Northern Plains Hedgehogs
How do I give my hedgehog a bath?
Your hedgehog will more than likely need a bath some time or another in its life. We usually bathe once a month, but anymore could result in your hedgehog getting dry skin. Place your hedgie in the kitchen sink, bathtub, or other area you wish to bath them in. Fill the bottom with warm water a couple inches deep so they can still touch the bottom. Take a small cup to pour water over its back. Do not wash their head or face and make sure you don't get water in their eyes or ears. Use a toothbrush to scrub their quills and belly. For soap, the best thing to use is Aveeno Oatmeal Baby Shampoo. Once you are done bathing them, be sure to rinse them thoroughly, pouring water over their back. If your hedgehog has dry, flaky skin, you can take a cap-ful of either flaxseed or vitamin E oil, put it in the warm water and pour over their back. You do not need to rinse this off as the oil will soak into their skin. Have a warm fleece towel or anything that they can't get their toenails caught on so you wrap them up. You will need to hold them until they are dry, to prevent them from getting sick.
How to trim my hedgehogs toenails
Bath time is also a good time to trim your hedgehogs toenails, but be sure to also check the toenails on a weekly basis.
Be sure not to get to close to the quick. You may have to have someone help you for this, one to hold the hedgehog, and one to do the trimming. Grab the hedgehog above the joint, not to hard, but firm enough to where they can not pull it away. Hedgehog toenails are light, so you will be able to see the quick (pink area) in the light. Clip right before this.
Why is my hedgie itchy and scratching all the time?
Your Hedgehog may be scratching for a number of reasons. The most common is dry skin. As mentioned in above, if your hedgehog is bathed to often, they may get dry skin. This is easily cured with Vitamin E or Flaxseed Oil purchased at a health store. When you are done bathing, either pour a capful over their back, or add it to their bathwater.
Dry skin, itching, and quill loss can be signs of a mites. If you think your hedgehog may have mites, it is important for you to get to the vet right away. Your vet will do a simple skin scraping (it doesn't hurt the hedgehog) and look for mites under the microscope. If your hedgehog has mites, we recommend using Revolution; the same thing used on cats and dogs. Revolution is a one time treatment, and will last for 30 days (which outlasts the life cycle of the mites). Your vet can give you the correct dosage.