If your Hedgehog started drinking a lot of water all of a sudden, then it could be a valid concern. But what does it mean? Why is your Hedgehog drinking so much? Are they ill? As a fellow owner, I had all these doubts in my mind as well. So, I did some research, and here is what I have learned.
Increased water intake can be a sign of some health conditions in your Hedgehog. Diabetes, UTI, and overheating are a few most common causes. Increased water consumption may also be seen with dehydration. They may even drink more if they’re very hot, bored, have eaten certain foods, or have recently exercised.
If your Hedgehog is suddenly very thirsty for a day or so, it’s usually not a cause for concern. On the other hand, if he has started consistently draining the water bowl and hitting up the toilets, however, and it has been going on for more than a few days, then it’s time for a checkup with your veterinarian.
Now, let us discuss in-depth about excessive thirst in Hedgehogs, other symptoms, and problems accompanying the same. Finally, we will also look at what causes excessive thirst and what we can do about it.
What Causes Excessive Thirst In Hedgehogs?
Several factors result in excessive thirst in Hedgehog. First, we will discuss some of the common causes that lead to such behavior in Hedgehogs. But, before that, there are a few essential points that you must keep in mind.
Each Hedgehog consumes a different amount of water. Some Hedgehogs consume as little as 20 ml of water, while others can even consume up to 70 ml of water in a day.
Certain factors such as the Hedgehog’s age, sex, and body composition also play an essential role in deciding the amount of water consumption. Listed below are the seven major causes of excessive thirst in Hedgehogs:
Dehydration is one of the significant causes that induce our Hedgehogs to drink more water. Owners often overlook dehydration.
There are several reasons that can lead to dehydration in Hedgehogs. In such circumstances, it is not unusual for them to drink excess water. Some of the common signs of dehydration in Hedgehogs include:
- Weight loss
- Dark colored urine
- Sunken eyes
- Swollen tongue
Furthermore, if you are suspicious about your Hedgehog’s health, take them to a vet. You must not show any carelessness when it comes to the health of your Hedgehog.
The ideal temperature for Hedgehog ranges from 74°F-76°F (23°C- 24°C). If you live where weather conditions are extreme, you might need to look into some source or some other alternative method to stabilize the temperature around their enclosure.
Hedgehogs cannot tolerate extreme summer heat as well. They need a stable living environment to live a healthy and happy life. Sometimes, high temperatures even result in heat stroke in Hedgehogs.
In addition, cool water can also help your Hedgehog to maintain their body temperature. Also, cold water cools a Hedgehog’s body temperature internally.
Overeating and heat strokes can prove to be deadly for your Hedgehog. Therefore, you must provide relief to your pet in one way or another.
To cool your Hedgehog, you can also try some of the common ideas such as misting cold water, placing a chilled bottle wrapped in some towel or fleece.
Hedgehog owners need to be mindful of the dietary needs of the Hedgehogs. Some owners often feed excessive treats to their little pets, which makes them obese and diabetic.
Some Hedgehogs are even diabetic by birth. However, this is an extremely rare case. An unbalanced diet is the primary cause of diabetes in Hedgehogs.
Some of the common symptoms of diabetes in Hedgehogs include excessive thirst, increase in appetite, frequent urination, etc. If your Hedgehog is diabetic, it will need immediate medical attention.
Change In Diet
A sudden change in your Hedgehog’s diet can result in excessive thirst. In some cases, a change in diet can even trigger diarrhea in Hedgehogs. Diarrhea often leads to the loss of essential electrolytes from the body.
You must understand the fact that food plays a crucial role in your Hedgehog’s life. Therefore, you must make sure that you provide your little pet with a suitable amount of nutrition.
In addition, overconsumption of salty food often results in dehydration. Due to dehydration, the salt absorbs water from the body’s cells, leaving Hedgehogs completely dehydrated. As a result, dehydration induces our Hedgehogs to drink more water.
Besides that, Hedgehogs do not require salt licks. Therefore, never provide them with one. If you have added one in their enclosure, then you must remove the same immediately.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) is one of the most common causes which leads to excessive drinking habits in our Hedgehogs.
UTI often results in continuous leakage of urine. As urine is acidic, constant contact with urine will surely burn in the skin around those portions of the body.
Bladder stones and sludge are some other common urinary tract problems. It would help if you kept in mind that excessive thirst is not a direct symptom of urinary tract problems. However, if your Hedgehog suffers from these problems, they could consume more water to ease their pain and symptoms.
Certain digestive complications can indeed lead to dehydration in our Hedgehogs. Digestive problems such as diarrhea and bloating can directly impact the amount of water consumption by your Hedgehogs.
If your Hedgehog is suffering from any digestive problem, then they will end up losing electrolytes quickly. Loss of electrolytes will result in your Hedgehog drinking water more than the required quantity.
With proper care and attention, you can treat the digestive problem of your pet. On the other hand, some digestive issues could be fatal and need immediate attention.
Furthermore, if your Hedgehog shows any other signs alongside excessive drinking, then you must consult a vet as soon as possible. Your Hedgehog’s’ health could deteriorate in no time if we ignore the same.
If you are pretty sure that none of the above reasons is the cause of excessive thirst in your Hedgehogs, then there are chances that your Hedgehog is facing some non-medical issues.
In some cases, Hedgehogs often end up drinking excessive drinking due to boredom or lack of mental and physical stimulation.
Hedgehogs are pretty active pets and love to play around. However, lack of stimulation often leads to depression in them. Therefore, depression can also be the reason behind excessive thirst in your Hedgehogs.
To be on the safer side, you must get your Hedgehogs examined by a vet before concluding. You would surely not want your little pet to suffer.
How Much Water Should My Hedgehog Drink Every Day?
On an average, a healthy Hedgheog mostly drink anywhere between 30-60 ml of water a day. The actual amount of consumption depends on several factors. Some of the common factors are:
- The age of your Hedgehog plays an important role. Young and growing Hedgehogs are more in need of water than elder Hedgehogs.
- The temperature around your Hedgehog is also of utmost important. Hedgehogs will need more water in summer than in winter.
- The doet of your Hedgehog also impacts the drinking habit of your Hedgehogs. Consumption of more of dry food will make them drink more water.
- The energy level of a Hedgehog also decides the amount of water consumed by them. Super active Hedgehogs will require more water to keep themselves hydrated.
40-60 ml of water in one day is more than enough to keep your Hedgehog healthy and hydrated. Make sure to change the water regularly for the safety of your Hedgehogs.
You should always make sure that the bottle or bowl is topped up with water for them. Never let the bottle remain empty for more than a few hours a day.
Is It Bad For My Hedgehog To Drink Excessive Water?
Although excessive drinking is not a disease in Hedgehogs, it is rather a symptom of the underlying problem. When your Hedgehog suddenly starts to drink more water then usuals, then this is probably a sign of a warning.
On the other hand, if your Hedgehogs drinks excess water right from the beginning, then it is entirely normal.
If you notice your Hedgheog drinking more water than usual, then you must observe them intently and look if they have any other health complications.
Excessive thirst is not critical in itself, but you must look out for other symptoms in your little one. If you see any such signs alongside excessive thirst then it means they are suffering from an underlying health problem.
Do Hedgehogs Prefer Water Bottles Or Bowls?
Some Hedgehogs might prefer a water bottle while others might only want to drink from a bowl. In some cases, Hedgehogs might even be comfortable with any of the two options. With a little bit of the observation, you can understand what your Hedgehog wants.
If you decide to go for water bowls for your Heedgehog, choose a style that won’t tip. It is important because some Hedheogs will lean against the bowls or simply walk over them. On the other hand, if you go for water bottles, you must be aware that Hedgehogs are famous for clogging the tips of the bottle with bits of food.
Can Hedgehogs Drink Tap Water?
Hedgehogs can surely drink tap water. As long as the water is safe for consumption by you, it can be given to your Hedgehogs. You must make sure that the tap water does not has a high mineral content. It is important because Hedgheogs cannot handle excess minerals especially the ones with pre-existing health complications.