Veterinarian Memphis Tennessee -Veterinary
Someone came into my Memphis Tennessee veterinarian practice the other day asking about the African pygmy hedgehog. The African pygmy hedgehog (Atelerix albiventris), or simply the African hedgehog, is becoming increasingly popular as a pet. It is also called the four-toed or white-bellied hedgehog (albiventrus can be translated as 'white belly'). It should not be confused with the European hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus). Some states and municipalities have restrictions regarding the ownership or breeding of hedgehogs, so before considering one for a pet, check your local regulations. Many hedgehogs accustomed to people can be handled with bare hands. It is best to handle them gently, in a quiet atmosphere with subdued light, and hold them in cupped hands. For frightened or ill hedgehogs, a pair of light leather or latex rubber gloves can be worn. To pick up a hedgehog, cup it gently in both hands. To coax a hedgehog to unroll:
Heavily backstroke the spines on the back and rump (this works for some hedgehogs; others resent it).
Hold the hedgehog with his head down over a towel on a table. When he starts to uncurl, lift his hindquarters up and he will grasp onto the towel on the table with his front feet which should help him stay unrolled.
Place the hedgehog on his back and patiently wait for him to unroll as he starts to turn over.
Some hedgehogs will relax and unroll if a gloved hand is slipped beneath the body.
For veterinary examinations, some hedgehogs may need to be lightly sedated or anesthetized.
Hedgehogs can learn to recognize their owners, and some can be taught some basic commands.