If you have a pet hedgehog, there’s a high chance that you are totally in love with the spiky lil’ thing. These animals are becoming increasingly popular in homes across the world, and it seems as though people just can’t get enough of them. In fact, hedgehogs kind of remind us of ourselves. While they do want attention and to be loved by those close to them, they don’t want these people to invade their personal space. We get that. However, if you’ve ever had the urge to kiss your hedgehog, this news will probably change your mind…
Issuing a warning
Hedgehogs have rarely come with any warning signs. Sure, they require specific food and shelter for them to thrive in your home or in your backyard, but they take very little looking after. They are the kind of pet that you can love and care for, but they are also the kind of pet that can look after themselves. That’s why hedgehog owners have been a little startled by the new warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
No snuggling allowed
Because they are just so adorable, it can be easy to pop your hedgehog in the palm of your hand and place it up towards your lips for a little kiss. Unfortunately, it’s best that you don’t do this anymore. That’s because, since October 2018, 11 people in the United States have found themselves feeling rather ill after contracting Salmonella Typhimurium. This is an aggressive strain of salmonella that can prove fatal, but so far has not caused any damage to those who are infected.
Coming into contact
Ten out of the 11 people who have contracted the salmonella strain had been in recent contact with a hedgehog, which led officials to link the bacteria to the animal itself. They had all kissed their pet, and this seemed to be a recurring action between all of them. However, this wasn’t something they could have known about. That’s because Salmonella Typhimurium is not something you can see when your hedgehog is infected. They show no signs of illness or disease, but rather look completely normal. Despite this, the bacteria can live inside their intestines and make its way out through their feces. Before too long, this can then be spread around its surroundings, and even make its way onto the spines or the face of the animal itself.
Although the C.D.C aren’t telling you to avoid your pet hedgehog completely, they are telling you to avoid kissing your pet. This is to stop the spread of germs and to keep you free of the salmonella strain. It’s also important to wash your hands as soon as you put your hedgehog down, to keep your hands free of the bacteria. It’s always best to be safe rather than sorry.
If you have a pet hedgehog, it’s always best to be careful when you’re handling them. That’s not just because of their spines, but also because of their ability to spread illnesses and bacteria.