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Hedgehogs with Chorioptes (A Type of Mange)
Hedgehogs, who live in cities often suffer from mange. It is caused by several types of specific small mites that attach to the skin. There are many different types of mites who may affect animals and even humans. Mites affect a body when its immune system is not in good condition.
So why are city hedgehogs more often affected by this disease?
It is possible that many of the wild hedgehogs also suffer from the disease, but no humans observe them into the wild. In addition, there are predators, so most of the animals in bad health do not survive.
However, there is one factor in the city that worsens the immunity of hedgehogs and that is the garbage they eat. Food has a direct effect on the body. We know this about human food, but we often forget that the same rule is valid for the animals as well.
Hedgehogs are insectivorous. This fact does not mean they do not eat anything else, but insects are a very important part of their daily menu. Living in the city makes finding insects much more difficult than finding them in the wild. On the other hand, city hedgehogs have easy access to human food, garbage, and pet food (granules). Those foods are not intended for the need of insectivorous types of animals.
A huge problem is that once they try dog/ cat food or human food from the garbage, hedgehogs always go back for more. They even stop searching for their natural food and prefer the new flavor. All that inappropriate food is very easily accessible. After a long period of time those non-specific foods damage the hedgehog’s organs and lower the immune system.
There are many different types of appropriate foods for hedgehogs, that can be found at the pet stores. If you decide to put some appropriate food outside, it won't be eaten by cats or dogs, because of the taste. Some of those foods should be mixed with hot water to become softer. There are also pastes (purees) available in pet stores. If a hedgehog is having other kinds of food in his daily diet, change would be difficult.
For the moment, quality hedgehog food can be found mostly in foreign sites. The Bulgarian market has 3 types of food that are good, but not perfect as ingredients. But the effort to find specialized food is always worth it: knowing that you did your best for the animal’s wellbeing is always good.
It would be also great if people use only natural resources in the fight against insects at their homes and offices. This is important because many of the poisoned insects are often eaten by hedgehogs, cats, dogs, and other pets, along with the venom inside. You can make your own conclusion about the consequences.