Death is an unfortunate reality that every owner will have to deal with at some point with their pet. So, when your Hedgehog is in his last days, it’s only natural that you start looking for ways to provide him with some comfort in those last few days or weeks, but how do you comfort a dying Hedgehog? So, I did some thorough research, and here is what I found out.
To comfort a dying Hedgehog, make sure that he has a quiet sleeping spot at the right temperature. Encourage him to drink water, provide high moisture food if he refuses water. Some dying Hedgehogs enjoy being handled by their owners, while others want some alone time. Visit the vet, if necessary.
Identifying the signs of a dying Hedgehog and taking the necessary steps to comfort your pet is crucial for making your pet’s last days pleasant.
Now let us dive deeper into the topic. This is important as when the last days of your pet approach, it is our responsibility to ensure they are as comfortable as possible until they are ready to go.
6 Ways To Make Your Dying Hedgehog Comfortable
Hedgehogs are kept as pets all across the globe. They make a special place in their owner’s heart as they offer us love, company, and many wonderful memories. However, the sad part is that their lives come to an end like every other living being.
A few years back, I got my first Hedgehog. I thoroughly loved every bit of it. However, seeing him in his last days was very difficult for me. However, I knew he needed me the most then. Thus, I provided them with as much comfort as possible.
There are six major issues that you must take care of to keep your beloved Hedgehog comfortable in his last days:
- Keep Them At An Ideal Temperature
- Make Sure That They Are Hydrated
- Provide Them With A Comfortable Sleeping Spot
- Try To Keep Them Stress-Free
- Make Them Feel Affectionate
- Try To Manage Their Pain
Let us dive deeper into these issues and understand the necessary issues that we must consider to comfort our pet in his last days.
Keep Them At An Ideal Temperature
As Hedgehogs get older or are sick, they may struggle to regulate their body temperature. If they get too cold, they may go into a state of hibernation. On the other hand, they get too hot; they may suffer from heat stress or heat stroke.
The optimal temperature for Hedgehogs is 70°F to 77 °F (21°C to 25 °C). Anything above 82.4°F (28°C) and below 64.4°F (18°C) can be fatal and cause distress.
How To Keep Them Warm?
Keeping your Hedgehogs warm can be challenging, especially if you live in an area where temperatures can fall below freezing point.
So, I have collected some of the best tips up my sleeves to share with you all so that you can keep your Hedgehogs warm when needed:
- You can consider adding a heating source in your home. It can either be an electric heater or a wood stove or any other alternative. It can help to maintain a steady temperature for your Hedgehogs.
- Hay and paper bedding are excellent in absorbing body heat and maintaining it, which is a must to keep your Hedgehogs warm.
- You can consider adding some heating pads into the cage. Heating pads usually need a microwave to heat up, which can then be placed in the cage.
- You can cover your pet’s cage from the front side with some old blanket overnight so that the heat remains in and cold air remains out.
How To Keep Them Cool?
Keeping our Hedgehogs is extremely important as they are prone to heatstroke. Here are a few steps you can take to keep your pet cool:
- You must keep supplying or changing the water every few hours will encourage them to drink more, and thus, they will remain hydrated and cool.
- Feeding watery veggies like cucumber, zucchini, melons, etc. are excellent ways to keep up with hydration and stay cool. However, portion control is the key.
- If your Hedgehog enjoys a gentle mist spray, then give them one. Misting cold water helps in lowering the temperature of their body and is often an excellent way to keep them cool.
- Covering the cage of your Hedgehog with a cold, damp towel often helps to remove excess heat from the cage.
- Adding a self-cooling mat into the cage is a luxury for your Hedgehogs. If the temperature of your Hedghog rises, then you should consider adding one into their enclosure.
- Using a fan to create a flow of air can help to keep your Hedgehogs cool. However, make sure the fan doesn’t blow directly on them.
Make Sure That They Are Well Hydrated
Loss of appetite and thirst is one of the first signs that you will notice when your Hedgehog is approaching his last days.
Although Hedgehogs do not need huge quantities of food to survive, lack of water can lead to health problems and cause a painful death.
Typically, an adult Hedgehog should be able to consume between 30-60 milliliters of water each day. Therefore, if your pet is dehydrated, please do not serve them with water directly.
Doing this will only dilute the already-reduced amount of minerals, salts, and sugars in your Hedgehog’s body, making the situation worse.
You must make sure that you do not force the entire content of the syringe into your Hedgehog’s mouth in one go. Otherwise, you run the risk that you will force fluid into his lungs, which is likely to be fatal.
Also, if your Hedgehog becomes moderate to severely dehydrated, take them to your veterinarian straight away. They may need to be hospitalized and be given intravenous (IV) fluids.
Provide Them With A Comfortable Sleeping Spot
As your dear Hedgehog approaches his last days, you will see a visible change in their behavior. They will tend to be lethargic, sleep more than usual, and always try to seek solitude. Rest and sleep help our little ones to preserve the little energy that is left with them.
It is our duty to make them feel comfortable while they are resting. The best option is to provide them with a peaceful environment. A clean, dim, and noise-less sleeping quarters is the ideal choice.
Please do not keep them in an area that has a high footfall. Instead, I would recommend you move their enclosure to a different corner of your home where there is less movement.
Also, sick or dying Hedgehogs need to be in a warmer environment than healthy Hedgehogs. Therefore, make sure that you keep the area warm. You can even consider using a heating pad or a heater. However, please do not end up overdoing it.
Try To Keep Them Stress-Free
Any stressful situation will not let our Hedgehogs rest at all. So if your pet is unwell, it is important to keep make sure that you do everything in your ability to keep your Hedgehog stress-free.
There are a lot of things that can easily lead to stress in Hedgehogs. Some of them include loud noises, temperature fluctuations, and excessive handling. Sometimes the presence of other pets in the same room can even stress them.
Listed below are some of the signs that will tell you that your Hedgehog is under stress:
- Your Hedgehog spends most of the time hiding
- Your Hedgehog is unwilling to eat or drink
- Your Hedgehog prefers to stay alone
- Your Hedgehog is unusually aggressive
Being prey animals, Hedgehogs get stressed out pretty quickly. Also, they have the ability to hide their pain till it gets worse. Therefore, if your Hedgehog looks sick or unwell, it is best to keep them stress-free to help them recover.
Make Them Feel Affectionate
Although Hedgehogs are solitary animals and prefer to stay alone most of the time, they may want to seek comfort and warmth from their human companions when they feel weak.
On the other hand, some Hedgehogs still wish to seek solitude. Do not try to hold your Hedgehog forcefully. There are chances that you will end up being bitten by them. However, you must understand that they want to spend some time alone.
Whatever your Hedgehog wishes, whether it is your companionship or solitude, you must respect their wishes. If your Hedgehog does not like being touched or petted, all you must do is stay close to them at all times and keep a check on their health.
Try To Manage Their Pain
It is important to manage the pain of our Hedgehogs in those last days. The problem here is that Hedgehogs never vocalize their pain. They can hide their sufferings till it gets worse.
Therefore, I would advise you not to give any medication to your Hedgehog unless a qualified exotic vet has prescribed it. The vet will make sure that your pet gets the correct medication to alleviate their pain and make them feel comfortable.
How Can You Tell A Hedgehog Is Dying?
Although the symptoms of each Hedgehog dying is unique and varies depending on whether the animal is dying from old age or illness, some similar behavior patterns may mean the end is near. However, with early treatment, your pet may be able to make a full recovery.
Some of the signs that indicate your Hedgehogs is dying includes:
- Loss Of Appetite
- Extreme Fatigue/ Loss Of Energy
- Change In Body Vitals
- Difficulty In Breathing
- Discharge From Eye, Mouth & Nose
- Tumors And Cancer
- Inability To Curl Up
- Weird Noises
- Loss Of Bladder And Bowel Control
Recognizing the signs that your Hedgehog is dying will allow you and your family to prepare. You will be able to make arrangements for their final days, whether you let your pet pass away naturally or choose humane euthanasia.
Also Read: 10 Signs That Show Your Hedgehog Is Dying
What To Do With A Dead Hedgehog?
If your pet Hedgehog has passed away or you have found a dead Hedgehog, you might be confused as to what to do now. The best option is to bury the animal or compost him, depending upon the laws of your state. Unfortunately, not all states allow you to do this.
The second option is to contact your local animal control or a vet. You can even contact the animal help group. They will help you with the process, according to your preference. However, you will be a disposal fee to pay. Therefore, you need to be prepared for the same.