Hedgehogs make fun little pets, but if you want your critter to provide you with companionship for a long time, you have to keep a close eye on his health. Unfortunately, that is a lot easier said than done.
In addition to scheduling appointments with your local vet, you should also keep an eye open for these common signs of good health and illness.
It all starts with the ability to recognize the signs of a healthy hedgehog. Healthy pets have a bright, alert expression, almost as if your little critter is inviting you for some playtime.
Hedgehogs have quite a bit of energy, especially considering their small size and prickly exterior, which means they should have a healthy appetite and firm stool. Any deviation from these signs and it’s probably time to schedule an appointment with a professional.
There are quite a few signs that your hedgehog isn’t feeling his best. It all starts with lethargy. Remember, a healthy hog has plenty of energy to play. Unfortunately, this also means that a sick pet is likely to lose his appetite and will very reluctantly move when he’s prodded.
Additional signs include watery eyes and loose stool. Paralysis and labored breathing are also indications that something is seriously wrong with your pet.
We mentioned this animal’s expression earlier because it’s such a good indication of overall health. Sick hedgehogs have a dull expression, not unlike the look you get on your face when you aren’t feeling well.
Common health issues
Knowing there might be something wrong with your prickly friend is one thing, but what do all those signs mean?
Hedgehogs are prone to skin mites and ear mites, which are usually accompanied by tired behavior and foul odors.
Respiratory infections are also fairly common in hedgehogs and they present with many of the symptoms listed above. Fortunately, this ailment is fairly easy to treat with the right attention from a professional.
Wobbly hedgehog syndrome is also a possibility, and it causes your pet to become wobbly, just like the name implies. Unfortunately, there is no cure for this disease, but there are some things your vet can do to make life more enjoyable for your little critter as he ages.
No matter what your pet’s symptoms, you should always schedule an appointment with your local clinic about pets care!