My Hedgehog Won’t Stop Sneezing:

hedgehog digging grass as owners complain My Hedgehog Won't Stop Sneezing

Hedgehogs sneeze once in a while as part of normal body functionality which is no secret. However, continuous sneezing with no sign of ending could be evidence of trouble particularly in a new environment or during cold weather.

“My Hedgehog won’t Stop Sneezing!” If this sounds like you, this article delves into common reasons why hedgehogs may sneeze repeatedly and possible solutions to reverse the disturbing symptoms. We also look into how to differentiate between normal and illness-induced sneezing. Let’s get started.

My Hedgehog Won’t Stop Sneezing

Hedgehogs may sneeze repeatedly when exposed to new environments or allergic bedding. Sneezing is also common when saddled with respiratory infections such as pneumonia which could arise from Lungworm infections.

As previously stated, hedgehogs sneeze a couple of times when awake just like other animals do from once in a while to rid their noses of dirt, dust, and potential allergens.

However, repeated sneezing in hedgehogs with additional signs like the consistent licking of the nose could be evidence of nasal mucous. Running nose should be treated promptly because it can quickly escalate to respiratory infections and a whole new level of trouble for the affected hedgehog.

What Does A Hedgehog Sneeze Sound Like?

Hedgehog sneezing sounds are impulsively loud and screech-like which is not too different from how other animals and even humans sneeze. It may be accompanied by coughing, wheezing, or other signs of discomfort depending on the underlying reasons.

Sometimes, breathing may seem difficult which could be indicative of a bigger problem that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Why Is My Hedgehog Sneezing Soo Much?

Multiple reasons could account for the hedgehog’s sneezing with seemingly no end in sight and each one may come with distinct signs for easy identification. Shall we delve into the possible underlying reasons why you hedgehog cannot stop sneezing?

1. New, Unfamiliar Hedgehog Environment

hedgehog in a new, unfamiliar cage

Hedgehogs may sneeze continuously after arriving in a new home when the stress associated with the fear for their safety kicks in. Hedgehogs are unable to relax in the unfamiliar surroundings because they are clueless about potential dangers on the ground.

Are there predators waiting to feast on their bodies? Is there a constant supply of food, water, toys, and other essentials? The lack of immediate answers to these questions can trigger significant stress in hedgehogs resulting in continuous sleeping and lethargy.

Fortunately, time is all that is required for the sneezing to stop. As hedgehogs get more familiar with the new environment and build more confidence that their safety may not be in danger, the sneezing reduces instinctively and the symptoms can clear up in a day or two.

2. Respiratory Infections

Respiratory infections are common during winter when hedgehogs are exposed to drafts and this may cause incessant sneezing. Lungworm infections could trigger pneumonia just as much as exposure to allergic bedding like pine shavings.

Inhaling strong laundry chemicals, especially those found in fabric softeners could also result in severe lung infections.

Respiratory infections may come with additional symptoms like:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Coughing
  • Crusty eyes
  • Eye and nasal discharges
  • Running nose
  • Wheezing

3. Allergies

Allergy-induced sneezing is common in hedgehogs, especially when exposed to the wrong bedding. In our experience, wood shavings are the worst culprits for hedgehog allergies due to their dusty nature.

Sawdust, cedar shavings, and pine shavings may also contain irritants that can trigger reactions in hedgehogs resulting in signs of discomfort such as sneezing.

4. Lungworm Infections

hedgehog sleep in its cage after suffering lungworms

Lungworm infections are a leading cause of sneezing in hedgehogs since the parasites stay in the host’s lungs. Immediate veterinary treatments for lungworms could be critical to not only relieving the hedgehog of the related symptoms but also minimizing the risk of secondary infections like pneumonia.

Evidence of lungworms includes sneezing and wheezing as well as breathing difficulties, coughing, and nasal discharge. Lack of interest in eating, weight loss, lethargy, and mucous discharges are additional symptoms of lungworm infections.

5. Unhealthy Diet

Feeding nutritionally poor diets to hedgehogs can trigger extended sneezing which is typically accompanied by simultaneous farting. These two strong clues could be an indication that all is not well and some dietary changes are necessary to preserve the health of your hedgehogs.

Common causes of sneezing and farting include:

  • Excess carbs
  • Processed food
  • Sugars
  • Excess meat
  • Excess eggs
  • Dehydration

How To Treat Sneezing in Hedgehogs

Like any sign of trouble, finding and eliminating the underlying cause is the best way to end the constant sneezing. Here are tried and tested methods for treating the condition in hedgehogs.

Proper Diets

dry cat kibble with bowls

Healthy diets are non-negotiable in the treatment of sneezing because the right nutrients can shore up the hedgehog’s immune system to fight the underlying causes of the condition. Hedgehogs should consume healthy cat food or specialized hedgehog diets with supplementary options like fruits and vegetables to guarantee a rich vitamin supply.

Foods that contain high amounts of sugar and other potentially harmful chemicals should be eliminated from the hedgehog’s diet to reduce the risks of farting, sneezing, and other side effects.

Warm Up The Hedgehog’s Cage Temperature

The importance of warm hedgehog enclosures especially during power shutdowns in winter can not be overemphasized during sneezing episodes especially when caused by respiratory infections. Warm temperatures also help hedgehogs fight numerous diseases and infections.

Hedgehogs thrive in temperatures of 75 F to 80 F but typically appreciate a bit of additional warmth when battling illness.

Remove and Replace Irritant Bedding

Removing and replacing irritant bedding could eliminate the signs of sneezing and other side effects. Paper-based bedding is often a good option for hedgehogs with allergies and the specialized products below may come in handy.

In the absence of these products, the following common household items can come in handy

Fabric Cage Liners For Treatment Of Allergen-Induced Sneezing

woman holds pillow which is one of the best Fabric Cage Liners For Treatment Of Allergen-Induced Sneezing

Fabric cage liners could also come in handy when there’s reason to suspect that the hedgehog’s sneezing may be a result of allergens. These cage liners can be a healthy option even before receiving confirmation that the sneezing is allergy-induced.

A few fabric cage liner alternatives include:

  • Fleece
  • T-shirts
  • Pillowcases
  • Flannel baby blankets

Before fixing the new bedding, we recommend washing the cage and components with vinegar and rinsing with clean water to eliminate the soap residue. Line the enclosure with the new fabric bedding and watch the hedgehog for 24 hours to determine whether there are improvements in the sneezing frequency.

A decline in the sneezing frequency or complete stoppage is confirmation that the symptoms were induced by reactions to the irritant components of the previous cage bedding.

Treatment For Respiratory Infections

You may have to visit the vet when the hedgehog’s sneezing is accompanied by signs like mucous discharges from the nose. This is often an indication of upper respiratory infections which require early treatment before escalating to pneumonia and related side effects including death.

Conclusion: My Hedgehog Won’t Stop Sneezing

Continuous sneezing is often a sign of trouble in hedgehogs and figuring out the underlying causes is the responsibility of every owner. Exposure to unhealthy diets, allergies, and lungworm infections are common triggers of constant sneezing in hedgehogs.

Respiratory infections and allergic reactions to irritants in cage bedding may also stimulate repeated sneezing in hedgehogs. Removing potential allergens from the hedgehog’s enclosure typically reduces and eventually eliminates sneezing episodes.

Respiratory infections and lungworms may require treatment from an exotics vet to reverse the sneezing symptoms. Hedgehogs are usually given antibiotics and other medications to help clear the sneezing and additional symptoms like coughing, running nose and wheezing.

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