• Ear Drainage Problems

    Written by Antigone Means-Burleson

    Sometimes hedgehogs will get a nasty accumulation of drainage at their ears. The first thing that you will need to check is the consistency. If it is granular, it is most likely to be mites. This may seem shocking, as the ear may be clear one day and filled the next, but mites can cause that. If you have any suspicion that mites may be involved, it's usually best to take hedgie to the vet right away to have the vet check for mites, and to treat if they are found.

    There is another type of drainage, more of a runny type of goo, and this is often caused by yeast infections. I had one hedgehog named Janaki who used to get a reoccurrence of this problem about 4 or 5 times a year. When this occurred, I first use a q-tip outside of the ear to clean the yucky stuff off of that area. Then my veterinarian had me use a 1cc syringe with peroxide in it to do the initial inner ear cleaning. Drip about half of the peroxide into each ear. It will foam, and hedgie may be uncomfortable. Later in the day, do the same thing with a half water/half vinegar solution. I will do one in the morning and one in the evening for a course of 3 treatments of each. It pretty much always clears up with this treatment.

    The important caution to remember is that when in doubt, always take your hedgie to a veterinarian. If hedgie appears to be having balance problem, then this is especially important, as ear infections can do permanent damage to the inner ear. If you suspect any kind of bacterial infection, you will need the vet to prescribe an antibiotic. If hedgie has more symptoms than just the goo from the ear (s), you'll need to vet to diagnose further as there could be polyps or cancer present. And, if the problem recurs (like with our Janaki), you'll want the vet to check to make sure that you are treating the correct problem. The vet may or may not be able to figure out why the problem recurs, but can make sure that you are giving the correct treatment to remedy the problem when it does.