January 20, 2011

Hedgehog Manicure and Pedicure


The hedgehog mani/pedi is the trickiest part of taking care of Peggy. She just does not like me holding her feet and it can be an epic battle of wills to trim her nails.The picture above shows her nails a little on the long side when I first got her. There is the option of going to a vet which works for some pet owners. For me it is too expensive and she needs a trim too often (about every two weeks to a month) for it to be practical. I am also fearful of taking her to a vet because they put her under for the procedure and I worry that it will be too much stress on her little system.

So, for the home trim you need a few tools and a lot of patience. I have learned to try and do a paw every other week to maintain her nail length without a long session struggling to trim all four paws. You will need nail trimmers (I use a small pair of trimmers for people) and styptic or cornstarch in case you accidentally nip the quick. I roll her on her back and wait for her to uncurl... and wait... and wait. Once she uncurls I gently grasp a paw and trim down to the white part of the nail until there is a short white section left. Generally she will roll up before I finish the paw and I wait again to try and finish the paw.

Nail Trim Tips
  • Start with a pair of small nail clippers that cut well and styptic
  • Try and do one paw every week or so to maintain the length without stressing her or you needlessly with long sessions
  • Roll her on her back and gently grasp a paw when she unrolls
  • If you choose to go to a vet ask a lot of questions to ensure they are using the latest and safest methods to put your pet under
EDITED TO ADD: I have started using small animal nail clippers which have more of a scissor action and cut all the way around the nail so that I don't need to have her nail perfectly parallel to the snipper of people nail clippers. I find these do the job much better and are more precise for the work.
Another trick I use is to feed her a treat per paw to get her to uncurl and relax. She now associates rolling on her back with getting a treat and will smack her lips and lick looking for one! It is very, very cute.

Hedgehog Pal

 I just really love this picture... (Source) 

January 15, 2011

Hogs from Other Blogs - Funny Friends

Mini Hog and Mary chill out together Source here

A little Pygmy Albino hedgehog named Mini Hog lives in an old church pew and comes out at night to play with his best friend Mary the Terrier. These two are not only cute but I love the photography! These unusual friends live in Warwickshire, England. I really like that the little hog lives in an old church pew. It adds an almost fairytale element to this cute story. I wonder if they have adventures together while the family sleeps reuniting lost loves, finding treasure and foiling criminals... or maybe they just play.

Mini Hog climbs over Mary to get the good spot on the sofa


January 07, 2011

A Hedgehog's Calendar - Winter

Hedgehog Mittens!
It is winter at the Hedgehog Manor. If Peggy was in the wild she would have eaten her way through the Autumn and be snuggled up for a long winters nap. However, since she is a captive hedgie it is important to keep her warm and happy and awake! I find this time of the year is difficult on her. She is less excited to play and harder to coax out of her ball. She is healthy and my place is warm but I think the days can just be too short for her. I will be happy when the Spring comes and she is less of a grumpy pants!

In the wild fat little hedgies have made themselves a little den and are hibernating until the Spring. My understanding (since we don't have wild hedgehogs in Canada) is that if a hedgie is healthy and the right size you will not see it until the weather warms up. If you do spot a hedgie out and about in the snow it may be in distress or too small to survive on its fat reserves and you should call a shelter immediately for advice.