All the information below is basic advice to help you until you
can get help. Always seek advice from a vet, experienced
or wildlife rescue centre.
You can ask for advice or help at any time via our online help
An updated list of drugs commonly used in hedgehog treatment and
suggested doses is
||Weak, run down, underweight or
||All need to be Wormed, given
antibiotics and B12 Injection
Ask your vet for a subcutaneous
injection of Vitamin B12 (Vitbee 250) give 0.2 to 0.3ml per kg
bodyweight once a week for 3 weeks
insects walking or jumping through spines.
||Dust lightly with
Johnson's Rid Mite™ ( now often found as Johnson's small
animal insecticidal powder) (or other powder,
containing pyrethrums specifically for cage
birds) - available at pet shops.
Do not use any flea spray or powders for cats
and dogs especially Frontline™
from a vet, these will either kill the hedgehog or
make it very ill (read below under ticks for reasons)
Hedgehog Fleas only live on hedgehogs, rarely
jump onto cats/dogs or other pets, and almost
never bite humans So DON'T panic.
||Tiny clumps of
yellow/white eggs like grains of rice, mainly in
ears, round skirt, eyes, neck and belly or on
open wounds or sores
||Remove as many as possible with
tweezers and a soft toothbrush from open areas. Flush out ears with pet ear drops or warm salt water. Flush
eyes with plain warm water. If a bad infestation
wash hedgehog in a bowl of warm water with Savlon, paying particular attention to the belly
fur and the skirt. Wrap the hedgehog in a towel
and keep warm until dry. Take to the vet for
injection of IVOMECTIN 0.02ml per KG bodyweight
||White or creamy wriggling worm like
creatures, seen on hedgehogs with wounds or that are cold and
have grown from the fly eggs
||Once fly eggs have hatched into
maggots, it is often too late for the hedgehog and it will need
VERY URGENT Veterinary attention. You
can use the same basic treatment as for fly eggs but get to a
VET or Wildlife Rescue centre IMMEDIATELY
with brown legs, head buried in skin sucking
Often found around the ears, Skirt and on the
tail, but can be anywhere on the body. More than
10 or 12 ticks on a hedgehog will cause anaemia
and will weaken a hedgehog severely. More than 30 ticks
and the hedgehog has a poor chance of surviving
Pictures here of a hedgehog with over 100 ticks on it
Be very careful using Frontline™ Flea spray
from vets. Never spray it onto the hedgehog Even though the substance is safe for hedgehogs the
alcohol in the pump causes severe breathing problems when
absorbed through the skin or breathed in and kills
hedgehogs. We find the safest way to use it is: spray into
a small medicine cup about ½ ml to 1 ml, depending on how many
ticks to remove and then use a pipette or a cotton wool bud to drop
or wipe a tiny drop
directly onto each of the ticks avoiding the hedgehogs skin.
This prevents the hog inhaling the alcohol from the spray and
reduces the danger of causing problems. We only use
Frontline in "severe" cases when there are too many ticks
to safely remove using tweezers or a tick remover. They need to
be twisted out carefully in an anticlockwise direction. If you
are not sure don't try yourself, contact a vet, experienced
carer or wildlife rescue centre for help and advice
Do not try to pull
off with tweezers, frequently the head of the tick is
left behind and causes an infection
|Dry flaky skin
||Hedgehogs often get dry flaky skin.
A light oiling helps. Use baby oil, cooking oil, mild olive oil,
almond oil ( no oils with strong smells). ONLY on the back,
NEVER on the belly because this is where the sweat glands are.
Apply sparingly and don't smother them. Check for mites and
ringworm ( see below)
||Tiny white or brown
dots moving on body or fur, they cause MANGE. The
hog's spines and fur fall out, starting on the
face. Crusty lumps form on the skin, skin flakes,
spines look pussy at base and bent, may have
treatment is to take to the vet for three or four
IVOMECTIN injections, one week apart. They need
0.02ml per KG bodyweight. You can now buy
Ivermectin drops that are safe and easy to use
Brush off loose skin with toothbrush and oil lightly as above.
We find that in mild to medium cases Tea Tree
cream from a good health food shop or chemist
works as well, if not better than traditional
veterinary remedies. (see
Hedgehog Research Pages
symptoms to Mange. The hog's spines and fur fall
out, starting on the face. Crusty lumps form on
the skin, skin flakes, spines look pussy at base
and bent, may have bleeding scabs
||This is a quick
rundown of the basic treatment, for an in depth
view please look here
scabs with oil, use almond oil, baby oil, cooking oil, mild
olive oil ( No oils with strong smells). Brush off loose skin with
toothbrush. Bathe in IMAVEROL solution every 3 or
4 days, for 4 baths.
Also use one of the following over the counter
anti fungals on the affected areas daily,
Daktarin, Canestan, Tinaderm or Scholl athletes foot cream.
We find that in many cases Tea Tree cream from a
good health food shop or chemist works as well,
if not better than traditional veterinary remedies. (see
Hedgehog Research Pages
Using TEA TREE CREAM or an antifungal cream on
face and ears is better for the hog than trying
to wash it with Imaverol.
We have found that using tea tree cream on the
ears and face on alternate days, then dripping
Imaverol onto the infected sites works as well
as a full bath.
Almost all hogs with severe mite infestation will
have ringworm. It is always wise to treat for
See here for some
pictures of hedgehogs with mites/ringworm being
||Animal lying on its
side in hot weather, sunken eyes, grey to white
gums, panting, pads pale, when skin is pinched it
'tents'. If walking sometimes wobbles violently,
has 'neck' that looks thin with narrow
hindquarters, sits hunched with dull eyes.
||Give LECTADE (from
vet) or rehydrating fluid immediately, 6-15 ml
every hour until recovery. Give Hartmanns by
sub-cutaneous injection every 12 hours (from
Vet). DO NOT GIVE HARTMANNS TO COLD HEDGEHOGS.
Keep quiet and warm. This is the main cause of
death to hedgehogs in summer when little water is
available. Give Lectade to any hedgehog suffering
from shock, enteritis or diarrhoea.
||Hog lies uncurled in
cold weather, pads pale, eyes closed, barely
breathing, stomach very cold, gums pale.
||Put on heat source
immediately. Hot water bottle or heat pad (a warm
room or near a radiator is NOT ENOUGH). Let it
warm up for half an hour then give Lectade until
it shows an interest. KEEP WARM and quiet. Feed
light diet as soon as awake and recovering, keep
on Lectade for two days.
||Hog breathes heavily
with wheezing and bubbly cough, runny nose, may
lie on side or flat on stomach.
||Keep warm with
direct heat source. Do not let air around the hog
get too hot or dry (i.e. don't keep the hog in a
hot kitchen). Take to the vet immediately for
antibiotic treatment. We normally use Baytril given for a
minimum of 10 days at a dose of 0.8ml per KG body weight twice
daily either orally or by subcutaneous injection. If no
improvement after the first couple of days then change to Synulox.
Give BISOLVON expectorate
on food, if eating, or in fluids if not eating.
Give Lectade as above if not eating but do not
give too much at once as it may choke, let it
breathe between sips. A drop of OLBAS oil
(chemist) on a cloth near the nose may help
breathing, do not rub on the hog.
One of the primary causes of Pneumonia is
Lungworms (see below)
'smokers cough' often heard at night or when hog
is sleeping. Fails to put on weight despite
eating well. Cough sometimes starts after a few
days in the warmth.
of lungworm are resistant to Panacur. We find Telmin (Mebendazole)
is an efficient safe wormer for lungworms and we give Telmin
daily for 5 days. break for 14 days and repeat for a further 5
days. The hedgehog also needs Antibiotics at the same time and
that is normally Baytril 2.5% given for a minimum of 10 days at
a dose of 0.8ml per KG body weight twice daily either oral or by
Warning: Many vets
suggest using Levamisole injection for lungworms. We have found that in many cases this extremely
strong substance kills the hedgehog at the same time (It kills
all the worms so quickly that a weak or poorly hedgehog cannot
cope with the toxins resulting from the dead worms). Levamisole is used very safely by
many vets & rescue centres on stronger hogs, be cautious with
||Fails to put on
weight despite eating. No external signs of worms
but general debility; hog looks thin and rangy,
sometimes blood in droppings.
||We always worm all hedgehogs as
soon as they come in with PANACUR ( Fenbendazole). Our regular
regime is to give Panacur for 5 days. Nothing for 2 days,
Then give Telmin(Mebendazole) for 5 days 2 weeks later
repeat the entire course.
We are at present trying a slightly different routine with
Panacur on day 1, Telmin on day 2 and continue to alternate for
10 days. Repeat in 2 weeks
Always give Antibiotics when initially worming hedgehogs. The
usual antibiotic is Baytril 2.5% at a dose of 0.8ml per KG
bodyweight given twice daily. (oral or by subcutaneous
Worms in Hedgehogs are a direct result of its
diet. They are transmitted to the
hedgehog from earthworms, slugs and snails. You
can cut down on the risk by supplementing its
food in your garden (see Diet
Some Vets suggest Ivermectin by injection for worms.
This doesn't work on the species of worms that normally infest hedgehogs
but does no harm to try
jellified or very loose, greenish, putty coloured
or dark sometimes with streaks of blood.
immediately with Lectade 6-15ml. Keep warm, give
light diet; scrambled egg or chicken. NEVER GIVE
COWS MILK TO HOGS.
May be caused by incorrect diet or infection, or
by worms. If change of diet or de-worming doesn't
clear it up quickly, then get to vet as soon as
possible for treatment. Antibiotics can sometimes
make diarrhoea worse, but also can help
We always use a probiotic supplement in the hog's
food or water, to replenish the hog's natural
intestinal flora, which helps it digest food
||If animal is
screaming or crying - get it to the vet
IMMEDIATELY without treating it yourself.
Otherwise you may want to start treatment yourself if they are
very minor injuries
WARNING: ALL INJURIES must go to a vet for
antibiotic treatment and full examination.
First get your equipment ready. A
clean sheet to place the hog on, a good light, a
bowl of water with antiseptic in, a bowl of plain
water for eyes, cotton wool balls, cotton buds,
tweezers, nail scissors, wound powder and
We find that brushing a hog on the back with a
soft toothbrush frequently encourages them to
uncurl enough to be examined and treated.
If these methods don't work, then you have no
alternative apart from going to the vet where he
can be given a light anaesthetic, however
anaesthesia should be avoided as much as possible
in hedgehogs, they do not respond well to most
Swab with antiseptic any wounds, breaks or
fractures as gently as possible. Only cut any
spines or hair to expose wounds on the body if
absolutely necessary. Spines take a long time to
regrow and the hog is very vulnerable during this
Swab with cotton wool balls and flush out if
necessary with a syringe. Remove all maggots and
fly eggs at this stage
Try to pick off any grass, dirt etc that has
entered the wound. Once you think the wound is
completely clean, shake wound powder into it.
If there are any injuries to the eyes (e.g. by strimmers) use only plain warm water and syringe
Injured hogs are nearly always suffering from
shock and a course of Lectade is advisable for a
couple of days. Some may need Hartmanns solution
If in any doubt please phone for help
Antibiotics frequently used for hedgehogs are:
Baytril 2.5% at
a dose of 0.8ml per KG bodyweight given twice daily. (oral or
by subcutaneous injection)
Synulox drops orally daily at a dose of 2ml per KG bodyweight
By injection once daily, 0.7ml per KG bodyweight.
( A hedgehog of 500 grams weight will need 0.4ml of Synulox
Cindamycin ( Antirobe) can be
used on infected open wounds to speed healing. Break open a
capsule & sprinkle a small amount into the wound
daily. Be careful with Antirobe as it is absorbed into the
system and should be used very sparingly as it suppresses