Giving Oral Medications

This document was orginally written after I had to give one of my hedgehogs oral antibiotics for a bacterial infection of the skin for an extended period of time.

I have since used many of these methods depending on the hedgehog I am dealing with. When some hedgehogs don't feel well they will willingly allow you to medicate them, others become very defensive and stay curled up in a ball, making medicine time quite an event.

Depending on your hedgehogs attitude and how comfortable you are handling a sick hedgehog, you may find some of these methods easier than others. I highly recommend trying methods 1, 4 & 5 first. If those fail then you will need to move on to a more forceful approach.

Method #1

First offer the medication to the hedgehog from the syringe. Many oral medications are flavored, thus your hedgehog may readily lap the medication from the syringe.

Method #2

Wrap the hedgehog in a towel (not balled up) with its head sticking out of the towel. Then place the syringe in the corner of its mouth. Normally the hedgehog will open up to bite the syringe. You can then squirt the medication into the back part of its mouth and the hedgehog should swallow the medicine.

Method #3

Allow the hedgehog to curl up in a ball by rolling it on its back. Then when the hedgehog starts to uncurl place your thumb under its chin so that they can't ball back up. This may take a little pressure to prevent. Then place the syringe in the corner of the hedgehogs mouth . Once again the hedgehog will probably open its mouth to bite the syringe. You can then give the hedgehog its medication.

Method #4

Mix the medication with a treat. Find a food that the hedgehog really likes. Mix 1 part medication to about 2 or 3 parts of the treat. Don't mix the medication in normal food due to the fact the hedgehog may decide it doesn't want to eat its normal food anymore because of a bad tasting medication.

Method #5

Inject the medication into food items (mealworms, corn, etc). I have found injecting oral antibiotics with a small needle into a mealworm then feeding the hedgehog the mealworm to be really effective. Make sure to offer another un-medicated treat to get rid of the "nasty" taste.

If you have used other methods to give your hedgehog oral medications, please send us a COMMENT, so that I may include it here.