Skin Problems in Hedgehogs? Learn how to deal with them!

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Recently, I saw some bald spots on my hedgehog and I wasn’t sure what are they? Are they some type of fungal infection, mites or just random quilling? Then I took out my phone and researched all about it. Here is what I found out!

Do hedgehogs have skin problems?

Hedgehogs do tend to suffer from skin problems. Hedgehogs’ skin ailments are pretty prevalent, and they usually result in dry, scaly skin.

Some common skin problems of hedgehogs can include:

  • Dermatophytosis: Hedgehogs suffer from dermatophytosis, a skin disease that causes scaly regions around the base of the spines and can be remedied with topical antifungals.
  • Ectoparasite: Mites are a frequent sort of ectoparasite seen on hedgehogs, and they can make your pet itchy. Your hedgehog’s skin can dry up, quills may fall out, and your pet might become more irritable than usual. 

Why do hedgehogs get skin problems?

Thanks to Reddit user u/mutelight

Hedgehogs tend to be messy creatures who rub things all over their bodies and hence they suffer from skin problems.[1] Lack of proper skincare can also lead to skin diseases as well.

Mites and other ectoparasites can infest the skin of a hedgehog and cause their skin to become flaky and irritable. Your hedgehog might get a skin problem after coming in contact with an infected hedgehog. 

What type of skin problems exists in hedgehogs?

Hedgehogs can have a variety of skin problems. Some of the skin diseases associated with a hedgehog include: mites, dermatophytosis, acariasis, pinnal dermatitis, and skin neoplasia. 

Type of skin problems in hedgehogs[2]:

  • Acariasis: This disease is caused by a psoroptic mite. Common symptoms include the loss of quills, lethargy, and quills. 
  • Dermatophytosis: It is a skin disease that creates scaly areas around the base of the spines.
  • Mites: Mites, a type of parasite, are prevalent in hedgehogs and can lead to skin ailments like flaky skin, etc. 
  • Skin neoplasia: It is common for hedgehogs to develop skin cancers like squamous cell carcinomas. 
  • Pinnal dermatitis: A crusty skin or accumulated secretions are common symptoms of the disease caused by a deficiency in nutrients.

How do you treat skin infection in hedgehogs?

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The various skin diseases of hedgehogs can be cured by topical antifungals like clotrimazole, enilconazole, etc. 

These medications can be applied as a spray or mixed into shampoos. Oral medicines such as terbinafine and itraconazole, as well as lime-sulfur treatments, may be employed.

Sometimes the itching and rashes can go away in four to five days, and sometimes it can take more than a week

Skin infections like ringworms can take up to six months to properly go. So you will have to be persistent with the treatment.

Tea tree oil is effective in treating ringworm in mild infections. If you’re bathing the hog, ensure it’s done in warm water and that any cuts or scabs are treated with additional care

How much does it cost to treat hedgehog skin infections?

Thanks to Reddit user u/presthecivil

Skin infections in hedgehogs can cost you anywhere between 50 to $150 depending on the number of times you need to visit and the severity of the infection. A typical mange or ringworm treatment should not cost you more than $200 including the general vet costs.

Hedgehog skin infection costs:

  • Vet general consultation costs me about $50-$80
  • Can go up to $70-80 with medication
  • Fecal fungal and skin scraping for tests would cost $25-35 each.
  • Mite treatment would be around $50-$60
  • Mange and ringworm treatment requires ivermectin shots[3] and hence the treatment would be in under $50

Drugs like ivermectin used to treat skin infections caused by mites can cost around $50-$95 approximately for twenty tablets. Your trips to the vet will depend on how quickly your hedgehog gets relieved of his ailment.

Generally, treatments can last for three to six weeks, and if the disease is not cured, you might have to revisit the vet. Other skin treatments can also become quite expensive and depending upon the duration, it can range anywhere between $50 to $200. 

Why is my hedgehog’s skin so dry?

Your pet hedgehog can have a variety of reasons to have dry skin. It can be due to skin diseases caused by a bacterial or fungal infection mite infestation, or it can be due to general environmental and hygiene factors. 

It is crucial to identify the reason behind dry skin. If your vet has ruled out the possibility of mite infestation and other skin diseases caused by fungi and bacteria, then you should consider other factors.

  • A lack of nourishment can cause hedgehog dry skin. If their food isn’t moist enough, it aggravates the dry skin condition naturally found in hedgehogs. Feeding good quality food and supplementing with feeder insects can help to reduce nutrition-related dry skin problems.
  • Alternative bathing methods, such as sand and diatomaceous earth (DE), can also dry up the skin. Bathing with diatomaceous earth should never be done regularly. The laundry products used to clean the bedding of your hedgehog can also have a role to play in drying the skin of your pet.
  • Some hedgehogs are allergic to wood shavings and paper shreds. Even after manufacturing refinement, saps, fibers and oils can be found. This can irritate the skin of your hedgehog and make it dry.
  • A lack of moisture in the air could also be a concern. Low humidity could be the cause of your hedgehog’s dry skin all over their body.

How do you fix dry skin on hedgehogs?

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Dry skin in hedgehogs can be fixed by providing a good hygeine and occational oatmeal baths. Proper diet and hydration can also help in maintaining moisture in the quills or the hairs of the hedgy.

  • Ample water intake is essential for good hair.
  • If they are not drinking enough from the water bowl, add a water bottle too. Give them both options.
  • Provide them with oatmeal baths. Put the oatmeal in an old sock like a tea bag. You can soak your pet into the water to get him temporarily relieved. Read here on how to do it properly.
  • Avoid bathing too much as this can also be a cause. You can read our guide on proper bathing habits here.
  • Flax seed oil capsule drizzled over food 2-3 times a week can help a lot. You can find a good supplement here.
  • You can also use bath powder made with essential oils for hogs. Some users have reported success with them.
  • You can also use Coconut Quills from Hedgehogs & Friends. Do 3 sprays on the food every other day. The hedgehog will love it & after a couple weeks the skin will improve drastically.
  • Another great product that can be used in bathing is Aveeno® Baby Soothing Relief Creamy Wash. Check it out here.

Does my hedgehog have mites or dry skin?

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In order to differentiate between mites or dry skin on your hedgehog, you need to look for the infected area. A dry skin on the belly side will indicate a dry skin, whereas in the case of mite infestation, the whole body is affected. 

Dry skin: Your hedgehog may have allergies if their dry skin is mostly on their belly and sides. Contact allergies (also known as skin allergies) are pretty prevalent and can be triggered by various factors.

It’s possible that the laundry detergents they used to wash their fleece had something to do with it. Change their bedding to fleece if you don’t already have it. We also advocate only washing it with vinegar and water.

This could help your hedgehog’s dry skin, causing him to scratch continuously. A visit to the vet might be required if your pet is not relieved by home remedies. 

Mites: The symptoms of mites differ from that of dry skin. Losing quills, licking or scratching itself, weight loss, lethargy, dandruff, and very flaky skin are all symptoms of mites. It is essential to visit a veterinarian if you have a mite infestation.

Various treatments may be provided and applied to the hedgehog’s skin depending on the nature and severity of the disease.

Do hedgehogs get mange?

Hedgehogs are prone to mange and other type of mites. [link] Keeping a good hygiene and cleaning yourself before touching your hedgy can help. Avoiding contact with other ill pets can be a help as well as mange is easily transferable.

Mange mites can be observed with the naked eye on occasion. Mange mites may be found in a skin sample examined under a microscope. A skin culture can be sent to a veterinarian for testing. This is frequently required in difficult situations where other skin diseases may be present.

The easiest way mites get into your home is through the bedding or litter that you use. That’s the most frequent way, if you decided to use disposable bedding. I have reusable fleece liners in all of their habitats.

Hedgehogs can also be infected prior to you owning it and hence no type of prevention can work for it. 

How do you treat mange on hedgehogs?

Mange is caused by skin-burrowing mites called mange mites. It causes a white powder to appear on the skin, frequently followed by hair loss.

Mange cannot be easily treated with the off shelf products as in the case of ringworm. It needs a special medicine called Ivermectin, which is a topical or injectable treatment for mange mites. This medicine is available from a veterinarian.

Ivermectin is both affordable and is easily available from at most vets. The procedure can take a long time, and it’s critical to keep removing crusty flakes so that the treatments can reach the deeper layers of the skin.

However, dirt and other particles might become lodged in the numerous quills, necessitating bathing occasionally. Hedgehogs should be bathed in warm water that they can stand in, with a spray of pet-friendly shampoo.

It is important to consult a vet if your pet hedgehog develop mange. The bedding of your pet should be cleaned occasionally and you should keep your pet clean so as to safeguard him against mange.

The treatment procedure can take a long time, and it’s critical to keep removing crusty flakes so that the treatments can reach the deeper layers of the skin.


Why are my hedgehogs face crusty?

Thanks to Reddit user u/Excellent-History-91

A hedgehog’s face can become crusty due to various reasons. It can be due to mite infestation, ringworms or other skin diseases caused by fungi and bacteria. 

There are a variety of ringworm treatments available. The severity of ringworm ranges from minor crusting around the snout to huge scabbed areas and full fur and spine loss. Antifungal shampoos and tea tree oil can provide relief to dry skin. 

In case of a mite infestation, you should change your pet’s bedding. It is critical not to use mite medicines intended for other animals without seeking professional advice, as these medications are hazardous to hedgehogs.

If a hedgehog infestation occurs, it is critical to remove the contaminated bedding from the hedgehog’s house to eliminate the problem.

Can hedgehogs have ringworm?

Hedgehogs can have ringworms but it is quite rare.

A fungal infection causes ringworm. This fungus is carried by many hedgehogs who show no symptoms. Other illnesses and the stress of confinement can sometimes trigger it, so it’s critical to be on the lookout for warning signals.

The severity of ringworm ranges from minor crusting around the snout to huge scabbed areas and full fur and spine loss. 

There are a variety of ringworm treatments available. Hedgehogs who have rignworm, are bathed in an antifungal therapy called Imaverol, with the frequency altering depending on the severity of the illness.

Human athlete’s foot creams are also used, gently rubbed onto the skin with a toothbrush. In favorable situations, tea tree cream can be beneficial. Vetericyn spray can also treat minor skin problems such as ringworm.

Why is my hedgehog itching?

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Your pet hedgehog might be itching its skin constantly due to various reasons. This itchiness might be caused by dry skin due to mites, other ectoparasites, or environmental conditions like humidity. 

A tissue culture will confirm if mites or other bacteria or fungi cause the itchiness.

In cases of mite infestation or ringworms, tea tree creams antifungal creams might help provide relief to your pet. It is essential to keep your pet hygienic and use soft creams and shampoos to bathe them. 

If any parasites or bacteria do not cause itchiness, humidity can play a vital role in making the skin of your hedgehog dry. Alternative bathing methods, such as sand and diatomaceous earth (DE), can also dry up the skin.

Bathing with diatomaceous earth should never be done regularly. Low humidity could be the cause of your hedgehog’s dry skin all over their body. It could also be contributing to a multi-faceted dry skin problem. Anything less than 30% is too drying for your pet’s skin.


Can humans get mites from hedgehogs?

Humans cannot contact mites from their pet hedgehogs. 

Mites can quickly move from one hedgehog to another; thankfully, they’re easy to avoid and treat, and unlike other ectoparasites like fleas and ticks, mites aren’t harmful to humans.

How do mites look like on hedgehogs?

Hedgehog mites appear as tiny white specks on the skin and at the base of the quills. 

The bugs may also be seen on your pet’s bedding. Standing your hedgehog on a sheet of black paper and waiting for him to scratch is a quick technique to check for mites.


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