Can Hedgehogs Eat Aloe Vera?

Can Hedgehogs Eat Aloe Vera?


Hedegehogs

Aloe Vera is a medicinal plant that has existed for thousands of years. It is a thick plant with short stems, and its water is stored in its leaves. It can be used as a household decoration; however, it also has numerous uses that could be beneficial to health. Aloe Vera is used in treating heartburn and skin injuries like sunburn. It can also be used to slow the spread of breast cancer. This article, however, helps to answer the frequently asked questions concerning feeding Aloe Vera to hedgehogs; and discusses its benefits and dangers. 

CAN HEDGEHOGS EAT ALOE VERA?

Aloe Vera

No, it is not advisable to feed it to hedgehogs. Although Aloe Vera is very beneficial to humans, there are some parts of it that hedgehogs cannot eat. Aloe Vera contains lots of liquid which can be harmful to hedgehogs. Hedgehogs can eat only the dry part of an Aloe Vera thus, it is advisable to not feed them with it to prevent them from accidentally consuming the harmful parts. 

IS ALOE VERA POISONOUS TO HEDGEHOGS?

Aloe Vera has many parts. It has the skin, the meaty part, the gel, and the sap layer. The sap is different from the gel although, one is often mistaken for the other. The sap is the toxic part of the Aloe Vera; it is the yellowish part that is directly under the skin. It contains anthraquinone glycoside which means it has low toxicity and can cause a reaction, but cannot kill. If a hedgehog consumes the sap, it could experience discolored urine and diarrhea.

IS ALOE VERA NUTRITIOUS FOR HEDGEHOGS?

Although; it is not advisable to feed hedgehogs with Aloe Vera, some hedgehog owners prefer to add the dry part of Aloe Vera to their hedgehog’s diet because of the nutrients it contains. If you also like to feed Aloe Vera to hedgehogs, it is recommendable to take out and give them only the dry part because; the sap could be harmful to them if they consume it accidentally. It is also advisable to be conversant with the number of nutrients contained in an Aloe Vera and their benefits before adding it to a hedgehog’s meal plan. 100 grams of Aloe Vera contain the following nutrients:

NUTRIENTS

QUANTITY

Water

96.23 g

Energy

15 Kcal

Carbohydrate

3.75 g

Sugar

3.75 g

Calcium

8 mg

Iron

0.15mg

Sodium

8 mg

Vitamin C

3.8 mg


BENEFITS OF ALOE VERA TO HEDGEHOGS.

Aloe Vera

From the table above, the following benefits are identifiable in Aloe Vera:

  • It contains antioxidants:Antioxidants are essential for the health of hedgehogs. Aloe Vera contains antioxidants that help to curb the growth of some bacteria that can cause infections in hedgehogs. 
  • It reduces dental problems:Gum disease and tooth decay are health problems that hedgehogs face. Feeding them Aloe Vera prevents the possibility of these dental conditions in hedgehogs.
  • It Contains Calcium: Aloe Vera contains calcium which is essential for the growth and development of strong and healthy bones in hedgehogs. 
  • Aids weight loss: Hedgehogs are generally prone to obesity; however, Aloe Vera contains a low number of calories. This means that it helps to keep hedgehogs in good weight and even aids weight loss.
  • It helps treat mouth ulcers: Hedgehogs could experience mouth ulcers at some point in their lives. Treating it with Aloe Vera can reduce the pain associated with mouth ulcers and accelerate their healing. 
  • It aids digestion:It is possible to identify Aloe Vera as a laxative because it aids digestion and treats certain digestive conditions in hedgehogs. It helps to treat a digestive condition like constipation. 
  • Source of Vitamin C: Aloe Vera serves as a source of vitamin C for hedgehogs, which aids the proper functioning of their immune system. Vitamin C also helps hedgehogs to maintain healthy skin.
  • It reduces blood sugar levels:Feeding Aloe Vera to hedgehogs can prevent diabetes or serve as a remedy for diabetes. This is because it contains low amounts of both carbohydrates and sugar; thus, it helps to enhance insulin and reduce the blood sugar level.

RISK OF ALOE VERA TO HEDGEHOGS.

Aloe Vera Gel

The active ingredient that Aloe Vera contains is saponin; this is a group of molecules that can cause numerous problems in a hedgehog’s body system. It can result in nausea and dehydration. 

Although Aloe Vera helps to reduce blood sugar levels which can be a good thing, the ability to lower the blood sugar in hedgehogs could be dangerous for them and cause coma or death in some cases. Thus, it is not advisable to feed Aloe Vera to hedgehogs too often. When a hedgehog eats the sap of an Aloe Vera plant, its body will then metabolize the glycosides with the bacteria found in its intestinal tract. This can produce a compound that will increase water and mucus in the colon, thereby causing vomiting and nausea. If this continues, it could lead to dehydration which can be disastrous if not treated immediately. 

CONCLUSION

It is not recommendable to feed a hedgehog with Aloe Vera; however, it is advisable to consult a veterinarian first if you must. Also, remember to carry with you any vital information that might be needed when going veterinarian’s office, in addition to your hedgehog’s medical history, such as injuries, shot records, abnormal behavior, and recent illnesses. It is also commendable to watch the quantity of Aloe Vera being given to hedgehogs because; certain health conditions in hedgehogs such as diabetes, kidney or intestine problems, and heart disease might get worse with the consumption of Aloe Vera. 

Finally, before feeding Aloe Vera to a hedgehog, it is expedient that you carefully take out the sap or take the hedgehog to a veterinarian immediately if you suspect or see that it has eaten an Aloe Vera plant without your supervision. The veterinarian will then conduct a physical examination of your hedgehog, which includes a hearing and vision check, oxygen level, neurological exam, blood pressure, heart rate, body temperature, weight, respiration, and heart rate. 

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