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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Peanut and I are having serious issues. I bought him from a breeder at about 6 weeks old, and the first month and a half I had him, he always friendly if not affectionate. I had no issues picking him up, and he loved coming out of his aquarium to explore. He would eat out of my hand and had no problems running up to my shoulder and curling up. I was out of town for a week (my brother took care of food, water, and cleaning) and when I came back, he was totally different!
Since then, he bites whenever I try to pick him up (drawing blood on a few occasions) and won't use his wheel. I'm at the point where I am afraid to pick him up. In order to get him out of the cage, I have to wait until he crawls inside his food dish and pick up the entire dish. Not that it matters much since he'll just stay balled up on the floor and not move.
This behavior has been going on for about 2 months now and I don't know what to do. He was so friendly before and I don't understand this regression. I've tried bribing him with meal worms and fruit with no effect. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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Did anyone handle the hedgie when you were away, it maybe possible that he is acting like that because he lacked the socialization when you were gone. I would just try to be patient with him and hope he comes around, if he doesn't the only thing you can do is offer the best life possible for him. Alot of times they can sense nervousness that may add to him staying balled up. I'd just pick him up one of his blankets if you can't pick him up with your hands or let him spend time on my lap in a hedgiebag so that there is still socialization. On a side note though I would like to say that aquariums are not a recommended cage for hedgehogs because they lack appropriate ventillation among other things, there is a lot of threads you can read on the cons of aquariums. There is a lot of good threads on here that show great inexpensive caging options and some great pictures in the housing section.

I hope everything goes well with your little one and that you guys can rebound :)
 

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Could he be quilling? Can't remember the age-frame for that process. Have you seen any loose quills lying around?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I actually did find some quills a few days ago when I was cleaning, but this behavior started quite some time ago. Could this change be caused completely by quilling - just weeks before I see any quills? Or is the quilling process just not helping things?
 

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Is there any chance he was picked up..and maybe dropped by accident while you were away? With the behaviour change and not wheeling I would be worried that he has, or had, and injury that wasn't obvious. I would really take him in for a check up to make sure there isn't somthing medically wrong causing these problems. I've gone away for a couple of weeks at a time and my hedgies weren't handled while I was gone but I've never had them take more than an hour or so to settle down when I got back. The not wheeling anymore would worry me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've gone back to keeping a t shirt with my scent in his cage and using it to pick him up. He is still agitated, but he clams down more quickly than before. He also hasn't bitten me in over a week, so maybe it was a phase? So not yet back to where we were, but now I feel like we are making some progress. I've been seeing fewer and fewer quills the past few days, so maybe he's almost done quilling. Does anybody know how long it lasts?
 

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I will let the experts and/or experienced answer your questions. I am so glad your little one had a check-up and does not have any injuries. Poor wee baby-if only he could tell you what is happening.
 

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That is great news! Sorry I don't know the time frames for quilling but keep up the good work, try to be consistent with the handling. Is he using the wheel now?

I still use a blanket to scoop mine up with, they just seem to feel more secure when I do it that way. So don't feel rejected if he prefers that. :)
 

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He might have had something that really scared him. Not the loud noise/sudden movement scare, but rather something where we was afraid. My hedgie wouldnt let me clip his nails, biting me and my girlfriend any time we attempted it, so I did it while he was in his bathwater. The fact that he couldnt roll up into his ball, and couldnt turn around to bite me probably freaked him out, and for several weeks after that bath/nail clipping, he would only come out of his house long to eat and drink, and go right back to his house. No wheel, no running laps, or pushing around his stuffed animal. Its only as of recently that he has shown minimal interest in his wheel again, but seems to be coming around, so to speak. I would say to continue to show him your affection, and be patient. This approach seems to be working with my little guy.
 

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how old is the little guy? Sylvie recently went through something similar. Although I hadn't gone away. For about two months she seemed to be, for lack of a better term, a 'teenager' (please don't take offense any of the teens on this thread). She was very temperamental & didn't want me anywhere near her, huffing if I even walked by the cage. I stuck it out & kept handling her nightly, even when she would puff for a hour, & eventually she came out of it.
 
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