What Is Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome and Why Does It Occur?

What Is Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome and Why Does It Occur?

Here we can see, “What Is Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome and Why Does It Occur?”

Hedgehogs are one-of-a-kind pets with one-of-a-kind health problems, such as shaky hedgehog syndrome (WHS). Hedgehog owners should be aware of the symptoms of this degenerative neurological condition, which include muscle weakness, difficulties moving, and paralysis in both European and African hedgehogs. Hedgehogs can live for up to two years after symptoms appear, but the condition is deadly.

What Is Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome?

Demyelinating paralysis, often known as wobbly hedgehog syndrome, is a degenerative condition that affects around one out of every 10 hedgehogs. Because of the effects it exerts on the brain, it eventually causes paralysis and death. It is a neurological disorder that affects a hedgehog’s cerebrum, cerebellum, brain stem, and spinal cord.

Symptoms of Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome


  • Falling over
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty walking
  • Wobbling when standing still
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Head tilt
  • Circling
  • Weight loss
  • Aggression
  • Urine retention
  • Intestinal stasis
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Death
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Hedgehogs with “wobbly hedgehog syndrome” wobble even while they are standing stationary, earning the moniker “wobbly hedgehog syndrome.” Muscle weakness and a number of other neurological symptoms can be caused by changes in the brain and spinal cord, but there are other signs you may see in your pet.

Neurological deterioration may be accompanied by behavioural abnormalities such as aggression. Hedgehogs may lose their appetite, have trouble swallowing food and drink, retain stool and urine, and lose weight as a result of these conditions. These are all symptoms that the system is failing. As WHS advances, paralysis is likely, and death is unavoidable.

Causes of Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome

Unfortunately, no one knows what causes wobbly hedgehog syndrome, but various theories exist, such as:

  • Genetics
  • Diet
  • Myelinopathy with central nervous system involvement
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Obesity

Diagnosing Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome

The majority of hedgehogs with unsteady hedgehog syndrome are diagnosed while still alive based on their symptoms. X-rays and blood tests to check the health of the kidneys, liver, and bladder are often used to check for other diseases, but there is no specific test to find WHS.

When a hedgehog dies, a necropsy can be performed to determine whether or not it had WHS. A brain biopsy can be performed, and specific stains can be used to look for the lesions caused by wobbling hedgehog syndrome.

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Because there are no viable treatments for wobbly hedgehog syndrome, a hedgehog with the condition can only get supportive care. It is critical for the hedgehog’s quality of life that it has access to food and water while also remaining clean. Euthanasia will be considered whenever a hedgehog’s condition has deteriorated considerably.

Prognosis for Hedgehogs with Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome

Wobbly hedgehog syndrome is, unfortunately, fatal. Hedgehogs with WHS usually live less than two years after the first signs of the disease show up, which is usually before they turn two years old.

How to Prevent Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome

Hedgehogs with symptoms of WHS should not be bred. Because genetics is the most likely source of this fatal disease, ensuring that a hedgehog with WHS does not pass on these genes to its children is the best way to prevent the disease from spreading.

User Questions

What causes a hedgehog to be wobbly?

The degenerative neurologic disorder Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome (WHS) can affect African Pygmy Hedgehogs (aka Four-toed hedgehogs). The cause is unknown, but it is thought to be hereditary in nature. The protective coating of nerve cells is damaged in this disorder, resulting in demyelination.

Do hedgehogs wobble when cold?

When it becomes cold, hedgehogs start to wobble. If your hedgehog is wobbling, it means that its body temperature has dropped below the normal range of 95 to 98 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that it is trying to go into hibernation.

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What temperature is too cold for a hedgehog?

Hedgehogs are sensitive to fluctuations in temperature. The optimal temperature range is 75 F to 85 F. They can, however, withstand temperatures of 72°F to 90°F. When it’s too hot or too cold, hedgehogs can go into a state where they can’t move. This is similar to hibernation.

Do blue hedgehogs exist?

Hedgehogs come in 17 different species, none of which are blue, even the frigid ones. The coloration ranges from light beige to dark brown, with some quills having black markings around their faces and at the bases of their quills. Hedgehogs are not related to porcupines in terms of quills.

Are hedgehogs blind?

Hedgehogs are born blind and have a protective membrane covering their quills that dries and decreases over time. After the hoglet has been cleansed or the membrane has fallen off, the quills protrude through the membrane.


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