If you own a hedgehog, chances are that you may have noticed your little friend shaking or trembling at some point. While this can be concerning to some owners, it is important to understand why a hedgehog might shake and what can be done if the behavior persists. This article will discuss the potential causes of a shaking hedgehog and how to address the issue. In addition, we’ll provide tips on how to make sure your hedgehog stays healthy and happy.
Why Is My Hedgehog Shaking?
There are a few potential reasons why your hedgehog might be shaking. Here are some of the most common causes:
Stress or Fear
Hedgehogs can become stressed or scared when exposed to new environments, loud noises, unfamiliar people or animals, and other changes in their environment. Stress can lead to trembling and shaking as well.
Low Body Temperature
Hedgehogs naturally maintain a low body temperature and if it drops too low they may start to shake in order to warm up. If you think this could be the cause of your hedgehog’s shaking then try placing a heating pad near their cage.
Shivering can also be a sign that something is wrong with your hedgehog’s health. If the shaking persists for more than 24 hours, take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible so that any underlying medical issues can be addressed.
Changes in Diet
If you recently changed your hedgehog’s diet or introduced new treats, it could be causing them discomfort which leads to trembling. Try switching back to their old food for a few days and see if that helps.
Determining the Cause of Your Hedgehog’s Shaking
Shaking is a common behavior in hedgehogs, but it can also be indicative of underlying health issues. In order to determine the cause of your hedgehog’s shaking, it’s important to take a few factors into consideration.
- Cold Temperatures: Hedgehogs are cold-blooded animals and therefore require temperatures that are much higher than room temperature. If your hedgehog is shivering or shaking due to cold temperatures, you need to increase the ambient temperature in their habitat.
- Fear/Stress: If your hedgehog appears to be shaking out of fear or stress, you may want to consider providing them with more hiding places and objects in their environment so they feel safe and secure. Additionally, gently handling your pet regularly can help reduce their level of stress.
- Illness/Injury: If your hedgehog has recently experienced an illness or injury that could be causing them discomfort or pain, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian right away for proper diagnosis and treatment options.
Signs of Stress and Anxiety in Your Hedgehog
Hedgehogs can experience stress and anxiety, just like humans. It is important to observe your hedgehog’s behaviour so that you can recognise any signs of distress or unease. Knowing the signs of stress and anxiety in hedgehogs can help you identify when they are feeling anxious or overwhelmed, allowing you to take appropriate action.
Common Signs of Stress & Anxiety
- Lethargy: Your hedgehog may become more sluggish than usual and sleep for longer periods during the day.
- Hiding: Your hedgehog may retreat into its hiding spot more often than normal. This is a sign that your pet is feeling insecure or uncomfortable.
- Aggression: If your hedgehog feels threatened it may lash out by biting or scratching if provoked.
- Weight Loss: Stress has been known to lead to weight loss in some animals, including hedgehogs.
- Excessive Grooming: Anxious hedgies will often over groom themselves as a way of coping with their distress. This can lead to bald patches on their fur.
How to Tell if a Hedgehog is Cold: Identifying Signs of Wobbling
Hedgehogs are sensitive creatures and their environment must be carefully managed. If the temperature drops too low, hedgehogs can become cold and show signs of wobbling. In order to properly care for your pet hedgehog, it is important to know how to recognize these signs.
Signs of Wobbling in a Cold Hedgehog
- Lethargy: A cold hedgehog will often appear lethargic and unresponsive, not engaging in its usual activities.
- Tremors: Cold weather can cause a hedgehog’s muscles to shiver uncontrollably. This trembling may look like mild tremors or more violent shaking.
- Uncoordinated Movements: A cold hedgehog will often have difficulty moving around due to its lack of coordination. It may stumble while walking or move aimlessly without purpose.
- Slowing Down: When exposed to colder temperatures, the rate at which a hedgehog moves decreases significantly so that it appears slower than normal.
- “Wobble”: One of the most obvious indicators that a hedgehog is cold is an exaggerated movement known as “the wobble.” The animal’s body will sway back and forth as it walks and makes turns sharper than usual. This unsteady gait is usually accompanied by other symptoms described above.
In conclusion, hedgehogs can shake for a variety of reasons, ranging from excitement to fear. If you notice your hedgehog shaking, it is important to pay attention to its behavior and environment to determine the source of the trembling. If the shaking persists or worsens over time, it is best to take your hedgehog to an experienced veterinarian for an examination. With proper care and veterinary advice, you can help ensure that your pet hedgehog stays happy and healthy!