Hedgehogs are often thought of as low maintenance pets. Sometimes, owners even believe that there is no reason to go to the vet unless their Hedgehog is sick. However, the problem with that thought process is that Hedgehogs have a tendency to hide their weaknesses. Therefore, it’s difficult to know when a Hedgehog is sick until they are already far along in their illness.
A healthy Hedgehog only need to be brought to the vet for a checkup once a year. If your Hedgehog is elderly or has frequent health problems, then you should bring them to the vet every 6 months. And, of course, if you notice any signs of illness in your Hedgehog, it’s important to make an appointment with your vet as soon as possible.
Building a relationship with a Hedgehog’s veterinarian in your area can do more than just give your little one quick checkup.
Your veterinarian can get to know your Hedgehog and give you advice specific to the needs of your own pet. You can also give them a call if you are ever worried about something and need advice.
An Annual Health Exam For Your Hedgehog
It is important to get your Hedgehog manually checked by a vet.
A vet will ensure that your pet is fit, has a healthy weight, check their breathing and heart rates, and make sure their ears and eyes look healthy.
The vet will also make sure that your pet’s teeth is not infected.
A checkup will give your vet a baseline of your Hedgehog’s health so that they are familiar with your pet. They’ll be better equipped to deal with the situation if your Hedgehog ever does need to be brought in because they are not feeling well.
With your Hedgehog’s passing age, the vet may also choose to perform a blood test to check for any underlying conditions.
In addition, if your Hedgehog ever has access to the outdoors, your vet can test their poop for any infestations of parasites or worms.
Besides this, the annual health exam is also a time for you to ask your vet any questions you may have and get their advice.
You should not be afraid to ask for any advice you need. Your vet who has some understanding of your Hedgehog and their specific situation is the best equipped to help you.
Older Or Sick Hedgehogs
If you have an elder Hedgehog who have a history of health problems, then it should be brought into the vet more usual than other young and healthy Hedgehogs.
Elderly Hedgehogs are more at a risk of developing health problems. Therefore, you will need to pay closer attention to their health.
Elderly Hedgehogs must be brought for a checkup every 6 months instead to just once a year. This will definitely help to keep a track of your pet’s health and make sure they are getting all the care that they need.
When Else To Bring Your Hedgehog To The Vet
Once-a-year checkups are sufficient for healthy Hedgehogs. However, there are other times in a Hedgehog’s health history that could make a visit to the vet necessary.
In addition, it us important for you to learn the symptoms of a sick Hedgehog so you can take them to the vet when they need medical attention.
When a young Hedgehog reaches maturity, you will need to make an appointment with your vet to get the Hedgehog spayed or neutered.
For new Hedgehog owner, this is often the first time you will meet your veterinarian. You may be asked to take your young pet in for a checkup before the appointment is scheduled.
If you are experiencing some sudden aggression from your Hedgehog or other behavioral problems, neutering will usually help to calm down a troublemaker Hedgehog.
When Your Hedgehog Is Sick Or Injured
A sick or injured Hedgehog must be brought to the vet as soon as possible. Hedgehogs have the tendency to hide their weakness so they won’t get singled out and picked off by predators.
This basically means that it can be very difficult for the owners to know when a Hedgehog is sick. We need to learn how to look out for very subtle signs and changes in behavior so we can get our Hedgehogs the help they need in time.
How To Know That Your Hedgehog Is Sick Or Injured
- Not eating or a change in eating habits
- Not pooping
- Sudden changes in energy levels
- Drooling or a wet nose
- Lack of balance
- Mouth breathing
- Abscesses or bumps
- Enlarged stomach
- Suddenly aggressive behavior
If you have any doubts about your Hedgehog’s health, give your vet a call.
Even if you don’t think it’s an emergency situation, you can still get advice from your vet or make an appointment just to be on the safe side.
How To Find A Hedgehog Veterinarian In Your Area
A Hedgehog’s anatomy is very different in comparison to the cats and dogs. Therefore, Hedgehogs need to visit vets that specialize in small exotic pets.
This, in turn, means that your choice of vet can be extremely limited and depend on who you can find in the area around you.
Sometimes, you may also have to travel a long distance to find someone who is qualified to take care of a pet Hedgehog.
To find an appropriate vet in your area, you will need to search for a Small Mammal Veterinarian or an Exotic Animal Veterinarian.
You can perform a google search to look for an exotic animal veterinarian near you.
Also, check the website or call the office to make sure they have experience with Hedgehogs and are qualified to take care of your companion.
You can also contact other veterinary clinics in your area and ask who they recommend for a Hedgehog’s healthcare.
What To Bring With You When You Bring Your Hedgehog To The Vet
When you bring your Hedgehog to the veterinary clinic, you want to make sure they are in a carrier. This will keep your Hedgehog safe in the waiting room, where other animals that are predators to your pet might also be waiting.
A carrier will also help your little one to feel safe and a little less stressed.
Your veterinarian may also request that you bring in a fecal sample so they can check your Hedgehog’s poop and make sure there are no worms or parasites. When you visit a new veterinarian, you should also include a copy of your pets medical history.
If you are bringing the Hedgehog to the vet because they are sick, you should bring along a little bit of your pet’s usual food.
If the Hedgehog has to stay at the veterinary hospital overnight, it will be better if they have access to their usual diet.
How To Transport A Hedgehog To The Vet
When you transport your Hedgehog to the vet, you want to have a carrier that can be closed completely.
Use a carrier that gives the Hedgehog enough space to turn around, but is not too large. If you have to make a sudden stop in the car on the way to the vet clinic, a large carrier would mean the Hedgehog will make a harder impact with the side of the carrier, causing a higher risk of injury.
If the carrier is big enough, you can also include a litter box in the carrier. Otherwise, consider putting a towel down to give your Hedgehog’s feet traction and soak up any pee.
If you don’t have a car, you should consider using a taxi or rideshare service. However, I don’t recommend using public transportation if you have any other choice.
The new sounds and smells can add another layer of stress for Hedgehogs.