would never go there, i see so much physical resemblence between ferrets and my lil bugger that it puts a smile on my face everytime. the Cage SS (as my 6 and 3 yr old niece named him, you know "Spike" "Sonic" haha is about 3'x2'x2 (guestimations ofcoarse) but its quite big, sonic sleeps all day in his 1.5'x1' ferret pallace with his fleece strip blankies. The wheel hasn't arrived yet from Ebay (since his previous owner never provided him with one) so well see how much room he'll have, the little time hes awake ( im a severe insomniac i go to sleep 3-4 am, thats why weve learned each others shedules) when hes bored until the wheel gets here i let him roam. Now if you have some spare time can you elaborate on the items which they are flaunting that are completely innaprpriate, other that the chew toys, i got that. you mentioned water bottle that hit a nerve the one i have hes using just fine but i would like to know what are the "no no's" and share your wisdom what else could his cage use.. thanks so so so much
 

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Discussion Starter #14
silvercat said:
crazy about peanut butter.
Oh my dear Silvercat i hope your right i put a spoonfull at the bottom of a boiled 1/4 end of a pill bottle. what happens if he has too much peanut butter (maaybe i should scoop some out)

On another note i love him being happy in his mansion and i dont take him out but i wish he would come out or just give a lil peak and see all the great thing ive done to his cage while he was in his slumber. ive chopped up baby carrots to kibble sized pieces and put them in a cute container i dropped a few meal worms in his favorite tear it apart baby shoe. i got 3kinds of hedgie foods and mized them in a large container and sprinkled them with special vedgie vitamins and then poured him sme in his ceramic bowl. i put the wood shavings on one side of his cage (until the hypoalgergenic petfresh comes) and i put the washed granules (which is like cat litter not dusty and doesn't stick) from my old cat genie i have on the other side of the cage, its never too late to try to litter train!!! I'm glad you mentioned the freeze dried meal worms because thats what i got him, i was considering getting the larger live ones, but i rather not, better be safe than sorry. SOMEONE earlier said it would be a great thing to put him on a schedule, any ideas on how to get him out of that warm comfy house of his..THAT ONLY HAS ONE WAY IN..LOL im thinking when i have him out ill play operation on his palace and slice length wise so i can just peel away the roof to gether.

UPDATES: He lets me now pick him up handful wise one hand on each side and will stand on me, when and if he's scared **** roll but not hard enough to hurt me.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
hey silvercat not to be a bother but what eslse fresh veggie and fruit is OK for them to digest as well as enjoy, i know parsely, carrots and i believe strawberries, any thing else would be a big help!!! :)
 

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Hi SSmom, sounds like SS has a great mom! The issues with water bottles is that our little guys are made to curl inwards, like when they ball up, and to drink from a water bottle they have to tilt their heads backwards, bending their backs outwards, this can be hard on them. Most people that have switched from bottles to bowls have also found that their hedgies drank alot more water, which is healthier. There have also been reported cases of hedgies breaking their teeth on the metal spout and/or getting their small tongues stuck in the spouts.
 

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SSmom said:
hey silvercat not to be a bother but what eslse fresh veggie and fruit is OK for them to digest as well as enjoy, i know parsely, carrots and i believe strawberries, any thing else would be a big help!!! :)
Here's a list of fruits and veggies that are good for hedgies :)
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=60
 

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SSmom, the link freda posted is a great resource. Remember each hedgie though is different. Sylvie ate a blueberry once but other than that, really has not interest in fruits & veggies at all & won't even touch eggs. Now meats she LOVES! I'll give her some cooked unseasoned chicken on occasion or as a really special treat some cooked unseasoned lean ground beef. A friendly heads up that fish will most likely cause your hedgie to have some very stinky poos.

SSmom said:
Oh my dear Silvercat i hope your right i put a spoonfull at the bottom of a boiled 1/4 end of a pill bottle. what happens if he has too much peanut butter (maaybe i should scoop some out)
I'm in no way an expert on this. When I give Sylvie some it's normally just a small amount, about the amount of a fingernail. It goes straight on her dish to eat as a treat. Biggest thing is to watch the poop, that will tell you if there's too much. A strong caution on using the pill bottle. This should only be used under supervision in case your hedgie get's their head stuck in it. Also look at the edges of it, are they sharp that they could hurt his face or eyes?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
QUESTION NUMBER ONE
so i set up the Taj Mahal for spike last night a lil dish of chopped carrots 6-7 mealworms hidden in his favorie shoe, the inch tall cut and bevelled peanut butter dish and toys and nothing doing. spike digged a little in the peanut butter so he knows his limit. Just to be safe i emptied the bowl out and chopped into tiny pieces a hard boiled egg. i read somewhere they like that. PLEASE correct me if im wrong, before he wakes up. he ate maybe 2-3 choped carrots last night and buried the rest. Ate 2 out of the 6-7 meal worms that i strategically placed in his shoe. Am i over stimulating him?? because he didnt touch his dry cat/ferret/2 dif types of hedgie food mixture that is usually in his ceramic bowl.

QUESTION NUMBER TWO
what website do you guys use to get the essentials for your babies, i obviously don't want to go back to exotic nutrition as it seems that they know hoggie poop about proper nutrition. ooh funny story i ordered the dried meal worms from them and recieved a packet the size of 2 single white aluminum packages of tylenol (cost like 10 bucks .. ludacris.) there is no amount of money i wont spend on my baby but come now, it seems they feed on that mentality. sick. i also was wondering if live worms are a no no, wheteher itsthe large meal worms or the or the giant ones. if their bread and housed in a controled enviorment they should be bacteria free and as they wiggle it mght insight some carnal instinct for my lil bugger to hunt it. what do you ladies think?

PS i spoke with ebayer and wheel will be delivered tmrw the latest

*good website to use
*boiled eggs good or bad?
*is too much goodies, over stimmulating?
* Live meal worms ok (medium or large ones?)
 

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SSmom said:
QUESTION NUMBER ONE
Am i over stimulating him?? because he didnt touch his dry cat/ferret/2 dif types of hedgie food mixture that is usually in his ceramic bowl.
Sounds like there was a lot of food around already so he probably filled up on that. Think of treats like cookies and the hedgie as a child. The child will go for the cookies before the brocolli as long as they're there. So you want to give treats sparingly. A safe rule of thumb is a 'treat' is anything that's high in fact. Even mealies are a treat, giving only a couple at a time. As for eggs, yes cooked eggs are alright to give. Some hedgies love them & some don't.

SSmom said:
QUESTION NUMBER TWO
what website do you guys use to get the essentials for your babies, ... i also was wondering if live worms are a no no, wheteher itsthe large meal worms or the or the giant ones. i...what do you ladies think?
This one! :) Take a look around at some of the cage discussions and you'll see pictures of different hedgie cages and the toys that are inside. As for ordering things, lots of pet stores do online ordering. Myself, there's a Global Pet Foods near me that I get my food from. One thing I've noticed is do your research before buying anything & ask questions on here. Most pet stores are not as 'educated' on hedgehogs as many of the breeders and long time owners on this forum.

Live meal worms are great to give. You can also give live crickets (store bought). Again, some hedgies love & some don't

& finally, don't forget the men on here with "what do you ladies think" ;) there's some very experienced male hedgie owners on this forum too.
 
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