My worst fear is that; by selling postcards featuring my African Pygmy Hedgehog kiddos, I am causing hedgehogs to be adopted on a whim and then abandoned on Craigslist or at the vet, when someone can no longer afford to care for them. Hedgehogs are exotic animals. My hedgehog vet, Chicago Exotics, takes 30 minutes to an hour to get to, depending on traffic. To properly care for a hedgehog, you will need to have a vet who has experience with hedgehogs. Vet visits for hedgehogs can be and often are costly, due to the many ailments that can befall them. The four hedgehogs Zack and I have been happy to share our house with have had oral cancer, stomach cancer, fatty liver disease, mites, and internal bacterial infection, to name most of what we’ve had to tackle. I feel lucky that we have not yet had a hedgehog that has developed WHS, which is essentially MS for hedgehogs. To offset the cost of hedgehog health issues, Zack and I pay for exotic pet insurance through VPI. Also, you will need to keep them at a toasty 72-75 degrees F year-round.
Before you even consider adopting a hedgehog, please research them thoroughly. Hedgehog Central has a great Fact Sheet here and Hedgehog World has a great forum for asking any question about hedgehogs you can think of. They have great ‘Before You Get a Hedgehog’ information here. Do not buy a hedgehog off Craigslist. This is how you buy furniture, not add a new member to your family. I highly recommend you go through Hedgehog Welfare Society, as there are many unwanted hedgehogs out there that HWS helps place. If you do not go the rescue route, please use the resources I’ve listed to research a reliable breeder.
I cannot see my life without a hedgehog in it, but they are absolutely not for everyone.