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Hedgehog. Hedgehog or Urchin A small insect-eating mammal related to the mole and shrew. Of the 15 species of hedgehogs, most are found in Europe, Asia,

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Presentation on theme: "Hedgehog. Hedgehog or Urchin A small insect-eating mammal related to the mole and shrew. Of the 15 species of hedgehogs, most are found in Europe, Asia,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Hedgehog

2 Hedgehog or Urchin A small insect-eating mammal related to the mole and shrew. Of the 15 species of hedgehogs, most are found in Europe, Asia, and Africa

3 Family Erinaceidae Most with spiny (barbless) pelage, roll into ball for defense They have vibrissae Olfactory and tactile sense are very well developed

4 Order Afrosoricida Tenrecidae mainly from Madagascar. Urogenital and anal opening terminating in acloaca. Many are hedgehog-like

5 African Pygmy Hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris) Diet: Insectivorous, Adult Size: 6-10 inches 18-30 ounces Lifespan: 3-4 years. Characteristics: Active, vocal, solitary and nocturnal.

6 · Hedgehogs have a unique circular skin muscle that forms a protective "bag" for the animal when contracted and causes its sharp spines to become erect. · At birth, the hedgehog's spines are beneath a skin membrane, but they begin to emerge within the first 24 hours of life.. The spines themselves are hollow hairs made stiff with the protein keratin.

7 Hedgehog First lower incisors are well developed, but not as large as in shrews The dental formula of the hedgehog is thus I3/2, C1/1, P3/2, M3/3, and the hedgehog has a total of 36 teeth.

8 Quilling In Juveniles Just like people lose their baby teeth, hedgehogs shed their “baby spines.” At about 2-3 months, the hedgehog's baby spines will fall out as their adult counterparts emerge from beneath the skin. This “quilling” is completely normal, To help relieve discomfort, bathe your hedgehog in a warm bath containing olive or canola oil

9 Hibernation Hedgehogs will hibernate in nature when the temperature drops, but it’s unhealthy, and often even fatal, if they do this in captivity. To avoid hibernation, the temperature in a hedgehog's environment must be kept above 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Signs that a hedgehog is too cold and on the verge of hibernation are staggered "drunk-like“ walking and appetite loss. If a hedgehog exhibits these symptoms, warm its surroundings gradually.

10 The Basics -- African Pygmy Hedgehogs are one of 15 different species of hedgehogs, and they represent the overwhelming majority of hedgehogs available in the retail pet trade. They are curious, active and vocal animals that can be fascinating to observe. However,being nocturnal, they will be more active at night and reclusive during the day.

11 Colors

12 Enclosures Optimal temperature 65º-90º F Hedgehogs are energetic and surprisingly athletic animals. Given the hedgehog’s climbing ability, its enclosure must have a secure escape- proof top. A plastic or metal "ferret enclosure" works well for hedgehogs. This enclosure should measure at least 30 square inches, provide ample ventilation and be escape-proof. A 30-gallon aquarium can also be used to house hedgehogs, provided it has a secure mesh top to ensure adequate ventilation.

13 Hiding Places: They Need A Place To Hide -- Being nocturnal animals, Hedgehogs must have ready access to snug and secure hiding places to sleep in during the day, and to find reassurance whenever they become frightened. This can be as simple as a piece of 4 inch PVC pipe, an old plastic pitcher, or an old shoe box with a hole cut in one end. (this should be replaced every 2 to 3 weeks).

14 Enrichment Toys that can easily be chewed up into little pieces and ingested should be avoided. Also avoid exercise wheels with bars, since hedgehogs can become injured if their feet fall through the open spaces. Solid wheels and mesh wheels with liners are better choices. Tennis balls and hard plastic balls are good toy choices.

15 Enrichment videos

16 Bedding: A Variety Will Work Wood shavings that don’t produce a lot of dust, like Aspen make good bedding for hedgehogs. Hay and pelleted paper cat/bird litter also work. Place two inches of bedding throughout the enclosure Cedar bedding must be avoided under all circumstances, since it can cause severe harm to a hedgehog’s respiratory system. Place two inches of bedding throughout the enclosure.

17 Diet: They Are Hearty Insect Eaters Unlike rabbits, guinea pigs and many small rodents, which live on a vegetarian diet, hedgehogs are largely carnivorous. In nature, their diet consists primarily of insects, although they will also take snakes and small rodents. A pet hedgehog should be fed a diet that is rich in protein, but relatively low in fat. Commercially formulated hedgehog foods are the preferred choice,.

18 Nutrition cont.. The main part of your hedgehog diet should consist of a mix of 2 or more high quality kibble. A light or diet cat food is the best and should contain meat in the top 5 ingredients. It should be high in protein (30%) and low in fat (6-14% max.) HIGH QUALITY KIBBLE Royal Canin Light 37, Chicken Soup Cat Lovers Soul Light, Natural Balance,Solid Gold, Wellness, California Natural, First Mate, Complete Nutrition Hedgehog Diet MEDIUM QUALITY KIBBLE 8 in 1 Ultra hedgehog, Eukanuba, Iams, L' avian Hedgehog, PetGold, Purina Pro-Plan, Zoofare Insectivore

19 Since hedgehogs are nocturnal, they are more likely to eat at night. The food bowl should be relatively wide (3-6 inches) to minimize spillage, and no more than 3-inches deep.

20 Hedgehogs also enjoy a variety of our food. These can be used as snacks. Please remember no salt or seasoning MEAT: ALL UNSEASONED: Chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, pork, tuna, salmon VEGGIES: Cooked peas, green pepper, cooked carrot, cooked squash, cooked sweet potato FRUITS: Banana, blueberries, cranberries, kiwi, melon, pear, slices of apple, strawberry, watermelon MISCELLANEOUS: Hard boiled egg, baby food, cottage cheese, yogurt BUGS: Crickets, mealworms, can-o-worms, silkworms, waxworms (very fattening, only in small moderations) NEVER FEED: Chocolate, human junk food, any type of nuts, bird seed, raisins, onions

21 Water: Use Bottles Instead Of Bowls -- Clean, fresh water should always be available to a hedgehog. New hedgehogs should be given water from a bowl, but most will eventually learn to drink from a bottle. A hamster-style water bottle should be introduced to a hedgehog’s enclosure while the animal is still drinking from a bowl.

22 Provide a litter box. Make sure it is large enough for the hedgehog and clean it every day. Keep an eye for any irregular bowel movements which could indicate distress or illness.

23 Strange behavior When some hedgehogs, especially males, become aroused by an unfamiliar or provocative scent, they will tug at its source before pulling away, suddenly contorting themselves and foaming at the mouth. The hedgehog will then go into a frenzy, spreading the saliva allover its spines. Although it looks alarming, this “self anointing” behavior is quite normal. Most naturalists believe that hedgehogs do this as a form of protection.

24 Reproduction Sexual maturity 3-9 months Litter size 2-6 Gestation 32-48 days Weaning 5-6 weeks Breeding 1-2 times/year spontaneous ovulates (environment)

25 Reproduction You will want to choose a single hedgehog since they are solitary and don’t normally like to share a cage. Never buy a male and female to be placed in the same cage unless you intend to breed! Hedgehogs are ready to breed as early as 8 weeks and females should never be bred before 5 months, so be careful! Both sexes have five nipples. In males the prepuce is some distance from the anus, near the navel, while in females the vulva is much closer to the anus. The testes are intra-abdominal.

26 Intraabdominal testis


28 Breeding Since you will be bringing the female to the male's cage, (this ensures better breeding success) clean his cage, and remove any obstacles such as toys, tubes or boxes that might get in their way. Then, take her to his cage and leave them together for about 7 days. Soon after being placed together, the male will start to squeak and squeal (sometimes called plaintive squeaks) as he chases the female around the cage. Once she finally accepts him, (or just plain gives up - it's hard to say which!) she will lay her quills down, flatten to the floor, and push out her soft-haired rump. It is then, and only then that he will mount and breed her.


30 Physiological values Weight: Male 400-600g Female 300-600g Temperature 95.7º-98.6ºF Heart rate 180-260 beats per minute Respiratory rate 25-50 breaths per minute

31 Venipuncture (under anesthesia) Use 25gauge needle

32 Diseases Common Conditions and Diseases Skin mites or ringworm (fungal) infections- bothmanifested by scales, crusts, and the loss of spines. Gastrointestinal disorders- malnutrition and sudden diet changes are the most common causes of hedgehog diarrhea. Dental disease - periodontitis and gingivitis are not uncommon esp. in hedgehogs maintained on a soft food diet. Large pieces of hard food may become trapped on the roof of the mouth causing discomfort. Cardiac (heart) Disease- may result in weight loss and labored breathing Cancer- very common in hedgehogs over 2 years of age. Any system can be affected (skin, reproductive tract, liver, lymph nodes etc.) with the oral cavity and skin being two common sites for tumor development. Clinical signs vary with tumor location and may include external lumps and bumps, lack of appetite, weight loss and generalized weakness

33 Mites One of the most common problems that pet hedgehogs suffer are from mites. Mites can originate from an infested bag of bedding, wood in their cage, or another animal. General symptons include quill loss, scratching, dry flaky skin,and tattered ears. Mite infestation can lead to red inflamed skin, open sores, blindness, ear infections, and death. Several species of mites have been identified, including sarcoptic, demodectic, psoroptes, and chorioptes being the most common

34 This image shows evidence of Chorioptes spp. skin mites thus confirming the diagnosis

35 Mites cont. Currently most breeders are treating mite outbreaks with Revolution (r) (selamectin). A single topical treatment of Revolution will last a full 30 days and will outlast the life cycle of any mite. Revolution's dosage is 1 drop behind the ear for hedgies weighing less than 350 grams. For hedgehogs above 350grams, the dosage is 1 drop behind each ear

36 Ringworm Many hedgehogs who encounter mites may develop Ringworm. If your hedgehog had mites, it should be treated for ringworm as well It is important to gently soften the scabs so that the underlying infection is exposed, using Almond oil to soften with a soft toothbrush but brush in the direction of the spines not against them.

37 Ringworm cont.. The standard treatment is to then bathe in IMAVEROL solution every 3 or 4 days, for 4 baths. Along with the baths using one of the over-the-counter Anti-Fungals from the local Pharmacy in conjunction with the baths works very well. Do not use oral antifungal treatments like Grisovin as that causes quite severe liver problems in hedgehogs, stays in the system for an extremely long time and is passed on to babies causing congenital deformities Some safe treatment creams are: Canestan 2% (Clotrimazole) cream Tinaderm (Tolnaftate) cream Daktarin (Miconazole) cream

38 Squamous cell carcinoma This hedgehog suffers from an oral cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. It is a relatively common cancer in hedgehogs. You will find blood in the hedgehog's food bowl. The oral cancer is usually found on the roof of the mouth. Affected hedgehogs are usually weakened from a lack of appetite as a result of the painful mouth lesion.

39 Fatty Liver Disease Hedgehogs are sometimes inclined to getting Fatty Liver Disease (FLD). While all reasons are not understood, there have been some suggestions that it can be due to the type of diet, in some cases the quantity, lack of exercise. One of the best ways to prevent FLD is to provide a wheel or other regular excercise.

40 Dental care Using hard food as a major portion of the diet is the best prevention, but as the pet ages gum and tooth disease may still develop. Normal hedgehog teeth are white and their gums should be a healthy medium to dark pink in colour.

41 Signs of dental disease include a decreased or complete loss of appetite, drooling, foul breath, red/swollen gums, tooth discolouration and pawning at the mouth. Take an x-ray to see if there are any root infections, prior to instituting treatment. Regular tooth loss occurs between 2-6 years of age

42 Questions???

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