Sunday, 28 December 2008

Hedgehog Diary December 28th, 2008

Well Tiggy is still doing very well and putting on weight. He/she is now at 500 grams. So is doing very well on the food we are feeding. We supply him/her with plenty of water, wet Chicken cat food and a special dry mix that consists of dry cat food mixed with meal worms, and unsweetened museli and some raisins and a crushed digestive biscuit.
Tiggy sleeps alot of the time, but must have a good old party in his cage as in the morning things are well and truly a bit of a mess. I am thinking he must be too big for the catfood box nest and is taking to hiding under some layers of newspaper and straw. We keep his cage covered slightly in a thick towel so he isn't frightened or the light doesn't bother him during the day time. Also I think it helps to regulate the temperature for him too.
He did have a tick that I painted with vegetable oil. And it looked rather shriveled up today so I gently pulled it and it came right loose from him/her and no parts were left inside. You have to be very very careful not to leave the mouth parts of the ticks attached or they will become infected. In the US we were pretty used to getting ticks if you walked out in the woods. And the dogs always had flea and tick collars to help protect them against ticks. They are such nasty creatures. We would take and light a match and then blow it out and hold it to the tick which would then usually back out and release it's hold. The trick was to make sure not to pull on the tick if it was good and attached, and to not kill it while still attached, or you would get an infection. The oil worked like a charm this time and I will remember that trick for the future. Since Ticks use their mouth to suck out the blood they need to get oxygen in another way and usually it is through their body. By covering them with oil it stops them from getting oxygen and so they soon release their hold and will usually suffocate and die. I think Vaseline would also work if you should happen to have any around too, but that is a bit trickery to put on a hedgehog.

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