Have you recently adopted a hedgehog? These adorable little pets are becoming very popular. Hedgie is certainly very cute and charming! Just like any other animal, though, these little guys are prone to developing certain illnesses. One that you will need to be aware of and on the lookout for is Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. A local Burleston, TX vet offers some basic information on this condition in this article.
Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome, or WHS, is a degenerative neurological disease, one that affects African and European hedgehogs. It is similar to multiple sclerosis in humans, in that it hinders the ability to control one’s muscles. There is no known cause for WHS, though genetics may very well play a role. Diet could also be a factor, though so far no specific food has been identified. It’s also worth noting that the disease has become more prevalent since the 90’s.Ask your vet for more information.
WHS most commonly shows up in hedgehogs that are between 2 and 3 years old, but it can appear at any point in Hedgie’s life. Usually, the first thing you will notice is weakness and a lack of coordination in the back legs. This causes the telltale wobble the disease is named for. As Hedgie’s condition progresses, he’ll find it increasingly difficult to walk and move. Being sedentary will weaken him even more, so muscle atrophy soon follows. Weight loss is also a red flag. Keep in mind that WHS sometimes progresses very quickly. You may see a rapid decline in just a few days. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any ‘wobble’ in your hedgehog. When it comes to medical issues in pets, the sooner an issue is caught and treated, the better!
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. However, that doesn’t mean Hedgie is at the end of the line. Some hedgehogs live a year or even two after symptoms develop. There are things you can do to help keep the little guy comfortable. He may need help with cleaning, and you may need to revisit his food station, to make things a bit easier on him. However, you’ll need to consult with your vet regularly, especially once his quality of life declines.
Do you know or suspect that your hedgehog has Wobbly hedgehog syndrome? Contact us, your local Burleston, TX animal hospital, today!