Do Hedgehogs Carry Diseases?
Hedgehogs have become increasingly popular amongst pet owners, with their cute faces, soft spines, and friendly personalities making them ideal animals to keep in your home. But, although they are beloved by many, some individuals are concerned that hedgehogs may carry diseases. So, what is the truth? Are hedgehogs a disease hazard or perfectly safe?
Risk of Disease
Hedgehogs can potentially carry a range of diseases, such as:
- Salmonella – A bacterial infection that can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps, usually caused by contaminated food or water. A hedgehog can carry salmonella and pass it onto other animals or humans in the home.
- Ringworm – A fungal infection that can cause a red or silvery ring-like rash on the skin. Hedgehogs can get ringworm and pass it onto other animals or humans in the home.
- Rabies – A viral disease that can cause symptoms such as drooling, fever, and confusion and can be fatal if left untreated. It is rare, but possible, for a hedgehog to contract rabies.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of getting sick from your hedgehog. Firstly, make sure you buy your pet from a reputable breeder who is licensed and takes proper measures to ensure the health of their animals. Secondly, keep your pet’s enclosure clean and wash your hands with hot water and soap after playing with your hedgehog. Additionally, make sure your hedgehog is vaccinated against diseases such as rabies, and take them for regular checkups with a vet.
In conclusion, although hedgehogs can carry diseases, the risks are usually low if you take the necessary steps to ensure your pet is healthy and clean. As long as their habitat is kept clean and you wash your hands after handling them, you and your hedgehog should enjoy many happy and healthy years together!