Last Updated on November 1, 2022.


Illness Potential To Humans

  • Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
  • Any animal has the potential to transmit illness to humans, just like humans can spread contagious diseases to other humans.
  • Bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Clostridia  are all considered normal flora of a hedgehog’s digestive tract. Such bacteria may be shed in feces at any given point in time.
  • Hedgehogs are not known to carry any diseases dangerous to humans.
  • However, hedgehog feces does contain bacteria (including those mentioned above) so young children, the elderly, and others with compromised immune systems are at greater risk for potential problems.
  • Proper hand washing and cleaning practices are keys to preventing illness. Young children are prone to putting their hands in their mouth, which is also likely to increase the risk of potential problems.
  • Hedgehogs are cute and cuddly and it is tempting to kiss our sweet pet but kissing our pets does dramatically increase the risk of ingesting fecal bacteria.

Quick Reminder

  • Please wash your hands before and after handling your pet.
  • Do not wash pets or pet related items around food.
  • Remember: Pets poop. Small animals may walk in their poop. Poop has germs. Germs can make you sick. So please do not eat poop! 🙂

Contributors:  Gail Smith, Melissa Ramos

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