Like any pet, hedgehogs deserve all the love and care an owner can offer. So when the little one begins to act differently do not panic. There are many signs to tell if a hedgehog is not feeling well. Here are a few tips to find out whether the pet needs to seek medical care or just needs some rest.
Crying or Squealing
Hedgehogs have emotions and feelings just like humans. So when they are scared they will make it known. Their discomfort is shown through crying or squealing. This is either a sign of distress or simply discomfort. Try to protect the hedgehog by finding a quiet place for it to relax. Do not confuse crying with a scream. If a hedgehog is in dire pain it will begin to scream. This is not normal and it will need to seek medical care if it does not settle down.
One of the first signs of abnormality in a hedgehog is dehydration. It’s vital to know the signs of dehydration because it usually derives from other factors. It will be hard to notice if the hedgehog is drinking water but there are ways the body shows when it needs fluids. Brushing a hand through the fur is a sure way to tell. If the fur does not spring back immediately then it is dehydrated.
Before administering any fluid to the hedgehog the body must be warmed. Bringing the body temperature to its normal value will guarantee the safe digestion of the fluid. However, if this sounds too complicated take the hedgehog to a veterinarian who will help.
Infection or Normal Fecal Track
When hibernation ends hedgehogs will purge the entirety of their system. This might look like their stomach is upset when it’s a natural occurrence but should not last more than 24 hours. Once the system is fully restored then the hedgehog will be back to a normal solid diet. If it does not continue with its diet or continue to produce green feces then it may have an infection.
The sure way to cure an infection is through seeking veterinary care. They will prescribe antibiotics and may administer fluids to keep the pet hydrated.
Symptoms of a Sick Hedgehog
Sometimes a hedgehog will have symptoms that are the causes of an underlying disease. The only way to help the pet is to understand what is a symptom and what is normal. Here is a list of what to look for. If the hedgehog is experiencing any of these symptoms seek veterinary care.
- Nasal discharge, coughing, and excessive sneezing may be the cause of a respiratory infection.
- Diarrhea lasting longer than 24h could be the cause of an infection and will need antibiotics.
- Loss of hair or bites on the skin may be the cause of mites which can cause other diseases carried by the pests. Seek parasite prevention and protection with a vet.
- Spinal issues may be the cause of ringworm. Other symptoms include hair loss or flaking of the skin. Seep medical advice if the hedgehog shows these signs.
It’s terrifying knowing a pet is sick. The only way to stay positive is knowing the signs and having a plan in case they show. This will lead to a happy and healthy hedgehog life.