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Tips For Trimming Hedgehog Nails

Is there a safe, easy way to trim hedgehog nails?

By Jill Warnick
Posted: April 13, 2011, 5 a.m. EDT

Q: I have a difficult time trimming my hedgehog’s nails. Do you have any tips on making it easier on both of us?

A: Nail trimming can be difficult especially if your hedgehog is not relaxed. Some hedgehogs never seem to need their nails cut while other’s nails seem to grow very quickly.

When trimming the hedgehog’s nails, use a baby, adult, ferret or kitty clipper. Clip off the tips of the nails, making sure not to cut into the quick (i.e., the vein that runs down the middle of the nail.) You can use some cornstarch to stop any bleeding, because antiseptic powders tend to sting.

One trick to trimming nails is to place the hedgehog in a couple inches of warm water so that the hedgehog won’t roll up. The water shouldn’t reach the hedgehog’s face. Gently grab a back foot and try trimming the nails. Trim as many nails as you can. Try again the next day until all the nails that need to be trimmed are done.

It’s easier to trim a hedgehog’s nails when you have assistance. One person holds the hedgehog while the other clips its nails.

A brick placed in the cage can also help wear down the hedgehog’s nails. If the nails start to curl and you can’t cut them yourself, a trip to the veterinarian is in order.

See more hedgehog expert questions and answers>>

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