Do Hedgehogs Have Periods?

hedgehogs walking in grass but Do Hedgehogs Have Periods?

Raising hedgehogs can be a piece of work even if the rewards are satisfying. Getting to know as much information about them is critical to becoming the best hedgie parent possible. One of the biggest questions on the minds of many folks is whether female hedgehogs have menstrual cycles.

This article answers the question “Do hedgehogs Have Periods?” by revealing details about their reproductive health. The knowledge is critical for both successful breedings of offspring and avoidance of unwanted pregnancies depending on your preferences at a particular point.

Do hedgehogs Have Periods?

Hedgehogs do not have periods that result in bleeding as in the case of humans and other animals but they do have estrus cycles comprising 9 days on and 7 days off. Females go on heat for successful mating and pregnancy when a male is present. Signs of bleeding in the hedgehog cage should attract immediate veterinary attention because it is often injury or infection-related.

Determining when your female hedgehog is on heat can be very difficult and most people in the hedgehog community believe these mammals are induced ovulators meaning they come on heat only when a male is present.

Finding the perfect time to breed hedgehogs may be extremely difficult due to the lack of clarity concerning their heat cycles. To counteract this, many breeders put males and females together for 4-5 days, separate them for another 4-5 days, and put them together for another 4-5 days.

This schedule can increase the chances of mating during their estrus cycle culminating in a higher probability of pregnancy. Keeping a male and female together for 10 days continuously may also increase the chances of achieving successful pregnancies if the claims of ovulation in females being stimulated by the presence of males are true.

Do Female HedgeHogs Bleed During Estrus Cycles?

Females do not bleed when they’re on heat so no point in waiting to see signs of blood before instigating contact. Allowing sexual contact between males and females for several days is the best way of achieving successful pregnancies. The presence of the male is believed to induce ovulation in females increasing the chances of success.

Within 35-40 days, your breeding efforts should lead to newborns if a successful pregnancy was achieved. If not, you can try again.

How to Determine When Female Hedgehogs Are On Heat

male and female hedgehog in an underground burrow as we wonder How to Determine When Female Hedgehogs Are On Heat

Do you have plans for bleeding hedgehogs? If yes, getting the timing right in terms of the ovulating cycles can be valuable. One school of thought says these cute mammals experience multiple ovulation cycles in a single breeding season resulting in a higher chance of pregnancies.

Many believe they’re also induced ovulators meaning they only come on heat when there’s a higher chance of pregnancy in the form of a male’s presence. This school of thought focuses on female hedgehogs not having specific ovulation cycles that can be followed to achieve successful pregnancies.

Knowledge about their reproductive cycles can be scarce. No wonder many hedgehog parents have no idea when the females are on heat to introduce males for conception.

It is believed that their estrus cycles are relatively shorter than larger animals and are described as 9 days on and 7 days off. Based on this belief, the best routine for breeding hedgehogs is to let them spend 5 days with a male, stay 5 days apart, and spend another 5 days together.

Referencing the 9 days on, 7 days off rule, hedgehogs should come on heat at some point during 15 days, and spending 10 of those days together with a male should increase the chances of successful mating and pregnancy.

Also, those multiple days spent together should trigger ovulation if they are induced ovulators as believed by a section of the hedgehog community. Either way, females become more responsive to males during their heat periods so that can be a good sign to watch out for if you have the time.

The chances of becoming hedgehog grandparents within the next 40 days should be much higher by following the mating schedule above.

Factors to Consider Before Breeding Hedgehogs

You might have a burning desire to increase your hedgehog population but there are numerous factors to consider before making the decision to proceed.

Firstly, hedgehogs are some of the most fragile mammals around, and going through 40 days of pregnancy can take a heavy toll on the health of the females. Complications that may turn fatal could even arise so be prepared to lose them should things go south during the breeding process.

The size of a hedgehog litter could be as large as 8 and since each newborn requires an independent cage you’ll have to prepare to splurge on 8 brand new cages. Besides, each hoglet requires commercial feed after the first 2 months resulting in substantial bills at the pet store.

Are you willing to bear the financial responsibility of the newborns together with their parents or do you have solid plans to rehome the surplus babies you may not be able to take care of? Besides, complications can occur during the pregnancy and birthing process which may result in expensive veterinary bills. Are you willing to pay for all these probabilities in the worst-case scenario?

The new mother could even reject a couple or all of the hoglets leaving the responsibility of their care up to you. Do you have the time and resources to care for up to 8 hoglets? All of these are questions you need to find answers to before deciding to breed.

What To Do When You Spot Signs of Bleeding In Your Hedgehogs?

Female hedgehogs can be a wonderful addition to any home. One question that pops up in the minds of owners is whether to have their females spayed if they have no intention of breeding them.

Spaying may sound like a waste of time and money when you have no breeding plans. After all, hedgehogs are often kept in independent cages so there’s little risk of accidental pregnancies due to zero sexual contact with males.

Besides, these creatures are thought to be induced ovulators so they may need the presence of males to even go on heat. Being independently caged eliminates the risk of that which can make spaying unnecessary. (Source)

However, female hedgehogs are known for their susceptibility to uterine cancers with side effects including a decreased quality of life and reduced life expectancy. Spaying involves the surgical removal of the uterus which eliminates the risk of the cancers by extension.

The result is an increased lifespan with a much higher probability of enjoying a better life. Spaying males on the other hand offers no significant benefits and is unnecessary even if you have no intention of ever breeding them.

When is The Right Time To Breed Hedgehogs?

Female hedgehogs should only be bred after 6 months although they may become sexually active as early as 8 weeks and could fall pregnant when exposed to males within that timeframe. Early breeding can be a source of problems including hormonal changes that inhibit their ability to grow further resulting in metabolism defects that may affect the quality of their lives.

First-time mothers should be bred from 6-12 months old to increase the chances of successful deliveries. Waiting until they’re 18 months or older before their first breeding can lead to a higher risk of unsuccessful deliveries due to the fusion of their pelvic bones.

Continous breeding of female hedgehogs may result in decreasing litter sizes as they reach 3.5 years of age which is the average for menopause. Age is one of the vital factors to consider before deciding whether to breed female hedgehogs.

Can Mother Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?

baby hedgehogs following their mother but Can Mother Hedgehogs Eat Their Babies?

Mother hedgehogs do not hesitate to eat their babies when they feel threatened as a way to absorb their nutrients instead of allowing predators to enjoy that priviledge. One of the most potent ways to avoid that is keeping them in familar cages after delivery.

Avoid disturbing the new mother and her babies during the first 2 weeks so they can enjoy bonding with each other. Also, make sure the environment is noise-free with unfettered access to the right diet and water for everyone.

Starvation can force a new mother hedgehog to cannibalize her babies to gain the right nutrients for survival.

What To Do If My Hedgehog is Bleeding

Apply pressure on the bleeding spot to try to stop the blood loss. Hydrogen peroxide, styptic powder, corn starch, or flour can be applied to the wound to minimize the bleeding. You may take the affected hedgehog to a vet immediately if any of these methods prove futile.

Why is There Blood on My hedgehog’s Wheel?

hedgehog playing on a wheel as owner wonders Why is There Blood On My Hedgehog's Wheel?

Many hedgehogs suffer ripped out nails when running on their wheels especially in the silent spinner types. Excessive running can also cause bleeding resulting in traces of blood on the hedgehog’s wheel.

It is vital to find the source of the wound and stop the blood loss by applying firm pressure and undiluted Hydrogen peroxide to eliminate further blood loss.

Why is My Hedgehog’s Feet Bleeding?

Rubbing their feet accidentally on rough surfaces such as their cage wires may lead to foot bleeding in hedgehogs. Treat the wound as soon as possible to reduce the chances of infections that can cause prolonged suffering.

Why is My Hedgehog’s Poop Red?

Hedgehogs may excrete red poop due to prolonged constipation which can cause stomach tears that may lead to internal bleeding. The tears are usually minimal and full recovery should be achieved within a couple of days.

Conclusion: Do Hedgehogs Have Periods?

Female hedgehogs do not bleed during their menstrual cycles and apparent signs of blood loss may be due to infections or physical injuries. A quick investigation could be necessary and if results are inconclusive, be sure to take the cute quill baby to a vet for tests to be conducted.

There could be a ton of reasons behind the blood loss including uterine cancers and cystitis which are prevalent in female hedgehogs.

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