When deciding to bring a pet home, you are taking responsibility for its health and well-being. Hence, it is important to know what your pet needs and if it requires any medical assistance.
Unfortunately, hedgehogs are exotic animals that have become popular pets, and as a result, people may not always be aware of their needs. So do hedgehogs need shots?
As opposed to other pets, hedgehogs do not need any shots.
Pets such as cats and dogs are known to carry diseases such as rabies. However, hedgehogs do not carry rabies and therefore do not require shots. Hence, you do not need to worry about getting your hedgehog vaccinated, but you should keep up with vet visits.
As your hedgehog (like any other animal) can get sick, you need to have a licensed vet who has experience dealing with exotic pets.
Do Hedgehogs Carry Diseases?
Certain diseases can be transferred from animals to humans. Hedgehogs indeed carry diseases that humans can carry. However, hedgehogs become carriers of diseases that they are exposed to.
If hedgehogs are not exposed to these diseases from the start, they will not be carriers and will not transmit them to humans.
Hedgehogs can transmit diseases to humans in various ways. When a hedgehog bites or scratch humans, it can transmit germs. Moreover, humans can be exposed to diseases by encountering urine, faeces, blood, or saliva of the hedgehog.
Other diseases can be transmitted to you is if you have open skin or wounds. Therefore, it would be best to tend to any wounds that you have.
Your hedgehog can carry four categories of diseases that include parasitic, fungal, bacterial, and viral. Some parasites can be found in water, food, and soil. These parasites are strong enough to withstand sanitisers.
However, the most common way for parasites to seep into your system is through the water. Hence, you must have a clean water source. You can do this by having boiled water for you and your hedgehog.
You can also choose to have bottled water for your hedgehog and yourself.
Salmonella is one disease that hedgehogs are known to carry and has taken people by the storm. Hedgehogs can carry salmonella and transmit it to humans, but only if they are exposed to it.
Being a foodborne disease, your hedgehog can only contract salmonella if its food source has it. To ensure that your hedgehog does not encounter salmonella, cook any human food you give your hedgehog thoroughly. In addition, after dealing with your hedgehog, you should always wash your hands.
Do Hedgehogs Need to Go to the Vet?
All pets need to go to the vet, and so do hedgehogs. It is important that you choose an experienced and licensed vet for your hedgehog as they are exotic animals, and not every vet will know how to deal with them.
Hedgehogs do not require vaccinations, but they still need to visit the vet to ensure they do not fall sick. Moreover, it is best to get your hedgehog spayed and neutered if you plan to keep more than one hedgehog.
Many diseases are common in hedgehogs. Moreover, these small mammals tend to hide their illnesses, so it is always best to stay on top of them. Hedgehogs are prone to gaining weight and becoming diabetic.
They are also likely to dental diseases and cancer. If you notice your hedgehog exhibiting strange behaviour, you should contact your vet immediately. Careful care on your part can help your hedgehog prevent a lot of diseases before it even contracts.
The vet can also treat your hedgehog for parasites if it goes in the garden and munches on insects. Moreover, mites are also commonly found in hedgehogs and will have to be treated if your hedgehog has acquired them.
Do Hedgehogs Require a lot of Maintenance?
No pet in the world does not need maintenance. Hedgehogs also require care and attention, but they are relatively low-maintenance pets as compared to others.
One great thing about hedgehogs is that they are solitary animals, so they will not get depressed if there is no one to play with them. Hedgehogs prefer to spend time alone and are fine with eating, sleeping, and running the wheel by themselves in their cage.
The only real maintenance comes with keeping up with the annual vet visits, cleaning, and feeding your hedgehog. Cleaning the cage out requires only ten to fifteen minutes of your day.
You need to change the water every couple of days and provide food every few hours. Hedgehogs sleep during the day, so you have ample time on your hands.
When it comes to spending on your hedgehog, you will be spending on food, its cage, and other necessary things such as its bedding. Visits to the vet are once a year, which is essentials.
So, hedgehogs do not require much maintenance. However, if you have a sick hedgehog, taking care of it may take some of your time. Moreover, the vet visits can become frequent depending on how long your hedgehog is sick for and what disease it has.
As opposed to cats and dogs, hedgehogs do not require annual shots because they do not carry rabies. Hence, you do not have to worry about getting your hedgehog vaccinated, but you still need to keep up with annual visits to the vet.
Hedgehogs are known to carry diseases such as salmonella. However, hedgehogs can only carry those diseases to which they are exposed. Therefore, to avoid exposing your hedgehog to diseases, you need to ensure that your water source is not compromised.
If you give any human food to your hedgehog, it should be cooked all the way through.
It would be best if you had a licensed vet that has experience dealing with hedgehogs. They are generally low-maintenance pets, but if you have a sick hedgehog, you may need to go to the vet quite often, depending on what disease it has and for how long.