European Hedgehogs - Page 1
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Such a good smelling carpet gives rise to Adonis anointing himself allover.
In their natural habitat hedgehogs are tormented by fleas and ticks. If you take a hedgehog into your home give him a lukewarm bath and carefully remove the ticks with a tweezers. Attention, don't hurt him by tweaking his nipples or genitals.
If a hedgehog smells something special it starts biting and munching on it, and after that it anoints itself with it's spittle. One supposes that this is to hide it's own body odor. Maybe this can deter parasites.

One of Apollo's last autumn walks before he had to move into his winter habitat.
If you see such a baby hedgehog in late autumn (November) outside you should find a winter host for it. Don't forget to look around to find it's sisters and brothers, maybe it's mother.
In some years hedgehogs give birth in late summer and encounter the great problem of the young surviving the winter.

Apollo likes that tobacco smell on my fingers very much. When he hears my steps approaching he hurries to the border of his enclosure waiting to get a nice finger-munch.
The enclosures are in a cellar room, where no frost occurs and the temperature never rises higher than 15 deg C. A hedgehog enclosure mustn't be smaller than 2 square meters and is to be bordered by a minimum 40 centimeters high wall. The ground is covered out with news paper. Inside there is a small box filled with straw or paper to give the hedgehog a place to sleep during the day. All that paper must be renewed every day!
Wild hedgehogs move about 4 kilometers every night. Enclosed hedgehogs can get sick (paralysis) if they don't get enough room to move.

Apollo, ready to be picked up and brought to our living room where he liked to move around and eat our cat's food.
Attention, some hedgies like to bite your fingers. That's fun - to him, not for you! Please be tolerant and learn to handle it. There are two reasons for biting, one seems to be a kind of social contact - munching and anointing - the bites do not really hurt, another reason is fear. If your hedgehog isn't domesticated he is afraid of your big hands and tries to get free by biting - and that hurts!
Hedgehogs are insectivores which all have got very peaked teeth. Young hedgehogs are gnawing at every thing they meet (fingers too) to learn about the world they live.

Elfi is feeding baby Josefine.
Some hints to feed hedgehog babies: Give them NO milk!!! In your pet shop you'll get a substitute for milk. Use this to feed the hedgehog carefully by a pipette or - like Elfi - by a doll's baby bottle. That works quite well. Additionally give them vitamin-containing chalk. However, don't experiment, ask a veterinarian or get advise from the pet shop. If a hedgehog gets sick (diarrhoea) give him animal char-coal.
That's true for all mammals: nothing can substitute mother's milk. So, we've to realize that many of our artificially fed hedgehog babies will die due to an infectious diarrhoea.

That's Nicky, just brought in. He became one of our favorite hedgies. What a sweety, isn't he!
Baby hedgies can have problems with blocked bowels. One has to help them by massaging the posterior region. You can do that using your finger, a small cotton wool rod or a soft brush.
A hedgehog mother caresses her babies all over with her tongue. This is to clean their coat and causes the babies to have open bowels.

Once more, Nicky. From the beginning he loved to lay between warm palms.
Watch carefully that tiny hedgies don't get cold. Give them skin contact. Let them sleep under your shirt and don't wonder if you sometimes get a little wet.
For a hedgehog baby the natural way to be kept warm is to snuggle up to it's mother. I wonder how they can do that without getting injured by the spines!

Napoleon and Josefine have a bath.
Hygiene is important for pets too. A lukewarm bath removes fleas and it's soooo relaxing. Keep their faces carefully above the water so they won't get feared.
Wild hedgehogs get cleaned by walking through dew-wet grass in the morning hours.