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Hedgehog Appears Off-Balance and Inactive

What could cause a hedgehog to appear off-balance and inactive?

By Karen Rosenthal, DVM, DABVP
Posted: February 27, 2009, 7:45 p.m. EST

Q: My hedgehog is showing signs that something’s wrong. Yesterday, I cleaned his cage and noticed he was outside of his little house, rolled up on the bedding. Usually, he’s inside his little house sleeping. He didn’t want to open up and walk. Usually when I’m cleaning, he gets adventurous. After I got home from work today, he came out of his house, but he was wobbling and acting disoriented. I’ve read about some illnesses hedgehogs can get, and hope this can be remedied. I’ve had him for two years. Before that, he was with a family for two to three years. This is my first hedgehog.

A: It sounds like you are a very good observer of your hedgehog. There are many illnesses that hedgehogs can get and can have similar signs. Wobbling and acting disoriented can be signs of many different disorders. If a hedgehog has not eaten or has low blood sugar, it might act like you describe. If a hedgehog has a neurologic condition, such as toxicity or an infection of the nervous system, it can act like you describe. Finally, metabolic diseases, nutritional diseases, heart diseases and even muscular diseases can do this. The best way to determine what is causing your hedgehog to act like this is to bring him to your veterinarian.

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