Can Hedgehogs Eat Snails?

When it comes to a hedgehog’s diet, some foods are good for it, and some should avoid them. In the wild, hedgehogs are known to eat all sorts of things. Since hedgehogs eat all sorts of creepy crawlies, let’s consider whether hedgehogs can eat snails or not?

Yes, hedgehogs can eat snails and are known to eat snails in the wild.

People have observed that the snail population is kept in control because of hedgehogs. Hedgehogs have a varied diet, and therefore it comes as no surprise if they eat snails. Hedgehogs play an important role in controlling the snail population.

Do Hedgehogs Eat Dead Slugs?

Hedgehogs are not particularly fond of slugs. However, if no other food is available, a hedgehog will resort to eating slugs even if they are dead.

To reduce the slug population, many gardeners opt to use slug pellets that poison slugs. Slug pellets have become a problem because hedgehogs may eat these slugs and die of poisoning.  Hedgehogs have also been known to die because of eating slug pellets directly.

If you currently use slug pellets in the garden – think again!

Do Hedgehogs Eat Slugs?

Along with snails, hedgehogs also eat slugs. Slug and snails do not make up a large proportion of a hedgehog’s diet. However, if there is no other food available, then a hedgehog may eat slugs. Slugs have a bitter taste that hedgehogs do not like.

Although hedgehogs eat slugs, it is not a great option for them.

Slugs contain parasites that can be harmful to hedgehogs. In worst cases, hedgehogs can die from eating too many slugs. Therefore, to create a safe space for hedgehogs, you should put out food and water so they are not inclined to eat slugs.

Which Hedgehog Parasites are Found in Slugs and Snails?

As aforementioned, eating slugs and snails is harmful to hedgehogs because they are host to parasites.

A healthy hedgehog can be immune to these parasites; however, the parasites can take over if a hedgehog is sick. If a hedgehog has been affected greatly by parasites, it may not eat and hence suffer from malnutrition.

When hedgehogs are sick, they may act differently, for example, being awake during the daytime. Unfortunately, many rescue hedgehogs suffer from internal parasites.

Parasites such as fluke and lungworm are found in slugs and snails. These parasites are dangerous and can even pass down from the mother hedgehog to the babies in the womb.

How to Identify Internal Parasites in Hedgehogs

If your hedgehog is ill, or you have rescued one, and you are unsure if it has parasites, monitor its poop. You can only identify internal parasites in hedgehogs by looking at their poop under a microscope.

There are also other ways you can see if your hedgehog has internal parasites, but the best way is to look at their poop.

Fluke parasite will make your hedgehog’s poop smell worse than usual, and your hedgehog will also be hyperactive. If hedgehogs suffer from worms, they will also have a bad cough. Too much parasitic burden can cause your hedgehog to refrain from eating.

Normal poop for a hedgehog will be dark brown, black, and firm.

If your hedgehog is sick and suffering from internal parasites, its poop will be green/yellow and look like it has diarrhoea. However, you cannot conclude that your hedgehog has internal parasites only from looking at the colour of its poop.

Green or yellow poop can be because of fluke and bacterial infection or an upset stomach. Hence, if your hedgehog poops funny, you must take it for a test before concluding.

How To Treat Internal Parasites in Hedgehogs

If you suspect that your hedgehog has internal parasites, you should monitor its eating and sleeping habits and poop. In addition, different colours and textures in poop may indicate the possibility of internal parasites.

However, noticing these changes is not enough, and you MUST take your hedgehog to a vet and get its poop tested for internal parasites.

If your hedgehog has internal parasites, the vet will act quickly as these are dangerous. The vet will prescribe different medicines to your hedgehog to help it battle the parasites. However, a parasitic infestation can still be there even if the worms are not visible.

To help with the infestation, the vet will figure out which species it is and then treat it accordingly. The treatments for parasites can be oral medications to injections. If there are any bacterial infections because of parasites, the vet will also give antibiotics.

Along with giving these medications to your hedgehog, you must keep the cage, food, and water clean. You must ensure that your hedgehog is hydrated and drinking plenty of water. Moreover, see to it that your hedgehog is warm and safe.

It is best to get your hedgehog dewormed to prevent any internal parasites in the future and keep it away from any food that can have parasites. You must act quickly in case of internal parasites as they can quickly prove to be fatal.

Summary

Hedgehogs in the wild can eat snails and slugs.

The snail population is in control because of hedgehogs. Hedgehogs may also eat dead and alive slugs. However, hedgehogs do not prefer eating snails and slugs. If there is insufficient food, then hedgehogs will consume snails and slugs.

Due to slug pellets, many hedgehogs lose their lives because they eat poisoned slugs.

Unfortunately, slugs and snails have internal parasites that can harm hedgehogs and be fatal for them. You can recognize if your hedgehog is suffering from internal parasites by observing their sleeping and eating patterns and poop.

If the poop is green or yellow, you must get it tested for parasitic infestation. Then, the vet may prescribe various oral medications and injections to a sick hedgehog. It is best to act quickly if you suspect internal parasites in your hedgehog as they are life-threatening.

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Hey, I'm Brian and I love hedgehogs. They're curious little animals that fascinate me. Over the years, I've become extremely knowledgeable about hedgehogs so have decided to share that knowledge here