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African Pygmy Hedgehogs, get me to one!

pogo mudderpogo mudder Registered User regular
edited September 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay so African pygmy hedgehogs! They start off like this guy:


and evolve into this guy!:


I live in the Uk and i am super interested in taking care of one of these little guys. I just don't know anything about them.

Does anyone know of any legitimate dealers in the UK?
What kind of space do they need (indoors/outdoors)?
What do they eat?
Do they hibernate like regular hedgehogs?
Can/do they need vaccinating against anything important?
Also fleas, is this an issue?

Any other info from anyone would be great :)

what a work of art is man, and the most boring choice you can make
pogo mudder on


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    GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    I had one of these adorable little monsters for a few years.

    Space - A very large fishtank. Have a small tray of sand in there (there's a special kind of sand you need to get, though...)
    They eat Hedgehog food! You can also give them mealworms as treats! They love them
    They sleep a lot in the day, and they will be pretty active at night.
    Not sure about vaccinations or fleas.

    Get a hamster wheel, but put carpet on the inside of it so they can run on it. They will run, a LOT. I mean, a LOT. They need to stay active, this is very important.

    They poop everywhere. Astroturf is a good bottom for their container, but expect to hose the thing out regularly.

    Make sure it has a large tube or "igloo" to retreat to. They love toilet paper rolls and small shelters.

    If you get stuck by one of their annointed spines, it'll hurt for a couple days. They lick themselves (adorably) all over, and it adds an extra layer of pain.

    Eventually when it's comfortable with you (hand feed it occasionally), it won't spike up. It'll lay them down and you can actually pet them. Give them time, but eventually you can pet their soft underbelly.

    If they get "huffy" and breathe fast, they're trying to warn you off. Give them space and try again later.

    Going into a meeting right now, but if I think of more, I'll come back and add to this

    GPIA7R on
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    CountBlackulaCountBlackula MarylandRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    So cute.

    CountBlackula on
    8JHfoFW.png Dom's Sketch Cast
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    GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    A couple pics of the Hedgehog I had. Her name was Ilori :)


    GPIA7R on
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    HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    There aren't any vaccinations approved for use on them that I've heard of. They don't get most cat and dog diseases, and in the shelter of the home they're not at much risk of rabies. They can get some livestock diseases like foot and mouth, but again, there's very little risk of exposure unless you're doing some very weird things with them. And if you are, stop it.

    In the US some places are very aggressive about rabies shots for exotic pets, which gets kind of sticky (no pun intended) - you can get them rabies vaccinations meant for rabbits, but because no rabies shot has actually been tested on them, if by some chance it bites somebody and the health department gets involved, they won't recognize the vaccination and the hedgehog gets the lethal dFA test. I don't know how all that works in the UK.

    The chances of any indoor pet getting rabies is pretty much zero, but it's worth knowing any time you let somebody else interact with them, they are bitey if they get startled, and they hang on like a bulldog. It hurts like a bitch and you have to hold still until they let go. Trying to pull away just makes them hang on tighter.

    They can get fleas. Make sure they're clean before you take them home, there's a specific species that infests them and is worse on them than the usual fleas your dog or cat will bring home. I've heard the best way is a flea shampoo meant for very small kittens or puppies, but get better advice before you take me on my word there. I know the UK has some great pet stores if you stay away from Pets At Home, the aquarium hobby over there is a lot better educated over there than here in the US. I don't know how that extends to hedgehogs, but try asking around.

    Like any small animal, if they do get fleas, clean their cage with the holy fury of god himself, reinfestations are a bad thing. Anything disposable dispose of, anything else clean thoroughly. Get rid of any eggs and larvae before they become new fleas.

    Hevach on
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    KazakaKazaka Asleep Counting SheepRegistered User regular
    edited September 2010
    That thing is fucking cute as fuck

    Especially the second picture where he's all "YO SON BACK THE FUCK OFF I AIN'T PLAYIN' "

    Advice wise I'd say keep it away from kids - I've never had one of those but I've had ferrets and my little pack fucking hated children because kids grab and hold anything they want sometimes and naturally that would result in being bitten (needled in this case I guess)

    Kazaka on
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    GPIA7RGPIA7R Registered User regular
    edited September 2010
    Found one more picture! :D

    Definitely an old one :P Notice the old brick cell phone in the background. It had one of those antennae that you pull out


    Looks like she was getting shy.

    GPIA7R on
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