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Old 09-23-2010, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Herbs

I'm seeing a lot of people jumping on the "herbs are wonderful for hedgehogs" bandwagon and I'm not seeing a lot of informed information.

Not all herbs are safe.

Parsley
In humans, a dose of parsley is one ounce. Medicine dosages are based on the average adult male weight of 165 lbs or 2640 ounces. Which makes the ratio of parsley to bodyweight 1:2640.

A 264 gram hedgehog shouldn't have any more than 1/10th of a gram or 10milligrams of parsley.

Parsley is a diuretic and should never be used by pregnant women or animals as it can cause uterine cramping and miscarriage.

Cilantro

There is no known safe dosage of Cilantro. In humans it's medicinally used dried in capsules. Because the amount of volatile oils vary depending on how the plant is grown, it's hard to determine what is safe. Aromatic herbs like this can irritate the respiratory system and can cause digestive upset even though the medicinal properties are supposed to be beneficial to the digestive system. Again, considering how small a hedgehog is, very very little should be used. It can also cause spontaneous abortion and interfere with fertility.

Basil
Basil is a sedative. The child's dosage of a distillation of 20g of basil leaves in 250ml of water is 2 to 3 DROPS. There are 20 drops in a ml. So there are 5000 drops in 250ml or 2500 doses of distillation. The amount of distillation for a 250 g hedgehog as compared to a 50lb child would be so infinitesimal as to be undoseable by most people.

Clover
Red and White Clover is relatively safe. Keep in mind that the typical human dosage is a teaspoon of the chopped leaves/plant or 4 grams making the ratio 4:73920. Yeah, that little.

Hedgehogs do not need herbs to live a long and healthy life. They are attracted to them as they are attracted to anything strongly aromatic. Because of the very small size, they should be protected from potentially overdosing on herbs. Herbs are NOT harmless. Just because it's ok in humans doesn't make it ok for hedgehogs. I can eat grapes and raw garlic and raw onions and it's all well. Given to a hedgehog they cause liver failure and hemolytic anemia.

If your hedgehog needs environmental enrichment, try some safe things. Get a few clean rocks and build a cairn. Hide mealworms and watermelon inside and around the rocks. Get a small cardboard box with a lid or a tube. Stuff it with layers of tissue with mealworms in between. Do the same thing with clean driftwood or a safe wood. Drill random holes in a dried willow branch and stuff with mealies and plug the holes with a chunk of fruit.

Use your imagination. Hedgehogs are amazing diggers and there isn't much they can't get a bug out of. And if they can't get the bug out, they'll work on it until they do. Which keeps bored hedgehogs engaged.
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:06 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

Wow, I didn't know Basil could be bad for them :S

Thanks for the great info!
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Old 09-27-2010, 02:14 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

Thank goodness for you! I know a lot of people (myself included) have been wondering about herbs and it doesn't seem like anyone can provide a straight answer. But this is extremely helpful!
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Old 08-07-2011, 10:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

Thanks for the great info. People do the same thing with vitamins and supplements which cause dangerous interactions with medications they may be on. Holistic ingredients always sound harmless, but many medicines are made from things found in nature.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

Just bumping this up cause we've had an influx of new owners and soooo many other things out there say that herbs are safe. Perhaps a mod could sticky this cause it's good info.
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Old 11-30-2011, 03:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

Yeah I heard a lot of people feeding Cilantro to their hedgies. I was wondering what it was, I honestly dont see why you would even want to feed them herbs when you can watch them numanum on a mealworm
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Old 11-30-2011, 10:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

it really shocked me to see this topic with HedgeMom's name. Her wisdom lives on.
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:08 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shetland
it really shocked me to see this topic with HedgeMom's name. Her wisdom lives on.

Why what happened?
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Old 11-30-2011, 11:17 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenEyes
Quote:
Originally Posted by shetland
it really shocked me to see this topic with HedgeMom's name. Her wisdom lives on.

Why what happened?
She passed away unfortunately
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Old 12-01-2011, 12:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Herbs

This was always one of the first posts that came to mind when I thought of her. She always had such good information and almost always something new that I didn't know!
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