Even though Hedgehogs are adorable animals to pet, the rumor that they die very easily is confusing a lot of people that are looking to pet them.
I tried to gather a clear picture of this subject, and as it turns out, there isn’t a one-stop place on the internet to know the answer to this question. So, I put together this post, where you find all the relevant information regarding this question.
In general, Hedgehogs don’t die easily. Compared to many other small pet animals, Hedgehogs have a longer average lifespan, which is between 4-5 years. Also, most unannounced and sudden Hedgehog death reasons are easily avoidable with the correct care of your pet.
In this article, you’ll get a more in-depth answer to whether Hedgehogs die easily. You’ll also learn about the most common unannounced and suddenHedgehog death reasons and the possible solutions to prevent these from happening.
How Easily Do Hedgehogs Die?
To give you a clearer perspective of the question “Do Hedgehogs die easily?”, let us consider the question of “do humans die easily?”.
We’re not considering whether we’re living 70 or 80 years, as they say, is our average lifespan. Instead, we are considering how easily humans die and why humans die. My point is that we should adopt the same approach when answering whether Hedgehogs die easily.
Hedgehogs are prone to several diseases, just like any other organism. That is just how the ecosystem gets balanced. But when we intend to domesticate an animal, we need to make sure their diseases are controlled.
You do not see the wild dogs getting vaccines, but if you intend to grow a dog as a pet, vaccinate it. What I am trying to say is that any animal could live for a maximized period when given the proper care.
Why Hedgehogs Die Suddenly
Just like any other organism, there are causes of death in Hedgehogs.
When you do not care enough for your pet animal, it dies with the increasing severity of the disease. Below are the most common causes of death in Hedgehogs.
When you find symptoms for them, immediately act on them to keep your Hedgehog alive.
One of the main causes of sudden death in Hedgehogs is a heart attack. They can die suddenly from the shock of fear.
This happens when a Hedgehog is afraid. Hedgehogs are prey, and they have instincts that alert them when there is danger nearby.
If your Hedgehog hears a frightening sound, it raises the heart rate, leading to heart failure. This sound could be a dog barking, fireworks, or any other sound that triggers their fear.
Sudden Change in Temperature
If you keep your Hedgehogs indoors and suddenly move the cage outside, it can die suddenly from a change in the weather. For instance, sudden cold snaps or winter storms, along with heatwaves, can be dangerous for Hedgehogs.
When pet Hedgehogs live in a cage, they only have the protections offered by the cage. In the wild, Hedgehogs have options to protect themselves when the weather changes.
First of all, they can seek shade on a hot day, and they can find some cool dirt in the shade. They might go down into their burrows.
In the winter, Hedgehogs have places to seek shelter from the freezing temperatures. If they are in a cage, they have the cage walls and bedding, but they may not be able to escape the heat or the cold weather.
A sudden change in the temperature can cause your Hedgehog to die suddenly. This is especially true if your Hedgehog is in direct sunlight on a hot day.
Swallowing a Sharp Object
Hedgehogs are curious animals, and if you drop a small sharp plastic or glass object in the cage, it can swallow it. This can lead to internal damage that causes them to die.
It is important to ensure that your Hedgehog is always safe and that the cage and room where the Hedgehog spends time are clear of any sharp objects that can cause harm.
You should spot clean your Hedgehog’s cage regularly in case something falls in, and check around any room before you let your Hedgehog out for playtime.
Your Hedgehog will gnaw on anything, including wood, furniture, bedding, etc.
If your Hedgehog chews on something that contains chemicals or other toxic materials, it can die suddenly. Ensure that you are using bedding in a safe cage for Hedgehogs, and keep an eye on your Hedgehog when it is out of the cage.
Illness or Disease
Some Hedgehogs have health issues that you may not know about. They could have been born with it, or they could develop it over time.
If you notice your Hedgehog acting lethargic or uninterested in food and water, you will need to go to the vet. If something is wrong, your Hedgehog may die suddenly because they don’t stay sick for long.
Some Hedgehog illnesses are very contagious, so it is even more important to notice it and remove the sick hedgehog from the others.
Sadness Or Stress
Some Hedgehogs are stressed and lonely when they come to a new home. They may have been separated from people or other pets they were close to, and you may notice that they look depressed.
Signs to look for are a Hedgehog that stops eating or lays in the corner of the cage all the time. They may not show any interest when you try to interact with them.
What Does A Sick Hedgehog Look Like?
To understand your Hedgehog’s health status, you need to monitor him closely. If your Hedgehog is sick, he will spend most of the time hiding.
He will neither be interested in eating or drinking. He will even have fast-paced breathing. If you feel your Hedgehog is not well or is suffering from a health condition, I advise you to take them to a vet as soon as possible.
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 are dying include:
- 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