Subject: Hedgehog FAQ [2/7] - Finding more information

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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions and general information about pet (African Pigmy) hedgehogs. Should be helpful to both prospective and current hedgehog owners.
Part II - finding more information

Current Revision

Last-modified: 17 April 2016
Version: 3.198

Compiled and edited by Brian MacNamara (
Additions, corrections, and suggestions for this file are welcomed.

This document is copyright 2016 by Brian MacNamara. See section [0.6] for authorship information and redistribution rights. In short, you can give it away, but you can't charge for it.

The basic Hedgehog FAQ has seven parts, all of which should be available from wherever you obtained this one. A complete table of contents for all seven parts is given in part I.

Please note: While my knowledge of hedgehogs has grown (far beyond my wildest expectations when I began the FAQ), my knowledge is still quite limited, especially in areas of health care. I did not write, or verify, all the information in this FAQ. I have done my best to include only accurate and useful information, but I cannot guarantee the correctness of what is contained in this FAQ, regardless of the source, or even that it will not be harmful to you or your hedgehog in some way. For advice from an expert, I recommend you consult the books listed in part 2 [2.1], or, especially in the case of a suspected medical problem, a veterinarian who is familiar with hedgehogs.


2. *** Where to get more information ***

2. *** Where to get more information ***

Subject: <2.1> What books are there on pet hedgehogs?

For a long time there was only a single tome available on our prickly little friends, which was often referred to as ``The Hedgehog Book.'' With the increasing popularity of hedgehogs, a number of books are now available. There still seems to be little information on hedgehogs in print, especially compared to most other animals, but this, fortunately, appears to be rapidly changing. Also, many, but not all, of the books that are commonly available contain outdated information.

As of spring 1997 there are two new complementary books now out that have virtually made all the previous offerings obsolete.

The first of these additions, is _The Hedgehog: An Owner's Guide to a Happy, Healthy Pet_ by Dawn Wrobel and Dr. Susan Brown, DVM. It is published by the Howell Book House, and is available in pet stores that carry their Happy, Healthy Pet series. It is also available through the Spike and Friends Catalog [2.8]. For those of you who want to order it, the ISBN number is 0-87605-501-3, and it is listed as having a price of $12.95 USD, or $17.95 CDN.

Having had the luxury of seeing some of the preliminary text (thanks Dawn!), I had high expectations for the book, and when I got to see it, I was quite amazed at how far it exceeded my imagination. Simply put, this is a great book, and one that no hedgehog owner should be without. It is full of great tips, ideas and great knowledge, accompanied by some fantastic pictures. The medical chapter by Dr. Susan Brown is more than worth the price in itself, not that the rest of the book wouldn't be a bargain even without it.

Dawn's book is targeted at the pet owner, rather than the breeder, as has been the case all too often in the past, and in this respect it succeeds brilliantly.

The other great tome that was published about the same time as the one above, is _The Pygmy Hedgehog a Perfect Pet_ by Sharon Massena with Bryan Smith. Having now had the chance to see this book, I can attest that it is more than worthwhile as well. The best part about it, is that rather than being another great hedgehog book, it is complementary to books like Dawn Wrobel's, by addressing many different areas. Here is the information I have on it:

I should probably add a disclaimer here -- I have had numerous conversations with Dawn and Bryan, and a bias in favour of either book could easily be assigned to this. In the case of Dawn's book, I read the advance text she sent with the intent to essentially critique it -- expecting it to already be dated in many ways (as most books have been by the time they get to print) or just a rehash of what has gone before, and I came away honestly impressed. Having now seen Sharon's and Bryan's book, the same feelings apply. I'm sure that I could nit-pick in minor places, but at most that's what it would be, nit-picking about things that don't matter. We finally have very good, up-to-date books that can go a very long ways towards giving people the information they need about keeping hedgehogs as pets, and providing them happy healthy lives.

Going back a bit now, the book, often called ``The Hedgehog Book,'' is actually titled _Everything You Wanted to Know About Hedgehogs But you didn't know who to ask_ by Pat Storer. This was one of the first books available on pet hedgehogs.

Pat Storer has two books available on hedgehogs, and while there is considerable crossover between the two, her newer book _Hedgehogs As Pets_ (my thanks to John Ofner for my copy) is targeted more at pet owners, while the original ``Everything...'' is more oriented towards breeders. These books are, for all intents and purposes, the original formal tomes on pet hedgehogs, and having one or the other was virtually a must for any hedgehog keeper (keepee?). While they don't cover absolutely everything, and they are becoming a bit dated, now, they do provide a lot of very good information. Both books cover areas of the other to some extent, so a pet owner looking for basics on breeding will find it in _Hedgehogs As Pets_, while a breeder can also find pet level information in ``Everything...''

Probably the most essential thing both offer is a reference section on hedgehog health, body chemistry norms, and drugs (including quantities) that have been safely used to treat hedgehog maladies. Given that relatively few veterinarians in North America have even heard of hedgehogs as pets, let alone ever treated them, taking one of these books with you to a vet in time of emergency could easily be a life saving act.

That's the good news; the problem is that these books are generally only available directly from Pat Storer herself, although the Ain't No Creek Ranch [2.8] also carries them. In any case, here are the details:


Pat Storer now takes credit cards, but money orders are fine too. The prices and info above is up to date as of July 1997, thanks to Pat Storer herself.

There is one minor correction to ``Everything...'' that should be noted:

Other books on pet hedgehogs are also available and can be found at some book stores, or by contacting the publishers directly. I've listed the information I have on them below. The first is with thanks to Elizabeth Jane Monroe and Znofyl.

This is a good book, especially for beginners (which is really where it is directed). It does not contain the health standards, and medicine usage that are in other books, listed above, and is to my mind a good supplement, but not a replacement for them -- especially if your veterinarian is not well acquainted with hedgehogs. I found it to be good reading, but it always seemed to avoid a direct answer to most questions, lacking in real detail. I must admit, however, that the pictures alone were both great entertainment, and very useful, giving an excellent glimpse of what a healthy hedgehog should look like. I'm still trying to figure out how the photographers managed to avoid getting blurred pictures of all those busy noses.

Dennis Kelsey-Wood has also released a second book (1996) called _Hedgehogs Today_. It can be ordered from TFH, etc., as with his earlier book.

The information above came to me by way of Brenda Basinger.

Having had a chance to look at this book, I have to say the quality of the photos is excellent. That, however, is about the only good thing I can say. The book is full of contradictions, and just plain bad advice. It goes on to suggest that you should ``always use a glove'' to hold a hedgehog (which captions a picture of a person holding one in bare hands). It also suggests that a temperature range of from 60-75 degrees F, or 16-24 degrees C is okay, when many hedgehogs will become unhealthy or even go into semi hibernation at anything much below 70F/22C. It shows multiple hedgehogs being kept in a Tupperware container barely big enough to squeeze them into (although it says it's not big enough for a ``long term home'' -- it's clearly not big enough for anything more than carrying them across the room. Finally, its listing of states where hedgehogs are not allowed is totally misleading, and was clearly the result of only the briefest research. The book even shows feeding of raw eggs to hedgehogs -- something that can all too easily result in salmonella [6.2].

While there certainly are good points to this book, including excellent photos showing how a healthy hedgehog should appear, the sheer weight of bad information means I cannot recommend this as much beyond a photo album, and definitely not as a starting point for beginners.

Information on another book, which is now widely available, was sent to me by Tirya:

The book contains some medical information that complements other books quite well, but, does not replace them. However, some of the information is seriously outdated, and other parts contradict statements made elsewhere in the book. The chapter by Pat Storer is taken almost verbatim out of her books, but is a worthwhile addition to any hedgehog library, and if taken as a whole, the book is quite good, and is, at the price, probably where most new hedgehog keepers will start.

For people seeking more in depth information on hedgehogs in general, including species, natural habitats, and research, another book, which came out in 1994, thoroughly addresses many of these issues.

In published form, this book is probably the best source of true, scientific information on all types of hedgehogs. Beyond this point, you probably need to read scientific papers (30 pages of references to which are at the back of this book, which gives you some clue to Dr. Reeve's efforts at research). While it does focus primarily on hedgehogs in the wild, it does provide some very useful insights into what makes our little friends tick. I find myself turning more and more to this book, all the time -- especially when someone asks me a detailed question. Unlike many scientific books, this one shows the author had a real interest and excitement in his chosen topic of research, rather than limiting himself to dry phrasing, an entertaining sense of humour and wit shows through.

The book can be hard to come by in North America (the publisher does not import it here), but it is available through the Exclusively Hedgehogs catalog [2.8], and the Spike and Friends Collection [2.8].

While I am at it, Richard Saunders passed along word of another book that he found. This one appears to possibly be a local effort by a hedgehog breeder on the west coast of Canada, but just in case, here is the information that is available:

Another resource for hedgehog information is the ``Exotic Market Review.'' This is a journal about exotic animals and pets, and is primarily intended for breeders. It contains articles on innumerable different animals that most of us will never have heard of, but also contains an abundance of info on hedgehogs. Subscription rates are $10.00/yr. in the U.S., $30.00/US/yr. for Canada, and $60.00/US/yr. foreign. They can be contacted at:

In addition to the books and journal, above, which are directly aimed at pet hedgehogs, there are a number of books on European (or all types of) hedgehogs which can be useful for pet owners and hedgehog lovers of all types. I would suggest looking at the listings in section [11.2] for other books which might be of interest.

One final tidbit I can't resist adding. I have heard of a number of new hedgehog books that are in the works and (hopefully) due out over the coming year or two. Information on hedgehogs promises to continue to be forthcoming.

Subject: <2.2> Is there any other information available on-line?

Discussions of hedgehogs often come up in the rec.pets and on the and alt.pets.hedgehogs Usenet newsgroups. The FAQ ``Fleas, Ticks and Your Pet'' is distributed on rec.pets, as well as listed in [9.4]. Several bulletin board systems keep pet FAQs and discussions, as does the CompuServe Small Mammals forum.

I maintain a set of Hedgehog WWW pages that can be accessed at:

(Please Note: most my site is currently closed while under reconstruction -- I hope to have it reopened shortly, with the many out of date entries brought up to date.)

Among the things available off my pages are links to all other hedgehog pages I have found, and an HTMLized version of the FAQ.

Here are a couple of hedgehog sites to get you started searching through the Web. These are not the only sites, nor are they definitive, but are meant as a starting point to get you going:

Thanks to Rachel Markley for suggesting I add these here. I expect to add additional sites to the list as time goes on. I would also suggest you make good use of your favorite search engine to find hedgehog sites as the web changes too rapidly for FAQ published monthly to try to keep abrest of what's happening.

The list of hedgehog web pages is growing rapidly -- I've been trying to keep pointers to many of them off my own web page, but by now I'm starting to miss many, I'm sure. Feel free to email me if you have one to add to my list of pointers, or if you find one of my links doesn't work -- I am running way behind on checking, lately. :-}

After several changes in location over the years, the original Hedgehog Mailing List has, unfortunately, closed down. Many thanks to all the folks who looked after it through the years.

There are, however, a couple of hedgehog mailing lists that are up and active. Fist, is the Hedgehog Help list, and as the name implies is meant for hedgehog help topics. Both an individual message version and a digest version of this list, are available. One caution: this list is subject to censorship by the list moderator, and not everyone can freely post to it.

You can join the regular (individual message) version by sending email to the address:

Or for the digest version, subscribe as above then send email to the following address to switch to the digest: You can switch back to the individual (normal) version, by sending email to: And, of course, to unsubscribe, use the address: Last, and far from least, to send a message to the list, simply send it to: Alternately, there is the PigPogLives mailing list. I have heard that the PogPogLives list may have closed, but I have not confirmed this as yet. The instructions for accessing PigPogLives are almost identical to the Hedgehog Help list:

You can join the regular (individual message) version by sending email to the address:

Or for the digest version, subscribe as above then send email to the following address to switch to the digest: You can switch back to the individual (normal) version, by sending email to: And, of course, to unsubscribe, use the address: Last, and far from least, to send a message to the list, I believe the address is: Next, another new list that looks very promising is the Hedgehogfun group. Joining this list is probably most easily done through the web at: and click the ``JOIN'' button. One caveat -- this appears to be a very busy webserver, as I've had trouble connecting, although the list, itself seems to be fine.

I believe you can also subscribe to this list by sending an email to:

Probably with the word ``subscribe'' as the text of the message.

The list will send you a confirmation message, which you need to reply to.

To post messages to the list, send them to:

To unsubscribe, send a message to: likely with the word ``unsubscribe'' as the text of the message.

My thanks to Pam (Russo) Powers for keeping me up on the info for the AOL hedgehog chat session.

Dick Brisky of Brisky Pet Products is setting up yet another web based chat off the YAHOO site.

I know from my own dealings with Dick Brisky, that he is honestly interested in things which will improve pet foods and products, and has always been very open with any information he has had. This should prove to be a good variation on the other forums.

For those of you with ICQ access, Lisa Rowe, has set up an ICQ Hedgehog chat room. You can get more information about it at:

I've been given a pointer to a new forum that deals with hedgehogs (and chinchillas) at:

Thanks to Rachel Markey for this pointer.

Subject: <2.3> International Hedgehog Registry

Jennifer Young-Watson, with help from Antigone Means, has set up the International Hedgehog Registry, to try and help track all pet hedgehogs. Here's an excerpt from the registry information:

This is a great chance for your pets to help add to our knowledge about hedgehogs, so please do register. Registration is free, although for $10.00 U.S. they do provide a really nice registration certificate, should you want one.

You can get more information, and register online at their web page: (Note: new address as of June 2000 -- thanks to Jeffery Allen)

or by mail to:

Other branches exist at:

Subject: <2.4> Hedgehogs Welfare Society

The Hedgehog Welfare Society is a relatively new, and active group that has come about. Unlike many of the earlier organizations, this one seems to be focused more on proper care, and welfare. You can contact them at:

From what I can gather, HWS is affiliated with the Carolina Hedgehog Society (or vice versa) which also appears to be a very interesting group. The CWH website contains a wealth of excellent information.

My thanks to Dawn Wrobel for putting me onto these organizations.

Subject: <2.5> International Hedgehog Association

The IHA is a registered charitable non-profit organization established with the purpose of educating the public in the care and betterment of hedgehogs and to facilitate the rescue, welfare, promotion and care of hedgehogs everywhere.

The IHA is active in the promotion of hedgehog shows as a means of bringing together and educating hedgehog lovers and fanciers and encourages and supports rescue and research activities.

Subject: <2.6> Canadian Hedgehog Association

This came as a pleasant surprise to me when I received information about this organization from Sophie Hannan, the founder and President.

Aside from this, I know all too little about the CHA, as yet.

Subject: <2.7> Other Hedgehog Organizations

Aside from the IHA [2.5], and the now defunct HI and N.A.H.A. (North American Hedgehog Association), there exist a number of other organizations dedicated to hedgehogs. Many of these organizations discussed in this section are generally involved with wild European hedgehogs, rather than pet hedgehogs.

Within North America, until recently there has been no problem with hedgehogs not having homes. They were rare enough, that few would wind up at the pound or unwanted. Unfortunately that is now changing, and Kyrstin Westwind has started the Hedgehog Rescue organization to help out unwanted, or illegal hedgehogs. At the present time, it is located in the Northwest United States, specifically in Oregon, but she hopes that it will become more wide spread and organized over the coming months.

You can contact Hedgehog Rescue at:

I've been told by Sharon Massena that ``the 4H group of Hedgehogs Northwest is doing rescue work. I'm not entirely sure what area this covers, but it sounds like something that has merit well beyond the nominal Northwest US.

There are also a number of regional and local hedgehog clubs and organizations appearing throughout North America. One of the largest, and oldest is Hedgehogs Northwest:

My thanks to Janet Martin for sending me the info above, and to Sharon Massena for updates.

More local and regional hedgehog clubs/organizations are forming, some under the auspices of the IHA [2.5]. You should contact or the IHA for information about any known clubs or organizations in your area.

In the Netherlands, the organization VEZ is involved with numerous types of exotic mammals, including hedgehogs:

Subject: <2.8> Miscellaneous Hedgehog stuff and sources

This section contains information on various hedgehog things and places to get hedgehog stuff that just doesn't easily fit into any of the more organized categories.

The first item on our list of interesting stuff is the Spike and Friends Collection, a catalog of miscellaneous hedgehoggery, and stuff relating to other exotic pets put out by the ``Ain't No Creek Ranch:''

The Ain't No Creek Ranch accepts MasterCard and Visa to make feeding your hedgehog habit just that much easier.

If you are into pet hedgehogs or just like hedgehogs in general, their catalog is really neat! As a quick overview, it contains most of the books available for pet hedgehogs, T-shirts and sweatshirts, hedgehog toys, and toy-hedgehogs, hedgehog homes, and numerous other hedgehog novelties and gifts. They are primarily hedgehog oriented (in fact they breed hedgehogs -- a good sign :-) ), but the catalog also has items that are related to other exotic pets like ferrets, sugar gliders, rheas, goats, etc.

Here's part of the welcome message from the first catalog to give you a feeling of what they are all about:

A second hedgehog catalog is also available, called Exclusively Hedgehogs. The wonder of this is that there is virtually no overlap in what they carry with what is in the above catalog. It is indeed a good time for hedgehog lovers! Like the Spike and Friends Collection, Exclusively Hedgehogs carries both hedgehog pet supplies and hedgehogabilia, and is available from:

Among the items carried for pet hedgehogs are hedgehog food and treats, and Roadrunner Play Safe wheels [I would recommend at least the 11'' and preferably the 14-inch model for hedgehogs - ed.]. They also carry a large selection of hedgehog figurines.

As mentioned above, there is virtually no overlap in what is carried by Exclusively Hedgehogs, and the Ain't No Creek Ranch, which I find quite amazing, and an incredible bonus to ``hedgehogians'' like myself. If you already have either catalog, the other it worth getting too.

Here's part of the introduction from their catalog:

Please note: My earlier suggestion that Exclusively Hedgehogs may have temporarily put their catalog business `on hold' was an error -- they are open and active as ever. This was due entirely to my misinterpreting a message, and not due in any actions or lack of actions on the part of Exclusively Hedgehogs. My sincere apologies for any confusion this may have caused.

Susan & Chia sent along the following site as being a great source for accessories for your hedgie:

While nominally for ferrets, the site acknowledges right up front that what they carry isn't just for ferrets, and a search through their site does quickly turn up explicit ``Hedgehog'' items, as well as wheels, and other useful items.

I would also suggest taking a look at section [11.5] for sources of hedgehogabilia that are more oriented to wild, or European hedgehogs.

Disclaimer: I've had the wonderful opportunity to meet and get to know many of the people behind the catalogs above, although I have no other connection with them, as far as the catalogs go, aside from being a very happy customer in several cases (yes, I admit to being a certifiable hedgehog addict). I have endevoured to provide an unbiased opinion of their products and services.