Hedgehog Nail Care: Complete Guide

The nails of your Hedgehog can be surprisingly sharp. They can hurt you or even accidentally break your skin, even if the Hedgehog does not mean to.

In the first place, make sure you handle your pet sensibly. Secondly, ensure that the nail clippers you use are specialist for this purpose. Thirdly, purchase some styptic powder or cornflour in case of accidents. The process will be easier if with two people, but can also be accomplished by yourself.

In the wild, a Hedgehog’s nail naturally gets worn down during their down. Running on a rough dirt and rocky ground provides the necessary wear-and-tear to keep their nails from getting too long.

However, as pets, Hedgehogs do not have the same rough activities to keep their nails from overgrowing. We have to do our part as caretakers and pay attention to the condition of their nails and trim them when necessary.

An injured nail can result in pain, excessive bleeding, and even infection in some cases.

If your Hedgehog’s nail are bleeding, then you might need to treat it carefully. Open and deep wounds can lead to infection in some cases, thus taking care of it in the first place is crucial.

What To Do If Your Hedgehog’s Nail Falls Off?

Wounded nails can be extremely painful for our Hedgehogs. Besides this, torn nails even lead to excessive bleeding in them.

If your Hedgehogs have long and sharp nails, then there are chances that your Hedgehog’s nail might get stuck in the bedding, wire bottom cages, ramps, toys, hiding, etc.

However, there is nothing much you can do about torn or broken nails once the bleeding has stopped.

It would help if you still looked out for any signs of bacterial infection for a few days, but that is all you can do about it.

Hedgehog Nail Fell Off

There are chances that your Hedgehog’s nail has fallen off without bleeding.

In most cases, if a Hedgehog’s nail gets injured or wounded, then the new nail starts to grow from the root. The new nail will then push out the old nail away.

The growing of new nails is a natural process. However, the process can sometimes prove to be painful for our Hedgehogs.

If you find your Hedgehog’s nail missing one fine day, then what happened is the nail has fallen off, and a new nail has started growing.

In such cases, there is nothing much you can do. First, however, you need to look out for signs of infection. Some of the common symptoms of the condition are:

  • Swelling in the legs
  • Weird and unusual discharge from the paw
  • Mobility issues
  • Foul smell

If you notice any of the above signs, then chances are it is a bacterial infection, and you might need to rush your Hedgehogs to an exotic vet.

However, if they are happy, walking, and eating regularly, and you didn’t notice any of the above symptoms, you might let them be as they are. They must do completely fine, and chances are the nail will grow back naturally.

Broken Hedgehog Nail

The condition of a broken nail can be excruciating for our Hedgehogs. It might even lead to mild bleeding in some cases.

Several cases might lead to broken nails in Hedgehogs. This is because the nail breaks from the middle or directly from the nail bed itself.

Your Hedgehog might get aggressive when approaching them while they are bleeding. Therefore, you need to be careful about the same.

Once the bleeding gets stopped, you must keep an eye on your Hedgehog’s toes for the next few days to ensure that there is no infection.

Besides this, you need to make sure that the cage is clean and their feet are dry to avoid infection.

Hedgehog Nail Hanging Off

If you see that your Hedgehog’s nail is broken or hanging off by the skin, then the best option is to trim the nail carefully right off thr nail bed.

When you remove the nail, the wound will recover pretty quickly.

In most cases, hanging nails prove to extremely painful for our Hedgehogs.

If the bleeding continues for a prolonged period, then it may even lead to certain fatal issues in our Hedgehogs.

There are a few things you must keep in mind:

  • It is important to use a good quality nail chipper for trimming your Hedgehog’s nail. It will help you make sure that the things go smoothly.
  • You can use some styptic power at the tip of your Hedgehog’s nail to stop the bleeding. If the syptic powder is not available, you can also use cornflour.
  • You can also choose to apply some beeswax as it acts as a natural antiseptic.
  • Make sure that the nail bed remains clean and dry throughout. It will help in the quick recovery.
  • There might be cases where your Hedgehog’s nail gets ripped apart right from the nail bed. In such cases, you must cleam the nail bed with nolvasan and apply some antibiotic ointment like neosporin.
  • You must avoid using Neosporin plus or any other antibiotic containing cortisone as it might prove to be harmful for your Hedgehogs.
  • If you see any signs of bacterial infection, immediately take your Hedgehog to the vet.

Do Hedgehog’s Nails Grow Back?

Hedgehog nails do grow back. In most cases, you will start noticing the new growth in 1-2 months. However, sometimes, it may even take as long as six months. The rate of increase varies for every Hedgehog.

If the nail of your Hedgehogs tear and there is extensive damage to the nail bed, then there are high chances that the torn nail will only partially return. In addition, there are chances that it may not return ever as well.

Even if the nail of your Hedgehog does not grow, you must not be worried. There will not be any side effects of the same to your Hedgehog.

How Short Should A Hedgehog’s Nails Be?

There is no ideal length that a Hedgehog’s nails need to be kept at. The best way to know that their nails a getting a little long it when the nails start to extend beyond their paws.

You should also consider cutting your Hedgehog’s nails as soon as you see that little curl start to form.

If the nails have started curling significantly, then it’s already been too long. You should clip them as soon as possible.

How Do You Cut A Scared Hedgehog’s Nails?

Trimming your Hedgehog’s nail can prove to be a stressful task for you.

To make the process easier and less stressful, two people should be involved in this task.

One person will just wrapp your little pet in a small blanket, with one person doing the holding, while the other person releases one foot at a time and does the trimming.

In such cases, food really does help. You can use your Hedgehog’s favorite treat to keep them distracted while you get the job done.

How To Stop Hedgehog Nail From Bleeding?

If you accidently happen to clip your Hedgehog’s skin along with the nail, it will start to bleed.

None of us want to hurt our Hedgehog, so seeing them bleed so much can be downright frightening.

These cases can be extremely painful for your Hedgehog. Therefore, you need to act quick.

In such cases, use a cotton ball with a little cornstarch or styptic powder to help stop the bleeding.

Press the cotton ball against the nail for a couple minutes.

After the blood has stop flowing, allow yourHedgehoh to go free. They will lick their nail to clean the ‘wound’ and then continue moving around like normal.

How Often Should I Cut My Hedgehog’s Nails?

In general, Hedgehog owners must cut their little one’s nails every few weeks. However, it might not be the right amount of time between the trims for two main reasons.

Firstly, some Hedeghogs might have a much rapid pace of growing nails. In these cases, 2-3 weeks may be too much time between two nail cutting sessions.

Secondly, if your Hedgehog’ss nails do not grow enough in two to three weeks, you can break into its kwik.

Therefore, the best way to find out the right time to trim your Hedgehog’s nail is to wait for the tips to start protruding noticeably.

Once you notice the sharp edges visible out of your Hedgehog’s paw, then you are ready to cut their nails.

The process also minimized the odds of cutting the skin because of the longer nails. The longer the nail will be, the more chances will be to cut the skin.

If you are still unclear on when to trim your Hedgehog’s nails, you should talk to your vet and let them take you over the process.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Hedgehog’s Nails Trimmed?

The average cost to get your Hedgehog’s nail trimmed should be anywhere between 20$-40$. However, the cost may vary from vet to vet.

The cost mainly depends on the area or state you live in and the availability of the service.

You can choose to negotiate with the clinic to settle for a low pay per visit if your Hedgehog’s nail need regular trimming.

Can I Use Regular Nail Clippers On My Hedgehog?

Hedgehogs have round shaped nails, so the nail clippers that provide a round edge are ideal for them.

Regular nail clippers are specially designed for humans to clip thin and flat nails.

Most Hedgehog owners prefer scissor-style nail clippers for their young pet.

If you are unable to find nail clippers made for Hedgehogs, then you can use the ones designed for cats. At the end, it all comes down to what is most comfortable for you and your Hedgehog.


Hello, I am Mohini, the founder of this blog. I am a qualified Animal Nutrition. I am here to help everyone understand their pets better.

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