Why So Many Colors Of Hedgehog Poop? What They Mean?

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Since Hedgies poop a lot, Hedgehog poop is one of the easiest ways to understand how healthy your hedgehog is. But sometimes, it could be a stress for a lot of us. One of my friends just saw his new hedgehog pooping green, and he was quite concerned. So, he asked me what he should do. Hence, I decided to research all about it and write an article on the subject.

What to do my hedgehog poop is green?

Green poop is quite normal in hedgehogs. It is mostly a result of stress [1] and excessive bile coming out of hedgehog stomachs. As the bile is of green color, the poop comes out green. However, there could be other reasons for this, like parasites or infections.

If it goes on for more than one day, consult a vet.

Stress is not the only reason, and it is quite confusing to understand every aspect of hedgehog poop. So, we have created an excellent resource for you, and in case you want to understand the problem completely. Keep reading on!

What does normal hedgehog poop look like?

Normal hedgehog poop is slightly brown and firm. It is somewhat mushy but not too watery. It has the texture of toothpaste. Calculatively, it is between 1 to 5 cm in size. [2]

It becomes dark when dried.

Hedgehog poop like any other small-animal poop does smell, but if they reek of excessive odor, you need to find out the reason.

Why hedgehog poop has so many colors?

Lots of foods available in the market, especially cat and dog kibble, can contain a lot of food colorings, and that can result in a colored poop.

Undigested food also can provide color to the poop of the hedgehog.

Besides these, stress, infection, parasites can result in a troubled stomach, which in turn can lead to a colored poop as well.

Let’s talk about these colors one by one.

Colors of a Hedgehog Poop (Hedgehog Poop Chart)

There are several colors and types.

Normal green/bright green poop

From Hedgehogcentral.com

Stress is the biggest reason for green poops in hedgehogs. The other reason could be parasites, and sometimes it is just the food.

Stress can come due to a variety of reasons which we will discuss later.

You don’t need to worry much if it’s for just one day, but if it carries on and there are substantive changes in hedgehog activity and moods, taking a visit to the vet would be the best choice.

Slimy mucusy poop

Courtesy Reddit use u/ThroughHeck

Slimy poop, whether of green color are not, is likely a result of infection.

It could also be a sign of irritation in the GI system, but if it carries on for a long time, it is likely an infection, and you should consult a vet immediately.

Black tarry/sticky poop

Thanks to Hedgehogcentral.com

There could be several reasons for this. The first would be that you are not examining the poop correctly, and therefore you should take the sample and put it on a clean white paper towel to see whether the color is definitely black or it is dark green.

In case it is definitely black and tarry, this could be due to blood in the stool. It may occur due to constipation or GI infection.

Blue-green poop

The biggest reason for bluish poop is lactose content in the food. You could have inadvertently supplied some parts of cheese or any other milk product to your little hedgie.

Green mucusy poop

Parasites can be one of the most common reasons for green mucusy poop in hedgehogs. Parasites such as coccidia [3] are the most common ones causing these problems.

Red poop/blood in poop

From hedgehogcentral.com

Red poop or blood in hedgehog’s poop can be a result of constipation and, therefore, a slight tear inside the stomach.

If it’s a one-off, there is not much reason to worry.

Hedgehogs to get constipation and likely it is due to the stress of change or something similar to that. But, if it continues for more than a day, consult a vet immediately.

Make sure to collect the poop, including the blood, before going to the vet.

Mossy green

Mossy green poop is likely a result of a lot of antibiotics in the system. Antibiotics destroy all parasites areas, including the good ones. Hence providing probiotics with them is essential.

To provide them, you can either purchase Benebac probiotics from Amazon or buy from a local drugstore. Make sure to buy a bottle that has high amounts of acidophilus in it. Then, provide a pinch of powder, from inside the capsule, with the food.

One capsule should last you several days.

Orange poop

Orange poop can happen in hedgehogs due to two reasons: either there is some sort of infection, or they have a bad tummy. Sometimes the poop could also smell awful, and that could confirm the infection case as well.

Other times, but very rarely it can happen due to the coloring in food. Try to change the food, and it may go away really fast.

Super watery/diarrhea poop

If you find your hedgehog pooping super watery poop, that is fine for a day and could happen due to stomach issues, but if it continues, consult a vet as fast as you can.

Diarrhea is life-threatening for hedgehogs, and if you have a suspicion, there is no need to wait or treating the pet on your own.

Providing non-seasoned, non-spicy pumpkin, and sweet potatoes can help slightly, but that’s it.

White/tan poop

It is likely a byproduct of undigested food products. You should shift to a high-quality diet source.

White balls in poop

This is likely due to undigested fibers from foods taken by the hedgehog.

Many of the problems mentioned above were due to one common reason: stress. So how to identify it?

Signs of Stress in Hedgehogs

From Reddit user u/erinaceidae

1. Not eating or eating very few pieces.

2. Not taking adequate water.

3. Becoming a ball way too often.

That’s a tell-tale sign of a stressed hedgehog.

4. Making weird noises,

If you are hearing strange clicking noises from a hedgehog, that means they are extremely stressed and upset.

5. Reduced activity and isolationism.

Causes of stress in hedgehogs

Reddit user u/emory_k20

Stress can happen due to a lot of reasons. Many of them are: –

  1. A sudden change in the environment can lead to stress. If you have recently adopted a new hedgehog, the small animal would likely find it hard to adjust to the new environment and the new owner.
  2. A sudden change in food can also be a stressor.
  3. The arrival of new hedgehogs or other small pets in their vicinity can also create stress and undue threat perception among hedgehogs.
  4. Skin issues and digestive problems can also be reasons for stress in hedgehogs.
  5. Too much handling can also irritate a small animal like a hedgehog. If you have left your hedgie in the care of a new parent, they or their friends could handle them often due to their cuteness and thereby irritate them and scare them for a long time.
  6. Quilling can also induce stress in Hedgehogs. If they are gaining or losing their quilts, it is evident that they could get stressed.

Read more: Learn more about Quilling here.

How to reduce stress in hedgehogs

1. Take things slow with hedgehogs.

The first way would be to reduce the speed of changes. If the hedgehog was eating certain food before the new environment change, try to secure the same food and change it very slightly to the new one, you desire.

2. Mimic the old environment of your hedgehog.

Make sure their cage and environment is very similar to their previous environment.

3. Make the hedgehog familiar with your scent.

Add your clothing to their resting place so that they can adapt to your scent and get comfortable with it. By providing your clothes, you are associating the feeling of safety with your scent and thereby making the hedgehog feel more comfortable with you.

4. Spend quality time with your hedgy.

You can sit with the hedgehog regularly and spend time/ watch a movie. This will allow the hedgehog to understand that you are not a threat to him. Slowly and gradually, he will try to explore and become a friend to you.

5. Cure any irritating skin infection or related issue.

If the reason for their irritation is some parasite or skin infection, consult a vet immediately.

6. Be patient with them.

The most important way to reduce their stress is to give them more time. Hedgehogs are small creatures, and they don’t like change. The only way through which you can make them your own is by giving them time. You can gradually change things, but don’t speed them up.

7. Create a daily schedule.

Try to keep a daily schedule of things, including the time they spend out of the cage and the hours of lighting.

8. Provide a comfortable environment.

To make them more comfortable, you can add heating pads to their surroundings so that they can get an appropriate temperature and not feel too cold.

9. Give them massages.

If you want to interact with them, start with the top of the sack, and slowly handle them. Hedgehogs love massages, and therefore, they should slowly understand that you are trying to love them.

10. Provide them treats.

Once they are several weeks in your home— you can provide treats with your hands to associate yourself with good feelings of eating that treat.

Related questions

Q: how to identify dehydration in hedgehogs?

To identify dehydration, take a look at the hedgehog skin. If it’s dry, they are likely suffering from dehydration otherwise not.

To understand whether they have dry skin or not, pinch the skin in their tummy area, and if it returns immediately, then they have normal skin else not.

Q: my hedgehog is not eating or drinking. What to do?

In case your hedgehog is not getting any solids or fluids, try first to call your vet and ask for advice. In case you can’t, provide water syringes to them so that they can have some relief.

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