Hedgehogs can suffer from kidney disease. Usually this is due to a bacterial infection or poor dietary habits. The kidneys, like the liver, are organs that are one of the first organs to be damaged as a result of neglect, both medical neglect and physical neglect. But kidney disease can also be hereditary. So there are quite a few causes for many different types of kidney disease.
A urinary infection that is not treated in time can cause damage to the kidneys. That's because the bladder and kidneys are directly connected. If a urinary infection develops into a kidney infection, it can damage the kidneys.
Because there is a lot of glucose in the blood, kidney filters are damaged. As a result, the kidneys have to work harder and scars develop on the kidney filters. This often only happens after a few months to years of having type 2 diabetes, but the wrong use of medication and being overweight can increase the risk of damage from diabetes.
In general, hedgehogs have two kidneys. But some are born with one not or one is not removed during surgery. The hedgehog then has a mono kidney. In general, this is not a problem, but complaints can arise. Often this is due to damage to the mono kidney due to other causes.
Like other cancers, kidney cancer also occurs in hedgehogs. These are malignant tumors in the kidney. When located in one kidney, this kidney can be removed through surgery and the healthy kidney can take over its function.
Kidney stones are salts and minerals stuck together in the kidneys or ureter. Small kidney stones are passed out on their own, but larger kidney stones must be removed. Kidney stones can cause kidney damage.
Several types of medication can cause kidney damage. Often this is acute and the situation can worsen within a few days. Your vet should estimate these risks for each type of medication.
Diagnosis and treatment
Because the liver and kidneys are often the first to be affected, it is always recommended to have a urine test and a blood test done. This allows the situation to be estimated. Sometimes ultrasounds or scans are also necessary to have a good look at the kidneys and to estimate the damage. Unlike liver damage, kidney damage cannot be reversed, so often this can lead to the removal of one of the kidneys or the animal being put to sleep if there is no other option.