Common Disorders Of The African Pygmy Hedgehog
Copyright © 1999 – Laura Mowrey – All Rights Reserved
Many different problems can affect our prickly friends.
The trick is to pay close attention to your pet and don’t delay in taking it to the Vet.
skin, quill loss, tattered ears, and in advanced infestations; inflammed skin, and the appearance of
open sores. A severe infestation of mites can cause blindness, severe ear infection, and even death of
the animal. See your Vet immediately if you suspect mites, and throughly wash and disenfect the cage
and everything in it, as well as the surrounding area.
excessive amount of bile in the digestive tract, and it is also a sign that food is not being properly
digested. Green stools can be caused by stress, change in diet or water, or from an infectionary process. Keep
an eye on your hedgie if you notice abnormal stools (take note of how much it is eating and drinking),
do not feed anything new during this time, keep the diet bland and if the problem persists for
more then a few days, take your hedgie and a stool sample in to your Vet.
actually be life-threatening. If you notice this in your hedgie, make sure he/she is drinking enough
water so as not to dehydrate and keep the diet bland. Take note of whether or not you have changed
anything lately; are you feeding your hedgie something new? Is his water coming from a different
source? If the diarrhea lasts for more then a couple days, see your Vet and bring a fresh stool sample with
you. Diarrhea can be caused by much of the same things as green stools are, but could also be a sign of
illness or infection, allergies, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, internal parasites or other internal problems.
You can give yor hedgie a drop or two of Imodium AD, this will usually stop the diarrhea, but do
not be fooled into thinking your hedgie is back to normal if it does, for this medication is just a
temporary “fix” and does not address what is causing the diarrhea in the first place.
CONSTIPATION: If your hedgie seems a bit constipated, try putting him
in a couple inches of warm water for quick relief. This will almost always do the trick. Following
this, try feeding him a little canned pumpkin (unseasoned brand). Pumpkin almost always works well for
constipation. If condition persists, see your Vet.
mites and fungus infection are ruled out, apply cocoa butter to ears several times weekly to soften them,
and bathe hedgie in a fragrance-free oatmeal based soap such as Aveeno, or put a drop of baby oil in
Adding 1 drop of Spectrum Essential Oil to your hedgies food each night really helps dry skin and is healthful
for your hedgie as well, as it contains Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids.
formation on it’s feet. One particular hedgehog I had with this was diagnosed with a fungal infection. Please
see your Vet for proper treatment.
by placing him under your shirt. Once he is warmed sufficiently, increase room temperatures and provide
some additional source of heat in the cage such as a Snuggle Safe Disc, or a heating pad under the
cage. Keep an eye on your pet to make sure he isn’t trying to seek out the cooler end of the cage to try
and hibernate again. If this problem persists, see your Vet as it may be an indication of illness.
causes, among them a neurological disorder called; Degenerative Myelopathy (WHS) Wobbly
Hedgehog Syndrome. See your Vet immediately. Refer to the following website:
See your Vet immediately.
pregnancy. See your Vet!
fatty liver disease, a very serious and often fatal disease, if not treated. Increase your hedgehogs activity (does he have a running
wheel?). Allow supervised free-roaming. Put your hedgehog on a low fat diet and reduce it’s daily
followed by dietary issues, allergies, illness and or hormonal issues. **
It is important to note that baby hedgies go through a “quilling” process whereby
they lose their baby quills and adult quills grow in to take their place. During this time, it is common to find
several quills dropping every day, and your hedgehog at this time will usually be
persists, see your Vet right away. Have your Vet check the teeth to rule out any problems there.
** It is important to note that sometimes a new hedgie will not
want to eat when you first get it. Make sure you find out what that hedgie has been eating prior to your
acquiring him and offer him what he is used to. If the diet he is on is less then satisfactory, slowly
wean him off of it and onto the new.
Pay attention at this time to whether or not the hedgie is drinking adequate water. A hedgie who isn’t drinking,
will usually not eat either. Dehydration can set in rapidly and can be fatal. Was he used to
drinking out of a bottle or a bowl before you got him?
respiratory infection. Keep your hedgie warm and dry till you get to the Vet.
Possibly resulting from an injury and or infection process, allergies.
through dental exam, and give the appropriate treatment.
** A swollen jaw can indicate a more serious condition, such as cancer.
hedgehogs. Feeding the best diet, void of chemical preservatives, artificial colors and flavors can help,
but there are many other factors which influence this disease:
Disorders Of The African Pygmy Hedgehog
Copyright © 1999 – Laura Mowrey – All Rights Reserved
WARNING: Some of the following photos are extremely graphic.
Bacterial infection of unknown etiology. This hedgehog died from it’s illness.
Quill loss from uncertain etiology. Probable cause; allergies. Quill loss can be caused by anything from
allergies, ringworm (fungus) or bacterial infections. Occasionally a hormonal inbalance
Pickering being put under anesthesia for surgery.
Pickering undergoing skin biopsy.
Pickering being sutured up after his biopsy.
(Photos compliments of Pickering and Deborah Kirksey)
Miss Murray: Malignant tumor of the jaw.
(Photo compliments of Heather Johnson).
around the hedgies leg that went unnoticed by it’s owner. At the time of this writing, this
particular hedgehog is doing quite well now, although I have known others who didn’t survive.
Photo of leg prior to amputation.
Surgical removal of the gangrenous leg.
Gangrenous leg after amputation.
so severely infested with mites, his face is permanently disfigured, he is almost entirely blind, and his
immune system is so compromised, that even a year later he is on meds to help hold back the skin
infections that keep coming back.
(Photos compliments of Linda Edwards):
The following 3 photos show Patience, another rescue hedgehog,
taken in by Lori Keller who was biten by a rat
who’s owner had caged them together.
(Photos compliments of Lori Keller):
Picture of wound site.
Picture of actual scab after it had fallen off.
Picture of the infectious pus that came out with barely a touch.
The sores shown here were caused by a staph infection, of the strep strain. Staph infections,
if caught early enough, and depending on the type, can be curable.
Wounds, Injuries, and Accidents
First of all, see if you can get the hair removed. This should be done as quickly as possible, because leaving it on can cause serious damage. If the foot and leg are normal colored and the hair did not break the skin, your hedgehog should be fine, but you should keep a very close eye on it. If the foot is swollen, purple, or the skin is broken, you need to get your hedgehog to the vet immediately. The hair may have cut off circulation to the foot, and the foot may have started to die. If left untreated, your hedgehog may die from systemic infection from the dying tissue.
This is often caused by excessive running on a wheel with an improper surface, or any other surface that is too rough. Hedgehogs can also snag a toe nail while they are running around. These very minor wounds can bleed a LOT, so don’t be surprised if your hedgehogs cage or wheel appears to be covered in blood. Put the hedgehog in a sink with a small amount of water to soak off any caked blood and filth. Then, look for the injury. Some of these injuries are so minor that they are almost impossible to find once the foot is cleaned off. If this is the case, your hedgehog will most likely be fine. If your hedgehog has a wheel, you should double check to make sure that it is an appropriate type of wheel for hedgehogs to run on. Otherwise, check surfaces in the hedgehogs’ cage to make sure that there are no rough surfaces that your hedgehog is scraping their feet on. If your hedgehog has an obvious wound, or the foot is swollen, discolored, or continues to bleed, get your hedgehog to the vet immediately.
Hedgehogs do lose teeth occasionally, especially very young ones who may be losing their baby teeth. Baby teeth will be replaced by adult teeth fairly soon. If your hedgehog is an adult and is losing teeth, you should have your hedgehog’s mouth checked for any signs of infection, tooth decay, or tumors. A single lost tooth is usually more concerning to the human than to the hedgehog. If your hedgehog is very old, and is losing teeth, you should offer them either finely ground kibble or moistened kibble to make it easier for them to eat comfortably.
A vet visit is almost always in order when your hedgehog is having a hard time walking. You should do your best to figure out WHY your hedgehog is limping. Is it a single leg, pointing to a sprain, strain, or fracture? Is it one side of the body, which may signify a stroke? Is it starting at the rear end, which may point to a WHS like illness? Your vet may prescribe some form of treatment for your hedgehog, depending on the type of problem that is going on. If it is a strain, sprain, or fracture, it is usually a good idea to reduce your hedgehogs’ activity until the leg is healed, by removing the wheel and reducing items that your hedgehog can climb onto. If your hedgehog has had a stroke or some other debilitating illness, you may be able to reduce the progress or even help him regain some function by encouraging gentle exercise. But determining the exact cause and and treatment regime needs to be done by a vet.
First, you should try to check the hedgehogs’ mouth carefully to see if there is anything like chunks of food, splinters or peices of bedding, or other foriegn materials stuck in the mouth. If so, carefully remove it if possible. If you don’t see anything stuck in the mouth that can be easily removed, then you should schedule an appointment with your vet as quickly as possible. Most likely culprits are abcessed teeth or oral tumors. If it is an abcess, it can be treated with antibiotics and dental care. Hedgehogs do seem to be prone to oral tumors, these can be a wide variety of types, some rapid growing some very slow. Some can be treated with surgery or medications to maintain the hedgehogs’ healthy happy life, others are not so easily treated.
A healthy hedgehog should not wobble when it walks. The easiest cause of wobbliness to figure out and solve is partial hibernation. Feel your hedgehog’s abdomen. If it is cool to the touch, then it is possible that your hedgehog is attempting to hibernate. Another cause of wobbliness that is pretty easy to treat is an ear infection. This can make them appear rather drunken and off balance, but normally can be treated easily and cured completely with a course of antibiotics. In some cases, hedgehogs can become wobbly due to toxins, either from the environment or ones produced by their own bodies. Some illnesses can reduce the function of organs like the liver or kidneys that help filter out toxins from the body. If these organs are not operating properly, toxins can build up in the body and cause difficulties in the function of nerves. One illness that is commonly blamed for any sign of wobbliness is Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome, or WHS. This is a severe neurological disease that causes gradual paralysis that progresses until the hedgehog is completely paralyzed and unable to move about on their own. Normally, the hedgehog is euthanized when their quality of life becomes very low, but in some cases the owners continue to do supportive care until the hedgehog is no longer able to swallow, and may experience respiratory difficulties from inability to control the muscles that control breathing. At this time, there are multiple supportive treatments that can be used to slightly slow the progress or keep the animal comfortable for a longer period of time, but there is no cure. This illness can be genetic, with multiple animals from a single family coming down with the illness, but there are some forms that appear to be caused by some issue other than genetics. Other problems that can cause wobbliness include brain or spinal tumors, minor strokes, neurological infections, or injuries to the head, back, or legs.
Cloudiness or abnormal bulging in a hedgehog eye is a sign of one of a variety of problems. Sudden onset cloudiness or bulging is often a sign of an injury to the eye. It is possible that your hedgehog either bumped it on something, or caught it with a foot while they were scratching. Gradual onset is typically seen in situations that can include tumors, infections in the head or face, or cataracts due to age or illness. Any time your hedgehog has a cloudy or abnormally bulging eye, you should take them immediately to the vet. Some problems can be treated with medication, allowing your hedgehog to keep their vision and eye.
My hedgehog cut itself, what do I do?-
First of all, get any major bleeding stopped. This can be done by putting a bit of direct pressure on the injury with your finger wrapped in a bit of gauze or if necessary, paper towel. If the cut is very small, shallow, and does not gape open, it MAY be able to be treated at home without vet assistance, but it is a good idea to call your vet to ask their opinion and suggestions. If the cut is long, deep, gapes open, or has blood squirting or spraying out, you need to get your hedgehog to a vet IMMEDIATELY. Hedgehogs don’t have a large amount of blood circulating in their body, and losing too much blood from a severe injury can cause them to die.
It is not uncommon for an active hedgehog to repeatedly scrape their noses on the wall of their cage or an obstacle. These injuries can cause a frightening amount of bleeding, but normally are quickly healed. These injuries typically appear to be a scrape either on the end of the nose or on the top of the snout. If this is the problem with your hedgehog, try providing more stimulus for your hedgehog. Either more out of cage time, a wheel, more toys, or anything else to keep the hedgehog entertained can be helpful. If your hedgehog is rubbing their face on the front or side of their cage, try re-arranging the cage accessories to reduce the amount of bare cage wall that your hedgehog is pacing.
If your hedgehog is bleeding from the nostrils, then you need to get to a vet immediately. These can be signs of tumors in the sinus cavities, ruptured blood vessels in the lungs, injury to the nose or respiratory tract, or other severe medical issues that need to be dealt with immediately.
There are several issues that may cause crusty looking sores or pimples in hedgehogs. One possibility is an allergic reaction. This is more likely if your hedgehog has recently been changed to a different bedding, different brand of same bedding, or different detergent on fabric beddings. Another possibility is a skin infection. Staph infections often present as crusty looking bumps on the skin, frequently focusing on the legs, feet, and face. A vet visit is necessary to determine the exact cause of these wounds, and to find the appropriate treatment for them.
Sadly, hedgehogs are prone to developing cancers. Any lump, bump, or mass should be checked out by your vet as soon as possible to rule out easily treated causes, and to discuss treatment options if it is a tumor.
- Health and Medicine
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Hedgehogs as Pets
Everything you need to pamper your pet hedgehog
The Ringworm Story – “How in the Hell did this Happen?”
“How in the hell did this happen?”
S everal days later Heavenlyhogs posted a thread entitled “How the Hell did this Happen?”on Hedgehog Central [Click here to see the post] claiming that she had “just this minute” been informed of the ringworm infection and asks for advice. In fact Ian and Julie say she had been informed some six days earlier. It seems obvious that at this stage HeavenlyHogs knows little about ringworm, and mentions at one point that she frequently worms her cats but isn’t sure whether the tablets include a treatment for ringworm giving the impression that she believed ringworm was actually a worm rather than a fungal infection. In her posts she comes over as a very concerned breeder, saying that she will pay the vet fees for Ian and Julie if it is found that the infection originated with her. She seems to only be interested in getting to the bottom of what happened and ensuring that the infection does not spread to her other animals or family.
Several knowledgeable people post on the thread and a lot of information is provided about ringworm and how it is transmitted etc. It is said later that much of the advice given in the thread was later quoted by Heavenlyhogs in subsequent emails as coming from her vet.
What we also learn in this thread is that:
- Before Ian and Julie ever visited Hevenlyhogs’ home,Leo’s brother [more about him later] had a skin scrape for a skin infection which Heavenlyhogs says was treated by her vet with antibiotics, although she never categorically states what kind of infection the hedgehog had. When asked whether it was a staph infection she says “I believe so…”
- Before Ian and Julie visited Hevenlyhogs’ home, Heavenlyhogs herself was suffering from a very bad case of what she says was “infected eczema” and she even posts a photograph (top) to show what it looks like. [See below for further information about this infection]
- Heavenlyhogs is very keen to shift the blame for the infection on to Ian and Julie, suggesting that they might have brought it into her house.
- Heavenlyhogs never did take her hedgehogs to the vet to have them checked for ringworm. She says that her vet advised her over the phone to treat them for ringworm as a precaution. Later in this story it transpires that to date she has only ever taken one of her hedgehogs to the vet to be examined for ringworm.
With regards the first two points it is very difficult to say that Heavenlyhogs is lying without having access to her vet or doctor’s records, and the author doubts very much that this will ever happen. However, so far we have one hedgehog with ringworm, another hedgehog with an ill defined skin infection, a breeder with “infected eczema” and two people [Julie and Kendal] with confirmed ringworm infections after they came into contact with Leo. There is obviously a large amount of circumstantial evidence here that points towards the source of the infection as being Heavenlyhogs.
As for the idea that a vet would ever advise a specific treatment over the telephone without examining the animal concerned, I am left speechless. I cannot imagine it ever happening and when I told this story to my own vet he simply said “no way”. Secondly why put your hedgehogs, your family and the rest of your animals through a fairly traumatic, time consuming and costly treatment without first confirming there was any need to do so?
As mentioned earlier we now have one hedgehog and two people infected with ringworm. These numbers were about to rise.
How to Care for Pet Hedgehogs – The Basics
Slugs, Snails and Hedgehogs in your Garden
The Ringworm Story – Follow up
Building a Locust Incubator
2 Comments on “The Ringworm Story – “How in the Hell did this Happen?””
ringworm is really a nasty thing. i used to get it on my face when i was young. then i would go to the doctor, he would prescribe a tube called quadiderm. then after using it for sometime it would go away. i got ringworm like this for some years. but now i am not getting it anymore.
The African Pygmy Hedgehog
a great exotic pet for teens
By Neil Moss, DVM
Hedgehogs made a reappearance in Utah in the last few years and make cute pets. Naturally solitary and nocturnal, they are a low maintenance pet and are ideal for your teenager allowing for the fact that they are not cuddly!
They originate from Central Africa and grow to about five to seven inches long, are covered in numerous spines which average ¼” to ¾” long. They will roll up in a ball if threatened and hiss and jump, which makes a formidable challenge for the veterinarian when they have to go to the vet! They are loyal to their human and can only recognize their handler by smell because their eyesight is quite poor.
Being opportunistic omnivores they will eat insects, small snakes, amphibians, bird eggs, snails, worms, fruit, and grass roots. They require a diet high in protein, low in fat, and must also consume chitin, found only in the exoskeletons of insects. At home you can feed an insectivore diet (which supplies the chitin), supplemented with fruit, hard boiled eggs, vegetables, and mealworms. The low fat part of the diet is important because a lot of pet hedgehogs become obese. The reason for the obesity problem is that in the wild they can travel miles every night just looking for food, whereas in a home they may be stuck in their cages for weeks or months on end without exercising. For this reason their calorie intake should be carefully regulated.
What are some common problems seen in hedgehogs?
I have already mentioned obesity.
Hedgehogs are nocturnal, so if before adopting one, consider where you’ll set up his home.
The second most common condition I see is mites. They become exposed to mites soon after birth by being infected from their mother. It can take years for the infestation to reach the point where they are itchy, sleep deprived and loosing quills. Mites are diagnosed microscopically and will be best treated using Ivermectin (although this may need to be used with caution).
Sometimes as they age they become very unsteady on their legs, which most often starts in the back end. Wobbly hedgehog syndrome is a neurological condition that is a form of creeping paralysis. Sadly there is no known effective treatment, but there are many supplemental medications that may help extend the life of your hedgehog. It is a non-painful condition and life is only limited by the ability to forage.
Sadly, hedgehogs are very prone to cancer especially as they age. Any visible swelling should be assessed by the veterinarian. Remember that not all swellings are cancer and often they can be treated effectively. Cancer of the bladder may lead to blood in the urine. This is another symptom that should be investigated early on.
In conclusion, hedgehogs are fun to own and very loyal to their keepers. Keep the calories down and the protein up and play with them often. A yearly visit to the vet will help detect problems early and keep your prickly friend healthy for years.
Dr. Neil Moss graduated from the Royal Veterinary College, London, and has worked in England; Newfoundland, Canada and Utah. Owner of the Kaysville Veterinary Hospital, he works with dogs, cats, exotic mammals, reptiles and birds. He is a former President of the Utah Veterinary Medical Association; Utah Veterinarian of the Year for 2012; serves on the Educational Commission for Foreign Veterinary Graduates and currently serves as the Utah delegate to the American Veterinary Medical Association.
With any animal there are many obvious signs of ill health, this is why keeping a log book on your animals health is essential – it also helps when going to a vet to show any changes.
What are signs of ill health?
Behaviour: Monitoring your hedgehog’s behaviour is important to be aware of your hedgehog’s individual behaviour. This makes it easier to be aware of when the behaviour your hedgehog is displaying is abnormal. It is common that your hedgehog will become lethargic when unwell. African Pygmy hedgehogs are nocturnal, but many owners have been known to keep their hogs up during the day and they become diurnal, like humans. This is more difficult for albinos are they are light sensitive. If your hedgehog is sleeping during the day and is usually nocturnal it is unlikely to be because of ill health.
Weight: The average weight for an African Pygmy Hedgehog is 250-300g. Hedgehogs will lose weight or gain weight due to ill health even if there are no other signs of ill health.
Temperature: The African Pygmy Hedgehog’s normal body temperature is 35.11oC (95.2 Fahrenheit) but anything between 35oC and 37oC is normal. Any different temperatures consult a vet. It is most likely a sign of infection.
Pulse: The normal pulse rate for African Pygmy Hedgehog’s is 180-280 beats per minute, during hibernation it can drop to as few as 20 beats per minute. Hibernation should be avoided at all costs!
Respiration: Respiration of an African Pygmy Hedgehog is 25-30 breaths per minute.
Urine & Faeces: A healthy stool will be long, round and almost the thickness of a pencil. The colour should be medium to dark brown. It shouldn’t be runny like diarrhoea; it should be reasonably firm and most. Green stool can be a sign of illness or stress. Stress can be caused by a new home or food change so always consider this before changing feed.
Eating & Drinking: A fully grown hedgehog should eat 1-3 tablespoons of food a day, this can be biscuits or fresh. Ideally the hedgehog should be fed twice daily as they have small stomachs and this ensures they have fresh food access. If the hedgehog is eating less or more food than usual or not drinking enough it can be a sign of ill health.
Movement: For a hedgehog movement should appear easy, stable and limp free. Any Swelling on the limbs is a sign there are problems.
Nose: The nose should be slightly moist, it should not be crusty, bubbly (with muscus) or show signs of discharge.
Mouth: The mouth should be clean and discharge free, if the hedgehog is anointing it will be foamy, and that is normal.
Lips, Gums, Teeth & Tongue: Lips should be cut free and gums should have a medium to dark pink colour. Teeth should be white and none should be missing. Tongue should be clean.
Eyes: Eyes should be round, bright and slightly raised. They should be discharge free and open.
Ears: Ears should be round and smooth, the skin shouldn’t be flaky, they should be discharge free, without cuts, rough edges or pieces missing.
Feet: feet should be soft and cut free, claws should not be over grown.
Genitals: Genitals should be clean and dry, they should have no discharge, swellings or redness to them. There should be no blood or discharge stuck to the genitals. If your hog has just had hoglets there may be some blood from the after birth but she should clean that up herself.
Quills: The quills should be even over the hedgehogs body without any bald patches. Baby hedgehogs quill between 8-12 weeks so quill loss may appear. This should be an even process and should not leave any bald patches.
Skin: Healthy skin should be smooth and flexible. Crusty or dry skin can be a sign of mites. There should also be no lumps.
Discharge can be due to multiple problems, but all usually are due to an infection, using a saline saltine to clean the eyes daily is essential until the discharge is gone. You should wash their eyes twice a day, each eye with a separate piece of cotton wool – this prevents spending the infection back and forth. You can also change the cotton wall after each wipe – depending how bad it is. This should usually go within a week. If the hedgehog shows signs of blindness, or still has discharge after a week go to a vets, it could be caused by sawdust scrapping on the eye. This can be used for ears, anus, penis and vaginal discharge as well.
Common conditions include; cancer, dental disease, heart disease, kidney failure, leg and foot injures, obesity, overgrown nails, quill loss (caused by mites) and respiratory problems.
Help! My hog won’t stop scratching!
This can be caused by dry skin or by mites. Don’t panic. First consider the possibility of mites; has your hog been outside, could other animals have brought them in? If not, it’s unlikely to be mites. Run a nice warm bath for your hog; ensure that you put in a stocking or tight with oats in. make sure it’s added to the bath. The oats naturally soothe the skin of the hog and will help rehydrate the skin. If this doesn’t help see a veterinarian to ensure that it is mites which are causing the issue, not a fungal infection. If it is mites, the hog will need treating and all the items in the enclosure need to be cleaned. Any other animals living with the hog should also be treated to ensure the infestation doesn’t reoccur.
Why is my hog losing quills and itching loads?
This can be down to multiple reasons, first you hog could be going through the first quilling, this is causes the hogs temperament to change as well, your hog may be more grumpy than usual. If the hog isn’t going through the quilling phase, then it could be a fungal infection. This can be treated by a vet, and the infection is unlikely pass to humans unless it is ringworm.
Claw trimming should be done roughly once a month. This is to ensure that the quick does grow too far down the nail and ensures that the claw doesn’t end up ingrown into the foot. This can cause infection and will require veterinary assistance.
Ear infections, also known as Otitis is commonly seen in hedgehogs. Clinical signs include scratching, discharge, head shaking and being unbalanced. At first sign of discharge use saline to clean the area, if symptoms worsen or others appear, contact a vet as your hog may need antibiotics or radiographs.
One of the more serious issues in hedgehogs now is obesity.
It is due to our kind hearts over feeding the hedgehogs or giving them a high fat diet. Another cause is lack of exercise; however any good breeder will say the hog needs a wheel. The importance of exercise is essential to be aware of as overweight hedgehogs can develop liver and cardiopulmonary disease. Then from the skin folds the hedgehogs can get dermatitis.
African Pygmy Hedgehog’s are also prone to respiratory diseases.
Many of them are caused by bacteria and viruses, such as Bordetella, Pasteurella and Cytomegalovirus. There is also a respiratory parasite, Capollaria. To diagnose these vets will require bloods, radiographs, tracheal/nasal cytology and culture. The treatment is usually antibiotics and supportive care which is provided by fluids and oxygen therapy.
African Pygmy Hedgehog’s are prone to develop cancer.
It usually occurs after they are 3 years old. Currently it is believed that a virus is to play for this. Diagnose includes bloods, radiographs and ultrasounds. These are used to get an overview of the hog’s health. Then a biopsy is performed to discover if it is malignant and determine the extent or stage of the disease. Sadly, there are no chemotherapy protocols for hedgehogs as of yet.
Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome
African Pygmy Hedgehog who shows signs of limited movement could have Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome is a progressive, neurological condition. It is inherited so many hedgehogs who are diagnosed with it or whose parents are found with it should not be bred from. It causes problems with the back legs, spine and muscles. When the hedgehog walks it will appear to wobble, hence the name of the condition. It usually becomes apparent around 18 months of age but can be seen up to 36 months of age but Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (WHS) can appear as early as 1 month old. The best way to help your hog is to use towels and other soft items to help keep your hog upright and comfortable. As the disease progresses you may need to help the hedgehog in digestion. When helping the hog to digest do not massage the stomach anti-clockwise, massage clockwise only. Food and water should be made easy for your hog to get to as your hog may lose complete use of its limbs. The hog may also lose the ability to keep warm and therefore will require heat lamps. Feed may need breaking down over time and soft foods may need to be given such as eggs. In the latter times, you may need to pipette your hog with water to ensure it is not getting dehydrated. At some point your hog will not be able to eat on its own and force feeding will be essential. However by this point more people have chosen to euthanize as their hogs quality of life is poor.
Copyright © 2012 Hello Hedgehog. All rights reserved.