a new family member?

fairy_toadmotherJune 6, 2006

thinking of a hedghog. does anyone have any experience here?

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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

African Pygmy Hedgehogs are *THE* cutest little guys ever! :-)

They are nocturnal so you are basically feeding and changing an enclosure with someone sleeping within. They are born with mange mites and need to be treated with either dips or Ivermectin to get rid of them otherwise they will lose their spines and be horribly miserable from their constant need to scratch.

They are omnivoures and eat fruits, veggies, slugs, mealworms, cottage cheese....you name it and they will at least be polite enough to try it. They don't bite unless they feel very threatened.

Handling them can be tricky. The spines will draw blood !

You need to get a baby from someone reputable if at all possible. The average life span is 10-12 years.

I got one for Valentine's Day. LOL! Not exactly the traditional gift but "we just aint right". :-) Mike was told it was a baby hedgehog of about 4 months of age. Six months later ... multiple mange mite treatments later ... multiple calls to the Cleveland Zoo for information about their care ... the hedgehog started losing his teeth.

Radiographs showed he had a tumour of his lower jaw. :-(
We did not need a biopsy but did one any way because we already knew it was squamous cell carcinoma. It was. Before the biopsy results came back I euthanized our hedgehog. He looked like he was suffering so much!

Obviously we had not gotten a baby hedgehog because it would be extremely rare for a youngster to get an advanced rapid growing cancer like that. Hedgehogs are also prone to liver disease and liver cancer.

But, something has to get everyone. Perhaps if we had a better and longer experience with our hedgehog I would highly recommend them as a pet. They are very cute! Ours loved getting a bath and especially getting towel dried. The cats were very curious about him and just that was worth it all. LOL!

That's my hedgehog experience.

Pets are relaxing! :-)

C3D

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 10:02AM
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youreit

FTM, are you really going to get one? That would be so amazing!

I'm so sorry about your poor little guy, C3D. Again, I'm glad you were there to take care of him, rather than the person who obviously didn't know about how to age a hedgehog. :)

I need visuals of these things!

Brenda

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   June 6, 2006 at 1:45PM
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jeanner(SW Ohio - Z6)

I think you need a pet raccoon FTM! And I know where you can get one - in fact I know where you can get an entire family! Wouldn't that be FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   June 7, 2006 at 10:18PM
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fairy_toadmother

lol, jeanner! i'll bet you do :)

thank you, chicka, for being such a wealth of information. as it works out, i am a night person. AND, soon to be a midnight shift person in august. i had read about mites, but born with them? seems strange. if someone is captive breeding, and the parents have none, where do they come from? very sad about your little "sonic" friend. :(

brenda, that is the ultimate question. i have a habit of getting phases or fancies. so, i wait and see if it wears off before diving in. and, deciding if i really have the time. hmmmmm.

i read on a few websites in my search for info. i am wondering if it is safe to let them be outside in the yard with you, always under supervision, of course. the thing that made me most nervous was the talk about not being warm enough and going into hibernation.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 12:31AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Hi FTM.

Good to hear you too are nocturnal. :-)

The mite thing is a puzzler. The going theory among some is the mites live and let live for the most part therefore most hedgehogs show no sign of having them. Under stressful situations, when the immune system of the HH may be decreased, the mites get the upper hand and that is when the spines start to fall out and the scratching and skin disease is most evident. ..... Or so the theory goes.

To take your HH outside would be lovely for him! He can dig for bugs and worms and explore and have a bit of fun. A word of warning though: They can be very fast and get lost in an instant under some shrubs or other plants. They are very good climbers too! We must have spent a minimum of 3 hours looking for our HH during his first (and last) trip into the great outdoors.

I remember seeing an advertisement for basically a small animal corral. It was a flexible solid piece of plastic about 8 inches tall and x amount of feet long. Who ever was inside the walls would have trouble climbing out yet could cruise around inside this enlarged enclosure. Wish I could remember where I saw it but that was a few years ago. You could probably make something similar to it as well.

I know they make HH sized habi-trails like for hamsters. There are also exersise wheels with solid footing for them (so their feet don't get caught and injured).

Hibernation is a natural response to a drop in temperature. If he's allowed to stay on the cool side, it is important that he has enough body reserves to keep him going through the hibernation. If he gets warmed up the hibernation ends and life as your new prickly family member knows it goes on.

Glad to be of help.

C3D

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 10:00PM
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fairy_toadmother

thanks, chicka! you know, i wondered about that. kinda like internal parasites in fish. they are there, just not affecting until the immune system is weakened.

guess what, i have one of those corrals! well sort of. it isn't solid, but it has four sides and "hinges." the kittens didn't get out when i had it covered. if it can keep them in, it should be able to stop or at least slow down a hedgehog. i am more prepared than i realized. :)

i would have never suspected them as climbers. veeerry in-ter-est-ing.

thanks again, chicka!

    Bookmark   June 8, 2006 at 11:34PM
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hnladue(z5NY)

FT- If you get a HH I suggest a Wodent Wheel too as they are safe to use!! (and easy to clean)

http://www.transoniq.com/

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 11:48AM
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bonz(WI)

When I lived in Germany a while back I made a lot of visits to England to visit a friend. I was truly in awe of the hedgehogs running around at his country home just outside of London. It's like squirrels in America, they're everywhere. He told me that they can be annoying sort of like unwanted rodents in America. I just enjoyed watching them.

as quoted from an online resource:
"The hedgehogs that you're likely to see kept as pets in the United States are pygmy hedgehogs from Africa. The hedgehogs found running wild in England and Europe are a different variety of hedgehog--larger and with different markings."

I think hedgehogs are about the cutest little critter

As usual, C3D, good information

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 3:30PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Whowoulddathunkit FTM? You are HH ready and didn't even know it! I would say it is destiny. :-)

C with 3 Ds

Here is a link that might be useful: Hedgehog Care

    Bookmark   June 9, 2006 at 8:39PM
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fairy_toadmother

thanks for the link, hnladue!!

hi bonz, know what brit critter i just love? badgers! oh, they are so adorable.

thanks chicka! off to read...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 4:51AM
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fairy_toadmother

chicka, that fuzzy prickler is just too cute! forgive me if i say cuter than the pygmies...

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 4:52AM
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youreit

I just had to tell you that the new Dodge Caliber commercial (not the "controversial" fairy ad) has a hedgehog in it! :D The link is below, but I guess the quality isn't that great.

Brenda

Here is a link that might be useful: Caliber focus group

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 1:16PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

These guys are **VERY** nice too! :-)

(Yep. We had them too.)

Here is a link that might be useful: Sugar Glider

    Bookmark   June 11, 2006 at 7:37PM
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fairy_toadmother

i just saw that commercial today, brenda, and noticed the hedgehog!

chicka, sugar gliders were a passing fancy of mine, but they remain adorable! (i still secretly want one).

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 3:11AM
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hnladue(z5NY)

How about 9??? I got 9 !!! AARRRGGGHHH!!! the wheels... running at night.... wwwwwhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2006 at 12:14PM
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fairy_toadmother

oh my! speaking of which, i was wondering- are hh a social beast or more solitary? if they are social, i am sure they would be much healthier kept as a "pair." obviously, i am still researching. i haven't found this stated as such, exactly. reason- like a pringle, you can't stop at one.

another i found- color variations. now,i usually go for the natural look, however, i really like the snowflake shown on the below link. part of that is for practical purposes. if we are out together at night, a snowflake would be easier to find, or dark eyed white. i don't usually like pink eyed albinos.

Here is a link that might be useful: online site to breeder

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:38AM
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fairy_toadmother

the squeaky wheel idea worries me. when i was a kid, i had to sleep in the same room with my sisters hamster, which obviously ran on the wheel all night. i got absolutely no sleep during those few years. after that, it was a squealing guinea pig that kept me awake all night.

so,this worries me. if i am not kept awake, dh might be. he is an extremely light sleeper. noises in another room will wake him.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:42AM
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fairy_toadmother

i got ahead of myself.

from the link below: "You will want to choose a single hedgehog since they are solitary and donÂt normally like to share a cage."

Here is a link that might be useful: international hedgehog assc.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 4:02AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

I think the HH only like each other when it is time to make more HHs.

As far as picking out your new adoptee, I believe it will be love at first sight when you find THE ONE! :-)

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 6:02AM
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hnladue(z5NY)

The wodent wheels do not squeak. They whir!!! I have 5 wheels going in my room and they don't bother me.... only when the suggies start barking does that wake me! You could always coat the posts with vegetable oil and quiet them down even more.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 10:01AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Yours USE their wheel? Mine would tuck food in theirs or make another nest in it. Sort of a summer cottage away from the home pouch. :-) Ewwwwww YUCK when they would hide a piece of turkey or ham in their bed!!! I was afraid to look to see who had died in the wheel.

I loved it when they were barking. MUCH better than crabbing while tidying up their house. LOL!

C3D

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 10:10AM
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youreit

Ohhh, Snuggle Sacks and Toasty Tents (first link)! How adorable is that?

Yeah, the pink or "ruby" eyes kind of give me the willies. Like one of those paintings where the subject's eyes follow you around the room. *shiver*

I love the part about "obesity" on that last link, FTM. How they describe HHs as being naturally on the plump side. So yummy!!!!

Brenda

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 10:46AM
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hnladue(z5NY)

The barking isn't so bad.... but when all 9 take turns!! Oye! It can go on for hours!! Yea, they all use the wheels. One cage has 2 wheels. It's fun when 2 get in and one runs, and the other hangs his head out for a ride... kinds like the dog sticking his head out the car window. I think I'd be sick however after a ridelike that in a wheel! yuck! It much more fun when they get food they don't like and throw it at you at night!! FOOD FIGHT!!

    Bookmark   June 13, 2006 at 3:48PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Food fight! LOL! Been there. Seen that!

The test of *TRUE LOVE* is when the male SG offers to his beloved Mrs. the last mealworm as he holds it in his hand like a cigar! :-) That is a very touching sight indeed.

They too like jelly. The little individual serving sizes that are appropriated from restaraunts are just the right size for two SGs.

The MOST fun car ride I ever experienced in my life was when my Sugar Glider got out of the carrier and was bouncing around the car. Back seat to front and back seat again. Then to the back window and wave at the people in the car behind us who were waiting at the red light. LOL!!! That was so fun and funny!

C3D

    Bookmark   June 14, 2006 at 8:21PM
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hnladue(z5NY)

oh yes... it's SO much fun trying to drive with a suggie on the top of the steering wheel... I remember those days. eek!

    Bookmark   June 15, 2006 at 3:11PM
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fairy_toadmother

nope, not an announcement, unfortunately. i just wanted to add that i will be on midnight shift soon. i decided it would be best to put a hedgie on hold. :(

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 3:24AM
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youreit

Aww, that's too bad about the midnight shift, FTM! Also about the HH, but I have a feeling that "he'll" be ready when you are. :)

Brenda

    Bookmark   July 17, 2006 at 9:22AM
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fairy_toadmother

yep! it just wouldn't be fair to the little bugger. actually, midnights was my choice but only b/c my fall class conflicts with the other shifts. it also conflicts with all the other classes!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 2:58AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

Thank you for looking into this before buying an exotic animal like the very adorable Hedgie! I've seen so many crippled Hegies that didn't get their needs met. I looked into getting one and backed out too. They are a lot of work but aren't they adorable?PJ

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 4:04PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Mmmmmmmmm......

Sugar Gliders when your schedule permits? :-)

    Bookmark   July 18, 2006 at 6:17PM
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fairy_toadmother

yes they are pj! i do try to research things in advance. taht is how i realized i didn't have the ability to raise angora rabbits, also!

tempt me, chicka!!!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 3:45AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

DON'T TEMPT ME!!! LOL.
I have to go get crickets today. There are always live animals where you buy crickets.I have to fight myself every time I go in! Help! "No more animals,no more animals....."PJ

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 9:26AM
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hnladue(z5NY)

oh YEA!!! Suggies are night creatures!! They would LOVE to have someone to bark at during the night!! They sleep all day anyhow, so that might work for you!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 10:36AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Here's a link for a **WONDERFUL** source for jelly to keep your sugar gliders happy and content!

~~~~~~~~~~~~SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET!~~~~~~~~~~~

Here is a link that might be useful: Mmmmmmm Jelly !!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 2:27PM
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    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 2:52PM
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hnladue(z5NY)

Blah! Isuck at posting images!!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 2:58PM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!

Uh huh. You are just horrible at posting pictures! You should be ashamed ...(of tempting FTM and EVERYONE else with those sweet hearts!) :-)

You know how to eat jelly dontcha? The same way you eat baby food from a jar. Grab a handful of the food and eat what ever oozes out from between your fingers! Then leave sticky SG hand prints everywhere. LOL! Mealworms are more like a pretzel.

Have a great dinner everyone!

C3D

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 5:56PM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

How cute! My ex husband had sugars for quite a while. Their cage had hanging coconut houses. They were a riot jumping from coconut to coconut!They'd also jump on your head and stick like a Gecko! Lots of fun!PJ

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 1:39AM
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fairy_toadmother

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! what a sweet little suckling! and the parents are cute too :)

yes, shame on you! the problem is i will be gone at night :( afternoon shift would be best. like now, that is when i am up in the afternoon and wee hours of the am every day.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 2:49AM
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hnladue(z5NY)

Someone say worms?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 10:41AM
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youreit

Yep, I'm drooling again. I wonder if they make face diapers?

Absolutely precious, SGs!!!!!!

Brenda

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 10:57AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

OK now repeat after me:
No more animals...no more animals...anyone who knows they have too many already feel free to join in!
Wow, those are adorable!PJ

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 1:23PM
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fairy_toadmother

look at those pink noses!!!!!!!

luv the face diaper idea, brenda. if it weren't for dh already saying, "we aren't going to turn this house into a pet store...." they'd already be here! of course, more than 3 cats and an aquarium of fish are considered a pet store for him. not me!

    Bookmark   July 20, 2006 at 5:16PM
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youreit

Well, I do only have one kitty, but....I have a feeling that she could kill and eat her body weight in sugar gliders daily. Let alone another pug, which I miss having around. The snoring is like white noise. Very Zen. :D

Brenda

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 8:39AM
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fairy_toadmother

kitty with a sweet tooth??? yes, pun intended! mmmm, smooth as silk (glider, get it?) hey, i'm punchy right now so cut some slack. first night on midnights and there are roofers across the street! that bodes well.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2006 at 9:43AM
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fairy_toadmother

i had recently read of someone who uses the chicken soup for the cat lover's soul catfood for their hedgehog, saying, "it is a good diet for the hedgehog as he is an insectivore and needs protein, carbs and veggies-fruits."

thoughts? thanks!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 10:43AM
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chickadeedeedee(z 6-7 ish Ohio)

That could be a part of your HHs diet but he'd need a wide variety of items on his menu to avoid nutritional problems.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 10:50AM
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pjtexgirl(7b DFW)

FairyGM, I have some pretty good advice on diet that has worked really well for me with exotics. Get your Hedgie from someone who has managed to breed them instead of a store. Right off the animal will be healthier. Then follow the diet that the parents did well on. (Don't get a baby from sickly looking parents even if you need a friend to come along and drag you away!) All of my exotics except one(pity purchase shame on me...) came from people who bred their animals out of love not money. My animals are so healthy and have very few issues that others have had with their exotics. It's so worth the search and the wait to find the healthiest animal you can! PJ

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 3:40PM
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fairy_toadmother

thanks chicka and pj!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 8:27PM
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youreit

LOL! You were on a roll, FTM! (No, not on a SWEET roll...:D)

Thanks for the giggles.

Brenda

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 3:47PM
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fairy_toadmother

are ;you sure, brenda? i feel a little sticky.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 10:56PM
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