It never happened before but today was different. There was no usual movement of spikes in the cage, some raisins left uneaten, and Prickles, the hedgehog, was lying on its back. You touched it and there was no response. You poked it again, but the same reaction came. Your heart raced. Prickles was dead.
And that was the end of the dream.
Consider yourself lucky because Hedgehog Tips have compiled a list of harmful foods for Hedgehogs for you to be cautious with. Mixing real-life pet experiences and factual contributions of several hedgehog experts/friends from pet forums, note that no hedgehog was harmed during the collection of this harmful food list:
Grapes and Raisins
Loved by Italians but hated by many small animals, a hedgehog’s reaction to grapes would be renal, liver, and organ failure. A study back in 1989 (on dogs) revealed a trend in animal toxicity that consumption of raisins or grapes causes kidney failure. If a dog’s digestive organ can’t handle grapes, what chance could a hedgehog’s fragile stomach has?
Also, not only toxic, but raisins could get caught between your hedgehog pet’s mouth, which then leads to choking and ultimately, death.
While hedgehog’s spiky arsenals are some of nature’s most curios anti-Predator adaptation, hedgehogs are not immune to parasites and pets. Ivermectin was originally tasked to get rid of these unwanted guests, until its host starts dying, too.
Ivermectin was presented to the public in the 80s for anti-parasite medication. Oral and topical ivermectin has been connected to resulting increased risk of bladder cancers for hedgehogs.
There has been a hot discussion whether injected Ivermectins should be banned for Hedgehogs. As results vary from one pet owner to another; some reported instant deaths, others agreed with it, but death for parasites and not to the precious hedgehog pet. For times like these, consult your veterinarian.
Tea Tree Oil
Pardon me, but how did a Tea Tree Oil and a Hedgehog end up in each other’s grasp? In as little as 1 dose or 1 meager application, anything tea tree (oil, shampoo or spray) is considered fatal to hedgehogs. Like its hedgehog-killing cousin Grapes, tea tree, too, causes complete organ failure.
Nuts and Seeds
Not only do nuts provide minimal nutritional benefits and are fattening, they can also get caught in the roofs of the hedgehog’s mouth, risking a struggle for the pet to claw out the nut from their mouth (while it’s groundbreaking to see them in very energetic state, never mistake it for some newfound hedgehog behavior as they are simply choking and clawing for life).
A hedgehog does not possess a specialized tongue or a beak (imagine a beaked hedgehog pet, LOL), and so sunflower seeds, peanuts, or other seeds and nuts are best left for other pets such as rodents or birds.
Dairies and Junk Foods
Hedgehogs are lactose intolerant and therefore cannot digest dairy. Milk, chocolate, and dairy products are absolute No-No’s for these pets as stomach upset and diarrhea are instantaneous. As much as you want to bond over with a pack of Lays or Pringles with your Hedgehog pet, please do remember these junk foods contain high level of sodium and other chemicals not fit for hedgehogs.
Like all pets do, there are certain foods that are considered harmful for your hedgehog pet. Not only these are bad for your hedgehog’s health, they could also jeopardize the emotional bond you and your hedgehog pet had shared, which is the sole purpose of you having a pet, right?
Some pet owners get too attached to their pet that it’s always devastating when a loss occurs. May these harmful foods for hedgehogs guide stray you away from future hedgehog troubles.