The Danger of Feeding Peanuts to Hedgehogs
Recently a large male hedgehog was brought to me; he had skinned front feet, an injury under his chin and a very sore mouth. He was also covered in ticks. I counted over one hundred of them; some small ones surrounding his eyelids that left him unable to open his eyes.
I treated the problems then put him in a large hutch with some food and water. In the morning I found that the food was untouched. I began hand-feeding him with liquid food and discovered a lump in the roof of his mouth that began to dislodge itself with the liquid. I flicked it out with the syringe only to discover that it was one half of a large peanut. This poor hedgehog had obviously been trying desperately to remove the peanut fragment from his mouth and, in so doing, had caused multiple injuries to himself.
He was taken to the vet immediately because of the massive mucous production in his mouth. Under anaesthetic his tongue was found to be severely ulcerated and infected. He began a course of a particular antibiotic and after a week of hand-feeding he began to eat liquid food by himself. Since then he has progressed to mashed dog pâté and puppy mousse. He will remain on the antibiotic until all the problems are healed.
If you wish to feed hedgehogs please place a small bowl of kitten biscuits in a simple feeding station (one that cats are unable to enter).
Mealworms, raisins and peanuts can actually cause a painful bone disease in hedgehogs that may result in them losing their ability to walk. The high phosphate level in mealworms depletes hedgehogs of calcium thereby reducing bone strength.
Please check with one of us if you are unsure about what to feed hedgehogs. We will always try our best to answer queries.