Hedgehog Sneezing [Complete Guide]

A hedgehog sneezing is usually nothing to worry about. Hedgehogs will often sneeze because of the way they breathe, and how their nose is shaped. When a hedgehog breathes in through its nostrils, it has to push air out through its mouth as well. This causes an imbalance in pressure between the two sides of its face, which can cause the animal to sneeze.

Hedgehog sneezing

A sneeze is caused by the watery fluid being pushed out of the nose. This occurs when air passes over tiny hairs called cilia. When this happens, the mucus gets squeezed out of the nasal cavity and goes down the throat. Sneezing is sometimes used as a form of defense mechanism. It helps clear the nose of dust, pollen, and other irritants.

Sneezing is obviously a common behavior and shouldn’t be a huge cause for concern unless it’s excessive or paired with other symptoms of illness. 

Common Causes of Hedgehog Sneezing

  • Their bedding contains irritants (Check cloth cage liners)
  • New cage / environment
  • To remove irritants from their nose or throat
  • As part of normal behavior
  • Lungworm
  • Respitorary infections/diseases

A Common Mistake With Hedgehog Cage Liners

When cleaning our hedgehog’s cage we sometimes wash the cage liners which are made from cloth. It’s important to remember not to wash these with hard chemicals. Furthermore, ensure you don’t dry this outside in an area where pollen and allergens are able to attach themselves to the fabric. Often I see hedgehog owners experiencing sneezing when changing their cage liners because they are introducing chemicals from cleaning or allergens from drying. 

hedgehog sneeze

Hedgehog Sneezing at Home

It’s common to see hedgehogs sneezing when they are introduced into a new environment. New places and smells are usually overwhelming and take some getting used to. It’s important to keep an eye on your hedgehogs to ensure this doesn’t persist for longer than a couple of days. If it does continue to persist consider the possibility there is something that is irritating your pet hedgehog’s respiratory system. Check the cleanliness of your cage and ensure you have nothing which could potentially cause allergic reactions in the vicinity. If you are worried pay closer attention to your hedgehogs breathing to see if they are experiencing any difficulties. 

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Why Is My Hedgehog Making Sneezing Noises?

If your hedgehog is making sneezing noises it can be for a number of reasons, hedgehogs mainly sneeze to get rid of irritants that have passed into their nose or throats like allergens, dirt, and dust. Sneezing is not always something to be worried about however if you are experiencing your hedgehog sneezing regularly, wheezing, or struggling with breathing however you should consider veterinary advice. We all want healthy hedgehogs so sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry with these things.

Does My Hedgehog Have a Cold?

Hedgehogs can be prone to respiratory diseases/infections, especially at a young age. These issues are usually caused by cold temperatures. Your hedgehog may have a cold if it shows the following symptoms;

  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny/Crusty nose
  • Runny Eyes
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargic behavior 

It’s important to note that hedgehogs do not have the same immune system that a human has. For us it’s likely we will recover quickly from colds however this is not true for hedgehogs. Often if colds go untreated they can develop further, into more complicated health issues.

Those that a new to the hedgehog scene might be a bit confused if their hedgehog is actually sneezing or making a grunting/snuffling sound. If you are unsure I recommend watching some videos.

Hedgehog Sneezing After Bath

It’s very common for hedgehogs to sneeze after taking a bath and it is a common question I’ve seen on hedgehog forums. Hedgehogs sneeze after baths for the following reasons;

  • Water has gotten into their nose
  • They have an allergic reaction to shampoo or soap
  • The water temperature is too cold
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When bathing your hedgehog ensure that you keep the water pleasantly warm, not too hot, not too cold. Avoid submerging your hedgehog and keep them in shallow water where they can feel comfortable. Also if you decide to use shampoo or cleaning products ensure you do sufficient research into their suitability before using them. A lot of products that are fine for humans are actually harmful to hedgehogs so be cautious. 

Why is my hedgehog sneezing after bath

How to Help Your Hedgehog if You Think It Has a Cold?

When trying to treat and manage your hedgehog’s condition ensure your hedgehog is drinking plenty of water. This helps flush out the infection. It goes without saying you should avoid using medicine and home remedies that we use for ourselves as humans. Things like vapor rubs might be great for us but are not designed to be used on animals. These types of medicine are actually detrimental and will cause more damage than help.

Ensure that stress is at a minimum, avoiding interacting with unless needed. This includes reducing noise and keeping the lights dim. Create an environment that makes your hedgehog feel comfortable. 

Final Note

If you see your pet sneezing, don’t panic. But take note of the cause of the sneeze. If the sneezing is consistent and paired with other symptoms specifically breathing difficulties then don’t hesitate to take your hedgehog to the vet immediately. Hedgehogs generally won’t recover naturally from respiratory infections, so it’s essential to get them medical care.

If you enjoyed this article please check out some of our other hedgehog-related articles such as: Can hedgehogs Swim?

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