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Hedgehogs/Very Sick Hedgie


I work at a school in Florida& a fellow teacher purchased a hedgehog for a class pet. Normally, he stayed at the school on weekends, had plenty of food & water, ran & pooped all over his wheel. Recently, he was left there over a weekend & it got rather cold. When we came back on Monday, we noticed he hadn't eaten anything. We watched him closely for a few more days & then I finally brought him home, thinking maybe he was trying to hibernate & I could keep a closer eye on him. I gave him a towel inside his igloo when I brought him home to keep him warm. I noticed he peed a little on the towel & today he pooped, but it was very dark, almost black & tarry looking. Friday (tomorrow) will be a week that he hasn't eaten. He has water in his cage as well, but I don't think he is drinking either. I gave him some chicken to see if he would eat it, he wouldn't. When I remove him from his igloo he runs to hide or get away from me anyway he can, hiding in his tube, hiding under his wheel, trying to go back in the towel. He seems to still be moving quickly & when I take him out, he will roll into a ball. However, he used to eat his ALL the food in his food bowl daily & run on his wheel. He has not done this in a while. I am making an appointment to take him to a small animal vet. How much longer does he have? Will he make it?

Hi, Dana:

I'm so sorry to hear that "your" hedgie is so sick.  Not eating for several days is one thing, but not drinking can be deadly.  You should try to syringe feed him both water and food, and get him to that vet pronto.  I don't think I'd leave him alone -- carry him around in a basket or hedgebag.

There are lots of hedgehog people in Florida.  Try writing to the Yahoo! group, hedgehogwelfare for extra support.

I don't know the answers to the two questions you ask, but I will be praying for you both.

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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