Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Self Anointing

Well, that doesn't look too good ..
One day I wanted to give Shadow a treat. He didn't really like many fruits or veggies, but I decided to try and feed him a grape tomato. I put it in his cage and he sniffed it. He kept on sniffing and sniffing, and soon began to start eating it and sucking the tomato juice right out of it! He was really enjoying it. All of a sudden, he started foaming at the mouth and licking his quills, wiping all of the white foam all over himself!
I literally thought I was having a heart-attack. Did he have rabies?! Was he choking?! Was he allergic to grape tomatoes?! I wasn't sure what to think.
I emailed my breeder right away. Thank goodness she was so quick with responding to my email.
After speaking with her and doing some research, I discovered that my baby was self anointing. This is when a hedgehog smells or taste something they are not familiar with. After smelling or eating the new 'thing' they are becoming acquainted with, they will create a foamy lather. They will then contort their bodies and dispense their foamy saliva all over their quills. Sometimes, they will get so enhanced in their anointing that they will actually fall over and go into a sort of daze, completely unaware of their surroundings.
That sounds scary!
And it IS scary!
So, why do hedgehogs perform this ritual? Nobody knows. Really. It's completely unknown as to why hedgies do this. Some believe it's to mask their original scent from predators. Others believe that it acts as a sort of poison or toxin if predators come into contact with the foam on their quills. Maybe they just really like the scent and want it all over their bodies! The world may never know!
Regardless, anointing is completely normal for hedgies. In fact, it can even be fun to watch!
*Photo courtesy of Hedgie Mama, on their care sheet.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Photo: Sugarcookie | Albino Hedgehog

This is probably my favorite hedgie picture ever.

Everybody, meet Sugarcookie! This baby hedgie is a female Albino hedgehog. Basically, she has no pigmentation in her quills or hair and it's comletely white with ruby-red eyes.

Albinos can be bred purposely or accidently, but breeders usually never purposely try to breed albinos because albinos are more likely to have other sorts of genetic defects aside from their lack of color. If two albinos are bred, further down the family tree will arise health problems.

Either way, I think albinos are adorable (red eyes and all)! I was offered to take this hedgie home instead of my Shadow, but I was truly in love with Shadow at first sight.

I'm now in the process of convincing my brother to adopt a baby male albino hedgie from Hedgie Mama, hopefully he'll decide he wants it!

*Photo courtesy of Hedgie Mama | Facebook.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Video: An Introduction to Shadow

You all saw it coming. This video is a simple introduction to Shadow. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Dear Diary: I Took Shadow Out With Me Today

Today I decided that I needed to take Shadow out with me. So I did!

Getting ready to take my baby out with me!

I had bought him a carrying case from PetSmart last week for $20. It's pretty big but not too big, so he has enough room to move around but he can still find a nice corner to cuddle himself up in and nap.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

My Hedgehog is Extra GRUMPY Tonight

Hi all! So tonight when I got home I decided that I NEEDED to have some snuggle time with Shadow. Except there as a problem. He didn't want to snuggle and he kept hissing at me and twitching and curling up into a ball!

My little nugget hiding his face behind his quills

This isn't usually the case, especially at night. Since he's awake at night, he's always up for playing and has no problem letting me hold him. Tonight, however, I went to stroke his quills and he kept hissing at me, almost like he was in pain.

So of course I did a little bit of research and came to the conclusion that Shadow might be quilling. Quilling is when baby hedgies shed some of their quills and grow new adult-quills. Almost like how human babies loose their teeth and grow adult teeth, and usually they are in pain so they chew on everything. Unfortunately for hedgies, there's nothing that can be done to ease the pain they're in when they're quilling.

Baby hedgies can quill until they are about six months old, and they usually occur several times before they reach that age. For all you hedgie owners out there, just remember that their skin is extra sensitive during the time they are quilling, so if your little hoglet is acting extra grumpy, shy, or sensitive to your touch, be extra gentle when handling them! Talk to your baby in a calm voice and continue to gently hold him or her.

The quilling usually stops in a week or two, so stay patient and keep loving your baby hedgie as I love mine!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Photo: My Little Nugget, Shadow

This is my little guy. I named him Shadow (oh, the irony!). He was born on October 27th, 2011 and I adopted on my 21st birthday, December 19th, 2011. He is almost five months old!

He's a snowflake hedgehog. I adopted him from Hedgie Mama, Long Island's foremost breeder of African Pygmy Hedgehogs.

Please keep checking back for videos, more pictures, information, articles, tips and tricks, and more!