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Hedgehogs/Thor, my 4 year old hedgehog


My hedgehog, is wobbling, not eating (his cat food or drinking his water), and walking in circles. He went to the exotic vet, (who knows him and saw Thor 3 weeks ago to get his nails cut), and the vet did not think it was WHS, could be a cancer, cardiovascular problem, or a virus. Thor has lost 3 ounces, walks around as if he was blind and is breathing rapidly. We rescued Thor 2 years ago, so I am not sure how old he is, guessing around 5 years old. The vet put him on antibiotics, which I put in a syringe and squirt in his mouth 2 times a day. His breathing is better, but he is not interested in eating or drinking. We bring him to the dish of water, hold him up with his mouth towards the water. I then put him in his crate, wrap him in a towel and make sure that he can not get hurt, as he wobbles and leans (or falls) to the left. There are towels around the whole interior of the crate. When I check him, about every hour, he is in the same ball position, sometimes lying on his side. Do you have any other suggestions for me as to what else I can do? Or, should I continue doing what I am doing until his time comes? Many thanks for your assistance.  jacqui


Hi, Jaqui:

I am so very sorry to hear of the illness of your little one, Thor.  

I am not a vet, but his symptoms certainly sound to me like Wobbly.  

Did your vet say why the antibiotics?  I would wonder that Thor was not given some Prednisone, as hedgies tolerate it well, and it is usually a good appetite stimulant.

If you are able to give him meds via syringe, there is no reason not to try giving him food and water the same way.  Get a syringe with a long curved tip.  Use liquids (Boost, for instance, has been a favorite of my quill-kids, esp. Strawberry flavor) or finely ground kibble and liquid.  Always offer plenty of water, also by syringe.

Even if Thor has WHS, it may be possible for him to have a pretty high quality of life for 6+ months with your help.  I have had two WHS hedgies.  It was heartbreaking to see them slowly go downhill; but OTOH, I got closer to them than to any of my other hedgehogs, and I truly believe that they wanted to stay around for a while with me.

If you have any other questions, or if you are just willing to share your experiences with Thor, please follow up.  I will keep you both in my thoughts and prayers.

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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