It is always best to be prepared in advance, you should have a trusted vet, one you can seek help from even on weekends, off hours and holidays. Few vets have training on treating hedgehogs, so be sure that the vet you choose has experience with hedgehogs. If your hedgehog is sick, the less you handle it the better. Be sure your hedgehog is kept warm, especially when taking it to the vet. Preheat your car and place a hot water bottle under a towel or blanket in your travelling cage, carrier or whatever it is you are taking your hedgehog in.
When to take your hedgehog to the vet?
Vets can be expensive, so lots of hedgehog owners are reluctant to take their beloved pets to the vet in fear of the high bills they get even when there isn’t a serious problem with the hedgehog.
Hedgehogs don’t usually show signs of illness until they are very sick. So if you suspect there is something wrong with your hedgehog, you should visit the vet.
If your hedgehog is showing any of the following, you should go to the vet as soon as possible.
- Behavior changes.
- Limping or collapsing
- If your hedgehog has swallowed household cleaners or other potentially toxic items.
- Appears to have a broken limb.
- Hedgehog is walking stiffly.
- Has a weird lump or bump.
- Has an ingrown quill that looks infected.
- Hedgehog is having seizures
- Hedgehog has dry, flake skin and/or is losing quills. Your hedgehog might have mites or a fungal infection.
- Hedgehog has a runny nose and/or discharge from eyes. This could be a upper respiratory infection and is fatal if gone untreated.
- Hedgehog has sticky green poop.
Try These Before Taking Your Hedgehog To The Vet
Some problems may not need an immediate trip to the vet.
- Hedgehog hasn’t eaten for 24 hours. Sometimes hedgehogs go on a hunger strike for a day or two, sometimes three, then eat normally. If the hunger strike continues for longer than that or there is noticeable weight lose, get to the vet as soon as possible. If the hedgehog hasn’t drunk water for 24 hours, you need to take him/her to the vet.
- Hedgehog is cool to the touch or unresponsive. Try warming up your hedgehog by placing him/her on a heating mat, with a blanket between it and the hedgehog, or using a hot water bottle. Your hedgehog might be trying to hibernate. If this doesn’t work within an hour, get to the vet right away.
- Hedgehog has ruffled ears. Put some lotion on your hedgehog’s ears at least once everyday for a few days. If this doesn’t work, you should take your hedgehog to see a vet.
- Hedgehog has loose green poop. It might be mild gastrointestinal distress. Has your hedgehog eaten a new food in the last 24 hours? It the problem last for more than a day or two, take your hedgehog to the vet.