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PostSubject: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:03 pm

Please can you all help me?

This is an email that I have received this morning with regards to a shop local to me:-


Hi Helen,went to cheshire water life!!3 hogs together!!! 1 female 2 male ! i asked thats how i no!they slept in 2 card board boxes for there housing,i said the female could now be pregnant and you must remove her out so they put her in another viv full of light and tunnel for comfort i said she needs a blanket,the staff did not have a clue about the pygmys,they did not offer a care sheet,they had been reduced from 199-00 to 125-00,they did not have a cluewhat they were talking about!!!and were not bothered to be honest they were all lovely the hog,the viv was clean,they had dryed food,but my concern is for female helen she has nowhere to go and no blanket if she has babies and they should have checked and seperated her.Regards jill yates from southport.x


I have been trying repeatedly to get some action taken against the shop concerned as to date I have treated three hoggies with mites that were sold from there, re-homed one and taken one on myself who subsequently died as the source that they are coming from is known to overbreed and interbreed.

I now have to send over yet another care sheet to the following email address:-

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If anybody would like to back me by informing them the following it would be greatly appreciated:-

1. APH are solitary creatures and should not be kept together - especially not males who are likely to inflict serious injuries on each other.

2. Male and Females should not be kept together as males can breed from seven weeks of age and females should be a minimum of six months, ideally 7 - 7.5 months. Anything under six months is extremely dangerous for the female.

3. Varied diet is required and cat biscuits should be low fat, high protein - spikes relish is not suitable for APH

4. A wheel should be provided for them to exercise on

5. A nest box should be provided to give them privacy from the outside world when sleeping.

Anything else that you think is important please add to the list - they have reduced their prices from 199.00 each to 125.00 each which proves that the pet shop trade is slowing down which is good but things still need to be done to stop them from keeping them in inadequate facilities.

I shall be emailing a copy of my care sheet to the lady concerned and will offer to meet with her to let her look through my books on APH

Thank you if you are able to help in any way.

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:10 pm

I will do that now Helen ..x I did email them the other day .

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:15 pm

Have spent the vast part of my one day off trying to knock some reasoning into them but to no avail - this has been going on for months and months and months - nothing gets done - I have dealt with Mites, diet issues, rehomes and helped out with general advice as they are sold with absolutely nothing, no care sheets, no dietary advice, nothing, zip, nada - they even recommend Spikes Relish as a good food and one idiot who works for them jumped up and down in glee when they sold an albino as it had been with them for months - the list is endless - have sent my email and it is worded very much to the point
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:20 pm

This is awful, I will email them too if it will help x

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Mon Aug 08, 2011 7:52 pm

I'm on it too. i see nothings changed then, still taking no notice No

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Mon Aug 08, 2011 10:46 pm

I'll email them too Helen


x
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:38 pm

will do it now x
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:34 pm

And here is the long awaited reply

Helen

With regards to your complaint about Pigmy Hedgehogs and Cheshire Waterlife, I did a lot of investigating into the hedgehogs hence the amount of time it has taken me to come back to you. I needed to speak with an expert with regards to their welfare etc. After doing this, I visited the premise and spoke with them in detail about these hedgehogs. An agreement has been reached that once they are of an age when they can be sexed then they will be separated.

If you have any further concerns then please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

Holly Round
Regulatory Enforcement Officer - Animal Health and Welfare
Cheshire West and Chester Council
Backford Hall
Chester
CH1 6EA

Tel: 01244 973112 or 07584206849

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What more can I do???
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 12:45 pm

Maybe we all should give her a ring and complain ...

idiots .x

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:04 pm

Have just done so Lou and got nowhere - I have now got to try and collect as much evidence as I can and keep banging away moaning like I have been doing for the last several months
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:56 pm

And they have the nerve to call themselves Animal Health and welfare! it's a joke xx

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:57 pm

If there was more then one complaint surely they would have to do something ...x

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 2:24 pm

Yh surely there's something that can be done x
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 5:51 pm

And my reply

Holly

Thank you for getting back to me and for looking into this for me.

African Pygmy Hedgehogs are weaned at six weeks of age and the males can breed from the age of seven weeks whilst the females have to be a minimum of SIX months – they are very easily sexed and this can be done from as little as 10 days old – there is no reason why they cannot be sexed upon arrival at the shop and kept apart – males should always be kept separate – this is what happens when you keep two males together – would you like some more photos that show the actual injuries that can occur when keeping males and females together??

The main point is that hedgehogs are solitary creature and should be kept individually – you may have two hedgehogs that seem to get along at first and then fight and end up like this poor little one – not worth the risk.

I can email over pictures on the male/female anatomy so that these can be sexed and separated especially with regards to the breeding aspect of them as well - it can have serious implications on the health of any female under the age of 6 months

Regards
Helen

After a heated conversation trying to get across my point it all boils down to that there is no "UK Expert" that can give any advice on the care of them - even though I have bred over sixty babies I do not know my stuff and am not an expert.

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Thu Sep 22, 2011 7:34 pm

For god sake some people.why can't people take onboard so very important info from someone I class very experianced in keeping aph's.helen your a star for what you've already done its just a shame that your advice has fallen upon death ears x
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Fri Sep 23, 2011 8:45 am

I am not giving up on this one - dealt with too many problems that have originated from her - mites, pregnant females, incorrectly sexed hedgehogs, the list goes on.

They have a care sheet which I have finally managed to copy (right click disabled on site) and would really appreciate it if breeders/keepers of APH would copy and paste it and write your own comments in a different colour to highlight anything that needs to be changed - bear in mind that they have had caresheets taken into them many times and this seems to have been cribbed from various web sites.


African Pygmy Hedgehogs

Cheshire Waterlife is pleased to announce their association with a new supplier/ breeder of African Pygmy Hedgehogs. Please give us a ring to find out what varieties / sexes we have in stock at any one time. You can also email us for a list of current stock.

Known supplier is Simons Rodents

African Pygmy Hedgehogs: Care and Prevention of Illness

Most of the hedgehogs that are kept in the UK as pets are from Africa. Their origin is the African Savanna, though none are brought in from the wild anymore. Most African hedgehogs, (Atelerix spp./ Paraechinus spp) available are bred locally including species such as the long-eared Desert Hedgehog. However, African Pygmy Hedgehogs are hybrids of naturally occurring species and are not wild animals.

The following paragraphs have some quick helpful hints on basic care.

Although there are many aspects to the correct husbandry of African Pygmy Hedgehogs perhaps the most important is that these are NOT closely related to the European hedgehog. They cannot be maintained outside and need constant temperatures in excess of 20 degrees Celsius. (68 Degrees F).

Please note that this is meant as a guide only and all potential keepers should research their long term requirements thoroughly before their acquisition.

Any pet shop is required to have a factual care sheet on animal that they have available for sale - to date, none of the hedgehogs that Ihave treated have come with this care sheet or any other

HOUSING

We prefer the easy-to-clean Hagen Zoozone range of enclosures for our hedgehogs. They are well designed, secure and will accommodate a good quality exercise wheel (such as the large Silent Spinner). A heavy food dish and a sipper water bottle attached to the side of the cage should be provided. African pygmy hedgehogs like to hide in burrows therefore a den is needed. A section of 4"-6"diameter PVC (plastic) plumbing pipe works well as a den or hide place.


Hello, you say they need a wheel then why do you not provide them with one - sipper bottle not recommended as they can get their tongues caught and also it is not a natural drinking position - they should have a bowl so that they can drink from a downward source

Maybe me being picky but I do have tubes for them to run through but surely a nest box of some description can be supplied for them


Some African pygmy hedgehogs will use a shallow litter box or pan.

Daily spot cleaning of the whole substrate and/or litter area is essential. The substrate for the enclosure must be easy to clean and remove and not irritate the animal. Wood based cat litter is also acceptable. Do not use cedar or pine shavings, they contain aromatic oils that cause irritation to the eyes, mucous membranes and respiratory tract. An exercise wheel is also recommended. It should have a solid running surface so that the African pygmy hedgehogs feet don’t get caught. Hedgehogs tend to be surprisingly energetic, and need the chance to use up some of this energy.

Second mention of a wheel - so why not give them one and cat litter pellets if used should be restricted to the litter tray and not used as an all over substrate which was the case as I have to bathe one girl who had impacted cat letter clogging her spines up

DIET

Hedgehogs are classed as insectivores, and as a result are essentially carnivorous like cats, as opposed to guinea pigs, rabbits, and most small rodents, which are generally vegetarian. High quality cat or kitten food such as Hill's Science Diet, or Iams. A hedgehog maintenance diet (multiple sources - actually designed for feeding wild hedgehogs) or ferret food is also recommended by some breeders. Both dry and canned food can be provided but should not in any case be fish based. Chicken, lamb, beef are all acceptable.
They also eat earthworms, pinkie mice, and mealworms. Small amounts of beta - carotene rich veggies should also be provided. Try and keep the diet varied and do not feed too much of fat rich insects such as mealworms or waxworms as hedgehogs are prone to obesity and often have enormous appetites for such things.

No food is given with their hedgehogs when they leave and Spikes Dinner is recommended to feed them on. No problem with the biscuits and ferret food is ok to feed them. Canned food - not acceptable for feeding them every day with. Earthworms from the gardens - no although you can order worms on-line if you want to - pinkie mice - ok, would be nice to list some vegetables, remember that most of these customers purchase on a whim and would not know what veg to feed.


HANDLING YOUR HEDGEHOG

You may be lucky enough to acquire a very friendly outgoing baby who accepts you almost instantly. Not all-new hedgehogs are so adaptable. Getting your hedgehog to become familiar with you will take patience. Spend more time holding him. He will get used to you and begin to relax.

Not surprising as they handle with gloves if handled at all - not blowing my own trumpet but I work hard with my babies to make them sociable and friendly.

Hedgehogs have poor eyesight. They use smell as their primary sense. Your African pygmy hedgehog will learn to identify you by smell. The best way to do this is to spend time with your pet several times a day just gently holding it to allow it to adjust to you and learn to recognize your scent. Picking up a hedgehog, or otherwise handling him is difficult, at least until he gets to know your smell.

Never wear gloves when handling your pet.

But you do and you dance a merry jig when you sold your albino that had been in for ages - the little boy that was in fact a girl

This blocks your scent and confuses your pet. The best way to pick up a hedgehog is with one hand at each side of him, then bring your hands gently together to cup it. Never grasp a hedgehog in a way that could allow any of your fingers to be caught in the middle should he decide to roll into a ball. As your hedgehog adjusts to being held, it will come to you with his quills lying flat, allowing you to interact with it. .


African pygmy hedgehogs have inherited the nocturnal tendencies of their wild counterparts and interactions have greater chances of success in the early days if they are undertaken under reduced light conditions.

BEHAVIOR

If a hedgehog smells something interesting, it will often begin to contort itself, start foaming at the mouth and lick the foam onto its spines. This behavior is referred to as self-anointing. The snuffling or snorting while having the head tucked down is a defense mechanism. It leaves them with their quills protecting every bit of visible surface, but still allows the hedgehog to move. This behavior is usually accompanied by sudden lurches in the direction the hedgehog believes its potential enemy is in, to try and give it a good warning prickle. The more your hedgehog comes to know you, the less defensive it will become.

HIBERNATION

A common concern is whether or not pet hedgehogs hibernate - especially as winter starts to arrive. The answer should be NO. However, if the temperature where they are kept drops too low (20 degrees C), they can start preparing for hibernation. If the temperature drops much below this the hog may hibernate for brief periods. This should be avoided at all costs. If the hedgehog doesn’t respond to stimulation then it needs to be warmed up. Another sign of a hedgehog that is too cool is if it goes off its food. A chilled hedgehog will walk as if it is drunk. If your hedgehog isn't eating, and appears to stagger as it moves, it may be because he is too cool. These signs may also indicate serious illness. If these signs do not resolve when your hog is warmed up, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Will find the american website that this came off - the authority does not recognise american literature, they require a UK expert to provide details of care - other than this it seems to be fine

BREEDING

Hedgehogs as young as 6 weeks old can mate. If you do have young hogs, remember to separate them before this age if you do not want them to breed.


Hang on - you said that you would seperate them when they were old enough to sex so if you are writing that they can breed from six weeks it is then obvious that they can be sexed so why do you still keep them together

HEALTH CONCERNS

Obesity: Hedgehogs can easily become overweight, partially due to their potential for hibernation. They often gain weight in preparation for a lengthy hibernation that never comes. Letting them hibernate is NOT the answer - a diet and exercise are. If your hedgehog is over weight, consult your veterinarian. Decrease in food intake, switching the diet to a light formula and increased exercise may be recommended.

Diarrhea: Normal hedgehog droppings can range from almost pellet-like to quite soft and sticky. Colour is usually very dark brown. Depending on diet, especially treats, they can vary quite a bit. If your hedgehog is having unusual droppings after having had a treat or change in diet a day or so before, then it is probably related to what he ate. If the problem continues (assuming the hedgehog is back on his normal diet), or if your hedgehog is suffering from severe diarrhea, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Anorexia (not eating): Loss of appetite is often the sign of either a sick, depressed, or especially a chilled hedgehog. They can also have severe periodontal disease. Remember, given a hedgehog's small size, not eating can become deadly in very short period of time. If the situation persists for more than a couple of days, contact your veterinarian.

At least if gives three health problems - better than none



Please bear in mind that when I have spoken to the owners of the hoggies I have helped, they didn't have a clue about what to feed them etc so practice what you preach springs to mind
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Fri Sep 23, 2011 9:27 am

simons rodents? oh. dear. god.

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:46 am

that's just shocking! bloody idiots!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Sat Sep 24, 2011 8:42 am

I am going to email them too x
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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:23 pm

Dim wits im going to give her a call i think on Monday morning .x

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PostSubject: Re: All Breeders/Keepers of APH   Sat Sep 24, 2011 3:33 pm

In all of this I cannot understand why nobody listens to the following

HEDGEHOGS ARE SOLITARY CREATURES - THEY DO NOT NEED THE COMPANY OF ANOTHER

Especially not in a pet shop where they will be left unsupervised during the night which is when they are most active.

Don't get me wrong, I have two girls who live together but I have had these girls for a long time and they have played out together from when I have had them - I would not put two girls together if I was unsure of their temperament and I would certainly not put two together in a zoozone.
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