As a hedgehog owner, you want to make sure that your pet is always healthy and happy. But problems are bound to arise and it is important to know how to properly deal with them. It’s hard to know when your animal isn’t feeling well but the key is to look out for any irregular changes in your hedgehog’s behavior.
Although it might be an unsavory topic, your hedgehog’s poop (or lack thereof) may be telling of their current health situation. It isn’t something that you may particularly pay attention to now but you may want to in the future.
After all, it could be a matter of life or death for your hedgehog. And why would you want to risk it?
Where’s the Poop?
If you have peeked into your hedgehog’s cage lately and have noticed how oddly clean and smell-free it is, it’s probably because it’s lacking in hedgehog poo. Despite feeding your animal friend on a regular basis, there seems to be no poop to prove it.
So, what’s really going on with your hedgehog? How concerned should you really be? The answers lie ahead.
Your Hedgehog May Be Constipated
As with humans, a lack of bowel movements typically signifies constipation. Yup, hedgehogs can get constipated too. However, your hedgehog can’t communicate this to you, so chances are that you have no choice but to make that assumption.
Although many experts agree this is not necessarily a reason to panic, it can be a cause for concern for many pet owners regardless. You don’t want your pet to be in any type of distress, after all, so who could blame you?
But before you make an emergency visit to your vet, there are a few things you can try with your hedgehog to get it to finally relieve itself. Cooked pumpkin seems to be the most recommended remedy available.
If your hedgehog is simply dealing with a hardened stool situation, the liquid in the pumpkin will not only serve as a laxative for your little guy but will also soften their stool, thanks to the water in it. Just keep in mind that the pumpkin should be unseasoned!
Stress Could Be Blocking Your Hedgehog’s Bowels
Animals are capable of feeling stress, just the same as humans are. As a result, their bodies can react negatively. If you have recently adopted your hedgehog or have moved them into a new home, chances are that it could be stressed out.
And who wouldn’t be in that scenario? A good way to tell if your hedgehog isn’t happy is if you have noticed they haven’t made any bowel movements within the last 24 hours or more.
In this situation, it is probably best to leave your new friend be as they will likely work things out on their own. Even if you wanted to help, there wouldn’t be much for you to do regardless.
Hedgehogs like their privacy and would much prefer to be left alone when stressed out. After a few days and some adjustment, you’ll find your hedgehog to be in a much better mood and ready to play.
They Aren’t Adjusting Well to Their New Diet
Another reason why your hedgehog might not be able to poop could be due to a recent change in diet. Certain foods, such as dairy, could negatively affect your hedgehog’s digestive system and could be the reason behind its constipation. If you’ve recently changed your hedgehog’s food, this could be the reason for their poop problems.
A good way to find out if this is the cause of your hedgehog’s constipation is by avoiding any dairy and refrain from feeding them anything that might be too difficult to digest.
Keep an eye on your hedgehog by monitoring their eating and drinking habits on a regular basis. Many hedgehogs can also become constipated when dehydrated, so make sure that there’s enough water available to them at all times.
A Quick Bath Could Do the Trick
Many times, a hedgehog’s constipation problems can be fixed with a warm bath. A quick dip could be helpful to your hedgehog’s food digestion.
And If digestion isn’t the problem, it could be stress, as we mentioned before. A warm bath is always useful in relieving stress, even for your hedgehog!
A Mealworm Meal Gone Wrong
If you are a hedgehog owner, you are well aware of the fact that hedgehogs love eating insects. They simply can’t get enough! Typically, pet stores will sell live or dried insects to feed to your pets.
However, not all insects are good for your hedgehog. Dried mealworms can cause a blockage in your hedgehog’s bowels, resulting in constipation. If your hedgehog simply can’t give up the mealworms, try feeding them live ones instead of dried ones.
As mentioned before, cooked and unseasoned pumpkin will usually relieve the blockage. However, a small amount of cat food can also help clear up any digestion problems.
Your Hedgehog Is Small; So Is its Stomach
Keep in mind that your hedgehog’s stomach is small so they don’t need to eat much. It’s important not to overfeed them as this could cause a blockage in their bowel system, or worse.
If they do end up eating too much, giving your hedgehog a stomach massage will help them digest the food much more easily.
Your Hedgehog Might Need a Trip to the Vet
If you’ve exhausted all other options and your hedgehog still isn’t pooping, it may be time for a trip to the vet. Severe constipation could be a sign of illness in your pet so it’s best to get it checked out before it’s too late.
Other signs of a sick hedgehog include lack of exercise, overall weakness, and a reduced appetite. On the contrary, diarrhea can also be a sign that your hedgehog needs medical attention.
A vet may prescribe an antibiotic if your hedgehog is ill, but you can also make them comfortable at home by placing a heating pad in their cage. Hedgehogs love to be warm! The best thing you can do is to leave them alone while they recover and keep an eye out for any improvements.
You don’t want to add any further stress to your little guy by being too overly caring so give them some space and time to heal. Before you know it, you’ll be back to having the spunky hedgehog that you had before!
I have a bachelor’s degree in Computer Information Systems and over 10 years of experience working in IT. I have a wife and two children and love taking them to the zoo to see all the animals. I grew up with dogs and fish and now have two dogs and two cats. I’ve also played guitar for almost 20 years and love writing music, although it’s hard to find the time these days.