Hedgehogs are really cute, and sometimes the urge to kiss them is irresistible. So, you can kiss your hedgehog, but this comes with many risks. This is especially after the outbreak of Salmonella that can be contracted by touching the hedgehog’s poo.
This article will help you understand the effects of kissing your hedgehog and dive deeper into the consequences of doing the same and any other infections that you can get by kissing your hedgehog.
Kissing a Hedgehog
To kiss your hedgehog, you must first develop a strong bond between you and your pet. You can bond with it through scent, sound, snuggle time, treats, or plays.
Bonding with your hedgehog will get to become friendly to you so that you can kiss it.
Hedgehogs are solitary pets who should be kept in separate cages. Because of their solitary nature, these pets may take some time to warm up to you.
You may learn to work with your pet and win their trust with time and patience.
Allow time for your hedgehog to adjust to her new environment when you first receive her. Allow her to have a couple of no kissing days.
Start doing some handling at night when she is awake once she is more established.
The goal of handling should be to accustom the animal to the smells of the hands. Hedgehogs bite if startled, so taking things gently and gradually socializing the animal is critical.
However, the Center for disease control warned that you should never, under any circumstance, snuggle or kiss your hedgehog. This is because it can lead to infection by the salmonella bacteria. Infections with Salmonella can cause diarrhea, fever, and stomach pains.
The disease usually goes away in four to seven days; however, some individuals may need to be admitted to the hospital. While seeming healthy and tidy, hedgehogs can contain Salmonella bacteria in their droppings.
Germs may readily spread from their bodies to their habitats, toys, bedding, and everything else in their close surroundings. Hedgehogs and other animals in their environments can make people sick. What are some of the symptoms of this disease, and how can you prevent the disease?
Symptoms of Salmonella
Eating uncooked or raw meat, egg products, or poultry eggs is the most popular way to contract Salmonella. It can also be transmitted from the hedgehogs, as discussed above.
These are some of the possible symptoms and indications:
- Blood in stool
- Abdominal cramps
The signs of this infection generally persist for two to seven days. However, diarrhea can go up to ten days, and restoring your intestines to normal might take months.
Salmonella germs produce typhoid fever, a commonly lethal illness that is more common in developing countries.
Recommendations You Should Follow When Handling Your Hedgehog
Wash Your Hands
After handling hedgehogs or anything in the area where they dwell and move, clean your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. After handling pet treats and food, you should do the same.
Before preparing, serving, or consuming drinks, food, or making baby bottles, thoroughly wash your hands. Also, after touching or cleaning up after your pets, wash your hands immediately.
If it is a small child who has come into contact with the hedgehog, you should supervise them as they wash their hands. After handling your pet hedgehogs, you should ensure that your friends and family wash their hands.
Learn How to Handle Your Hedgehog Safely
Hedgehogs should not be allowed in locations where food or drink is made, served, or kept, such as kitchens or patios. Hedgehogs should not be cuddled or kissed, nor should they be touched in the mouth.
You should also not eat or drink in the presence of hedgehogs.
Salmonella infection can make some hedgehogs sick and cause diarrhea. Consult your hedgehog’s veterinarian if he or she has diarrhea.
Clean Up Properly When Handling Your Pet Hedgehog
You should avoid bathing the hedgehog in the bathroom, kitchen sink, or bathtubs. Instead, you can bathe them in a small plastic tub or bin that you specifically use for the hedgehog.
Make sure you thoroughly clean any tools that you have used with the hedgehog. This equipment includes the cage, water or feed containers, or the items used to bathe.
Be Careful with Hedgehogs and Children
Young children are especially vulnerable to disease because their immune systems are still growing and because they are more inclined than others to put their fingers or other objects into their mouths.
To avoid disease and harm, children under the age of 5 should not be allowed to touch or ingest pet food, treats, or supplements, and you should keep them away from hedgehog feeding places.
Lastly, if you think you are unwell after coming into touch with your hedgehog pet, you need to contact your doctor. After being infected with Salmonella germs, most people get diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps 12 to 72 hours later.
In certain circumstances, the diarrhea is so bad that the individual wants to be hospitalized.
What Other Infections Can a Hedgehog Pass to Humans?
Contagious infections can spread between hedgehogs and humans in a variety of ways. Hedgehogs can bite and/or scratch, though rarely, spreading germs.
You can also become infected by directly or indirectly touching urine, feces, saliva, blood, or other fluids secreted by your hedgehog.
These infections include Yersinia pseudotuberculosis; you can also get rabies from the hedgehogs. However, rabies is commonly found in the wild hedgehogs or those exposed to an animal that has rabies.
Hedgehogs can also pass parasitic infections like cryptosporidium. Lastly, you can get candida or ringworm.
Kissing your hedgehog can be a good way to show affection to your pet. However, as discussed above, you mustn’t do this because of the salmonella outbreak.
Hedgehogs were the main animals that could carry and pass this disease to humans. You can also get other infections, as stated in this article.