My Hedgehog Won’t Eat Or Drink (FAQ)

✅ Fact Checked
Updated on January 16, 2023
Michael Colt, Bachelor Computer Science Degree & Computer Engineering.
Written by
Michael Colt, Bachelor Veterinary Medicine & Animal Science.
Ella Williams
Fact Checked by
Ella Williams
Dr. Michael Colt is a highly qualified veterinarian and animal scientist. He has extensive knowledge and experience in the care and treatment of animals, and a deep understanding of the latest scientific research in the field. Dr. Colt is dedicated to promoting the health and well-being of animals, and is committed to providing the highest level of care to his patients. Holds a Bachelors Degree in Veterinary Medicine from Middle Tennessee State University.

⭐ Fun Fact ⭐
Did you know that hedgehogs have over 5,000 quills on their bodies? These quills aren’t just for show; they serve as a defense mechanism against predators. And, while they may look intimidating, hedgehogs are actually quite friendly and are known to even enjoy being handled by their owners.
As a hedgehog owner, it’s normal to be concerned when your furry friend stops eating or drinking. This can be a sign of an underlying health issue and should not be ignored. However, it’s also important to remember that there are many reasons why a hedgehog may refuse food or water and that it’s not always a cause for alarm.

In this article, we will explore some of the common reasons why hedgehogs may refuse to eat or drink and what you can do to help. We will cover some simple tips for improving their diet and encouraging hydration, as well as when to seek professional help if the issue persists. So, let’s dive in!

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Is your hedgehog refusing to eat or drink? No need to panic! By following the tips and advice outlined in this article, you can help your hedgehog get back to their healthy self.

1 Understanding the Problem

When a hedgehog refuses to eat or drink, it’s important to first understand what constitutes normal behavior for a healthy hedgehog. By recognizing the signs of a healthy hedgehog, you can better identify when there is a problem and what may be causing it.

Signs of a Healthy Hedgehog:
– Active and energetic
– Regular eating and drinking habits
– Normal weight
– Shiny and clean quills
– Bright and alert eyes

If your hedgehog is exhibiting these signs, it’s unlikely that their refusal to eat or drink is due to a serious health issue. However, if you notice any changes in your hedgehog’s behavior or appearance, it’s important to take action.

Common Reasons for Refusing to Eat or Drink:
– Illness or infection
– Stress
– Change in diet or water source
– Dental problems
– Fatigue

It’s important to remember that each hedgehog is unique and may have specific reasons for refusing food or water. However, by addressing the common causes, you can help to improve their health and wellbeing.

In order to determine the specific cause of your hedgehog’s refusal to eat or drink, it’s important to closely observe their behavior and make any necessary changes. This may include offering a variety of foods and water sources, monitoring their food and water intake, and consulting with a veterinarian. By taking proactive steps to understand the problem and address it, you can help your hedgehog get back to their healthy self.

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2 Possible Solutions

If your hedgehog is refusing to eat or drink, there are several steps you can take to encourage them and improve their health.

Encouraging Hydration:
Offering a Variety of Water Sources:
One of the most effective ways to encourage hydration is by offering a variety of water sources. This can include fresh water in a bowl, a water bottle, or even moist fruits and vegetables. Experimenting with different options can help you find what works best for your hedgehog and encourage them to drink more.

Monitoring Water Consumption:
In addition to offering different water sources, it’s also important to monitor your hedgehog’s water consumption. Keeping track of how much they are drinking can help you identify any changes in their behavior and determine if there is a problem.

Improving Diet:
In order to improve your hedgehog’s diet, it’s important to take a comprehensive approach that includes offering a variety of foods, monitoring their food intake, and consulting with a veterinarian if necessary.

Offering a Variety of Foods:
Offering a variety of foods can help ensure that your hedgehog is getting all of the nutrients they need. This can include commercial hedgehog food, mealworms, fresh fruits and vegetables, and more. Experimenting with different options can help you find what works best for your hedgehog and encourage them to eat more.

Monitoring Food Intake:
Just like with water, it’s important to monitor your hedgehog’s food intake. Keeping track of how much they are eating can help you identify any changes in their behavior and determine if there is a problem.

Consultation with a Veterinarian:
If you have tried all of these steps and your hedgehog is still refusing to eat or drink, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. A veterinarian can help determine if there is a health issue that needs to be addressed and provide advice on the best course of action.

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By taking a proactive approach and implementing these solutions, you can help your hedgehog get back to their healthy self. Encouraging hydration and improving their diet can have a significant impact on their overall health and wellbeing.

3 When to Seek Professional Help

As a hedgehog owner, it’s important to be vigilant about your pet’s health. A hedgehog that refuses to eat or drink for an extended period of time can suffer from dehydration or malnutrition, both of which can be serious and even life-threatening. To ensure your hedgehog stays healthy, it’s important to know when to seek professional help.

Signs of Dehydration or Malnutrition
One of the first signs of dehydration or malnutrition in a hedgehog is a loss of skin elasticity. If you gently pinch the skin on your hedgehog’s back, it should spring back into place quickly. If it takes longer for the skin to return to its normal position or if the skin remains tented, it’s a sign that your hedgehog is dehydrated. Additionally, hedgehogs that are dehydrated may have sunken eyes and a dry, sticky mouth.

Severe Weight Loss or Lack of Energy
Another indication that your hedgehog may be suffering from dehydration or malnutrition is if they experience significant weight loss or a lack of energy. Hedgehogs that are dehydrated or malnourished may also seem lethargic or uninterested in their surroundings.

Persistent Refusal to Eat or Drink
If your hedgehog continues to refuse food and water for several days, it’s time to seek professional help. A veterinarian can perform a physical examination and perform any necessary tests to determine the underlying cause of your hedgehog’s refusal to eat or drink. The earlier the problem is identified, the better the chances for a successful outcome.

So ultimately, if you notice any of these signs in your hedgehog, it’s important to seek the help of a veterinarian. By monitoring your pet’s eating and drinking habits, you can catch any potential problems early and ensure that your hedgehog stays healthy and happy for many years to come.

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What should I do if my hedgehog isn’t eating?

Yes, if your hedgehog isn’t eating, there are several steps you can take. Firstly, ensure that the food you are offering is fresh and of good quality, and that it is being served in a clean and appropriate feeder. You can also try offering a variety of foods to see if there is something your hedgehog particularly prefers.

It is also important to monitor the temperature and humidity levels in your hedgehog’s habitat, as changes in these factors can impact their appetite. If the issue persists, it is recommended to seek professional advice from a veterinarian, who can determine if there is an underlying health issue and provide proper treatment.

What are the signs of a sick hedgehog?

Yes, there are several signs that a hedgehog may be sick. Some of the most common include:

  • Loss of appetite – If a hedgehog is not eating or drinking as much as usual, it could be a sign of illness.
  • Lethargy – A hedgehog that is sleeping more than usual or is less active than normal could be sick.
  • Diarrhea – A change in the hedgehog’s feces consistency or frequency can indicate an underlying health problem.
  • Abnormal discharge from eyes, nose or ears – If a hedgehog is producing an unusual amount of discharge from its eyes, nose, or ears, it could be a sign of infection.
  • Bald spots or scaly skin – A hedgehog that is losing fur or has scaly skin may have a skin condition or parasite infestation.

It’s important to note that hedgehogs are skilled at hiding illness, so observing changes in behavior and physical appearance is crucial. If you suspect that your hedgehog is sick, it’s best to take them to a veterinarian experienced in treating hedgehogs.

How can you tell if a hedgehog is dehydrated?

Yes, there are several ways to determine if a hedgehog is dehydrated:

  • Skin Turgor – Pinch a small area of skin on the hedgehog’s back and release it. If the skin returns to its normal position slowly, the hedgehog may be dehydrated.
  • Mucous Membranes – Check the hedgehog’s gums, if they appear dry and sticky, it may be a sign of dehydration.
  • Eyes – If the hedgehog’s eyes are sunken, it may be dehydrated.
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Dehydration can be a serious issue in hedgehogs, as it can lead to other health problems. It’s important to provide fresh water at all times and monitor their hydration status regularly. If you suspect that your hedgehog is dehydrated, it’s best to take them to a veterinarian for treatment.

How do you force feed a hedgehog?

Yes, it is necessary to force feed a hedgehog if it is not eating enough on its own. This can be done by mixing a special formula made specifically for hedgehogs and using a feeding syringe.

Steps to force feed a hedgehog:

1. Acquire a special formula made specifically for hedgehogs, such as Exotic Nutrition’s Hedgehog Food.
2. Mix the formula according to the instructions on the package.
3. Fill a feeding syringe with the formula.
4. Gently hold the hedgehog on its back and place the tip of the syringe into the side of its mouth, between the cheek and the tongue.
5. Slowly squeeze the syringe to release the formula into the hedgehog’s mouth.
6. Repeat until the desired amount has been fed.

It is important to note that force feeding should only be done as a last resort and under the supervision of a veterinarian. Hedgehogs are solitary animals and force feeding can cause stress, so it is best to minimize handling and disturbance as much as possible.

5 Conclusion

To sum it up, the well-being of your hedgehog is of utmost importance, and it’s vital to take any refusal to eat or drink seriously. Remember, a hedgehog refusing to eat or drink can be a temporary issue, but it can also indicate a more serious problem. With proper care and attention, you can help your hedgehog get back to a healthy state. Offer a variety of foods and hydration options and monitor their intake, as this can make a big difference.

However, if the issue persists and you notice signs of dehydration or malnutrition, severe weight loss, or lack of energy, it is important to seek professional help. This will ensure that your hedgehog receives proper care and treatment and can help prevent any long-term health problems. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a veterinarian, they are the best equipped to diagnose and treat your hedgehog.

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In summary, it’s essential to stay proactive and monitor your hedgehog’s eating and drinking habits, and if you notice any concerning changes, seek professional help immediately. Your hedgehog’s health is in your hands, and with the right care, it will thrive.

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