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Preventative Parasite Treatments for Hedgehogs

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Preventative Parasite Treatments for Hedgehogs

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    Does anyone have any advice on administrating preventative parasite treatments for Hedgehogs?
    I’m placing good quality dry cat food in a cat/fox prove feeding station in my garden as well as fresh water in a large shallow tray. This has had the affect of attracting a number of regular visits from our prickly friends. I have also recently purchased a hedgehog house which already seems to be occupied by a young hedgehog.
    This particular hedgehog seemed to be displaying symptoms of lung worm i.e heavy breathing, coughing almost as if he is suffering from a chest infection. He normally gets fed as soon as he comes out of this nest but he seems to be struggling to put on weight.
    I’m loathed to capture him and take him to a vet as I do not want to stress the hedgehog unnecessarily. Is there anything I can do for him? My understanding is that lung worm can be passed on via droppings so the feeding station gets cleaned regularly.
    I have a trail camera and have also noticed the odd tick. I would love to get rid of these as well but I am again wary of handling a hedgehog in case I cause it stress.
    I have been recommended the use of ‘Johnsons insecticidal spray for small animals’ which I have been advised is not harmful to hedgehogs. Can anyone confirm this? I obviously want to be 100% sure this is the case before using on a hedgehog as I understand that most flea sprays are poisonous to hedgehogs.
    By way of context, I come from a family of cat owners so I am used to giving our family cats worming tablets before they got worms and dealing with the odd tick. I’m really looking for any advice on preventing parasites or advice on how to care for a hedgehog beyond the steps I have outlined above.
    Any good advice would be welcome.


    Hello Greg

    Your hedgehog definitely needs to see a carer. Details of the BHPS number are on the front page here. You also need to do this as quickly as you can or it will die. Once you notice a problem with a hedgehog you have a very small window of opportunity to get it treated so please get this hog proper help asap.

    Regarding routine treatment of hogs the simple answer is no.
    Hedgehogs pick up internal parasites normally as part of their diet, and externally due to wandering around in the undergrowth.
    They are perfectly used to dealing with these parasites themselves – it is only when they become ill or stressed that the parasites can start to take hold and cause issues. If you start to routinely treat you will cause more problems to the hog as it loses it’s ability to deal with things naturally.

    I will also point out that it is illegal to treat a wild animal for no reason.

    I hope this answers your questions. Please get help for the hog in question before it’s too late


    Thank you for the response Stef. I took the hedgehog to the vet where he was diagnosed with having pneumonia. He had some medication and is now back home and seems to be doing well. I take your point about treating a wild animal for no reason. I shall keep an eye on him but will not intervene with regards to the ticks or fleas as I think this will cause more stress to the animal.


    Hi Greg

    Well done for taking it to the vet. You don’t say what treatment they gave, but pneumonia is often caused by lungworm so that should also be treated.
    Antibiotics would normally be needed over a week but perhaps they gave a long acting. Advocate @ 0.3ml/kg – single dose spot on treatment for the lungworm
    Good luck with it

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