Hedgehog veterinary care

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Rhode island based/ not far traveled

Every hedgehog owner should consult with a veterinarian and provide regular veterinary care to their hedgehog.

  

Riverside animal hospital- 

401-433-2070

815 willett ave,  Riverside RI 


The Odd Pet Vet- 

781-682-4878

500 Columbian ST ,Weymouth MA


Ocean State Veterinary Specialists (routine and EMERGENCY care)- 

401-886-6787

1480 south county trail , East Greenwich RI


Lincoln Animal Hospital- 

401-725-7387

207 Front street, Lincoln 


Always have veterinary information on hand

Always keep the names and numbers of hedgehog treating veterinarians handy , you never know when an emergency will occur.

   Many people often turn to internet social media sites for help during an emergency illness or injury. Please don't do that. Asking advice from strangers over the internet will never replace actual treatment by a veterinarian. In fact , using unproven treatments from internet strangers could be very dangerous to your hedgehog. 

   I totally understand that veterinary care is expensive , but it's vital for your animal's wellbeing.

      If you had a massive infection or broke your leg you wouldn't post about it asking what to do , you'd go to a doctor. Please give that same ethical treatment to your hedgehog. 

   Hedgehogs are living, breathing, feeling beings. They feel pain and discomfort just as we do. 

     Its always a great idea to begin saving money for emergency and routine medical care for your Hedgehog. That way in a crisis you won't have to choose between paying your rent and saving your hedgehog's life.

      There are also a few insurance companies that offer health insurance for hedgehogs . policies cost an average of 12$ monthly and can prove to be  a lifesaving investment should you experience a medical emergency.

   Two companies I have used are Nation Wide and Geico Embrace



Common conditions in hedgehogs that require treatment

First, a disclaimer

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I am NOT a veterinarian. The information here is for entertainment purposes only, it is not intended as a substitute or replacement for veterinary care. Again, I am NOT a veterinarian.If you think your hoggo is suffering from any medical condition, please take him/her to a licensed veterinarian. None of the hedgehogs photoed are suffering from the listed medical conditions, their photos are only included because they're adorable.

    The conditions listed are the ones most frequently encountered when keeping hedgehogs. Just like all pets, hoggos, can get ill. Some good preventative measures can be taken to decrease the chances of your hog getting ill; ALWAYS wash your hands before and after handling your hoggo, 

Always keep a clean environment for your hedgehog, Feed a healthy diet, attend routine vet visits so a medical professional can monitor your hedgehog's health, Offer only clean fresh water and keep water bottles and bowls clean.

Mites

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Mites are an external parasite that feed off of a hedgehog. Signs of a mite infestation include; extremely dry, red and flaking skin. The hedgehog will scratch chronically and obviously be in discomfort. Common veterinary treatments for this condition include; Revolution topical treatment or Ivermectin topical treatment.

Urinary Tract Infection

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Hoggos, just like humans, can suffer from the inconvenience of a UTI. In hedgehogs though, the condition can become much more severe in a short amount of time. The most common symptoms of UTI are frequent urination, "dribbling" urine, and more predominate blood in the urine. 

The most common and effective treatment is antibiotics.  

Oral Cancer

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Squamous cell carcinoma is a cancer commonly diagnosed in hedgehogs. Oral cancer can progress extremely fast in hedgehogs. Symptoms of oral cancer include frequent oral discomfort such as licking and pawing at the face, decrease in appetite due to inability to eat solids, and visual oral tumors. Checking the inside of your hedgehog's mouth is a great way to catch any changes that may occur. Unfortunately treatments for oral cancer in hedgehogs usually do very little in life span expansion and may only temporarily decrease the pain associated with this condition. Due to the common occurrence of oral cancers, it's recommended to purchase only pedigreed animals from lines with not heavy generational diagnosis of such cancers. Getting a hedgehog with a pedigree is not a guarantee that your hoggo will not get cancer, but its a great precautionary step! Cancer is one of the most common causes of hedgehog deaths ( as reported by owners who took part in a 2017 survey), second to untreated bacterial infections.

Staph infection

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Staph infection is a bacterial infection that can present it's self as red open sores. These sores most commonly appear on the face. The open sores may scab over and even have a yellow crusty appearance. Do not try to treat this condition at home. Topical antibacterial OTC products will only mask the infection by reducing physical symptoms. Your hoggo may look to be improving on the outside, but may be riddled with a worsening infection internally. Staph infection is fairly common in hedgehogs and appears most in animals that are cohabited, allowed to roam outdoors, or kept on dirty bedding. Animals who have primary disorders such as cancer or a physical injury may contract staph as a secondary infection due to a decrease immune system function.

Treatment for Staph bacteria infection is a prescription of antibiotics. It is very important to finish all antibiotics given to you by your vet. Staph is a pesky bacteria that is becoming increasingly antibiotic resistant due to premature discontinuation of prescribed treatments. 

Strep Infection

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Strep is another bacteria that can effect hedgehogs, it can present it's self as red sores on the body, similar to staph infection. 

Be sure to seek treatment from a licensed veterinarian rather than attempting any at home treatments. Always finish the full course of antibiotics prescribed by your vet.

note: there are many different types of strep bacteria and the variety of strep that effects hogs topically is different from the oral strep humans can suffer from.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

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The best way you can prevent (most) illness within your hoggo is to provide sufficient care.

nutrition plays a super important role in maintaining hog health. Be sure to be offering the best quality foods possible, including bugs.

Be sure your hoggo is kept at appropriate temperatures. cooler temps can weaken the immune system and cause illness. 

Keep your hoggo dry. A humid cage can lead to both bacterial and fungal infections. Fungal infections are a nudge to treat most of the time and are best prevented!

Keep your hedgehog's cage clean. No build up of spilled food, water, or feces should be allowed to sit in the cage for long periods of time.

Reduce your hog's stress. Keep the cage away from other animals, out or the reach of children, and away from the noisiest parts of your home. Prolonged stress can lead to medical issues.