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So in my never ending search for a better vet I came across one veterinarian that looked really promising. I was super excited when I found out they had articles on hedgehogs written by an "experienced" veterinarian. That is until I read them. Don't get me wrong some information was pretty good, but then there was stuff that was just so ridiculous I couldn't help but post it, here are some examples :roll:

http://www.cnvet.com/website/DesktopDef ... &tabid=262

"Unlike most other pet animals, hedgehogs do not play with toys." I beg to differ

"Hedgehogs will become less active if the environmental temperature falls below 60 degrees, which is not a desirable behavior. Hedgehogs do not need to hibernate and many veterinarians recommend against hibernation" But it's only a recommendation?!

"In the wild, hedgehogs eat a diverse selection of insects as well as some plant material and very occasionally small or baby mammals (like pinkie mice)." SERIOUSLY? would anyone actually feed their hedgehog a baby mouse???

"Earthworms can be a very nutritious treat." Actually? I wouldn't feed my hedgehog an earthworm...

I was curious about this last one however, as I do have three dogs in my house. They are all vaccinated, but still.... is it true?

"One of the most common causes of pneumonia in hedgehogs is the bacterium Bordetella bronchiseptica, which causes kennel cough in dogs. It might be wise to limit contact between dogs and hedgehogs. All dogs in the house should be vaccinated against kennel cough."

Anyways I have half a mind to email them and tell them to update their info. I hate to think people are reading this info and trusting it because it's written by a vet. sigh :roll:
 

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The stuff about hibernation is obviously not too well-informed. It's sort of like saying that it's not recommended for a human to drink battery acid. Well, yeah, "not recommended" is certainly one way to put it... :roll:

As for the baby mice thing, however, I've actually seen a video of a hedgehog chowing down on a "pinkie". It kind of made me want to barf, so I stopped watching, but the hedgehog in question certainly seemed to like eating it...
 

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There are a few people that feed a raw diet such as baby mice. In the wild that is what they would be eating but I could never do it. Bugs yes, but baby mice.... shudder!

I've never heard of dogs giving hedgehogs Bordetella. Most of the cases of pneumonia we hear about are caused by hibernation attempts or stress from going to a new home or being in a petstore environment.
 

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I've heard about the pinky mice too but wouldn't do it. I remember reading somewhere too that in the wild hedgehogs hunt small snakes for food, using their visor to protect & kill the snake, and that it's one of the reasons their ability to withstand *some* toxins (ie. snake venom) is quite high.
 

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While feeding pinkies and earthworms are possible they aren't as sanitary. Where can you go to get good, clean earthworms? And while pinkies are young and haven't really come in contact with anything terribly dangerous there's still a potential for them to have bad bacteria in/on them from parents, which could get your hedgie sick. (and I'll admit, that's the only reason I don't feed pinkies)

That vet is clearly uninformed about hedgehog behavior, diet, well, pretty much everything.

It makes me so sad to see vets who have gone through all this schooling and still be tossing out harmful information. Usually the ones with the most "experience" are ones that got their license long ago when there was much less information on small animals. Vets are people too and while many continue learning while they are in their career so they can better help their patients many are lazy or unable to take additional classes so their knowledge just stays at the same level, while new discoveries are made...

LOL, sorry for the rant, vets are great but they make me sad sometimes...
 

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I agree that often vets who did there schooling many years ago are not up to date on hedgehogs unless they have kept up to date. Of the vets my gang have actually been to, the worst was a young vet only out of school for a few years. He was a very kind young man but some of the things he said was just crazy.
 

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LizardGirl said:
While feeding pinkies and earthworms are possible they aren't as sanitary. Where can you go to get good, clean earthworms? And while pinkies are young and haven't really come in contact with anything terribly dangerous there's still a potential for them to have bad bacteria in/on them from parents, which could get your hedgie sick. (and I'll admit, that's the only reason I don't feed pinkies)
There is nothing unsanitary about pinkies or earthworms. Earthworms raised for fish bait are fed a non-soil diet and raised in a non-soil environment. Even if you dug them out of a pesticide/fertilizer free yard and they ate dirt, there isn't anything inherently bad about that. Dirt might be dirty but it doesn't necessarily contain anything harmful.

Rats and mice by nature are not disease ridden nor do they have any inherent bacteria. Those who raise feeders for sale have to keep sanitary conditions or they risk losing business when their poor husbandry practices kill off the animals eating their feed. It's less dangerous to feed pinkies than it would be raw chicken. Typically a pinkie is frozen and then thawed (if one is a humane feeder), with the freezing part destroying any bacteria picked up in handling.

While feeding either is kinda "squicky", it's not something that will harm a hedgehog in any way.
 

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In defense of my post I did say:

they aren't as sanitary
Where can you go to get good, clean earthworms?
pinkies are young and haven't really come in contact with anything terribly dangerous
I never said they weren't ever sanitary, but it's a possibility that they could get your hedgie sick. I personally will never knowingly feed a wild caught insect no matter where it's caught from. If you have earthworms that are bred in the clean conditions you describe, then that's wonderful! I would like to see how the bait raisers do it- I'm in need of more worms for my yard. :p Pinkies, if frozen first, you are right, there is little to no risk. I was assuming the person feeding them would do so live (go ahead and call me inhumane, people :roll: ) or recently killed. Personally I usually feed pinkies live because they're going to herps that aren't affected by "mammal diseases" and they usually like the stimulation live food presents.

It's quite possible to feed these things with no fear of getting their hedgie sick. Those people just need to be careful about their sources for feeder insects and rodents.
 

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Sometimes I wonder how space aliens would describe the common diet of Earthlings. If they land in a certain part of Asia, would they say, “Dogs are consumed as a good source of protein”? If they land in Hindu countries, would they say, “Earthlings do not eat cows”? Or “Earthlings occasionally fast,” if they land in an Islamic country? Would they list whales as delicacies if they land in Japan? :?:

In some countries, pinky mice (hairless new-born mice) and small lizards, even frozen chicks/quails, are commonly fed to hedgehogs as treats and often recommended by vets. Those vets believe hedgehogs should NOT be fed with dry cat food; they recommend hedgehog-specific foods such as Brisky Hedgehog Diet/Old Mills, Pretty Pet Hedgehog Foods, Massena (?) SelectDiet Hedgehog foods, Sunseed Hedgehog Food, Brown’s Zoo Vital, etc.

I’ve read that earthworms as well as ****roaches can be nutritious and healthy for hedgehogs provided they’re raised in a parasite-free, virus-free, hormone-free environment, just like the insects commercially raised in North America specifically to be live feed for various pets. Pinky mice and other live feed fed to hedgehogs in other countries are raised in a disease-free environment, therefore, I don’t see it as a problem as HedgeMom already pointed out.

I agree that some info presented on the website in question is wrong and/or strongly questionable, but I also believe that we still require extensive research to determine what’s best for our pet hedgehogs. It seems to me that much of the knowledge applied to and basic care for hedgehogs practised in Europe is largely based on European wild hedgehogs and is not applicable to our pet hedgehogs in North America. I feel that we’re still pretty much in the “trial-andd-error” stage when it comes to hedgehog diet, habitat, as well as basic care, and it’s important to keep our minds open and not to hastily dismiss different options if they’re beneficial to the well-being of our pet hedgehogs, simply because what we know and believe to be right today may "evolve" depending on the outcome of such research.
 

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@HedgieMate hahaha that is a perfect way to explain the article

Aside from the first quote about toys and the second about hibernation being a severe understatement, I don't find anything wrong with the article either. Animals can communicate bacteria and such to others species including humans, so the bit about the dog sounds reasonably probable.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It was interesting to hear everybody's opinions!

I can't say I'll try feeding earthworms or pinky mice anytime soon though, I still think the idea is really ick!
 
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