• Abnormal Behavior

    Why is my hedgehog sleepy, shaky, and cold to the touch?-
    The most common culprit here is a hibernation attempt. Hedgehogs often try to hibernate if the temperatures are too low, or the lighting cycles are not appropriate. Hibernation can be fatal if not treated rapidly. If you think your hedgehog is trying to hibernate, you should warm the hedgehog up as soon as possible. One very good way to do this is to place the hedgehog on your stomach under your shirt. Your body heat will quickly warm your hedgehog without making it uncomfortable. Another option is to place the hedgehog in a small box or carrier that is sitting halfway on a heating pad on low heat. This will help warm up your hedgehog, but make it possible for him or her to move off of the heated area if they get too warm. You should NOT put your hedgehog in warm water, because being wet will create more of a chill. It is important to correct the problem that caused your hedgehog to attempt to hibernate as well. Make sure the hedgehogs' cage is in an area that is somewhere between 72 and 75 degrees F. If the temperatures are in this range, and your hedgehog is still attempting to hibernate, check out the lighting in the area. It is necessary for hedgehogs to have light for about 12 hours per day. This can either be natural lighting or a lamp near the cage. Hedgehogs that are kept in areas that are too dark will attempt to hibernate and will have reduced activity levels, which can promote obesity.

    My hedgehog isn't walking right, what do I do?-
    First up, rule out hibernation. Put your fingers against the hedgehog's stomach. It should be warm, and not cool. Then, check for obvious wounds or swelling of the legs. Check carefully for hairs or strings wrapped around the foot or leg. If your hedgehog is warm to the touch, you find a wound, swelling, discoloration, or unusual shape, or are unable to find a cause, get your hedgehog to the vet immediately.

    My hedgehog pees and poops everywhere, what do I do?-
    Most likely your hedgehog is perfectly normal. Hedgehogs have very simple digestive tracts, which makes it impossible to hold their bowel movements for very long. They are especially likely to have a bowel movement while they are moving around. Babies are more prone to have frequent bowel and bladder movements than adults are.
    If your hedgehog is constantly dribbling small amounts of feces or urine, then this is a different matter. Your hedgehog may have an injury to the spinal column that is making it impossible for them to control the muscles that hold in the urine or feces. If you think this is what is going on, you should get your hedgehog to a vet as quickly as possible.

    My hedgehog isn't eating or drinking, what do I do?-
    Hedgehogs sometimes will go for short periods of time with reduced food and water consumption. If your hedgehog is acting otherwise normal, and the reduced intake lasts for less than 2 days, then it probably isn't anything to worry about. If your hedgehog is acting lethargic or otherwise off, or the reduced eating lasts for more than 2 days, you should see a vet.

    My hedgehog is having seizures, what do I do?-
    Get your hedgehog to a vet IMMEDIATELY. True seizures are never normal for a hedgehog, and should be addressed promptly. HOWEVER, self annointing, which is a normal but bizarre behavior, has occasionally been mistaken for a seizure.

    What causes my hedgehog to sneeze?-
    There can be many causes of sneezing in hedgehogs. If the environment or bedding is dusty, it can irritate the nasal linings. This is normally not frequently repeated, and usually goes away completely if the dust problem is solved. Repeated sneezing accompanied by excessive nasal discharge is usually sign of a respiratory infection, and must be treated by your vet. Sneezing or respiratory drainage can also be caused by cedar or insufficiently dried pine beddings. These beddings can contain oils that are capable of burning the respiratory tract of the hedgehog. Get the hedgehog off of these beddings IMMEDIATELY