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Need-To-Know Info About Hedgehogs And Salmonella

By Leticia Materi, PhD, DVM

Hedgehogs are a novel, unique pet. They are typically solitary in nature, are nocturnal and require particular housing to satisfy their temperature wants. The two most acquainted species are the African hedgehog and the European hedgehog. In North America, captive-bred African hedgehogs are mostly stored as pets. One vital consideration with regards to protecting hedgehogs as pets is the truth that they’ll transmit illness to folks.

In an earlier weblog entry, I touched on the subject of zoonotic illnesses, that are sickness that may go from animals to people. Like different animals, hedgehogs even have the potential to hold illnesses which are transmissible to people. One such illness is Salmonella.

Salmonella is a kind of micro organism that may trigger severe illness in people. To date, greater than 2,300 completely different strains of Salmonella have been recognized. Regardless of kind, all Salmonella micro organism have the potential to induce sickness in folks and animals. While most individuals are conscious of the chance of Salmonella in pet reptiles, fewer are conscious that hedgehogs may carry this pathogen.

Salmonella can stay throughout the intestinal tract of a hedgehog and be unfold to the atmosphere by feces. Thus any object contaminated with droppings, such because the bedding or train wheel, can unfold illness. Even the hedgehog himself can have Salmonella-contaminated ft or quills after strolling by the droppings.

While not all hedgehogs carry this bacterium, a lot of the ones that do are asymptomatic thus making identification of contaminated people very troublesome. Even doing testing of stool pattern poses challenges, as Salmonella is usually shed intermittently, which makes for a excessive price of falsely detrimental take a look at outcomes. In people, Salmonella infections could cause nausea, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, blood within the stool and even demise. Children, the aged and people which are immunosuppressed are most in danger.

In common, it’s in all probability finest to deal with any hedgehog as if he could also be transmitting Salmonella. To cut back the possibility of an infection, follow good hygiene. Some good tips embody:

  • Wash palms nicely with sizzling, soapy water after dealing with
  • Minimize contact with at-risk people
  • Do not permit hedgehogs to stroll on meals preparation areas, corresponding to kitchen counters or sinks
  • Do not kiss your hedgehog
  • Do not eat, drink or smoke whereas dealing with your pet or whereas cleansing his cage
  • Disinfect cages and cage furnishings usually

To date, therapies to remove Salmonella from asymptomatic provider hedgehogs will not be pursued given the chance of creating Salmonella strains which are proof against antibiotics. Proper precautions will guarantee you could get pleasure from your pet hedgehog safely.

Note: This article is supposed for instructional functions solely and by no means represents any specific particular person or case. It just isn’t for diagnostic functions. If your pet is sick, please take her or him to a veterinarian.

See all of Dr. Materi’s blogs

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