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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently today I was playing with my hedgehog, Amy, when I noticed there was a white spot in her eye. The spot was perfectly round, and it almost looked like her eyes were inverted. This startled me and I came to the conclusion that it might be cataracts? Here's my question(s) though:
-Does this harm her?
-Can it be removed
-How long until it happens to the other eye?
-What will her behavior be like with the loss of vision?
-If I intend to breed her, how will she treat her offspring?
Sorry for so many questions, there were few forums I found on this subject and I really would like to have some of this stuff answered. :(
 

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I believe you can have cataracts removed, but I think they also have a tendency to regrow. She might be a bit jumpier until she loses her vision completely, but since hedgehogs already have such bad vision to begin with, blind hedgehogs don't usually seem to be much affected by their blindness. They depend more on hearing & smell anyway. However, I would definitely not consider breeding her if she's already developing cataracts at a young age. That wouldn't be a good health trait to pass on to any offspring. If she's an older hedgehog, then it's too late to breed her for the first time anyway - hedgehogs need to have a first litter before they're one year old. Around that time, their hips fuse and giving birth becomes more dangerous for them.

I've not had a blind hedgie or one with cataracts, this is all just from what I've read on here. Someone with more experience with both situations, like Nancy, will be able to give you better advice on what to expect. :)
 

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I haven't had much to do with hedgehog healthcare so I don't know if this will be of any help, but you should consider taking her to the vet to get her eye checked out.

She might not have cataracts, but rather an ulceration to the eye. I dunno about hedges, but in dogs and alpacas (and other animals lol), if they get even a small injury to the eye, it can cause an ulcer which will look like a white spot that can have varying degrees of cloudiness. Depending on the degree, it can look like cataracts. If it gets really bad, it can eat away at the cornea, and cause pits in the eye. If you look up "Ulcerated eye" in google, and see the images, you can see the varying degrees of ulceration.

Thankfully, though, a vet can diagnose it with a bit of dye, which will make it show up under a UV light. If thats the case, they can make a serum which you drop in your pets eyes at predetermined intervals (anywhere from once a day, to every couple of hours for a day or two) to stimulate healing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Alright, she's around 2 but has really good temperament, so I think she'll be fine with coping if worse comes to worse. I also managed to have done some research and found an exotic pets veterinarian in my area! :D So we could even have the cataract removed if we're lucky. Thank you both for your input, this helped a lot. I hope my Amy does all right and pull through though.
 

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-Does this harm her?
-Can it be removed
-How long until it happens to the other eye?
-What will her behavior be like with the loss of vision?
-If I intend to breed her, how will she treat her offspring?
No, cataracts will not harm her.

Yes, it could possibly be removed, but would most likely be very expensive and would have to be done by a veterinary ophthalmologist.

It may never happen to the other eye, or it could happen tomorrow. There is no way of knowing.

There will probably be none or minimal change in her behaviour. Most hedgehogs cope very well with loss of vision. Keeping their cage the same layout helps. I've had many hedgehogs develop cataracts but only one that did not cope well. She also had mobility issues which resulted in her heading one direction, then she'd fall and end up heading a different direction. Once she became blind, she never knew where she was.

At two years old, unless she has already been having litters, she is too old for a fist litter and she might not survive it. Breeding a blind hedgehog is not ethically responsible. Not only is it unfair to her, but cataracts at a young age is possibly genetic which could be passed on to her offspring.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you very much, I've learned pretty quickly from others that breeding at the age of 2 is not a good idea, and I wouldn't want to put my baby in harm's way anyways. I'm contemplating talking to a veterinarian about her single eye, just to make sure it isn't an ulcer. Thanks again, this is really helping me :)
 
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