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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
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Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I have a hedgehog in my garden. This is his/her 2nd winter

Resolved Question:

I have a hedgehog in my garden. This is his/her 2nd winter coming up.last week there was another hedgehog. They made quite a racket for 3 hours. When I went into feeding station this morn to wash dishes my hog has pood in the feeding station. Do I clean it or is this a warning to the other hog to stay out
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you today.

Actually, hedgehogs are not a species that are known to mark their territories with either feces or urine (as would a cat or fox). In fact, researchers have noted that hedgehogs tend to have overlapping territories and do not demonstrate any specific claiming behaviors, only that they can leave a faint scent trail as their underside brushes against the ground. They tend to be more about avoidance instead of territory marking and seeking out others in the territory to pick fights with.

So, in this case, I do suspect that this encounter was inadvertent and perhaps a wee altercation over food. In regards ***** ***** feces, I would be more suspicious that they were passed as part of the sympathetic nervous system ("fight or flight") response during their fight instead of having a marking function. Therefore, since this is not a species that uses feces to warn off others, you can clean this area. And it is advisable to do so, since we don't want these feces potentially contaminating the food and infecting either hedgehog with opportunistic worms or bacteria.

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I thought the hogs were maybe going to mate.They didn't actually fight just a lot of weird noise. I will clean poo out of feeding station just now.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 2 years ago.
Hi again,

It isn't the right time of year for mating in hedgehogs, so this is less likely to be the ruckus you heard (which fighting can be full of odd snorts with this species). Of course, intentions between these two does depend on their respective sex. Anyway, just for your interest (and to see if what you heard was something other then fighting), you can have a wee peek at the BBC Earth's video on hedgehog mating (HERE).

All the best,

Dr. B.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 18252
Experience: General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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