Hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus)

Table of doses for hedgehogs

Drug Dose Comments
Gaseous anaesthesia can be used in all species and in most it is the preferred method
  • 2-6 mg/kg i.m.
  • In combination with dexmedetomidine for sedation: Alfaxalone (2 mg/kg) + dexmedetomidine (0.05 mg/kg) i.m.
  • In combination with midazolam for deep sedation to light anaesthesia: Alfaxalone (3-5mg/kg) + midazolam (1mg/kg) deep s.c.
  • Reverse dexmedetomidine with atipamezole (see below)
  • Higher doses of alfaxalone will induce light anaesthesia. Midazolam can be reversed with flumazenil 0.05 mg/kg s.c.
  • Sedation: 0.5-2 mg/kg i.m.
  • Anticonvulsant: 3 mg/kg i.m.
  • In combination with ketamine for anaesthesia: Diazepam (0.5—2 mg/kg) + ketamine (5-20 mg/kg) i.m.
  • 10-20 mg/kg i.m.
  • In combination with diazepam for anaesthesia see above
  • In combination with medetomidine for anaesthesia: Ketamine (5 mg/kg) + medetomidine (0.1 mg/kg) i.m.
  • Sole agent – variable effects; prolonged recovery seen in some cases
  • 0.05-0.1 mg/kg i.m. for light sedation; 0.2 mg/kg i.m. for deep sedation
  • In combination with ketamine for anaesthesia see above
  • Variable effects; prolonged recovery seen in some cases
  • Reverse with atipamezole (see below)
  • 0.25—0.5 mg/kg i.m., s.c. (equivalent to 5x dose (mg/kg) medetomidine or 10x dose (mg/kg) dexmedetomidine used)

Note: Doses up to 1 mg/kg i.m. are quoted by some authors for use in European hedgehogs
  • Reversal of medetomidine: 5 times the medetomidine dose (i.e. equal volume of the 5 mg/ml atipamezole solution)
  • Reversal of dexmedetomidine: 10 times the dexmedetomidine dose (0.5 mg/ml solution) (i.e. equal volume of the 5 mg/ml atipamezole solution when 0.5 mg/ml solution of dexmedetomidine is used)
  • 0.02-0.05 mg/kg i.m., s.c. q6-8h
  • For moderate/severe pain (e.g. traumatic injuries and postoperative analgesia)
  • 0.2-0.4 mg/kg i.m., s.c. q6-8h
  • 5-10 mg/kg s.c. q24h; p.o. q12h
  • Anti-inflammatory: the usual considerations for the careful use of NSAIDs in dehydrated, hypovolaemic or hypertensive animals, as well as those with underlying gastrointestinal disease, should be observed
  • 0.5 mg/kg s.c., p.o. q24h

Antibiotic use (both appropriate and inappropriate) imposes a powerful selection pressure on bacteria and is the primary driver of antibiotic resistance. Eliminating unnecessary use in people and animals is, therefore, essential to safeguard this invaluable resource. The reader is referred to the Guidelines for responsible antibiotic use for further information
  • 20-30 mg/kg s.c., p.o. q12h
  • Broad-spectrum bactericidal
  • Not recommended or use with caution
Amoxicillin/clavulanate (co-amoxiclav)
  • 30-50 mg/kg i.m., s.c., p.o. q12h
  • Broad-spectrum bactericidal
  • Useful for infections of the respiratory tract, skin and soft tissues (including abscesses)
Amoxicillin LA
  • 50-150 mg/kg s.c. q24h or q48h
  • Useful first choice broad-spectrum bactericidal administered every 48 hours for most infections (e.g. for secondary bacterial pneumonia associated with lungworm)
  • Higher doses (up to 150 mg/kg) and increased frequency (q24h) may, anecdotally, be effective for more severe infections
  • 25 mg/kg p.o. q8h
  • 30 mg/kg i.m., s.c., p.o. q12-24h
  • Anecdotally, dosing q24h may be effective for most soft tissue infections, but more severe infections (e.g. abscesses and pyoderma) require more frequent dosing
  • 10-20 mg/kg p.o. q12h
  • For anaerobic infections (e.g. abscesses, wound infections and dental infections)
  • May also be useful for infections involving the bones and joints
  • 10-20 mg/kg i.m., s.c., p.o. q12h
  • Fluroquinolones should ideally be reserved for infections where culture and sensitivity testing predict a clinical response and use of first- and second- line antimicrobials would not be considered effective
  • Avoid use in young growing animals as potentially causes abnormalities of the cartilage
  • 8-10 mg/kg s.c. q24h
  • 20-40 mg/kg p.o. q12h
  • For anaerobic infections
  • 50 mg/kg i.m., s.c., p.o. q12h
  • Broad-spectrum bacteriostatic
  • 0.2% dilution applied topically every 3 days for 4-6 applications
  • Topical antifungal treatment for ringworm applied as a wash or spray
  • May be used as a sole agent in mild cases and concurrently with systemic antifungals in severe cases
  • After treatment, keep hedgehogs warm to prevent hypothermia, especially in small juveniles
  • 10-15 mg/kg p.o. q12h
  • Parenteral antifungal treatment for ringworm
  • Treat for 2-4 weeks and then re-sample
  • 50-100 mg/kg p.o. q12h or q24h
  • Parenteral antifungal treatment for ringworm
  • Treat for 2-4 weeks and then re-sample
  • Calculated dosing frequency is q12h but, anecdotally, it is as effective when administered q24h (especially in larger animals)
  • 1: 400 dilution applied topically to skin as a wash every 7 days; generally 3-6 applications are required
  • For treatment of mites ( )
  • Essential to change bedding and clean out cage during treatment
  • Repeat examination of skin scrapes are needed to monitor effect
  • Topical spray applied sparingly to affected skin
  • Pyrethroid insecticide combined with F10 in a spray
  • Useful for treating myiasis and as a fly repellent
  • Topical application to wet the affected area
  • Insect growth inhibitor useful for preventing hatching and development of blowfly larvae
  • Can be used in combination with an insecticide to kill existing maggots
  • Easy to apply, especially between the spines, if used as a spray, be aware of the cooling affect – do not use in hypothermic animals
  • 100 mg/kg p.o. q24h for 5 days
  • Useful as an in-feed treatment against nematodes and may have some effect on cestodes
  • 0.25% spray used sparingly
  • 7.5-15 mg/kg spot-on application
  • Useful for treating fleas and ticks
  • Always ensure good ventilation during and after treatment
  • Be aware of the cooling affect – do not use in hypothermic animals
Ivermectin (injectable)
  • 0.5-3.0 mg/kg s.c.
  • Good activity against most parasites: lower doses typically used for ectoparasites; higher doses used by some practitioners for treatment of lungworm species
  • Repeat treatment every 7-10 days if necessary
Ivermectin (topical)
  • 0.2-0.5 mg/kg spot-on application
  • Useful for treating ectoparasites (e.g. fleas, ticks and mites)
  • Repeat treatment after 10 days
  • 27 mg/kg s.c. q48h
  • Dosing regimen: 3 injections given at 48-hour intervals (other regimens can be used)
  • Traditionally used for lungworm but drug availability is a problem, so has largely been replaced by ivermectin
  • 50-100 mg/kg p.o. q24h for 5 days
  • Useful for treating nematodes and cestodes
  • Light topical application of powder to skin
  • 250-350 mg/kg spot-on application
  • Useful for treating fleas, ticks and myiasis
  • 10-20 mg/kg i.m., s.c., p.o. once
  • 30 mg/kg spot-on application
  • Useful for treating cestodes and trematodes
  • Light topical application of powder to the skin
  • Useful for treating ectoparasites (especially fleas)
  • Use very sparingly
  • 200 mg/kg s.c. q24h for 3 days
  • Useful for treating coccidiosis
  • 50 mg/kg i.m., s.c. q24h for 5 days
  • 25-50 mg/kg p.o.; repeat if necessary
  • 1 pinch of powder p.o. q12h (3 mg/kg q24h)
  • Mucolytic
  • Aids expectoration of mucus in parasitic bronchopneumonia
  • 1 pinch of granules p.o. q12h
  • Bronchodilator
  • Relieves bronchospasm and assists mucociliary clearance in respiratory disease
  • 1-5 mg/kg i.v., i.m., s.c.
  • Corticosteroid: lower doses are anti-inflammatory; higher doses may be useful in treating parasitic bronchopneumonia
  • Use with caution in wild animals

NSAID(s) = non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

Bellini L, Pagani G, Mollo A . (2019) Evaluation of alfaxalone and dexmedetomidine for intramuscular restraint in European hedgehogs (). , 145.

Bexton S (2016) Hedgehogs. , 2nd edition, ed. E Mullineaux and E Keeble, pp. 117-136. BSAVA Publications, Gloucester.

Carpenter JW (2013) . Elsevier, Oxford.

Carpenter JW (2022) . Elsevier, Oxford.

Bexton S and Nelson H (2016) Comparison of two systemic antifungal agents, itraconazole and terbinafine, for the treatment of dermatophytosis in European hedgehogs (). , 500-e133.




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