Very sadly, we have this morning had to have a very young hoglet of just 190g put to sleep due to Metabolic Bone Disease. She was very likely to have been born with this awful condition, due to her mother eating inappropriate foods such as mealworms, sunflower hearts and peanuts.
These foods cause a devastating imbalance of calcium in bones. The phosphorous is too high in those foods and the calcium then leaks from the bones, causing them to become soft, often with multiple painful fractures and unable to support the hedgehog’s own body weight.
In the wild, they will eventually lose the ability to stand or walk and will then lay on the ground until they starve to death over a period of days.
There is no easy way to deal with such cases, particularly in hoglets like Cleo. She was probably no more than 5 or 6 weeks old, so will have suffered pain her whole life.
Please, please do not feed these foods to hedgehogs. While they may readily gobble them up, it does them no good at all and is no different than constantly feeding a small child on chocolate and nothing else for it’s whole life.
Thank you to Karen Lane for finding her and bringing her to us. It has saved her from the most painful and protracted death out in the wild