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Old 05-20-2016, 03:48 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Zoonosis- has your hedgie made you sick?

I only found one thread when searching this so I'm asking for new info. Has anyone gotten sick from their hedgie? I've had Sandwich over a year and wash my hands frequently , as well as using gloves to clean her cage, but no one is perfect. I went to the doctor after weeks of throat pain that I shouldn't have put off and found out I have a lymph node infection. When I asked what caused it the doctor said it could be anything "bad" or infectious that got in my blood stream or lymphatic system. They said take these antibiotics for 2 weeks and see, but I want to know if I should still be handling her? If anyone has experience with this? It seems like if I mention I have a hedgehog to a doctor they don't even know what they are, let alone what effect they have on human health. Since I'm her only caregiver I want to make sure I'm doing things right for both of us. Thanks for any info in advance
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Old 05-20-2016, 04:54 AM   #2 (permalink)
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It's pretty unlikely it was caused by your hedgehog, especially if it's your lymph nodes that are infected. Here's a big, scary list of everything you can possibly get from a pet hedgehog: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/11/1/04-0752_article

That's an absolutely worst case scenario though, and you'd have to have a compromised immune system to catch a lot of those. There are very, very few cases of zoonoses between pet hedgehogs and humans yearly.

That said, there's always a chance. If you've been washing your hands and using gloves when cleaning up poop though, it's a pretty tiny chance. Is it a viral infection?
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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They didn't tell me whether it was bacterial or viral, likely because no blood was drawn. The physical symptom were pretty obvious. I just realized 2 things that may not be great in hedgie handling, I guess I just got so used to having her around. 1.I haven't been giving foot baths when I taken her out, she is usually on a towel but has been on the floor, . Because we use care fresh she doesn't ever have "poop boots" like when I tried liners (she hated the liners) the most she has is maybe some poo and paper liner stuck to back feet if it's bad I use a baby wipe to pull off. I try not to bathe her too often , even foot bathes, because the teen girl I got her from was bathing her DAILY! And scrubbing her quills with a brush each time, so when I got her at 5 months she was terrified of water and continues to be.
2.Sandwich lives in out upstairs extra bathroom, because I can control the temperature, light and noise. It also makes bathing and cage cleaning convienent. I do dump her dirty water and using a glove I spot clean poop and put all in in the toliet and flush. I have however used that toliet a few times when I had to pee so bad I couldn't wait. It's certainly not dirty and the hedge poops don't touch the seat.
I don't know if any of this is relevant or just poor hedgie hygiene, unfortunately my mind races despite knowing what I know about them.
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Old 05-20-2016, 01:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Is your lymph node swollen? Does it hurt?
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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See, I always want to comment on these threads and say none of that sounds harmful at all to me. But then I remember that I gave up washing my hands after handling the hogs and their stuff a long time ago, even when I pick up dried poop. So I guess I might not be a good judge. :Lol:
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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To reply to above, yes they are both horribly swollen, I no longer have tonsils so I knew something was wrong. I put of going to the Dr because I didn't have a fever and thought maybe it was muscle neck pain, until they just got bigger and bigger.
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Old 05-20-2016, 02:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Lilysmommy. That makes me feel better though! I would rather just sigh and realize I'm a hypochondriac about everything.
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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When you touch them, do they hurt?
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:29 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Artemis-Ichiro, not really mostly just uncomfortable
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Old 05-20-2016, 03:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Even when I had multiple hedgehogs I never used gloves when picking up poops or cleaning the cages and wheels. I think as long as you practice proper hygiene (hand washing) you are very very unlikely to contract any type of illness from your hedgehog.
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