You are here:

Hedgehogs/Possible Sick Hedgehog



I have a hedgie that doesn't seem to be doing very well.

A quick background: She is about 18 months old. She has been issue free for the majority of that time except for about 2 - 3 months ago where i discovered she had mites. Her skin was very dry and she had an ear infection.
I treated her with revolution as well as charcoal.
It did not take long and she was fine again. Her skin is looking amazing and she is back to her normal self.
One thing changed since then and that is her diet. She used to just eat cat food and get meal worms every second day. Now when she was ill and not eating i tried everything and the one thing she did enjoy was the beef mince, rice and veggie mix my dogs get fed. Especially the meat.
So since then she has been eating that and doesn't touch the cat food at all now.

So to get to the current problem.
Yesterday morning I noticed that she hadn't eaten her food that i gave her the night before. I then changed it for a fresh one and that evening she hadn't touched it either.

Though maybe a tummy bug so gave her some charcoal and not long after she vomited. Now colour was obviously black from the charcoal but she did a poo soon after and it was quite green.

Then this morning I found her sleeping outside her little house which is not normal for her at all.

It may just be a tummy bug but i am not sure.
I live in Swaziland so a vet is out the question as there are quite simply none here.

One extra thing to get me worrying is she has a lack of balance and keeps falling over. Now when she had mites and had the ear infection she did the same and it went away for months but now her ear looks healthy and she is falling over. So i did some research and came across wobbly hedgehog syndrome. I am hoping it is not this

Hi, Ryden:

I am so sorry your hedgie is/was not feeling well, and sorry it took me so long to answer.  I was on holiday when your post came in, and also between phones, so I didn't get a text from this site, which I usually do.  I got one of those today for another question and found yours.

Perhaps your hedgie's situation has resolved in the positive by now.  I hope so.  You are obviously a very loving and conscientious care-giver!  

I would not come to the conclusion that she has WHS, even though she is at the right age.  Green poo is not characteristic of WHS, and whatever is causing that may be causing her to lose her balance.  I am not a vet, but if the green poo has continued, my top suspect would be a Clostridium bloom, probably because of the upsets/changes (mites, food, etc.) she has recently experienced.  I believe that Clostridium is one of those organisms that is always present, waiting for any slight depression of the immune system.  It can also cause vomiting.  Does her poo smell bad?  That would be another clue pointing to Clostridia.

You can't really tell without a lab test what her illness is, but if you could find a sympathetic non-exotics vet (do you have no vets at all or no exotics vets?) or a university medical training facility, these would be possibilities for getting a test.  Or you might be able to mail the poo (with an ice-pack and insulation) to a vet outside of Swaziland.  However, you could still treat her as if she had Clostridium, because the treatment would probably knock out other illness-producing organisms as well.  But still there is the problem of the vet, unless it is legal in Swaziland to buy some antibiotics from a pharmacy.  

There are also online sites that sell drugs for companion animals (some may not require a vet script as this one does):

While researching for appropriate meds and dosages, I came across a really terrific site:

There are other good research possibilities: I found this one Googling for “clostridia treatment of hedgehogs.”

This one suggests Metronidazole being used for clostridium infection but doesn’t give a dose (probably because dose is based on weight), and I am pretty sure other meds are also used (sorry, my memory is very poor!):

I would also suggest you join these bulletin boards and ask the membership if they have a way to get a script for treatment of Clostridia or other general ideas about your hedgie’s health:

Please write me a follow-up to let me know how things are going!

Hedgie Blessings,



All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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.

©2017 All rights reserved.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]