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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is there ANYONE out there who has a hedgie that has NEVER been bitten. I am not talking about a completely painless nibble or lick; I mean a bite. I have to tell you that when I start reading posts about hedgehog bites I get really freaked out!!!! It makes me scared to try to hold her. At this point there is not a lot of holding going on because she is quilling and does not want to be held. When I do pick her up she is really puffed up so I have to use a small fleecie to protect my hands from the pricks. She does crawl up my chest to my neck and hair but because of the quilling I have to put her down in her playpen to play.

Anyway, going back to my original question, I really want to know if anyone has never been bitten and if so, how long have you had your hedgie?
 

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I have been bitten, but I want to post a response to this anyway. I have had hedgehogs for well a very long time and I believe I can count the number of times I have been bitten on 1 hand. One was a hedgehog who was in a lot of pain, another was a known biter who had been mistreated in his prior home, and the other was extremely stressed out (her cage mate had died recently and she wasn't feeling well) and my finger just happened to take the wrath of her stress.

Otherwise bites have been limited to nips from interesting smells being on my fingers.
 

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The only time I've ever been bitten (knock on wood) was by one of our rescues the first day we got him. Which is understandable.
 

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I've been bitten before... Inky only bites after his bath if you upset him, he will roll up and chomp. But that's a "quick release" and he never holds on.

I've held another, a female, who did not like the smell of the hand sanitizer I used before picking her up. She held on for a few seconds but it didn't break the skin, just caused a little bruise.
 

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Lily has bitten me before, but only three times, I think. The first time was because my hand had food or something on it that smelled good. The second was because she was trying to ball up and I was trying to put some flaxseed oil on her bald spots, and I was trying to keep her from balling up, so she bit me. And I congratulated her, lol. And the last time was when I was waking her up one last time to put her away after her vet visit, and my finger was right in front of her face, so she thought she'd let me know how much I was annoying her. :lol: They were all just little pinches, nothing very bad. She's never held on either.
 

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I've been bitten before, but each time it's been my own fault. I was feeding Quentin some chicken, and stupidly didn't go wash my hands before I reached to pick him up so he thought I was chicken. Another time I got my finger in the way of a mealie, so that was my fault too. He's never bitten just to bite. He's never held on for too long and yes it hurt a little but it wasn't that bad of a pain.
Don't be afraid to hold her. Any animal can bite--my cat randomly attacks my ankles all the time. If it happens, it happens but it really is not all that painful and hedgehogs aren't snapping turtles so they likely won't hold on for *too* long if they do. Just keep an eye out for signs of biting and don't have a stupid moment like I did with chicken, and you should be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
okay, so far everyone that has responded as all been bitten due to their own error?, ie food or putting your finger near their mouth or during a time when they are agitated. I am still waiting for someone to respond with "no never been bitten"! LOL!!! Anyway, so far this really helps my fears. Still want to hear from some more people! I am always good about washing my hands, I don't try to un-ball her. She is really most loving after a foot bath. I agree that any animal can bite but I guess it is fear of the unknown.
Also, I read somewhere that if you get bitten you need to seek medical attention?
 

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i have not yet been bit by vex, but with all the stupid stuff i do around his mouth, im surprised he hasn't. He does however like to chew on my hair and pull it with his little feet. He also likes to bite clothes, and may get a little skin if you wear a tight shirt.
 

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sugar said:
Also, I read somewhere that if you get bitten you need to seek medical attention?
Where did you read that? And what context was it in (hedgies in the wild, perhaps...?)
If you were bitten by a wild hedgehog then yes I would seek medical care in that case, but a domestic hedgehog is another story. Most of the time a hedgie bite won't break the skin (MOST of the time). If that's the case there's no harm done so just wash your hands with soap and water and don't worry about it. If it does break the skin, put some rubbing alcohol or peroxide on it to kill any germs, and maybe put some antibiotic cream on it if you want. They don't carry rabies naturally and shouldn't really be exposed to other animals that could give it to them, so that's not normally a factor you have to worry about. Alcohol usually takes care of just about anything bacteria wise, so you should be pretty safe then if you're worried about germs.

Like I said before, don't be scared! Most hedgies aren't aggressive biters. You get a few of those sometimes (and sometimes they will bite if really sick and not feeling well), but odds are she would already have bitten you by now if she was aggressive. Bites that aren't aggressive are normally preceded by licking, and those are just little taste nips that are startling when they haven't happened before but they are not all that painful. If you're watching what you're doing when it comes to smelly treats, and being careful during stressful times I don't think you have anything to worry about. :)
 

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I have been bitten - mostly playful, painless nips. But a couple have been fairly ouchy chomps... my fault, of course. I chose to smell like a swimming pool, food, etc...

But you have to put biting in perspective. My hedgie hasn't drawn blood, whereas my guinea pigs, mom's dog, and human brother have.

Note: my brother does not currently bite, but he did as a young kid.
 

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I've NEVER been bitten by our Geoffrey.

He has licked and tried to nibble on our fingers/hands a few times in the past (often as a prologue to self-anointing), but never a real "bite". I don't admit this often out of fear that some people may get the wrong impression of hedgehogs, but I've always hand-fed G from Day 1. Luckily for us, he never developed the bad habit of associating food with human hands and biting. :p

If you must know, I stick my finger in his mouth when he's yawning, yet I've never been bitten! You may be thinking, "Why anyone would do such a thing to a poor hedgie?" Don't fret, it's done in good humour and G seems to know I'm just teasing him. He gets annoyed, but he is like, "I asked for it by yawning right in front of your face, didn't I?" and just walks away. No protest huff or retaliatory poke or bite. :cool:

I think biting depends on each hedgehog. Probably the majority of hedgehogs do bite if they feel threatened or got annoyed enough. G is rather rare in this respect. 

One thing I want to point out to you is that hedgehogs are extremely tuned into human emotions and moods. If you're scared or nervous, your hedgie will pick up on it and often react in a negative way. In fact, if you're so nervous about being bitten, your hedgie may actually bite you by picking up on that negative energy - you're self-fulfilling your own prophecy in a way. So it's very important that you'll remain calm and relaxed when you're handling your hedgie. :)
 

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I think, you mean a tetanus shot. But that's pretty much for any sort of bloody bites/rusty metal injury, but 1 shot lasts a few years, so if yours is up to date, then there's not much to worry about.

I've been bitten lightly once. Mostly because he was napping with me on my bed and I reached in his snuggle blanket to wake him up and he got annoyed at being woken up.

I also have a tendency to reach in with my finger first to let him sniff me before petting him, as he then knows it's me and he lets me stroke his head.

Also, he'll huff and pop a few times, rather than actually bite. There's not really much to be afraid of, and your hedgie will sense your fear, and then things can be worse. Like owning any other animal, there's always a chance of getting bitten. My cat will bite my wrist when I scratch a certain area of his back, but it's also in play.
 

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I've never been bitten. The occasional "hey look you smell yummy" nibble, but he's never BITTEN me.

However, he did BITE my mom when she was hedgie-sitting for me. She woke him up early because he didn't run on his wheel the night before and she wanted to make sure he was ok. He latched onto her finger and wouldn't let go. However, that was also a time of a lot of stress for him, and he'd never met my mom before, so I can't really blame him. Scared the daylights out of my mom though.
 

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My hedgie has "bitten" both my husband and I. Not the chomp one that broke skin but a bit and as it seems the theme of this thread it's our own fault. Got our fingers caught when she balled up and in her ball. If you want to know: it reminds me of when you have a clip (chip clip, memo clip, etc.) and it clamps down on your finger. It almost doesn't even hurt, just kind of smarts.
 

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I have never been biten by my hedgie. I have only had him since mid December. He has never tried to bite me. When he is about to annoint he chomps on whatever it is but it has not been on me.

Your hedgie can sense your fear. So when she huffs and pricks up you have to just go about whatever you were doing without being affected by her. If you are picking her up you just need to pick her up and you will get used to the prickly feeling. I have never picked Bruce up with a blanket, no matter how prickly he was. He huffs at me everytime I wake him up to come out of his cage and he puts all his quills up. I just reach in and scoop him up. I always talk to him so hopefully he will know its me. He has stopped huffing so much and as soon as I pick him up and put him on my chest he starts to put his quills down. He is getting used to me and it is something that takes time.

If you want to bond with your hedgie you still need to be handling her just as much, even if she is quilling. I think she will come around to you more if she gets to be around you more. You can't be afraid of her or she will take advantage of it.
 

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As a breeder, I have a herd of hedgehogs and have never been bitten by my own hedgies....not even any of the pregnant or nursing mothers have bitten. However, I once had a 'stud service' male in my home and he 'nipped' at me several times. But I chalked that up to him being in an unfamiliar environment with unfamiliar people and smells. After a few nips, I just left him alone and let him do his thing with my female.....then I returned him to the other breeder.
 

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I had Milo for three years and was never bitten. He tasted my finger with a nibble a couple times when I fed him worms by hand. But he never bit me.
 

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I've been bitten and bitten really good but it's a very rare occurrence and of all the hedgehogs we have had between, pets, rescues, breeding and babies only a couple have been biters. Most would not bite no matter what.

Any animal can bite. Hamsters are nasty little biters. I would say hedgehogs are one of the least likely to bite species of animal.
 

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Nancy said:
Hamsters are nasty little biters.
Gezzzz.....you aren't kidding there! Especially the little dwarf species. We bought one for my son, and a week later the darn thing bit me and would not let go. I finally shook my hand so hard that I slung it across the room, before it released its bite. It drew blood and took forever to heal. Needless to say, it did not survive the flight across the room and impact with the wall.

Nasty little boogers! We also have a snake.....and I was GIVEN a large amount of the dwarf hamsters by a pet store that had decided to no longer sell them -- due to them biting too many customers. The standard way of putting rodent FOOD to sleep is to put them in the freezer. I did so and a week later opened my deep freezer to find only a few hamsters.... STILL ALLIVE! They had canabalized the rest of the hamsters and just smiled at me when I opend the freezer door. :roll:
 

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Oh my god...lol. I just knew I made the right decision when I wanted to get a hedgehog and not a hamster! :lol:
 
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