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Lump on hedgehog

Species: Other
Breed: hedgehog
Age: 1-2 years
I have a hedgehog who has a lump behind his right ear and down into his neck. If I do not clean it daily he gets a dischage from behind the ear that smells like a fungal infection. His quills do not lye down most other hedgehogs I have seen. I have had him on penicillin but it does not seem to be helping. what else can i try


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Thanks for your question. Sorry to hear that little Sonic is having problems. This may be a tough question for me to answer without actually seeing the lump, but I can give you a few of my thoughts.

First of all, any time I hear about a hedgehog with a lump I get concerned. Hedgehogs are very prone to cancers. It is possible that this is a cancerous tumor. Sometimes these tumors can produce a very smelly discharge. We can sometimes slow the progression of disease with appropriate antibiotics, but if this is cancer then the antibiotics will not cure the problem.

It is also possible that it is a skin wound that needs a particular type of antibiotic in order to heal. Penicillin is not always the best choice for wounds.

I would definitely advise a vet visit for Sonic. However, deciding what to do may be difficult. Ideally, if cost were not a concern it would be great to have your vet culture the wound (to find out what type of bacteria is growing in it) and also do a fine needle aspirate to determine if the lump is cancer, and if so, if surgery would be an option. But this could be expensive.

If those tests are outside of your budget then your vet may be willing to prescribe a more appropriate antibiotic such as enrofloxacin or TMS.

I really hope he is ok!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

Customer reply:

is there anything i can do to help his quills lye down


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Do all of his quills stand up all of the time? Or is it just the quills near the lump?



Customer reply:

no it is all of his quills and they cross over onto each other


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hedgehogs can vary in the way they carry their quills. Most hedgehogs will normally have their quills flat if they are happy and held up straight when they are frightened. However, there are some hedgehogs that just hold their quills up all of the time.

It is not likely a sign of disease. Some hedgehogs will lose their quills more frequently if they are diseased (i.e. if they have mites) but having the quills stand up is not a medical issue.

If Sonic is new to you, there is a possibility that as he learns to trust you he may relax his quills a little. However, there is no guarantee.

Dr. Marie.



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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.