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clipping nails

Discussion in 'General Hedgehog Discussion' started by milkandsam, Jun 12, 2014.

  1. milkandsam

    milkandsam Member

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    Any tips on how to cut my hedgies nails? She just curls up into a pointy ball and huff at me when I try... :(
  2. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

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    Haha, I've always been uncomfortable with nail trimming. When we worked at a pet shop I'd make my brother do the angry pups. I've seen a variety of ways done with less than cooperative hedgies...but I liked a couple the most. At the end of the day I'd give each a try and just go with what works easiest for you and Guinevere. Have you tried picking her up by pinching on either side of her like a mom cat would pick up her kittens? You can hold them by the skin and they will sometimes just hang there with their nails exposed. Otherwise I've seen several folks roll them over and hold them on there backs and begin the waiting game. This one requires more patience as they have to bring out their nails on their own. Then you just be opportunistic and go in when you can.

    If all else fails put on some Enya, light some candles, burn some incense and see if you can get her nice and relaxed before you go in for the cut. Hedgehogs love Enya...
    Josh likes this.
  3. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

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    Maybe @FAS1031 can offer slightly more technical advice or some other tricks? In the unlikely event that Enya doesn't work...
    Josh likes this.
  4. milkandsam

    milkandsam Member

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    Hahahaha. Thanks. We have tried after bath time, we did manage to get one nail cut... yay! But even when she does let me touch her feet, she curls right back up when she sees the nail clippers. Guess we just keep trying!!
  5. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

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    She's too smart....she can identify nail clippers and cameras....try disguising the clippers as a meal worm. Boy I'm chalk full of "helpful" info today....

    I read that you can put them on a screen and tilt it at an angle so they have to hold on to not slide off...I'm not sure how well this would work and it may require two people but it might be worth a shot. I'd hate for you to have to resort to an ether soaked rag...I wonder if that would even work on hedgies. I would imagine mammals in general would probably get knocked out.
  6. milkandsam

    milkandsam Member

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    Hahaha! Yeah, she has some wicked long toenails! I'll have to enlist help no matter what I do... ugh!
  7. ShadowRancher

    ShadowRancher Member

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    Hmm I guess just patience and definitely try some positive reinforcement whenever you get it to work (aka mealies). If she won't cooperate at all and your worried maybe try grip tape (like the kind you would put on the edge of a slippery step) on the inside of her wheel? I've never heard of that being done but it's the same concept as pavement wearing down dog's nails.
    Josh likes this.
  8. Josh

    Josh HedgehogForums Admin Staff Member

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    I really like the idea of using a grip tape to wear down nails inside of an exercise wheel. That should definitely work! Please fill us in on how well you find it works for you!
    I'm always nervous about clipping any living thing's nails - human, not, doesn't matter because if you cut too short, it hurts in a very unpleasant way :(
  9. Alex

    Alex Member

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    Jul 22, 2014
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    Here is a way to trim a grumpy hedgehogs nails! I am afraid of doing it this way because I am a wimp...So the way I cut Olives nails... DON'T LAUGH! Is to get one of the cookie cooling racks and stick Olive on it so her legs are dangling...Then have someone hold it while I get under her and trim her nails. This is the safest and easiest ways to do it. I can do it fast which causes less stress on her.
  10. milkandsam

    milkandsam Member

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    I actually had a little bit of success the other day! I had actually seen that video and have tried it, but I'm either not grabbing in the right spot or I'm a wimp because as soon as she puts her quills all the way up I still can't get to her feet and I've got spikes all in my hand making it super uncomfortable for me!

    So my success-First, I enlisted one of my friends who was in town for the weekend who is in vet school and we got a few of the absolutely wicked ones clipped that I was really worried about done. I think we managed to get 3 done and she only got bitten once! woohoo!

    Then, I tried again after a bath, and I managed to hold her with one of her legs in between my fingers and managed to clip the rest of them! Every time she would try and put her quills out, I'd put her part way back in the water and she'd come out of her ball so she could stand. Then I gave her lots of mealies as reinforcement... I think we're getting used to each other! :)
    gracefulchaos likes this.
  11. Patrick

    Patrick Administrator Staff Member

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    Glad to hear it @milkandsam! Keep up the positive reinforcement :)
    milkandsam likes this.
  12. gracefulchaos

    gracefulchaos New Member

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    Thanks for the video, Alex. I have been wondering how best to trim Titans nails when they are long enough and the video, or the cooling rack trick, May be just the way to go.
  13. Abdulla

    Abdulla New Member

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    I'd be afraid the friction from the grip tape would harm his paws :(
  14. ShadowRancher

    ShadowRancher Member

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    As long as you got the right grade I doubt it (it would be something to monitor)....my hedgie tends to highstep in very precise, quick movements, he doesn't drag the pads of his feet.
  15. Josh

    Josh HedgehogForums Admin Staff Member

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    I like the grip tape inside the wheel idea. That would actually probably work pretty darn well.

    I also like that Enya video up top. So soothing. Thanks @Patrick
  16. Tongue Flicker

    Tongue Flicker Active Member

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    Jun 14, 2014
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    Lol at enya. Don't be surprised if your hedgie goes all "my precious" on yah haha!

    Anyways, like someone suggested, there are available bucket wheels with a built-in sandpaper on the inner side to help facilitate in nail trimming.

    Another trick i usually do is