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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081006/ap_on_he_me/med_exotic_pets

I saw this article up on the front page of yahoo this morning. It's supposed to be more about hamsters and reptiles, however there is mention of hedgies in it--and the example picture they have up for it is a hedgie, as well.
It specifically says:
Hedgehogs can be dangerous because their quills can penetrate skin and have been known to spread a bacteria germ that can cause fever, stomach pain and a rash, the report said.
I was just wondering what the general opinions are on the article. I think it's a good thing to let people know of the possibility of things with exotic pets (like salmonella with reptiles), however has anyone ever heard of what they're talking about here with the fever and whatnot?
 

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I don't have much of an opinion on that, except it's LAME! Animals aren't the only place you pick up germs! If you would wash your hands like you're supposed to, maybe people wouldn't get sick so often. Geez! Yeah, put hedgies in the spotlight for "getting lots of little kids sick"! Taht is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. :x
 

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I totally came on here looking to see if anyone had already made a mention to the article, because I was going to. xD;

But seriously, it seems like they just had to throw hedgehogs in there for no reason. Bathe your pet and yourself and you'll be fine. I mean, they're hedgehogs! Sure you're going to get poked, but I mean, come on. =/
 

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One of the problems with the media (however, I would hardly refer to Yahoo news as part of the mainstream media) is that their job is to explain to those who do now know or understand, things that they themselves do not know or understand.

As a result, many "reporters" (and I use the term loosely) go into a story with a particular "bent" or "flavor" that fits a level of sensationalism sufficient for publication and (hopefully) widespread attention. What we, the reading public end up with is in many cases a story that heavily favors one side of an issue rather than find the needed balance.

In this case, even the "supposed" attempt at balance by contacting the IHA focused on the negative - "no animal should be a pet for kids"(referring to hedgehogs of course) and "hedgehogs, which became fad pets about 10 years ago". I'm sorry, but that was ten years ago! Hedgehogs haven't been a "fad" pet in North America for at least 10 years!

There is no mention of exactly what this mystery bacteria is (and I've never even heard of this in my 15 years in hedgehogs) and as far as Salmonella goes, all mammals, birds and reptiles can shed Salmonella and hedgehogs are no more prone to this than any other animal.

In a nutshell, any pet owner has to take practical and common-sense precautions with any pet. They also need to take precautions against bad reporting. Unfortunately, there's nothing a doctor can do for that.

Bryan
 

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They, reporters have a bad habit of not telling the full story. You pick and choose sentences and even parts of sentences to make it what you want it to be. Standing Bear's interview with Lindsey was a 25 minute interview. She took two sentences from that interview and a followup email. She chose what portion of what he said fit what she wanted to print.

Oh and Bryan this is an AP News reporter, Lindsey Tanner.
 

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Kalandra said:
Oh and Bryan this is an AP News reporter, Lindsey Tanner.
I know, and the article is being picked up all over, but my disdain for Yahoo remains... and for any other news outfit that is myopic enough or article-starved enough to pick it up without considering there might be a slight bias to it garners my equal disdain.
 

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I am upset that reptiles are being dragged into this as well. Parents should teach their children that turtles are a look-but-don't-touch animal. The same could go for hedgehogs. whenever i have Cloud out and about in public i always show the kids the correct way to pet him (two fingers, going from his head to his butt) and if they can't pet him correctly i take him away.


the one quote that bugged me in the article was: "Those who already have these pets should contact their veterinarians about specific risks and possible new homes for the animals, he said."
if i have children i will NOT rehome my animals! that is ridiculous.
 

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That is so lame! If hedgehogs carried any disease :roll: you could easily avoid it by washing your hands before and after handling them. If you were afraid of getting a deadly sickness because one of its quills broke the skin you could just clean the wound. I think this is pathetic!!! One thing is for sure the they are clearly not animal people.
 

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Well, if nothing else, we can all go to the yahoo article and give it a bad rating... I suppose if enough people see that it has bad ratings they might be less likely to believe it.. ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I meant to point out that it was an AP article, but I forgot to do so. But I guess it's okay, because yahoo did post it and they often take AP articles and put them up--I don't usually pay attention to the non-AP stuff on there. It was just the first place I saw the article today.
Seriously, I couldn't believe it when I saw the article. It should be common sense that if you have a turtle/reptile you need to wash your hands when you touch it. You should do that with any animal, and it truly doesn't mean that those animals should not be in homes where children are present. Parents/siblings should always be precautious when it comes to pets, even if it's just a cat.
I just wondered if anyone had heard of that illness from hedgehogs, because I hadn't come across anything of the sort in my research about them. Then here this was up on the front page, with a picture of a hedgie on it. It does seem unfairly slanted, absolutely.
 

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It was the same thing as the article in yahoo, but for some stupid reason, the people set the font to white and put it above pictures of an apartment that was going for $100. Yeah that's right. A $100 apartment in NYC!!

CL is getting to be such a joke, which is a shame because I've gotten plenty a job off their boards AND we rescued Ivan because of a post I saw. How aggravating!! :evil: :x :roll:
 

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I have three young daughters (ages 8, 6 and 2). I think being exposed to animals is important for them to learn how to take care of others and respect all living things. That said, they are allowed "supervised" visits with my hedgehog. I hold the hedgehog, and show them how to properly pet her. They like to look in her cage, and occasionally I have them help me clean her cage. I keep her cage in my bedroom so if the girls are being too wild, I can close the door. I think any child can be taught how to handle an exotic pet...and hand washing prevents the spread of all kinds of nasties.
 

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I think the family dog and cat pose more of a health risk to young children than do any type of small caged animal.

Goodness knows what dead and disgusting thing the dog has found to eat while outside, then licks it's bum and then gives the child and great big slobbery lick on the face. YUCK! Dogs and outdoors cats bring in parasites and worms which can pass to the children. Then there's fleas that can bite the children. Playing in sandboxes that cats have pottied in is a health risk as is playing in the yard or park where the dogs poop.

I've yet to hear of a child being mauled by a hedgehog or other small caged pet. Geez, gotta watch those vicious baby chicks. :roll: The article in the Globe and Mail even states hedgehogs can spread rabies. How stupid. Where exactly are these caged hedgehogs going to get rabies from.

Personally I feel caged pets pose less risk to young children as they live in a controlled environment.
 

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Nancy said:
The article in the Globe and Mail even states hedgehogs can spread rabies. How stupid. Where exactly are these caged hedgehogs going to get rabies from.
The scary thing is that medical professionals read this stuff and believe it. When my little one bit a friend of mine and the bite-site turned into a nasty infection, the doctors suggested it was rabies. Upon pointing out that my little one has only been indoors as had her parents and their parents, they decided that my hedgie possibly carried "a recessive rabies trait." Some discussion with the vet disabused them of that notion. However, for a time, I was rather fearful for the life of my several-week old hedgie as I was led to understand the way to test an animal for rabies involves killing it.
 

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smhufflepuff said:
Nancy said:
The article in the Globe and Mail even states hedgehogs can spread rabies. How stupid. Where exactly are these caged hedgehogs going to get rabies from.
The scary thing is that medical professionals read this stuff and believe it. When my little one bit a friend of mine and the bite-site turned into a nasty infection, the doctors suggested it was rabies. Upon pointing out that my little one has only been indoors as had her parents and their parents, they decided that my hedgie possibly carried "a recessive rabies trait." Some discussion with the vet disabused them of that notion. However, for a time, I was rather fearful for the life of my several-week old hedgie as I was led to understand the way to test an animal for rabies involves killing it.
OMG, A recessive rabies trait how ridiculous is that! I also don't understand how some people do get infections from bites. Do they wash the area after being bit? I've been bit more times than I can think of as well as quill pokes that drew blood and I've never had an infection, nor has my daughter.
 

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Nancy said:
OMG, A recessive rabies trait how ridiculous is that! I also don't understand how some people do get infections from bites. Do they wash the area after being bit? I've been bit more times than I can think of as well as quill pokes that drew blood and I've never had an infection, nor has my daughter.
Same with me... I've been chomped and quilled by my little girl (very infrequently) as have a few other family members. We're all just fine.

I think the particular infection I mentioned falls in the "special case and really unlikely to happen to the vast majority of people" category. My friend happens to have a compromised immune system, so what likely happened is that the bite pushed bacteria (either the forms that are usually present on human skin or on hedgies) through the skin and, given a reduced ability to deal with that, it became rather infected. She's had the same problem crop up from other minor non-hedgie abrasions.

It was terrifying, though, that MD's from a big name hospital (University of Michigan) were thinking that my little baby was so dangerous and recommending she be "tested" for rabies and it's "recessive trait" form. Glad that's over now though.
 
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