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Hedgehogs/Strange lump on my hedgehog


Hi Laurel,

I have a 2 and a half year old hedgie. A few days ago I noticed a lump on his hind quarters. It is quite large and red. I took him to the vet, he didn't seem especially knowledgable about hedgehogs. He said he could cut it out but would make quite a large incision. I can't imagine that my hedgie would survive after the process or how good a quality of life he would have. The surgery is also quite costly. The lump does't seem to be bothering my hedgie too much as he is still eating and acting mostly normal. It seems cruel to just leave the lump as it will continue to grow and could cause him pain, yet it seems cruel to put him through the surgery or to put him down. Have you ever gone through this with a hedgehog? Would he be able to survive the surgery and recovery?


Hi, Elizabeth:

I am very sorry your hedgehog is sick.

For what it is worth, here is my experience.  Unfortunately, these lumps are usually some kind of aggressive cancer.  Your vet should be able to test this hypothesis -- or you could go to some other vet who knows more about hedgies.

If the hedgehog is acting normally now, he could probably survive and recover from the surgery.  But I would expect the lump to start growing back within 2 to 4 weeks.  Then you are back to waiting and watching to see how your little guy is getting along.

At some point, I think it will become apparent that he is ready to Cross the Bridge.  With hedgies, this is often signified when they stop eating.

Enjoy your little friend while you can.  They do not usually have a long time on this earth, but they still have a profound effect on their human caretakers.

Wishing you strength, courage, and

Hedgie Blessings,



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Laurel Sedgwick


Can answer care, health, & behavioral questions, as well as basic breeding questions. Can help questioner figure out if a hedgehog is the right pet for them.


Have had hedgehogs since 2001 - 16 so far. I have no experience with non-weaned babies, and limited experience with breeding and with pregnant hedgehogs. I have had too much experience with WHS (Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome). I would rate myself "expert" at syringe-feeding, and as "advanced" at performing SubQs. Two of my hedgehogs have injured an eye to the point that it had to be surgically removed. I have had a lot of hedgehogs who suffered from cancer, some who had surgery and some who didn't. Some of my quilly kids have had abcessed teeth; one guy lost all of his teeth but one! I have had multiple female hedgehogs who suffered from bleeding, who had to have surgery for uterine cancer, which was in most cases successful. Temperamentally, I have had very timid hedgehogs, persistently grumpy hedgehogs, biting hedgehogs, and very friendly hedgehogs whom I took with me as "ambassadors" for educational presentations.

I am a Certified Judge for the IHA, and run a rescue station for the HWS. My application to be a rescue station for the IHA is pending.

I read everything I can get my hands on. Have read the best of the books, Dawn Wrobel's THE HEDGEHOG and Tig M-Burleson's THE HEDGEHOG PRIMER. I am a member of the International Hedgehog Association (IHA) and Hedgehog Welfare Society (HWS), and have been a member of various online bulletin board groups since 2002.
I have attended many hedgehog shows and have served as a judge in IHA conformation shows.

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