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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I adopted Lulu nearly a year ago, and she's bitten me and drawn blood every time I've picked her up the whole time I've had her. I've tried everything I read and everything I could think of. At first keeping my fingers away from her mouth worked, but then she learned to lean over or walk over or unroll far enough to reach any part of my flesh that she could and take a huge bite. I've had to get a prescription for antibiotics a couple of times because the bites got infected because they were partially underneath my fingernail and difficult to clean out. She bites holes in my clothes too.

Lulu is my first hedgie, and it's hard to know what's normal from watching videos and reading about hedgie care, so I didn't know her other issue was something abnormal until I adopted a baby boy hedgie (9 weeks old) and realized he's nothing like her at all. He doesn't even feel like the same species, he feels like a ferret with quills, and Lulu feels like a firm grapefruit with spikes. Lulu never unrolls willingly, and never relaxes her quills, so when I cut her nails, I will usually hold her by her scruff. When I do that, she seems to get a big cramp that affects her whole body. The quills will contract and show bare skin all the way around, her body twists sideways so that one foot is visible and turns purple, and her stomach is hard to the touch. The only thing she can move when she's like that are her front paws, and even those only move a little bit. If I touch her when she's like that, she will flick her tongue out rapidly and roll her eyes and get a little foamy around the corners of her mouth. Usually after about 15 minutes she starts to relax enough to roll back up. She also walks strangely sometimes because she won't unroll enough to let her back legs touch the floor. She can move just fine...runs all night on the wheel. I've tried to take her to the vet once, but she wouldn't let him look at her, and I didn't want her to be sedated if it wasn't necessary.
 

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The twisting and foaming sounds like your hedgie is annointing. When your hedgie started biting you at first what did you do right after? I only ask because I wonder if she bit and then you put her right back and she may have figured out quickly that if she bites you would put her back. Im lucky and didn't get a biter but from what I've heard its important that if they do bite you continue to handle them so they don't think biting gets them the desired outcome. I know this would be hard because no one wants to get bit but that seems like it has worked effectively for those who have biters. Hopefully some owners that have biters will be along :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
When she first started biting, I would hold my hand still and say no. Then I tried blowing in her face when she bit. Then I tried pushing my hand toward her because that's supposed to make her let go. I tried unscented soap and quit painting my nails. I took a break from work because I thought maybe my hands always smelled like cake to her and that's why she bit. Nothing helped. I still handle her daily.

I got her from a kid on craigslist who didn't seem to know much about her, so I really don't know what may have happened to her in the past.
 

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That is very hard then cause you have tried everything I could think of. Hopefully someone who has had a stubborn biter will come along. It sounds though like you are doing the best you could in the situation. I hope it gets better for you.
 

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Quigley can be pretty persistent with biting but not that bad. I don't wear short sleeves when I handle him because he would bite my forearm. Some hedgehogs are just biters and I think it is the most difficult personality trait to deal with.
 
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