Finding a Vet
Hedgehog Valley- Quality African Pygmy Hedgehogs
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Finding a Vet


Although hedgehogs have been kept as pets in North America for about a decade now, it can still be hard to find a veterinarian who is familiar with hedgehogs. There are several options available for finding one. Hopefully, these hints will help you:


1) If there is a local university with a veterinary program, call them. They will likely have an exotics specialist on hand. Even if they're a fair distance away, they may be able to make a closer referral or act as a consultation resource for a local vet.


2) Check the phone book for vets who advertise that they see small animals or exotics.


3) On the internet, you can ask on the hedgehog mailing lists (pogsforever@onelist.com and hedgehog_help@onelist.com are active lists) to see if anyone there knows a vet near you.


4) Also on the internet, there are several ferret organizations (LIFE, UFO) who have veterinarian listings. This is how we found our current vet... I figured if they've seen ferrets, most likely they've seen a hedgehog. The one we found had seen lots of hedgehogs!


5) If all else fails, go through the phone book and call veterinarians and ask if they would be willing to see a hedgehog. The October 1999 Veterinary Medicine magazine has an excellent article on treatment of hedgehogs, including blood values and medication dosages. This reference may help an inexperienced vet to apply his or her general knowledge to help your hedgehog.



The most important thing to remember about veterinary care is that it's important to know where you can take your hedgie BEFORE emergencies happen. Hedgehogs can often hide it when they are not feeling well, so that by the time you see symptoms, they are really sick and need care immediately. The first time I bred a hedgehog, I was so very glad that I had done my homework in advance because she ended up requiring a c-section. It meant driving 70 miles to a vet clinic, but being able to save her was well worth it.


Veterinarians I have talked to that treat hedgehogs typically report that the most frequent reasons they see hedgehogs are for mites and for upper respiratory infections. Both are fairly simple and inexpensive to treat if caught in the early stages. Unfortunately, most report that they don't see the animals until it is too late to do much for them. Don't be caught by surprise. It may take some effort to find a vet who can treat hedgehogs, but it's well worth every second!



This article was originally printed in Animals Exotic and Small magazine. To subscribe, visit their website. This article is copyright and cannot be reproduced in part or whole without giving credit to the author, and may not be reproduced for profit.

Antigone Means

Iola
KS
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