Articles on basic care and considerations for new or prospective owners.
Articles pertaining to health, nutrition, and veterinary care.
Articles and pictures about hedgehog breeding, growth, and development.
Articles for people who already own a hedgehog or want to know more than just the basics.
Learn more about hedgehog colors!
Wondering where to buy a hedgehog? Start here!
Where to purchase hedgehog supplies and collectibles.
Meet the hedgehogs of Hedgehog Valley!
Meet the other critters that call
or have called Hedgehog Valley
THE SCOOP ON POOP
Lately I have been fielding a lot of questions about hedgehog poop (what a way to start an article, eh?!). Normal hedgehog stools are a medium to dark brown in color and medium firm, kind of like the texture we expect from a healthy dog's droppings. In the picture above, one of our hedgehogs shows off a large but healthy stool. While it is not normal for hedgehog stools to be soft or runny in consistency, it does happen sometimes.
There are several things can lead to hedgehogs having soft or loose stools. Stress is probably the biggest factor. Shipping, travel, a change in environment- these things can be a stressor to the hedgehog and will sometimes result in a few days of soft stools.
Reactions to new foods or certain specific foods can cause soft stools. Dairy products and cheap cat foods are notorious for this. Some foods can even cause hedgehog poop to come out in really scary looking colors. Once I got a rescue that had what looked like hideous, bloody stools. We quickly took him to the vet who explained that it had turned that color because of red dye in his food. Whew! I’ve also seen yellow dye do nasty stuff to the color.
A good rule of thumb is that if the hedgehog is eating and drinking normally, behaving normally, and there is no unusual coloration other than from food, loose stools are not cause for alarm. Check the diet, check for signs of illness, and make sure your hedgehog is warm. If there is unexplainable discoloration, your hedgehog is not acting right, or it lasts for more than three days, then take your hedgehog to the vet. If your hedgehog is not right, go to the vet right away!
The vet may tell you to put the hedgehog on a bland diet. They may take a stool sample to check for parasites and bacteria. Depending on what the vet finds, you may be prescribed an antibiotic or treat for parasites. The vet may also give your hedgehog medicine to help with the immediate symptoms or recommend fluids if your hedgehog has become dehydrated.
Another poop issue is when your hedgehog becomes constipated. If you notice that your hedgehog has had no output for 24 hours but is otherwise behaving normally, put your hedgehog on newspaper so you can easily see what output is being made. If still nothing after another 24 hours, go to the vet immediately. If hedgehog is acting strangely, get to the vet right away.
Paying attention to hedgehog poop is a great way to help keep your hedgehog happy and healthy!
All information on this web site is copyright of Hedgehog Valley. You may view/print the web pages for your personal use. You may also provide a link to these pages without prior approval. No one is allowed to re-post the information from Hedgehog Valley Web Site, including pictures, to any other web site, without the approval of Hedgehog Valley. Copyright 2002