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Where the hedgehog can winter: hibernation of animals, winter features for the hedgehog


A hedgehog is an animal that we have known about since early childhood. Tales and cartoons introduced us to him. But do we really know these prickly tangles well enough? Do you know what a hedgehog is dangerous or how hedgehogs are useful? And is it true that hedgehogs carry apples and mushrooms on their backs? In this article you will learn interesting facts about hedgehogs and you can find answers to all these questions.

1. Did you know that an ordinary hedgehog has 5 thousand needles ?! The presence of such a fur coat requires careful care. Hedgehogs take care of their needles with the help of paws, but they are too short and do not allow the animal to completely clean from parasites. In such a situation, the hedgehog helps the acid secreted by the fruit. Hedgehogs start riding rotten apples or other fruits - this is one of the most unusual facts about hedgehogs. Such tricks make you mistaken about the taste preferences of the hedgehog. However, the hedgehog does not prick fruit on the needles to carry them on its back into its hole.

2. Everyone knows about the ability of hedgehogs to curl up in a prickly ball in danger. The needles of the hedgehog serve him with strong armor and protection. With such uniforms, the hedgehog comes out victorious even in the battle with the viper. However, not only needles allow him to win the battle. One of the most unknown facts about hedgehogs is that these animals are insensitive to many poisons. Arsenic, opium, and even hydrocyanic acid act weakly on hedgehogs.

3. We are used to thinking of hedgehogs as harmless creatures. But despite this, they may well stand up for themselves. After all, they have at their disposal not only prickly needles, but also 36 sharp teeth.

4. Many people think that a hedgehog has no tail. But this is not so - he has a tail. It’s just very short, its length is only 3 cm. Of course, it’s very difficult to make out such a small tail under the hedgehog’s needles.

5. Despite their small size, hedgehogs are quite nimble animals. They can run at speeds up to 3 m / s. In addition, hedgehogs swim well and jump excellently, have a sharp sense of smell and a very sensitive hearing. That's just the vision of the hedgehogs is weak.

6. Hedgehog is not afraid to ruin the figure. Since the hedgehog hibernates in winter, before that he gains another 500 grams of fat from his usual weight of 800 grams. Such reserves allow him not to die of hunger in winter and sleep peacefully until spring. Interestingly, the body temperature of the hedgehogs during hibernation drops to 2 ° C - this is one of the most interesting facts about hedgehogs.

7. Hedgehog is an insectivorous animal. But his diet is not limited to insects. In addition to insects, hedgehogs eat berries and fruits, mice and field voles, sometimes reptiles and amphibians. Hedgehogs also feed on eggs or chicks of small birds that nest on the ground. A hedgehog can even eat a snake.

8. Hedgehogs are useful in killing various harmful insects. These animals destroy May bugs, nun caterpillars and unpaired silkworms. In addition, hedgehogs destroy mice and voles. The hedgehog is a faithful guardian of the garden. After all, where this prickly ball appears - rats and snakes leave.

9. First of all, the hedgehog harms the ruin of bird nests. And this problem is relevant for both wildlife and pets. If a hedgehog lives in your country house and has hens, then hedgehogs pose a threat to them. But the greatest harm from hedgehogs is disease. Hedgehog can tolerate diseases such as rabies, salmonellosis, dermatomycosis, yellow fever and others. In addition, there are a lot of ticks and fleas on hedgehogs. This carries a danger to animals in your country house. In addition, hedgehogs are the owners of ixodid ticks.

10. Very often, children find a hedgehog and bring it home, trying to make him a pet. This is a big mistake. After all, hedgehogs are wild animals that lead a nocturnal lifestyle and are not amenable to training. In addition, they are carriers of serious diseases. In this regard, it is extremely undesirable to have hedgehogs as pets.

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Features nutrition hedgehogs

These spiky pretty creatures are very love to settle on personal plots, especially if the cottage is located near the forest. As food for hedgehogs, summer pests are great. A pleasant treat for hedgehogs are slugs that appear on garden plots during the rainy season and cause enormous damage to the crop.

Favorite foods for hedgehogs include the following:

  • insects and their larvae,
  • beetles
  • small rodents
  • snails
  • mollusks
  • frogs
  • lizards.

For hedgehogs a great pleasure bust mouse nests, and eat their inhabitants. They can gladly enjoy wasps or bees, not at all afraid of their bites. Very often, hedgehogs attack wasp nests and completely empty them. The organism of hedgehogs does not respond to the bites of poisonous snakes; they calmly carry all the poisons. Scientists all over the world are still surprised at such a natural phenomenon and cannot find a logical explanation for it.

Known to everyone since childhood, stories about hedgehogs dragging apples on their backs, are pure fiction. According to its physiological characteristics, the hedgehog is not able to get food in this way. Even if the apple falls specially on its needles, but it will stay there for a very short period of time.

Features of the behavior of hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are nocturnal. Often the whole large family goes hunting immediately after dark. In the extraction of food these animals use their excellent hearing and sensitive sense of smell. It is at night that all the sounds of nature are so well heard. And the hedgehog is sensitive to smells, accurately determining the location of a beetle and worm in the ground to a depth of 3 cm. In order to dig the soil, the hedgehog uses sharp claws. With a deft movement, he takes out prey in a couple of seconds.

Hedgehogs get used to people quite easily, these are gullible and kind creatures. It is worth contacting a person with a hedgehog several times, and the animal will gladly take food from human hands and will even allow you to stroke yourself without using defensive spikes. Hedgehogs are happy to drink milk and enjoy cat food. Particularly favorite human urchin food products include:

  • boiled potatoes,
  • cheese,
  • nuts and seeds
  • bread and pastries.

Wintering of hedgehogs

Do hedgehogs sleep in winter? The period of life in which hedgehogs are active, takes from 4 to 7 months, depending on the area of ​​habitat and weather conditions. Eared hedgehogs live the shortest time, and ordinary hedgehogs, which are most often found in the northern regions, live actively. The active lifespan of hedgehogs can be divided into three periods:

  1. Awakening from hibernation
  2. Reproduction period
  3. The preparatory period for hibernation.

If hedgehogs are kept in enclosures, i.e. in captivity, then reproductive stage in their life is absent.

The term hibernation implies the adaptation period of an animal in conditions of adverse natural phenomena. But for different types of hedgehogs, the adverse weather level is different, so the reasons for hibernation can also be different.

The main reasons for wintering hedgehogs:

  • lack of feed
  • low air temperatures.

Unlike most animals, hedgehogs are not able to stock up on food for winter. Therefore, with the onset of cold weather, when insects disappear, hedgehogs start to sleep. In the warm season, these creatures are stocked up with fatty deposits that accumulate under the skin and on the internal organs, and sleep in the winter. In open-air cages, where hedgehogs are kept, there is enough food in the winter, but they hibernate anyway, due to their imperfect thermoregulation system.

The preparatory period for wintering in hedgehogs is also associated with the search for winter shelter and its improvement. If the animal chooses the wrong place to sleep, winter can affect him very sadly - death. Already with the onset of autumn, hedgehogs dig their holes at a depth of about 1.5 meters, which are located under a thick layer of earth and bedding. Is it possible to make a shelter for hedgehogs yourself? When creating an artificial hole for a hedgehog, this should be taken into account, otherwise the ground may freeze.

Scientists haven’t figured it out yet, what holes do the hedgehogs use for hibernation: own or strangers. In aviaries equipped with a thick layer of soil, hedgehogs winter well in artificial shelters. And also during this period of preparation, the summer cover of hedgehogs changes to winter hair.

Hibernation of hedgehogs is characterized by the same properties as for other animals:

  • duration
  • deep dream,
  • drop in body temperature to 1.8 ° C,
  • Minimum allowable reduction in heart rate.

During wakefulness, hedgehogs cannot live without food. After 10 days of a hunger strike, a fatal outcome is possible. During hibernation, the hedgehog can do without food for up to 240 days.

Snow burrows burrows, so animals are completely safe thanks to the thermal insulation of the snow block. If the hedgehog dug a hole on its own, then it hibernates alone. Artificial burrows in aviaries are also recommended for one representative hedgehogs.

Hedgehogs winter in a characteristic pose. The animal folds into a ball, paws and nose fit snugly to the belly, the tail is pressed to the head. It is in this position that heat transfer from exposed skin is reduced, and the surface area in contact with cold air is also reduced. If you feel the sleeping hedgehog, the body will be very cold. Daily weight loss occurs due to subcutaneous fat and reserves on the internal organs of the animal.

Hibernation does not begin in one day. Existence continues with alternating periods of wakefulness and temporary numbness. Gradually, the duration of sleep increases and goes into hibernation.

Arousal of hedgehogs in spring characterized by the onset of breeding time. When keeping animals in captivity, it is very rare to find a reproductive period.

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  • Home Health Hedgehog

Perhaps there is nothing more important than pet health. If you follow the precautions, feed and maintain the animal correctly, then the risk of serious illness is minimized.

In this section, we have tried to fully describe all aspects of hedgehog health.

The most troubling factor is not eating. However, this does not apply to the hedgehog that has just moved to you or is moving to a new, unusual food. In this case, you should not worry, because the refusal of food is most likely caused by stress, and not some kind of illness.

Unusual activity at unusual times is also a disturbing factor. If the hedgehog, suddenly, is awake at the wrong time for him, that is, during the day, then he needs to be pulled out of the house and carefully examined, as well as carefully watched for several days.

Any growths on the body and mouth are a serious reason for contacting a veterinarian.

Changes in the color or size of the eyes indicate eye infections that are quickly treated if detected early.

Changing the gait, falling to one side, stretching the paws, evidence of injury or the “staggering hedgehog syndrome", which is described below.

A change in the consistency or smell of the stool, that is, stool in the form of diarrhea or a putrid smell, indicates health problems.

Blood stains and any stains of unknown origin are one of the reasons why you should immediately consult a doctor.

Snot and frequent sneezing indicate a cold, which must be treated.

Of course, hedgehogs are tenacious and even if they feel unwell, they can be worn as if nothing had happened. Even if the animal is sick, you don’t need to get upset very much, you need to pack up and urgently look for a good doctor in your city.

Musculoskeletal system.

In this paragraph, we’ll talk about the “staggering hedgehog syndrome,” as well as what precautions you need to follow.

Degenerative myelopathy, or "staggering hedgehog syndrome" (Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome).

This disease is a degenerative, progressive neurological disease, the cause of which has not yet been established.

At the moment, there are no medications with which to defeat this disease, but there are methods of therapy that will help ease the life of your hedgehog, as well as extend it as much as possible.

This disease has the same effect on hedgehogs, as well as multiple sclerosis (paralysis) on people. It can appear suddenly and immediately with a sharp deterioration, but as a rule it just gradually develops. In most cases, the hind limbs of the body are primarily affected, and then paralysis passes to other parts of the body. Sometimes paralysis can only be on one side of the body, in which case the animal will tip over on one side, and will not be able to remain in its normal position.

According to many studies on the appearance of these symptoms, as a rule, the disease begins at the age of about one and a half to two years, although there are other cases.

Quite often, hedgehogs who were struck by this disease cannot quickly get to bowls with water and food, and because of this they lose weight. That is why you need to study this disease and try to help the pet. In cases where the disease progresses, the hedgehog is likely to be immobilized soon. As a rule, death occurs on average six months after the onset of the first symptoms.

One of the key points in keeping a hedgehog suffering from this disease is a high-quality and proper diet.

It is believed that this disease is associated with an improper diet of the animal, however, most researchers still tend to think that the disease is hereditary.

The main components of the diet of a sick hedgehog should be insects, lean meat, as well as some vegetables and fruits. In general, the diet of a sick animal should not be any different from the diet of a healthy hedgehog. In addition, it is necessary to give hedgehog vitamins that contain omega acids, as well as vitamins that contain phosphorus and calcium and preparations with probiotics. If necessary, you can give digestive enzymes, thanks to which the hedgehog can get the maximum amount of vitamins and minerals from food, as well as absorb them. In principle, hedgehogs can be given any vitamins, but do not exceed the norm, since an excess of vitamins is also bad. You can give hedgehog selenium and zinc, they will favorably affect the work of the nervous system of the animal, however, all supplements should be used only after consultation with a veterinarian, and in accordance with the dose that he prescribed.

By the way, one of the signs of an excess of vitamins in the body is the trembling ears of the hedgehog and its general nervous state.

It is important that the dry you feed the sick hedgehog be of high quality. To do this, you must first consult with the breeder and specify what kind of food he fed.

Since the hedgehog cannot crawl to a bowl of food on its own, he needs help with this. While he can eat his usual food, you can roll two towels around its sides so that, in an attempt to crawl to a bowl, it does not spin around itself.

It is also very important to monitor the weight and general condition of the animal, as this will help you make a schedule of the deterioration and improvement of the condition of your hedgehog. If your pet is no longer able to maintain balance while walking, then you can easily make a maze in order to facilitate his movement.For example, you can take a piece of plywood, cover it with a rubber mat, and make the walls of any cardboard and cover them with soft and warm material. The distance between the walls should be narrow so that the hedgehog can pass and do not fall over. It is also necessary to engage in charging with the hedgehog, using, for example, a treat so that it moves more.

It is also necessary to do hedgehog massage daily, because this is a very important component of therapy, because just like in humans, parts of the body of hedgehogs lose their tone, but at the same time remain important for the normal functioning of the body. If you do not pay due attention to them, you can get additional health problems.

Massage can be done by placing the hedgehog in the palm of your hand with your back, and gently massage his stomach in a clockwise direction. It is fundamentally important to massage the stomach exactly in a clockwise direction, as otherwise it can cause digestive problems. Proper massage, on the contrary, will help maintain the digestive tract in order. Be sure to massage the entire body of the hedgehog, with the exception of the muzzle. All your movements should be soft and give the pet pleasure.

If your animal has developed paralysis, and he can no longer move normally. It is very important to properly equip his home. In these cases, it is not recommended to use sawdust or other hard fillers, as this can easily injure the hedgehog.

In this situation, it is best to use some soft, well-absorbing fabric as a litter.

In addition, it is very important to constantly maintain the necessary temperature in the cell, since the hedgehog will not be able to warm itself if it freezes. The optimum temperature is approximately 25’C.

But finally, the moment comes when your pet can no longer take the food he is used to, and then the only option is feeding through a syringe or pipette. All you need to do for this is to grind his usual food into mashed potatoes. Insects can be chopped or grinded fine, worms can be squeezed out altogether, and their skins can be grinded. You can also feed the hedgehog with high-quality baby food, which you would give to your child. You need to enter food gently, using a pipette or syringe into the corner of the hedgehog's mouth. Most hedgehogs quickly enough get used to such feeding, but some may be stubborn, but you need not to lose confidence and feed the hedgehog in this way.

If your hedgehog is rapidly losing weight, then you can try to feed him more fat, but familiar foods.

In addition, it is very important to choose the right and convenient syringe, and it is best to have several options for pipettes, since this will help you choose the right and most convenient at the moment. Soft pipettes or syringes are best.

The amount of water that the hedgehog consumes is also very important, since it is important to exclude the possibility of dehydration. It is important to give water to your pet very often, since he himself will not be able to get to the drinker. In this case, you can also use a pipette, but if he refuses to drink, it is best to consult a doctor who will inject the saline solution and thereby restore the body's water balance, as well as prevent dehydration. It may be that you have to learn this procedure yourself.

It is important to remember that love and attention are also important for your pet, and thanks to your care, he will be able to live longer.

In addition, it is important to inform the breeder from whom you bought the hedgehog about the diagnosis. In this case, this will allow other people to avoid such a problem, because an adequate breeder will remove your pet's parents from the breeding program, and also warn the owners of the rest of the litter.

Sometimes breeders even return money for the animal in full if there is a veterinary opinion about this kind of disease. This compensation does not include the payment of the veterinarian, only the price of the animal itself.

Sometimes they can also give the owner of a sick hedgehog a choice of another hedgehog and even ask him to bring a sick hedgehog in order to observe the remaining time.

The saddest thing, of course, is the moment when euthanasia (killing an animal) remains the best help for a sick hedgehog.

Speaking of precautions, including caring for the musculoskeletal system of the animal, you need to remember that proper nutrition, with all vitamins and minerals, a safe filler, wheel and observing the animal during walks will allow you to avoid problems with your pet's limbs.

Digestive system.

Stool disorders are a serious cause for concern. It can be associated with both unhealthy diet and poisoning.

It is very important to maintain the correct balance of all vitamins and minerals in the body, feed with high-quality food, do not give anything from the table, properly dose the products and monitor the weight of your pet.

If it happened that the feces of the hedgehog are not normal, that is, liquid, green, has an unpleasant odor, then he should be given cockroaches or insects with a lot of chitin (they dry well) based on his weight, and drugs like Smecta is strictly for children and Enterosgel (both can be injected into insects at the right dosage).

But it’s better not to self-medicate, give insects, observe the animal for a maximum of two days, and if the problem persists, consult a veterinarian who can determine the diagnosis and prescribe the necessary drugs in the right dosage.

Sometimes hedgehogs feel sick, but if the case is single, then you should not worry. It is possible that some parts of the feed could stick to the palate, or the animal immediately began to rush after feeding or simply overeat. But, if this is a regular process and the digestion of undigested food is added to it (not to be confused with insect chitin), then this is a problem. In this case, consult a doctor.

Recall which chair is normal for a hedgehog and which is not:

Normal stools are elongated, medium to dark brown in color, firm but not hard, not excessively wet, easily lifted in one piece.

  • Green - a large amount of bile in the digestive tract or food is not digested properly.
  • Green and slimy - can be caused by stress, a change in diet or water, infection or pancreatitis.

Carefully monitor the condition of the animal, keep on a soft diet. If the problem persists, take the animal to the doctor with an analysis of fresh feces.

  • Diarrhea - an improper diet, stress, a change in food or water, infection, pancreatitis, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, internal parasites.

Carefully monitor the condition of the animal, make sure that the animal drinks enough water, follow a soft diet. If diarrhea lasts more than 2 days, take the animal to the veterinarian with an analysis of its fresh feces.

Remember that you can’t take tests if you gave the animal antibiotics, they can change the results of the tests and the next opportunity to pass clean tests will appear in you only after two weeks, when the drug finally leaves the body.

Respiratory system.

Hedgehogs catch a cold very quickly and easily. A little draft is enough, staying outside in cool weather and now he has a runny nose.

Usually a disease like a cold is easy to recognize. The animal sneezes and even coughs, the nose is clogged or whistles violently, snot flows.

If your hedgehog still catches a cold, it must be taken to the veterinarian for examination, ideally call the doctor to your home to make a final diagnosis and prescribe the necessary drugs.

His home should be in a warm, comfortable place. For additional warming in the house, you can put a heating pad with warm water.

During sleep, pieces of dried snot can stick to the nose of the hedgehog. They can and should be removed if the animal is not able to do it on its own. Dampen the nose of the hedgehog with a wet ear stick, so that the dried particles are wet, you can also use petroleum jelly (so that the water is not absorbed). Do not clean the nozzles yourself, this can scare the animal, they themselves will fall away.

Mice, rats, hamsters, rabbits naked (newborns) are well-raised.

Most often, in case of problems with immunity and the fight against colds, animals are prescribed the following drugs: Gamavit, Immunofan, Anandin, Fosprenil, Baytril.

In no case do not give the above drugs on your own without contacting a doctor.


It is very important to monitor the teeth of your pet, since plaque can contribute to the formation of tartar, and it, in turn, is the main source of diseases of the oral cavity in hedgehogs.

It is necessary to regularly examine the teeth and gums of the animal, and apply preventive measures, which include, for example, solid feed feeding. Hard food helps cleanse teeth from plaque, but should not be abused to avoid premature tooth grinding.

You can also add to the water that the hedgehog drinks, a special veterinary drug - liquid from tartar, as well as brush his teeth with a silicone brush.

You can understand that your pet has problems with his teeth, according to several signs, for example, he refuses to eat food or avoids solid food, he smells badly from his mouth, his gums or jaw are swollen. Black teeth are also a sign of tooth problems, as well as tooth loss and loosening. Sometimes it is best to consult a veterinarian in order to clean your teeth. The procedure for removing tartar in animals is identical to that in dogs or cats.

Everything is interconnected in the body, so bad teeth can lead to liver infections, as well as heart disease. That is why it is important to monitor the condition of the teeth of the hedgehog, and its general condition and to properly care for it.

The ears.

It is very important to monitor the health of your pet’s ears.

Hedgehogs, like any other animal, are prone to ear mites, fungal infections, otitis media and other diseases that must be combated.

If you start to notice blood sores in your ears or witness how the hedgehog actively scratches your ears, this can be cause for serious concern. The animal must be examined and taken to an appointment with a veterinarian.

Also a symptom of serious problems are any discharge from the ears.

If the edges of the ears, in your pet, began to look a bit torn at the ends or have serrations, they were crusty, and any fungal infections and ticks were already excluded by the veterinarian, then this is the main sign of dry skin. In this case, the hedgehog's diet should be reviewed, perhaps this is a lack of vitamins of group “A” and group “E”

A non-odorous, greasy (emollient), neutral agent is usually used to relieve dryness. You can use almond / peach / apricot / olive oil, grape seed oil, which are sold in pharmacies.

A small amount of oil should be applied to the fingers and lubricating the ears of the hedgehog with massage movements.

Ears are restored - they become smooth, and the edge is even.

Dry ears can sometimes be associated with xerosis of the skin.

In any case, all changes in the health status of the ears should be treated by a veterinarian. Only he can diagnose the animal and prescribe the necessary drugs.

Remember! Without special need, ears of hedgehogs do not need to be cleaned. The maximum that you can do is to wipe the outer part of the ear, but you don’t need to climb in with foreign objects, such as chopsticks, because the ear of the animal can be damaged and lost its hearing. Ears are cleaned only under the condition of diseases and strictly by a veterinarian.


The eyes of a healthy hedgehog should be clean, clear, without any discharge and especially suppuration.

Eye problems are most often caused by mechanical influences, that is, the animal could get into the eye, for example, with a filler, or a foot to touch this area, but other reasons are also possible that are already directly related to the digestive or other system, as well as infections.

The eyes, as well as any other parts of the body and viscera, must be carefully monitored and for any problems consult a veterinarian.

Initially, swollen, reddened eyes can be washed with tea leaves (pure, leafy black tea, without any additives or flavors), chamomile broth (4 times a day).

If this is not an infection, then usually eye inflammation (redness) when treated with tea or chamomile disappears in 1-2 days, but if nothing happens and deterioration is observed, then the animal must be taken to the veterinarian urgently.

Eye infections in hedgehogs are usually similar to canine ones and they are prescribed the same drugs, but in different dosages.

For all this, self-medication is not worth it; not all drugs for dogs or people are suitable for hedgehogs. Only a specialist can diagnose the disease and prescribe medications necessary for the animal.

Speaking of echata, their eyes should open almost simultaneously, with a difference of a maximum of 1-3 days. If one of the hedgehog's eyes or one eye does not open, this indicates problems and the baby should be carefully examined, observed, if necessary, call a doctor at home.

The organs of vision in hedgehogs are the worst developed. During the day, they see almost nothing at all, therefore they should not be disturbed in the daytime, and even less so, the risk of injuries increases several times.


The skin of an animal is a mirror of health, a unique multifunctional organ.

The most understandable and noticeable function of the skin is the protection and isolation of the internal structures of the body from the external environment, from its physical and chemical agents, from the penetration of bacteria and pathogenic organisms into the body. The skin is involved in the metabolism, absorbing and eliminating various substances through its pores and glands. The skin is in the closest genetic and functional connection with the nervous system.

The skin and wool of the animal must be carefully monitored and must be looked after.

Like any other animal, hedgehogs are susceptible to fungal diseases, scabies, dryness (xerosis) and peeling of the skin.

One of the most common problems in hedgehogs is dryness (xerosis) and peeling of the skin.

Dry skin (xerosis) can be congenital in nature. Most often, it is noted in hedgehogs of light breeds or albinos, in which the skin is thinner, delicate, easily inflamed from exposure to temperature irritants.

It is customary to distinguish two main types of dry skin:

acquired dry skin - formed when exposed to various exogenous (external) factors. These factors include acute and chronic ultraviolet radiation, various meteofactors (wind, high temperature, low humidity), drying cleaning products. Thus, increased dry skin is observed in animals constantly residing in air-conditioned rooms, characterized by a certain microclimate that is unfavorable to the skin. Dry skin can also be a consequence of therapeutic measures.

constitutionally dry skin - may be associated with certain genetic and physiological characteristics. In particular, it happens when there is a physiological decrease in the production of sebum by the sebaceous glands. Dry skin can increase and dominate during aging (senile xerosis) or in various dermatoses: atopic dermatitis, ichthyosis, etc.

Dryness and peeling may be due to several factors:

  • Old skin - in this case, you should not be afraid, since the animal simply renews the skin.
  • Lack of vitamins - in this case, the diet should be reviewed and vitamins of the “A” and “E” groups added.
  • Frequent bathing - in order to avoid problems, a hedgehog should be bathed no more than once a quarter (once every three months).
  • Subcutaneous parasites - in order to make sure that the animal does not have subcutaneous ticks, it is necessary to pass a skin scraping for analysis.
  • Improper care - the use of low-fat products, hard water, weathered skin after bathing (poor wiping).

Gentle cleansing and adequate hydration, these are the main aspects in the care of dry skin of the animal.

It is necessary to select modern cleansers that can provide optimal skin cleansing on the one hand and not damaging the lipids of the stratum corneum on the other.

Film forming substances are suitable for hedgehogs, in which skin hydration is achieved by reducing transepidermal water loss. This is possible when a film consisting of lipids is applied to the surface of the stratum corneum.

The substances that form the film include substances that make up the oil phase of any emulsion (cream).

As the oil phase currently use:

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Paraffin
  • Perhydrosqualene
  • Various silicones
  • Natural oils rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids - fish oil, primrose, grape seed, etc.
  • Wax
  • Lanolin
  • Some fatty alcohols.

The most proven care methods for hedgehogs are natural oils.

The use of film-forming substances is the oldest method of moisturizing.

Dry skin treatment:

  • Thorough hygienic skin care, timely moisturizing and softening, that is, treatment with oils suitable for the hedgehog (apricot, peach, almond olive oil, grape seed oil). As a prophylaxis - once a week, with problems - once every three days, no more than 1-3 drops. If the hedgehog is oily, it will look untidy and particles of dust and dirt will stick to it. Dripping should be parted on the head and on the back. In no case do not oil the hedgehog belly.
  • The inclusion of vitamins A and E into the diet.
  • Temperature mode.
  • Bathing according to the norm.
  • Turn on the humidifier in the room with the animal.

Do not forget that dry skin can be caused not only by external or congenital factors, but also by subcutaneous parasites.

If you notice that the animal is actively combing itself, and dandruff is pouring from it, it is necessary to pass a scraping to identify subcutaneous parasites or a fungus. If they are detected, the course treatment prescribed by the veterinarian should be started.

Every African hedgehog on his chin has a small wart, which is located under the lower jaw, in the center of which a hair sticks out classically. You should not be afraid, it's just a vibris.

Here is the presence of pimples and cones on the body of the hedgehog, this is not normal. Picking, and even more so pushing them is not necessary. The animal just needs to be taken to the veterinarian.

Wool and needles.

On the body of the hedgehog is from 5 to 7 thousand needles. They cover its entire upper part, starting from the zone of the head and ending with the zone at the tail. The rest of the body is covered with dense fur.

Like any other living creature, the hedgehog is subject to molt, or rather, to change the needles.

Hedgehogs needles to lose and acquire new ones throughout their lives, but there are several mandatory stages when the needle cover of an animal is completely changed, this process must take place in the first six months of its life.

By 4 weeks of life, the hedgehog should grow fully colored, but not yet constant needles.

By 9 weeks, the primary color of the needles begins to be established.

The last molt of a hedgehog occurs by 12 weeks, when the main color of the needles is established and they can already be considered constant.

If your hedgehog begins to shed quickly and does not grow new ones in place of old needles, this indicates that he lacks vitamins (a consequence of malnutrition) and his skin is overdried.

In this case, it is recommended to add vitamins to the main diet, and also apply suitable oils (apricot, peach, almond olive oil, grape seed oil) several times a week.

If these measures do not help, this means that the animal is not healthy and should be shown to a veterinarian.

Perhaps the problem is that the animal has subcutaneous parasites that need to be removed from it.

An alarming symptom is also hair loss, mainly shreds.

In any case, you need to contact a veterinarian for diagnosis and proper treatment.

A bald parting in a hedgehog on his head is a feature of the physiology of this species. There are back muscles and this place in a hedgehog is considered the most convenient for examining the skin for dryness.


Allergies are rare, but forget about it, in any case, not worth it.

Most often, an allergy occurs to dust, certain chemicals or food and can be hereditary.

Signs of allergies are most often redness of the skin, as well as swelling in the eyes and nose and sneezing.

The most common is considered to be an allergy to food, namely dry cat or dog food.

If an allergy is found and complete certification that it is she, the allergen should be excluded.

If this is an allergy to food, then you should choose a new one or completely abandon it in favor of natural nutrition.

If it is allergic to the filler, then it should also be replaced with the most suitable and safe.

If you exclude all possible allergens, and the problem persists, then the animal should be shown to the veterinarian.

Do not give any allergy medications on your own, they can only do harm.


The main parasitic diseases in hedgehogs are:

  • Salmonellosis
  • Leptospirosis (pulmonary worms)
  • Ticks - ear, subcutaneous
  • Lice

Do prophylactic anthelmintic to hedgehogs without special need for that. Such drugs are usually prescribed if parasites have been detected and must be disposed of.

Any anthelmintic, like an antibiotic, hits the liver of an animal very hard.

Ideally, when worms or other internal parasites are detected, the veterinarian should independently administer to the animal the preparation necessary for this.

The following drugs are suitable for treatment from worms:

  • "Pyrantel pamoat" suspension for children - 0.3 ml once a day (with an animal weight of 400 grams). The course is 3 days. It is administered orally, using a syringe without a needle, into the corner of the mouth. Shake well before use.
  • "Albendazole" is a powerful tool, but has a wide range.

All anthelmintic drugs should be used with a drug that supports the liver - "Fosprenil" (homeopathic antiviral immunostimulating agent) - 0.5 ml, 2 times a day, orally.

Anthelmintic drugs can not be given to weakened, sick, pregnant animals and hedgehogs up to 2 months.

The preparations "Stromectol", "Ivermectin", "Ivomec", "Mectizan" are contraindicated for hedgehogs, they die from them. Make sure that the veterinarian does not prescribe them, let alone give them.

Treatment from external parasites should also occur as necessary and when they are directly detected on the body of the animal.

Before using this or that remedy for parasites, it is necessary to consult a specialist to understand how to treat the animal, and most importantly what dosage does not harm it.

To drip this or that drug is necessary at the withers of the animal.

Drugs that can be used to treat the hedgehog:

  • Front line
  • Rolf Club
  • Sprays suitable for rodents

Open wounds, cuts, inflammation of the genitals.

Sometimes it happens that an animal can cut itself or cut itself, this is of course unpleasant, but if you notice and take proper measures in time, it is not fatal.

Hedgehogs have very high blood coagulability and tissue regeneration.

For primary treatment of wounds and cuts, alcohol-containing preparations for disinfection cannot be used. In this case, hydrogen peroxide or chlorohexedine is most suitable.

If it happens that the wound is festering, then the hedgehog should be immediately shown to the veterinarian to prescribe funds that contribute to the release of pus.

In any case, self-medication is not necessary, the hedgehogs have very delicate skin and some creams and ointments can simply harm them.

Inflammation of the genital organs most often affects males, but females are no exception.

Problems with the genitals are most often caused by improper fillers, namely sawdust, which are contraindicated for males.

If you notice a slight inflammation in the area of ​​the penis or vagina, it must be washed.

Pour some water into the hedgehog basin, the required temperature and let the hedgehog go there for several minutes. Then carefully dry the animal and send it to a clean house for a rest.
If the inflammation does not go anywhere, then it is necessary to consult a specialist for diagnosis.

It happens that blood may appear in the filler of the animal. This is most often associated with the urinary system of the animal, if, of course, there is no external damage to the animal. In this case, the animal is taken to the doctor and treatment is prescribed, but most often, unfortunately, such diseases are not treated.

Any pimples, foreign bodies on the animal, should also be diagnosed by a doctor. Do not touch or pick them, it can only do harm.

Fractures and sprains.
The symptom of a fracture or sprain in a hedgehog is usually the inability to step on a limb, limp, and sometimes even a piercing scream.

If it happened that your hedgehog seriously damaged one of the limbs, it must be immediately shown to the veterinarian so that he can diagnose the damage and carry out the necessary procedures to anesthetize and fix the damaged area.

In no case do not self-medicate and do not let everything drift. Incorrectly fused bones or untreated bruises can adversely affect the subsequent life of your pet.


The cause of hedgehog hibernation is hypothermia, that is, improper temperature conditions in a room with a hedgehog.

Neither eared nor African hedgehogs, hibernation, unlike the usual European forest hedgehog, is not shown, moreover, it is destructive for them.

Asleep once, the animal runs the risk of not waking up anymore, and waking up after a prolonged sleep causes irreparable harm to its health.

In order for the hedgehog not to hibernate, the room temperature should be at least 23 degrees.

The hedgehog is usually taken out of hibernation by transfer to a warm room, hidden from drafts.

On the following pages of the forum of the Arkaim nursery, you can familiarize yourself with the preparations shown to hedgehogs in more detail, as well as learn about the most common symptoms of malaise:

I read somewhere that winter hibernation is a must for a hedgehog. If it is too warm, he does not hibernate, but something in the body is disturbed. There are those who send home hedgehog to sleep in October-November, make him a nest on the veranda, where it is not very warm and not cold. Can you tell us more about hibernation, do all hedgehogs need it or not at home?

Good afternoon!
Winter hibernation is mandatory only for European forest hedgehogs, even if living at home. Lack of hibernation entails health problems, hormonal imbalance, weakening of the body. African dwarf and eared hedgehogs are not introduced into hibernation, it is contraindicated for them (the animal may simply die from overheating).
If a European forest hedgehog lives in an apartment, then at the time of hibernation (end of October-November), the animal is placed in a box with a sufficient amount of building material for the winter (you can use fleece trimmings or bikes, plush) and send it to the balcony, where the temperature is not will fall below 2-5 degrees. At the time of hibernation, the animal should be well-fed (safe minimum weight at home is about 600-650 g.). With the beginning of spring (beginning of March), the animal is taken out of hibernation, brought into a warm room and waiting for awakening. Next, you must definitely show the animal to the doctor to make sure that the wintering was successful.

Good afternoon!
Winter hibernation is mandatory only for European forest hedgehogs, even if living at home. Lack of hibernation entails health problems, hormonal imbalance, weakening of the body. African dwarf and eared hedgehogs are not introduced into hibernation, it is contraindicated for them (the animal may simply die from overheating).
If a European forest hedgehog lives in an apartment, then at the time of hibernation (end of October-November), the animal is placed in a box with a sufficient amount of building material for the winter (you can use fleece trimmings or bikes, plush) and send it to the balcony, where the temperature is not will fall below 2-5 degrees. At the time of hibernation, the animal should be well-fed (safe minimum weight at home is about 600-650 g.). With the beginning of spring (beginning of March), the animal is taken out of hibernation, brought into a warm room and waiting for awakening. Next, you must definitely show the animal to the doctor to make sure that the wintering was successful.

Good afternoon,
Over the past month, the hedgehog has doubled in size, and the last few days has stopped going to the toilet and running in the wheel. Almost inactive at night and day. He doesn’t eat very much, he drinks normally. It looks very lethargic. What could be the problem?

Good day. Check the temperature in the room, if below normal, then the hedgehog will be sluggish. In any case, be sure to visit a veterinarian!

Recently, the eared one has started eating poorly, has lost weight quite abruptly and does not run around in the wheel. What can this be connected with?

Good afternoon! The second day the hedgehog drags the legs, it’s unlikely that the fracture will most likely be myelopathy ... tomorrow (Saturday) I can only take the vet to the X-ray and examination. What vitamins do you recommend? I'm afraid to buy something wrong myself.

Good afternoon! Help me please! I live in Vladikavkaz, we do not have good veterinarians! Hedgehog health experts, they haven’t even heard of this ... My hedgehog got sick, he doesn’t eat, doesn’t leave the house, he has growths on his nose and around his mouth, something like warts, they appeared very quickly, practically during four days, but before that he had a wart on his face, like a pimple, now she has sharply set out to grow. The vet, the doctor told where the malignancy was, drove him with a needle, and the blood went. She said it means there are such things in the mouth and inside, and they kill him, she offered to put him to sleep. He is about six years old, he came to me as an adult. I ate boiled chicken before, gave vitamins in droplets ... What should I do? I don’t know ... and there’s no one to turn to for help, but there’s no way to lead to Rostov or another city ...

Hello! I would like to know about the needles. My hedgehog has broken needles (that is, the ends are broken off, there are about 3-4 of them). I think everything is normal or not ...

I came across a hedgehog maniac. For more than a year now I’ve been trying to make it manual, but it bites like a bull terrier! Can he drink sedatives? It is not amenable to training. I'm afraid he wouldn’t bite me at night

Hello, please help, the day before yesterday we found a small hedgehog the size of a palm.
As everyone heard in fairy tales, she drank warm milk, drank eagerly ... but recently she found out that milk is strictly forbidden to them.
He has green liquid feces and this morning he is completely powerless, cold, although he was active last night.
I transplanted it into a box and turned on the lamp, and put the hedgehog in a hat.
Help save him please.

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