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Instagram hedgehog Mr. Pokee died of infection - animal welfare association is critical of exotic pets

Instagram hedgehog Mr. Pokee died of infection - animal welfare association is critical of exotic pets


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Hedgehog Mr. 2016 was the first time his owner Talitha Girnus posted photos of the white-bellied hedgehog from Africa on Instagram - now he died of a bacterial infection.

Infection after dental surgery

The animal had undergone dental surgery and became infected with the wound during or after the operation. Antibiotics did not work, the hedgehog was getting worse, said Talitha Girnus. A veterinarian found a blood infection.

Grief on Instagram

Girnus writes on Instagram: “We all combined our strength and love to help Pokee fight to the end. We gave him the strength to do the best for him and to make this decision. (…) He fell asleep and looked so peaceful and grateful this morning. ”

Little cute angel

Talitha writes: “My dear Pokee, I love you with all my heart - always and unconditionally. You are in my heart forever, I will remember you as the sweet little angel that you are. (...) Part of me died with you, the other part will keep you in my heart forever. "

Diseases of exotic pets

The German Animal Welfare Association sees the story less pathetically, but is critical of the keeping of exotic wild animals like the African white-bellied hedgehog Mr. Pokee. According to the Animal Welfare Association, problems could quickly arise, since such animals are not used to humans like dogs for many generations.

Hedgehogs are often sick

A veterinarian describes (domestic) hedgehogs as a "parasite mother ship". The bristle dress offers living space for various pests. Wild hedgehogs are often full of lice, fleas, mites, ticks and other parasites. With a white-bellied hedgehog in human care, this risk is less because it is not in the wild, where the blackheads frolic.

Salmonella and tuberculosis

We know 16 diseases that European hedgehogs can transmit to humans. Among them are old diseases such as tuberculosis, but also salmonellosis and leptospirosis.

Zoophilic dermatomycosis

Hedgehogs are particularly often affected by zoophilic dermatomycosis, a fungal disease - and this can be transmitted to both humans and pets. The skin then itches, turns red, scales and pustules form. Typical are plaques with high flammability that emphasize the edges. Hedgehogs can also transmit this disease indirectly if they lose spines and dander. The disease can be treated well with antifungal agents, but you should only touch wild hedgehogs with protective gloves before an examination.

Transmission to humans

Exotic pets can spread disease to humans, and the lay veterinarians who keep these animals are generally unaware of the risk. Studies showed that around 30 percent of all turtles living in private households were infected by Listeria, and also 21 percent of the lizards. These bacteria can spread to humans. In 2003, people in the United States contracted monkey pox, the vectors were African hamster rats that carried the pathogen with them. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

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