Different Types of Hedgehog Health Problems and how to deal with these

hedgehog care

Hedgehogs are adorable and fascinating creatures that make great pets for many people. They are low maintenance, unique, and have charming personalities. However, like any other pet, hedgehog care is important as they can experience health problems. In this hedgehog care guide we will explore the different types of hedgehog health problems, their signs, diagnosis, and treatment.

What are some of the common signs and diseases of pet hedgehogs?

Pet hedgehogs are susceptible to various diseases, some more common than others in other species. Some of the more common conditions that affect hedgehog health are:

Internal and external parasites

Hedgehogs are susceptible to a range of parasites, both internal and external. Mite infestations are particularly common in pet hedgehogs and can cause intense itching, skin irritation, and hair loss. Ear mites are common and can lead to ear infections, head shaking, and scratching. In addition to internal parasites, hedgehogs can get fleas, ticks, and lice.


Ringworm is a fungal-infection that can affect hedgehogs. It is characterized by circular, hairless patches on the skin, which can be itchy and inflamed. Ringworm can be transmitted to other animals and humans, so it is essential to seek prompt treatment if your hedgehog is diagnosed.


Hedgehogs, like any other animal, can develop cancer. Mammary gland tumors are particularly common in female hedgehogs, while squamous cell carcinomas are more common in male hedgehogs. These tumors can be fatal if left un-treated.


Hedgehogs can develop pneumonia, a lower respiratory tract infection caused by bacteria or viruses. Signs of pneumonia in hedgehogs include difficulty breathing, wheezing, coughing, and nasal discharge.

Gastrointestinal disease

Gastrointestinal disease is a common problem in pet hedgehogs. Symptoms of gastrointestinal disease in obese hedgehogs include diarrhea, decreased appetite, weight loss, and lethargy. Hedgehogs can also develop hepatic lipidosis, commonly known as fatty liver disease, a potentially fatal condition caused by fat accumulation in the liver.

Obesity Hedgehogs can also suffer from obesity, leading to various health problems like heart disease, joint problems, and diabetes. Overfeeding and a few of exercises are the primary causes of obesity in hedgehogs.

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How are hedgehog diseases diagnosed?

Diagnosing hedgehog diseases can be challenging as hedgehogs are prey animals and tend to hide their illnesses until it becomes severe. However, there are some ideas that pet owners can look out for, such as a few changes in behavior, appetite, and activity level. Some specific tests that can help diagnose hedgehog diseases include:

  • Fecal analysis
  • Blood work
  • Skin scrapings
  • X-rays
  • Ultrasound

If you notice any illness ideas in your hedgehog, it is essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Early diagnosis, treatment and hedgehog pet care can help to prevent serious health complications and improve the chances of a full recovery.

How are hedgehog diseases treated?

The treatment for hedgehog diseases depends on the specific disease and its severity. In many cases, medication and supportive hedgehog care is necessary. For example, hedgehogs with mite infestations may need medication to kill the mites and alleviate itching, while those with gastrointestinal disease may require medication to regulate their digestive system.

If your hedgehog is diagnosed with cancer, surgery may be necessary to remove the tumor. In severe cases, chemotherapy may also be recommended. Pneumonia can be treated with antibiotics, while obesity can be managed with diet and exercise.

Prevention is always the best approach to hedgehog health problems. Pet owners can take steps to prevent many common hedgehog illnesses, such as providing a healthy diet, maintaining a clean and hygienic living environment, and seeking prompt veterinary care at the first sign of illness.

hedgehog care guide

Types of Diseases

Hedgehogs can experience various health problems that fall into different categories of diseases. Here are some of the few common types of hedgehog diseases:

Cardiovascular and Hematologic Diseases of Hedgehogs

Cardiovascular and hematologic diseases are conditions affecting the heart and blood-vessels, such as heart disease, anaemia, and bleeding disorders. Signs of cardiovascular and hematologic diseases in hedgehogs may include weakness, lethargy, and difficulty breathing.

Gastrointestinal and Hepatic Diseases of Hedgehogs

Gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases include conditions that affect the digestive system and liver, such as diarrhea, constipation, and fatty liver disease. Signs of gastrointestinal and hepatic diseases in hedgehogs may include decreased appetite, weight loss, and lethargy.

Integumentary Diseases of Hedgehogs

Integumentary diseases include skin, hair, and nail conditions, such as mite infestations, ringworm, and cutaneous mast cell tumors. Signs of integumentary diseases in hedgehogs may include hair loss, itching, and skin lesions.

Neoplasia of Hedgehogs

Neoplasia refers to the abnormal-growth of cells, which can lead to tumors and cancer. Hedgehogs can develop a range of tumors, including mammary gland tumors, squamous cell carcinomas, and oral squamous cell carcinomas.

Neurologic Diseases of Hedgehogs

Neurologic diseases refer to conditions that affect the nervous system, such as wobbly hedgehog syndrome (WHS), a genetic disorder that affects the hedgehog’s ability to move and balance. Signs of neurologic diseases in hedgehogs may include tremors, weakness, and unsteady gait.

Nutritional Disorders of Hedgehogs

Nutritional disorders are conditions resulting from a poor diet, such as obesity and malnutrition. Signs of nutritional disorders in hedgehogs may include weight gain or loss, decreased appetite, and lethargy.

Ocular Diseases of Hedgehogs

Ocular diseases refer to conditions that affect the eyes, such as cataracts, glaucoma, and conjunctivitis. Signs of ocular diseases in hedgehogs may include redness, discharge, and vision changes.

Oral and Dental Diseases of Hedgehogs

Oral and dental diseases include conditions that affect the teeth, gums, and mouth, such as dental disease and abscesses. Signs of oral and dental diseases in hedgehogs may include drooling, decreased appetite, and difficulty eating.

Reproductive Diseases of Hedgehogs

Reproductive diseases refer to conditions that affect the reproductive system, such as uterine infections and testicular tumors. Signs of reproductive diseases in hedgehogs may include lethargy, decreased appetite, and abnormal discharge.

Respiratory Diseases of Hedgehogs

Respiratory diseases refer to conditions that affect the respiratory system, gastrointestinal diseases such as pneumonia and upper respiratory infections. Signs of respiratory diseases in hedgehogs may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, and nasal discharge.

Urinary Diseases of Hedgehogs

Urinary diseases refer to conditions that affect the urinary system, such as bladder infections and bladder stones. Signs of urinary diseases in hedgehogs may include straining to urinate, blood in urine, and decreased appetite.

Zoonoses of Hedgehogs Zoonoses refer to diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans. Hedgehogs can carry various zoonotic diseases, such as Salmonella and ringworm. It is essential to practice good hygiene when handling hedgehogs and to seek prompt medical attention if your suspect you have been exposed to a zoonotic disease from wild hedgehogs.

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Hedgehog care 101 – By understanding the signs, diagnosis, and treatment of common hedgehog diseases, listed in this hedgehog care guide, pet owners can provide the best possible care for their hedgehogs. Regular veterinary check-ups, a healthy diet, and a clean living environment can help prevent many hedgehog illnesses and ensure a happy and healthy life for these creatures.


What are the signs of bad health in hedgehogs?

Signs of bad health in hedgehogs may include loss of appetite, lethargy, weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, skin problems such as flakiness, redness, scabs, respiratory problems, abnormal or noisy, abnormal or noisy breathing, discharge from the eyes or nose, and changes in behavior or activity levels. Additionally, if you notice your hedgehog is hunching up, not moving as quickly, or seems to be in pain, it may be a sign of an underlying health issue. It’s important to seek veterinary care if you suspect your hedgehog is unwell.

What diseases can hedgehogs carry?

Hedgehogs can carry various diseases, such as Salmonella, ringworm, mites, fleas, and ticks. Handling hedgehogs properly and practicing good hygiene to reduce the risk of contracting these diseases is important. It’s also recommended to regularly seek veterinary care for your pet hedgehog to ensure they stay healthy.

What are the symptoms of hedgehog flukes?

Hedgehog flukes can cause symptoms such as weight loss, diarrhea, dehydration, and lethargy in affected hedgehogs. The presence of eggs or adult flukes in the feces or on the skin of infected hedgehogs may also be observed. Prompt veterinary care is important if hedgehog flukes are suspected.

What are the signs of tumors in hedgehogs?

Some signs of tumors in hedgehogs may include lumps or bumps under the skin, difficulty moving or walking, changes in behavior or appetite, and difficulty breathing. If you suspect your hedgehog has a tumor, you must take them to a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Why are European hedgehogs endangered?

European hedgehogs are considered endangered due to a combination of factors, including habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation, as well as increased predation by domestic animals and road mortality. In addition, pesticides and other chemicals have reduced the availability of food sources, such as insects and earthworms, which are essential for hedgehog survival. Climate change and disease also pose a threat to hedgehog populations. As a result, conservation efforts are necessary to protect and restore hedgehog habitats and to raise awareness about the importance of hedgehogs and their role in maintaining healthy ecosystems.

What is the link between bacterial infection and cancer? There is a link between bacterial infection and certain types of cancer, such as squamous cell carcinoma. In some cases, chronic bacterial infections can lead to inflammation and DNA damage, which can increase the risk of cancer development. Additionally, certain bacterial strains have been identified as carcinogenic, meaning they can directly cause cancer. However, not all bacterial infections are linked to cancer, and more research is needed to understand the relationship between bacterial infections and cancer fully.


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