Why Are My Hedgehogs Ears Tattered?

Why Are My Hedgehogs Ears Tattered

If you have recently noticed your pet hedgehog’s ears appear to be tattered and are curious as to why, then this is the article for you. Here we will explore the possible causes of why your hedgehog may be experiencing tattered ears, so that you can best understand how to treat and protect your furry friend.

We will look at potential medical conditions associated with a hedgehog’s ear tattering, environmental factors that could lead to ear damage, and what preventive steps you can take to ensure your pet remains healthy. So let’s get started!

Why Are My Hedgehog’s Ears Tattered?

There are a few potential causes for your hedgehog’s tattered ears. These include medical conditions, environmental factors, and improper care.

Medical Conditions:

  • Ear Mites – Ear mites are common in many animals and can cause irritation to the ear leading to tattering.
  • Allergies – Allergy-related inflammation or infection of the ear canal can lead to tattering.
  • Infections – Bacterial or fungal infections of the ear can also lead to tattering.

Environmental Factors:

  • Harsh Weather – Extreme temperatures and humidity levels can lead to dryness of skin which may cause tattering.
  • Lack of Hygiene– Poor hygiene habits such as not regularly cleaning your pet’s ears can increase their risk of developing an infection.

Improper Care:

  • Excessive Scratching – Excessive scratching at the ears due to allergies or other skin issues could lead to damage and tearing.
  • Overgrooming – Grooming too often with poor technique may result in over sculpting or thinning out of the ears, resulting in tattering.

Signs of Ear Infections in Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs are prone to ear infections, but they can be difficult to recognize. An untreated ear infection can cause serious health problems and even death in hedgehogs, so it’s important to know the signs of an infection.

Physical Symptoms

  • Head tilting or shaking
  • Rubbing the ears or head against objects
  • Redness around the ears

These physical symptoms may indicate that your hedgehog is experiencing pain from an ear infection.

Behavioral Symptoms

  • Loss of appetite
  • Irritability and aggression towards handling

If your hedgehog doesn’t seem interested in food or seems unusually aggressive when handled, this could be a sign of an ear infection.

Audible Symptoms

  • Constant scratching noises coming from the ears
  • Whining or squeaking noises coming from the ears

You may hear these sounds if your hedgehog has an ear infection. It’s important to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for treatment.

Signs of Ear Infection in Hedgehogs

Ear infections are one of the most common health problems for hedgehogs. If left untreated, ear infections can lead to hearing loss and other serious complications. It’s important to know the signs of an ear infection so you can take your hedgehog to the vet as soon as possible.

Common Symptoms

  • Itchy ears: Hedgehogs may shake their heads vigorously or rub their ears against objects in a desperate attempt to relieve itching caused by an ear infection.
  • Discharge from the ears: The discharge may be black, yellow, greenish-brown, or clear with a bad smell. This is usually accompanied by redness and swelling around the outer edges of the ear flap.
  • Head Tilt: A head tilt which causes a hedgehog to walk in circles could indicate an inner ear infection.
  • Loss of Balance: If your hedgehog appears unsteady on its feet or falls off perches more frequently than usual, it could have an inner ear infection.

Treating Ear Mites in Hedgehogs

Ear mites are a common problem for hedgehogs, but there are ways to treat them. The first step is identifying the presence of ear mites. Symptoms include intense itching and scratching around the ears, as well as dark discharge coming from the ear canal.

Once you have confirmed that your hedgehog has ear mites, it’s important to begin treatment right away in order to prevent complications. Here are some steps you can take:

Steps for Treating Ear Mites in Hedgehogs

  • Clean Your Hedgehog’s Ears: Use a warm wet cloth or cotton ball to gently clean any debris out of your hedgehog’s ears.
  • Administer Medication: Your vet may prescribe medication such as ivermectin or selamectin if the ear mite infestation is severe. Follow all instructions carefully when administering these medications.
  • Keep Your Hedgehog Quarantined: It’s important to keep your hedgehog separated from other pets in your household while treating an ear mite infestation. This will help reduce the chance of spreading the infection.
  • Monitor Your Hedgehog Closely: Keep an eye on your pet for any signs that their condition is not improving or getting worse. Contact your veterinarian immediately if you see any changes in behavior or physical appearance.
  • Give Bathing Treatments: Giving your hedgehog regular baths with medicated shampoos can help alleviate symptoms and speed up healing time.


In conclusion, it is important to be aware of the potential causes of tattered ears in hedgehogs. If you have noticed that your pet’s ears are beginning to look frayed or ragged, it may be time to take them to the vet for a check-up and some advice on how best to care for them. Doing so can help ensure that they stay healthy and live long, happy lives with their owners.


  • Frederick

    Frederick Faunce is an experienced and passionate hedgehog writer, blogger, and researcher. He has dedicated his life to understanding the conservation and care of hedgehogs, and is committed to educating and inspiring others to do the same.

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