Signs Of Good Health

Sep 2, 2013 by

The following is a list of things to observe both in selecting a hedgehog as a pet and as a way to identify potential problems with your pet. Eyes Check it’s eyes to make sure they are bold, clear, round, and bright. The eyes should be wide open. The eyes should not be watery or sunken or dull. They should not have any discharge or matting of the fur around the eye. Nose The hedgehog’s nose should be moist and clean. It should not be dry, bubbly, or running. Keep in mind hedgehogs have an excellent sense of smell so that nose is likely to be busy sniffing you or the air to check out it’s surrounds. Ears Your hedgehog’s ears should be clean with no drainage or crustiness of the fur at the base of the ear. There should be no flaking or “finger-like” projections on the outer part of the ear. Some hedgehog babies may have ear damage that occurs during birth or at a young age. As long as the wound has healed a less than perfectly shaped ear should not affect its quality of life or health status. Skin and Quills Check the skin to make sure there are no: abrasions open wounds lumps bumps excessive dryness Missing quills or bare patches may be a sign of mites. Some colors of babies may appear to have thinner, less dense quills and...

Hedgehog Longevity

Jun 11, 2013 by

Natural Longevity Hedgehogs typically live two to three years in the wild.  The most common cause of death in the wild is due to predation rather than age. Various resources report a relatively wide range in the maximum life expectancy of hedgehogs kept as pets. Hedgehogs can live up to 10 years in captivity, but those hedgehogs are few and far between.  A 10-year-old hedgehog would be as rare as 104-year-old grandma. Some believe the hybridization of the Algerian and White Bellied species resulted in a more resilient hedgehog that lived longer.   After several generations, hybrid offspring’s longevity began to more closely compare to the original bloodlines.  This is called the Founder’s Effect and can be seen in other animals as well. A 5-year-old hedgehog is about 76 in people years, so if your hedgehog lives 5-7 years it has lived a full life, but five years is longer than the national average. Hedgehog Age in Calendar Years Equivalent Human Years 2 months 10 years 6 months 20 years 14 months 30 years 3 years 40 years 3 years and six months 50 years 3 years and 8 months 60 years 4 years and 2 months 70 years 5 years and 4 months 80 years 6 years and 2 months 90 years 7 years and 8 months 100 years *adapted from Laura Ledt’s website     Average Life Expectancy of Pets According to the...

Monitoring Hedgehog Health

Jun 11, 2013 by

Pet hedgehogs depend on us to provide quality care throughout their life and to recognize any potential health concerns.  You should visually inspect your hedgehog everyday while handling your hedgie and look for any signs of change or concerns.  An observant owner may detect potential problems while they are still treatable, thus ensuring greater health and longevity of their pet.  Visual Inspection Check its eyes to make sure they are bold, clear, round, and bright.  The eyes should be wide open. The eyes should not be watery or sunken, dull, or have any discharge. The hedgehog’s nose should be moist and clean.  It should not be dry, bubbly, or running. Your hedgehog’s ears should be clean with no drainage, crustiness, or flaking on the outer part of the ear. Check the skin to make sure there are no abrasions, lumps, bumps, excessive dryness, bare patches, or signs of mites.  The underbelly fur should not be matted. The hedgehog’s body should be filled out through the back and sides. Some hedgehogs have a streamlined appearance, but their skin should not be loose and they should be filled out below the ribs. Other hedgehogs are plumper, but they should not be so fat that they cannot easily roll into a ball. Breathing should be regular with no wheezing or signs of stress.  Do not confuse the normal hedgehog huffing for the rattle of a respiratory illness. Notice the amount of food and water consumption from the previous night and has the hedgehog gained or lost a significant...

Weight Log & Size

Jun 11, 2013 by

The average hedgehog weighs approximately ½ to 1-¼ pounds, and most are the size of a softball or slightly larger when they are rolled into a ball. Some adult hedgehogs have a slightly larger build and can weigh up to 2 pounds (the size of a small guinea pig) without being fat. Most hedgehogs are 6-8 inches in length, but it is hard to accurately and consistently measure a hedgehog because their body changes shape when it is balled up, relaxed, sitting or moving. One way to keep track of your hedgehog’s health is to keep a weekly weight log. Around 6 months of age your hedgehog should have reached it’s adult size. If an adult hedgehog’s weight changes too much in a single week then you should find out why. If it is a steady weight gain over a couple of weeks in an adult hedgehog then perhaps you should reduce the treats to avoid an obese pet in the near future. A weight loss (when not on a diet) can be a sign of an underlying illness and a veterinarian should evaluate your hedgehog. When searching for reasons of a weight loss please keep in mind that a hedgehog is quite capable of “losing” around 20 or 30 grams in a single trip to the potty. It can also “gain” just as much if you allow it to eat it’s dinner before...