Neosporin is a brand of antibiotic ointment meant to treat skin infections and wounds by preventing bacteria from adhering to the injured area. However, you cannot use Neosporin on your hedgehog because they may lick their wounds and ingest the antibiotic, which could kill them by nephrotoxicity; this is why it’s so dangerous to use Neosporin on our hedgehogs.
Ingredients of Neosporin
The elements include Water, Glycerin, Polyethylene and Polypropylene Adhesives, Benzyl Alcohol, Methylparaben (0.3%), and Sorbic Acid. Purified water, Polyethylene glycol 400, Diazolidinyl urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
These ingredients are dangerous when taken by hedgehogs because they may kill them.
Side Effects of Neosporin on Hedgehogs
Nasal colonization: though its cause is unknown, hedgehogs may eat Neosporin from their bedding and paw pads, which can significantly decrease natural immunity.
Ocular bleeding: the side effects may also include eye hemorrhaging due to the salt content in Neosporin. Though the exact cause isn’t specific, you can see the side effects when Neosporin comes into contact with the blood vessels of the eyes.
Ocular toxicity: hedgehogs that ingest Neosporin may experience ocular irritation.
Mitochondrial damage: Neosporin can cause mitochondrial damage, which can be fatal to the hedgehog.
Erythrocyte hemolysis: the red blood cells of a hedgehog who ingested Neosporin involves the breakdown of red blood cells.
The medication can also cause:
- Hyperemia, hyperemic nose and eyes, and hematuria.
- Redness and swelling in the skin, most commonly on the back of the hedgehog
- Mild allergic reaction
- Minor skin irritation
- Moderate pain
- Difficulty breathing
What Antibiotics Can You Use on Your Hedgehog?
Amoxicillin: This is an antibiotic useful in treating infections, colds, ear infections, and other respiratory ailments. Caused by many different types of bacteria, including some resistant to penicillin.
Chloramphenicol: You can use this antibiotic as an antiparasitic and treat bacterial infections in hedgehogs.
Ciprofloxacin: This antibiotic cures hedgehogs from pneumonia, septic arthritis, or a secondary infection.
Gentamicin: This antibiotic treats bacterial infections in hedgehogs; however, they may experience side effects such as deafness, kidney problems, hearing problems, and blood disorders.
Kanamycin: is a potent antibiotic that treats susceptible pathogens such as gram-positive. It is a very effective drug for treating mycobacterial infections to control or prevent bacterial infection in hedgehogs.
Kanamycin also treats certain animal diseases, including pneumonia, hedgehogs, and urinary tract infections.
Oxytetracycline: Oxytetracycline is used to treat colds, ranging from mild to severe colds.
Tetracycline: can be used as a preventative measure against illness when fed every day, like vitamins; tetracycline dosages can be administered as a syrup but is also able to be given as a tincture
I would not recommend using a topical antibiotic on your hedgie without consulting a vet first.
In addition to the above antibiotics, you can also use:
Baytril (enrofloxacin) is very effective in respiratory infections.
Metronidazole is efficient for hedgehogs who drink dirty water. Your vet will probably recommend metronidazole as part of a deworming program if your hedgehog does not have access to clean water and is still being fed an unbalanced diet (see the section about feeding unbalanced diets).
Trimethoprim/sulfa is an inexpensive broad-spectrum antibiotic.
Hedgehog Wound FAQs
Are topical antibiotics recommended for your hedgehogs?
The answer is no. Hedgehogs need topical antibiotics when people aren’t providing the proper care for their hedgehogs; This means that if your hedgehogs are not getting adequate nutrition, clean bedding, and a balanced diet, they will likely get skin issues.
When you give your hedgehog all the necessary care they need to live a long and healthy life with very little human involvement, like trimming nails or giving them baths (unless needed), topical antibiotics are unnecessary.
On the other hand, too many people leave their hedgehogs untreated for infections; this is dangerous for your pet as it can lead to ear infections (otitis), respiratory infections (such as pneumonia), eye infections, or other skin irritations.
So what do we recommend? Simple! Preventative Care! A clean environment and proper diet will prevent a lot of ailments from occurring in the first place.
In addition, vaccinations are essential for keeping your hedgehog healthy! You can give them shots every couple of years to keep them safe from common infectious diseases.
Is it true that Neosporin is toxic to a hedgehog?
It is clear that Neosporin is toxic to hedgehogs, so they should be kept away from it! Neosporin is a topical antibiotic ointment that contains bacitracin, polymyxin B, and neomycin.
These substances are capable of killing both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria.
However, Neosporin can also potentially kill animal cells, which can lead to toxicity in hedgehogs. If you have a pet hedgehog and you want to use Neosporin, then make sure that your hedgehog can’t reach the ointment before using it.
If your hedgehog does ingest Neosporin, consult your veterinarian for additional instructions. Remember always to supervise pets when they are near any medication.
How do you treat a wound on a hedgehog?
First, use a moist paper towel or cotton balls to soak the wound in water to clean the wound. It is essential to keep the hedgehog hydrated.
Putting sugar or honey on an injury can help draw out damaged pus. If this does not work, you may need extensive care for your hedgehog, including antibiotics and stitches, to clean the wound.
Dry the skin around the wound and carefully inspect it. Watch for any redness, swelling, visible dirt or debris, and pain when you touch the area. If any of those signs are present, you may need to seek veterinary care for your hedgehog.
Fixing a wound will require stitches for deep cuts, but it’s pretty easy with minor scrapes that don’t go too deep into skin layers. It does take a bit of time to learn how to do it, but the payoff is that you can be very careful and make sure it heals right.
Make sure the hedgehog is comfortably warm, not too hot, but warm enough to stay active and alert. Find a clean and dry area to sew the wound; this can be on a tabletop, countertop, or even on a piece of cardboard when you are in the middle of nowhere.
Neosporin has the potential risk of introducing harmful bacteria into hedgehogs’ wounds, which could result in an immeasurable amount of suffering and even death. You should call your veterinarian if unsure what medication to use on your pet.
Do not use ointment or slather your hedgehog in diaper rash cream. Your pet doesn’t need to be shiny, sleek, and smooth.
It is not a good idea to slather your hedgehog in the ointment. If your pet gets a small cut or scrape, Neosporin or other salve-type products will be absorbed into their skin and potentially cause an infection or allergic reaction if your pet licks off the cream. It is better to trim their nails yourself.
Most hedgehogs will not let you hold them long enough for you to get all of their nails trimmed without biting you. If there is a tender place, ask your vet for advice on clipping claws with pain meds or getting someone else to help you to restrain it long enough to do the deed.
Hopefully, this article was helpful; consider the guidance when treating hedgehogs’ wounds.