Posted: October 13, 2010, 5 a.m. EDT
Q: I had owned a hedgehog in the past, but I had gotten him from the pet shop. I have recently purchased an 8-week-old female hedgehog from a breeder. She came from a home filled with all kinds of animals. My question is: Do I need to get her vaccinated?
A: Hedgehogs don’t need routine vaccinations. If your new hedgehog has no discharge from her eyes, nose or ears; her stool is brown and firm; she has no lumps or lesions; and she’s eating and not lethargic, then she’s probably fine.
The most common health problem of hedgehogs is mites. Examine her skin. If it seems extremely dry and flaky and she’s losing quills, take her to the veterinarian for a wellness exam. The vet can do a skin scraping to make a diagnosis.
Baby hedgehogs go through a period called “quilling.” So, if your hedgehog drops quills but her skin looks fine, then I wouldn’t worry.
If your hedgehog is diagnosed with mites, don’t let the vet treat her with ivermectin. I recommend giving her a bath of warm water mixed with a few drops of olive oil a couple times a week for a few weeks or having your vet prescribe dog formula Revolution, which has been shown to be safe and effective for hedgehogs. Be sure to get directions on properly using Revolution on a hedgehog from your veterinarian.
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