When it comes time to trim a hedgehog’s nails, you’re probably not going to be the first person to jump out of your chair and get on that task, but it’s a lot less scary than you might think it is, and it’s not something that you should fear doing. First, why exactly do their nails need trimmed in the first place? This isn’t one of those safety reasons as in they’ll start clawing you but it’s more for the safety of the hedgehog. What will happen is, their nails will start growing and they don’t grow straight when they’re too long.
They’ll start curving under their feet and if you leave them, it’ll get to the point where they’ll start digging into the feet of the hedgehog with every single step. When this happens, you’re risking a serious infection so that’s why it’s essential to keep the nails cut. Commonly, this task is done once per week but you can get away with doing it twice a week without injuring or harming your hedgehog.
This is highly important before you start trimming their nails, because if you cut this or hit this vein, it’s going to cause an immense amount of pain from the hedgehog, it will start to scream and you’ll have a hell of a time keeping it under control at that point. Keep your hedgehog completely still when you’re cutting the nails and one of the most common problems is that they tend to curl up when surprised or having their nails done.
This is a problem you’ll just have to work though. However, as you work with your hedgehog more and you get used to the ball rolling technique more, you’ll actually be able to place your hand and stop the hedgehog before it can do it again by placing it in between their feet on their belly. I don’t recommend catching them during a nap in case you startle them but sometimes this works best for some owners when they need to do the trim.
Also, to prevent them from rolling into a ball, some owners have reported that making the trim in a basin or tub of water prevented this as well because they didn’t want their head to go underwater. Different methods work for different people.
First, grasp the claw carefully and firmly.
Second, you’re going to grab your nail clippers or baby nail clippers and you’re going to go over each and every single nail very carefully. Trim a little off the top of the nail if you don’t believe it’s too long and it’s a long ways away from curling.
As you cut your hedgehog’s nails more and more, you’ll get into your own method and your hedgehog will grow used to it as well and know what you’re doing when you do it. It just takes time and practice, but remember to do it at least once a week.