The Scoop on PoopThere is nothing more concerning to a hedgie parent than poop. Poop can tell us a lot of things about the health and well being of our hedgehogs.
Normal StoolNormal hedgie poop is brown, usually dark brown and is about the size and texture of toothpaste although not quite as sticky. Depending on what food the hedgehog is eating the shade can vary from medium to dark brown. Often once dried, it looks almost black.
Green StoolBecause hedgehog stomach bile is green, any upset or illness can turn the poop to various shades of green.
Stress can cause all kinds of stomach upsets with our hedgehogs. This will show as anything from a slight green tinge to otherwise normal looking poop, green soft yet formed, green mush, diarrhea, mucous of various shades or neon green jello.
Causes of Green StoolA tinge of green or green and soft yet formed is usually nothing serious and often happens when a new baby goes to a new home. The change in environment and often a water and food change upsets their tummies and causes the green poop. It is best to minimize the changes as much as possible. Feed the same food as the baby was being fed previously and if s/he has come from a place with a different water source than you, get some of their water so the baby doesn't have a sudden water change. A change in water can be as upsetting to tummies as food.
Do not introduce a new food to either a baby or an adult until they are comfortable in their new home for at least a couple of weeks.
Over indulging in a new food can cause green poop. All new foods and treats should be given in a very small amount to start. A few kibbles, or a mouthful or two is enough to start. If there is no reaction, the following day add a bit more. Never introduce more than one food or treat at a time.
DiarrheaDiarrhea is always a concern and can be life threatening very quickly. Diarrhea causes dehydration. To check to see if your hedgehog is becoming dehydrated, lightly pinch some skin and hold it a few seconds. When you let go, it should immediately pop back to normal. Try it on yourself. Pinch your arm and let go. You skin pops back immediately. If it doesn't the hedgehog is dehydrated and needs fluids now. You can carefully syringe him/her some water.
A bit of canned pumpkin will help firm up stools. Ensure it is plain pumpkin, NOT seasoned or spiced.
If diarrhea continues for more than a day and pumpkin does not help, a vet visit is needed as diarrhea can be fatal if not brought under control.
Green Slimy StoolGreen sticky or slimy mucousy stool can mean an irritated gastrointestinal system or it often indicates an infection. If this type of poop happens once and appetite and activity is normal, it is probably nothing serious especially if there has been a recent food/treat/water change or something different in the hedgehogs life, like visiting new people etc. If dark green sticky or slimy mucous happens more than once especially if accompanied by loss of appetite and decreased activity, a vet visit is needed asap.
Blood in StoolAny time there is blood in the stool a vet visit is needed to find out the source. Sometimes a bit of constipation can cause a tear in the opening and there will be a small streak of blood but unless you are 100% certain that is the cause, a vet is needed to diagnose the problem before it becomes life threatening.
Black tar like stools are often an indication of internal bleeding and must be checked out immediately by a vet.
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