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Do hedgehogs sneeze?

Home Forums Champions’ chat Do hedgehogs sneeze?

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    Having watched a lot of footage of the little one eyed hedgehog, he did what seemed like a sneeze last night and the night before. Very cute but is it normal? I do have a tendency to over worry about him/her.


    Hi Simbo65,

    They do sneeze for normal reasons that we would associate with sneezing – but they are also susceptible to viruses and illness that can make them sneeze. is there any chance you could get a listen to his breathing? Coughing and wheezing are signs of potential lungworm that will need treating.


    Hi Nic-
    We could open his house while he is asleep but I’m not sure how much we would hear and is sleep breathing different?
    I don’t want to disturb it too much as last time we did it showed quite a lot of stress.


    Sorry Jan Marie. (not Nic)
    Also, our camera does pick up very good sound and we haven’t seen evidence of coughing.
    Just this second had a neighbour knock to say she has 3 hedgehogs visiting again and that they are eating all the mealworms they are potting out- AAAARRRGGHHHHH !!! Have explained this is not good so will be taking some hedgehog food round soon. Have said to wean them off. Suggested half and half for a few days. Is this right or should they just go cold turkey?


    Hi Simbo65,

    I think from other posts the general consensus on what works best is to gradually wean them off, so reducing the mealworm ratio over a period of time.

    I agree on not disturbing your hog for the sake of a listen – but worth keeping an eye on him and if you get the chance to listen out for coughing and wheezing if you can. Sneezing can indicate lungworm sometimes as you can imagine, they cause a lot of mucus formation that can ooze out of the nose and tickle inside noses as they travel with the mucus (horrible thing lungworm!)


    Thank you Jan Marie.
    I will watch him/her closely on the trail cam and if see things looking worse will get him to our local vet ASAP.
    I worry about hem so much and have become very attached to this one.
    I will take hedgehog food to neighbour now and have printed off the advice on mealworms. Hopefully they will listen. I am slightly concerned as I have told them this before.
    Oh well, Can only try again.


    Sounds like you are doing all you can on the neighbour front, short of sneaking out and replacing any food they put out (probably not advisable if you wanted to stay on friendly terms!).

    Anyway – is your vet a hog friendly one? I hate to say it but most don’t know enough about hogs, as the wildlife course they have, which at least gives them a starting point, is currently still ‘optional’ with additional cost for veterinary students. a local carer or rescue will point you in the direction of the bests vets to use, ie the ones they use – or may offer to take a look if you were worried. its an education getting involved with these people – their knowledge and network is immense! you can find them on hedgehog bottom website via the map or BHPS website.


    Hi Simbo65,

    We had one once that did a lot of sneezing and it turned out to be lungworm which she was successfully treated for. We also have one with a carer who is being treated for lungworm at the moment, but sadly he isn’t doing so well. Although his breathing was barely audible on the trail cam – just the occasional cough – it was very loud once you got up close, if you listen carefully you may be able to hear yours snoring!

    As for the mealworms, I think a lot of people worry (me included) that if you stop feeding them their favourite crispy snack, they will clear off down the road to somewhere that does. Ours are now weaned off them completely, I still put half a dozen on top of their favourite cat biscuits as a garnish, but more often than not they are left for the birds.


    Hi Jan-Marie
    We have used a vet on 2 occasions for hedgehogs and I have recently spoken to my local hedgehog carer- about ticks- who also uses the same vet so hope that they are OK.
    I have delivered hedgehog food to our neighbour, they live about 100 yards away so am hoping it all goes well. They said they had 3 visit, I still have Cyclops sleeping in the house and eating here but my other neighbour now has no visits. We are hoping the regulars we had through the summer have hibernated.
    Time will tell.


    Hi Penny,
    We now have a plan. I will watch the footage tonight and unless his habits change dramatically he will be back in house sleeping. We will remove the lid and I will not remove him but just listen in and see if I can hear anything.
    We have handled him once before and he got very stressed. Depending on what we hear we will call our local carer, take him to the vet, or leave him alone.
    Out of interest what cat biscuits do you feed the hedgehogs?
    Thank you all for your help


    We checked on Cyclops this afternoon. I got as close to his nest as I could. He was fast asleep all wrapped up in straw and leaves. We heard no laboured breathing or coughing. We decided not to wake him and stress him out. He went back to bed at 1.15 last night. The earliest he has returned. We will keep a check on him.


    Sounds promising for him. Perhaps his sleeping patterns are adjusting as he prepares for his winter hibernation. You just never know what they are thinking! we released a female earlier this year who as a result of a strimming incident had lost an eye, (half of her face actually) neither the vet nor the carer thought she would make it, but she had a will of iron – and my goodness, was she feisty on recovery! she stuck around for a while after release, obvious to pick up n the cameras, but then made her own way into the wooded area that we backed onto. I really hope she managed to raise some young over the summer. we live in hope.


    Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner Simbo65, we feed our hedgehogs Purina One kitten biscuits, they have a high protein content which is good. I have tried just about everything over the years, but these are their favourites. I still keep trying different brands including a gourmet one the other day which boasted being all meat and no added grains, but they even refused that. The lady who was looking after our sick hedgehog has recommeded one called Brambles which goes down well, so I am going to give some of that a try.

    Sadly our hedgehog didn’t survive, they think that there was something else going on as well as the lungworm and he was having difficulty swallowing, the vet is going to do a post mortem, so hopefully they will find out what it was. 🙁


    oh – that’s sad Penny. They do have a lot to contend with in their lives don’t they – doesn’t seem fair!


    Sorry for delays in replies.
    What an awful thing for a hedgehog to contend with. Strimmers are evil.
    I have written an article for our estate newsletter but I think it was too long so it will be edited. It comes out in December I think. Strimmers were something I wrote about.
    So glad she made it and being such a fighter gives us hope that she will do all the normal things hedgehogs should be doing.
    Cyclops still hasn’t hibernated but there was more nest building last night. I was watching the footage like a proud mum !

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