Hedgehog first aid kit

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Hooked on Hogs
Jan 28, 2009
Kingston, Ontario
Hedgehog first aid kit

1. MONEY. Always have at least $200 available for an emergency vet visit. So often people post that their pet is very ill but they don’t have the money to take it to the vet. Hedgehogs hide illness very well. By the time they are showing symptoms of illness, they are usually very sick and require vet attention IMMEDIATELY!

2. A card with your vet’s phone number and address. Also add alternate vets phone numbers and addresses and an emergency vets phone number and address.

Below is a list of Lab Values for hedgehogs. Print these and keep with your vets information.

3. Always have a human heating pad. If you do not need it on a regular basis you will have it for emergency use.

4. 2 cans of Hills AD cat food which is available at your vets. This is used for syringe feeding and is a fine consistency that will easily go through a syringe. Make sure it is room temperature or warmer before feeding. (keep track of the expiry date and replace as needed)

5. A couple of bottles of pedialite for syringing water. Make sure it is room temperature or warmer before syringing it. (keep track of the expiry date and replace as needed)

6. A can or two of human Boost or Ensure as it is a good source of nutrition for an ill hedgehog and it is easily syringed. Make sure it is room temperature or warmer before use. (keep track of the expiry date and replace as needed)

7. A supply of syringes. Either ones made specifically for syringing small animals, or 1ml syringes available at any vet or pharmacy. These wear out quickly with use so have numerous ones on hand.

8. A supply of white or predominantly white liners or receiving blankets to use as bedding. These enable you to see what colour the hedgehogs bodily functions are. Baby receiving blankets are cheap and available at any department store.

9. A mid sized clear sterlite or rubbermaid bin for use as a sick cage. It prevents drafts and is easily transportable Ensure it is at least 15” tall. Ventilate the lid. This bin will also hold all of your emergency supplies. This cage can also be used in the event of a power outage as it will be easier to keep warm.

10. Regular Polysporin. DO NOT use extra strength or pain control as these are toxic.

11. Vaseline or a water based, non-toxic lubricant.

12. A roll of paper towels.

13. A package of sterile gauze pads. A human first aid kit works well.

14. Unscented baby wipes

15. Nail clippers & small scissors

16. Tweezers

17. Q-tips

18. Four or cornstarch to stop bleeding of nails

Your trip to the vet

Have a travel carrier set up and ready to go at all times. In the carrier have the following….

- Your name, address and phone # on a tag and attach it to the carrier.
- A card prepared ahead of time with the hedgehogs birthdate, normal weight, and any prior medical history.
- A couple of hand warmers or a snuggle safe to provide warmth.
- White or mostly white receiving blankets work well to line the carrier and use as blankets or have a set of bedding specifically for the carrier. White will show any bodily fluids.
- A small container that you can take some of the hedgehogs food and a water bottle to take some of your water with you in case he needs to remain at the vet.

Hedgehog Lab Values

Print out and keep in your first aid kit

They are taken from the Merck vet manual.



PCV (%) ... 36 ±7 (22-64)
RBC (10^6/microliter) ... 6 ±2 (3-16)
Hb (g/dl) ... 12.0 ±2.8 (7.0-21.1)
MCV (fl) ... 67 ±9 (41-94)
MCH (pg) ... 22 ±4 (11-31)
MCHC (g/dl) ... 34 ±5 (17-48)
Platelets (10^3/microliter) ... 226 ±108 (60-347)
WBC (10^3/microliter) … 11 ±6 (3-43)
Neutrophils (10^3/microliter) ... 5.1 ±5.2 (0.6-37.4)
Lymphocytes (10^3/microliter) ... 4.0 ±2.2 (0.9-13.1)
Monocytes (10^3/microliter) ... 0.3 ±0.3 (0.0-1.6)
Eosinophils (10^3/microliter) ... 1.2 ±0.9 (0.0-5.1)
Basophils (10^3/microliter) ... 0.4 ±0.3 (0.0-1.5)


Alkaline phosphatase (IU/L) ... 51 ±21 (8-92)
ALT (IU/L) ... 53 ±24 (16-134)
Amylase (IU/L) ... 510 ±170 (244-858)
AST (IU/L) ... 34 ±22 (8-137)
Bilirubin, total (mg/dl) ... 0.3 ±0.3 (0.0-1.3)
BUN (mg/dl) ... 27 ±9 (13-54)
Calcium (mg/dl) ... 8.8 ±1.4 (5.2-11.3)
Chloride (mEq/L) ... 109 ±10 (92-128)
Cholesterol (mg/dl) ... 131 ±25 (86-189)
Creatinine kinase (IU/L) ... 863 ±413 (333-1964)
Creatinine (mg/dl) ... 0.4 ±0.2 (0.0-0.8)
GGT (IU/L) ... 4 ±1 (0-12)
Glucose (mg/dl) ... 89 ±30
LDH (IU/L) ... 441 ±258 (57-820)
Phosphorous (mg/dl) ... 5.3 ±1.9 (2.4-12.0)
Potassium (mEq/L) ... 4.9 ±1.0 (3.2-7.2)
Protein, total (g/dl) ... 5.8 ±0.7 (4.0-7.7)
Albumin (part of Protein, above, g/dl) ... 2.9 ±0.4 (1.8-4.2)
Globulin (part of Protein, above, g/dl) ... 2.7 ±0.5 (1.6-3.9)
Sodium (mEq/L) ... 141 ±9 (120-165)
Triglycerides (mg/dl) ... 38 ±22 (10-96)
Emergency Hedgehog Kit

Here are some standard items to have on hand in case of a hedgie emergency or illness. Being small creatures, they can go downhill very fast. It is important that if a hedgehog is experiencing an emergency, he/she is taken to a vet as soon as possible. These items may be critical in an emergency while assistance from a vet is being sought.

- Syringes (1ml and 3ml sizes)
- Pedialyte (unflavoured or orange seem to be popular)
- Hill's A/D (this is canned food available at vet offices usually without prescription, it is fairly easy to syringe feed but keep an eye on expiry dates, I change them out every six months just to be sure)
- Ensure (vanilla or strawberry)
- Polysporin (regular strength ONLY, other variations could be toxic)
- Q-tips (to help look inside a mouth)
- Carrier equiped with Snuggle safe and/or Hand warmers (careful you do not close a hedgehog in with these as they consume oxygen)
- Primary Vet phone number, address and method of transportation (at minimum have a plan of how you are going to get the animal to the vet in an emergency)
- Alternate vet contact details
- Emergency or After hours vet contact details & address
- Method of payment (exotic pets are expensive and it is important to plan/save for those extra emergency costs)

I'm sure I've missed something so let's get it added to the list.
Good idea. In my E-kit, I have:
- Feeding syringes
- Moist cat food
- Carnivore Care
- Polysporin
- Acidophilus capsules
- Extra liner and receiving blanket
- Baggie of kibble
- Extra bowl
- Vet details
- Hand warmers and a microwave beanbag heating pad
- A bottle of water that I replace monthly. The way I figure it - it may not be 100% fresh when they get to it, but it's better than no water.
- Money

I've also labeled each carrier with the hog's name and details (and a picture), and brief care instructions in case they ever get separated from me. A copy of Kismet's spay certificate is also attached to her carrier.