General health and connecting health issues to color mutations

Through our health research we study the general health of African Pygmy Hedgehogs and try to see if any health issues are connected to the existing colors and patterns. This way we can help breeders to connect the dots and advice them to avoid certain colors and patterns in their breeding program. Over time, this kind of research, even if it is a low coverage research, can help improve the species as a whole.

African Pygmy Hedgehogs have been bred since the 1990’s and have been increasingly popular ever since. Due to the high demand, breeders often have regular litters and inbreeding happens quite often to produce enough hedgehogs. Due to this inbreeding, health issues have been arising more and more often over the past years and the general health of the species has begun to go downhill. The species is very sensitive and already asks for specific care without this decreasing health. So it is very important to act now and study the general health as well as trying to link health issues to specific color mutations to avoid them in breeding. By doing so, the color mutation won’t be bred as much and the general health would increase again.

What info do we collect

For this research, we collect vet documents and regular information like color, gender, age and country of residence. With this information we can track various health issues and see where the hedgehogs with these issues mainly live. We can see which issues are a local issue and which are a global issue. Global issues have an increasing risk of being linked to color mutations and thus need further research. By collecting the gender and color we can then research which colors have more issues and if those issues arise more in female or male animals.

How can you help

If your hedgehog has an health issue which it has seen a veterinarian for and you have a document of the issue, you can send us the document by submitting it on the vet document page. Your personal information will be deleted after we have asked you some additional questions, if applicable. This way we can’t track your personal information and cannot include it into the research. You can also submit information if you don’t have a vet document through the survey.

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