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Hamworthy Hedgehog Rescue

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Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)

We’ve just had it confirmed that the hoglet with his leg stuck out has a pathological distal femoral fracture. A pathologic fracture is a broken bone that’s caused by a disease, rather than an injury.

Some conditions weaken your bones, which makes them more likely to break. The usual one in hedgehogs is Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) which is caused by a lack of calcium in the body.

The most common cause of this is from an Imbalance of calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin D3 in their diet, which can lead to soft or brittle beaks, bone fractures or deformities, appetite loss, lethargy, pain, and if untreated, a slow and painful death.

Please do not feed hedgehogs with mealworms, sunflower hearts or peanuts – these foods are not the natural diet of hedgehogs, and are too high in phosphorous. Long term effects of feeding incorrectly can cause injuries such as this poor hoglet now has.

Feeding a balanced diet is essential, and the easiest way of providing this is by feeding cat biscuits or cat/dog meat. There is no need to feed ‘treats’ to hedgehogs, they are wild animals.

If you care about hedgehogs, please do not feed them mealworms, you could be slowly killing them.

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