Are Hedgehogs Spikes Poisonous?
Hedgehogs are small, spiny mammals closely related to other small animals, such as moles and shrews. While they make wonderful house pets, there remains a common concern among potential hedgehog owners: are the spikes on hedgehogs poisonous?
The Answer Is No
The spikes found on hedgehogs are in no way poisonous and therefore, humans, as well as other animals, will not suffer any negative effects from coming in contact with hedgehog spikes. The spikes are similar to other types of porcupine quills and are covered with a skin-like substance that provides further protection.
Why Do Hedgehogs Have Spikes?
The spikes on hedgehogs serve a few different functions. Primarily, they are a form of self-defense against predators, as their spikes can inflict pain to any animal or human attempting to attack them. Additionally, they offer protection from the elements, such as harsh winds or extreme temperatures. Lastly, they are great for aiding hedgehogs with burrowing, as their spikes can help them move through tough conditions or soil.
What If I Am Pricked By A Hedgehog Spike?
It is not uncommon to get pricked by a hedgehog spike, especially if you are unfamiliar with their body language. If you do happen to get pricked by a spike, the best precaution to take is to sanitize the area. This is no different than if you were to step on a thorn – clean the pricked area and apply a topical antibiotic, if necessary.
In conclusion, hedgehog spikes are not poisonous and will most likely not cause any harm if you are pricked by one. Furthermore, hedgehog spikes serve as an important tool for protecting and aiding hedgehogs, as well as defending them from potential predators.