What are some things that can cause respiratory infections and how can I spot one? I read that a runny nose is one way to tell, but what exactly does a runny nose look like? Will the nose just be wet, or will I actually be able to see that it is runny?
Usually the hedgehog will be licking his nose a lot. To a new owner, what is normal nose licking and excessive nose licking can be difficult to tell. Usually, what constitutes frequent nose licking is if they lick their nose 2-3 times per minute.
In the beginnings of a URI, the runny nose can be difficult to spot because of the nose licking and because it is clear. Coloured mucous indicates infection.
If the hedgehog is sneezing, combined with frequent nose licking with or without coloured mucous, it should be checked by a vet.
Respiratory infections happen when the hedgehogs immunity is low. Any type of stress lowers their immune systems and leaves them open for any infections. Stress can be something like a move to a new home, being too cool and attempting hibernation, or their owner going on vacation. Pet store hedgehogs often get a URI when going to a new home. It isn't quite as common with a hedgehog from a reputable breeder but it can happen.
Thanks a lot. That was really helpful. I guess I started to freak out a lot because I noticed his nose seems a little wet. Noticing one thing led to noticing another, and I just got a little scared, lol.
Also, while I was petting him, I noticed he has something behind his ear. Looks weird, maybe just some dead skin or something, but I can't be sure. Nor can I get a good picture of it.