There are, it’s only fair to say, whole towns, whole states, whole nations of human beings who need to know precisely nothing about the average hedgehog penis.
You might be amaaaaazed how often it simply does not come up around the water cooler or in Zoom chats.
But for the sake of those few, those curious few, who either breed hedgehogs under license or have them as pets where it’s legal, let’s gird our loins (we’ll each do our own, to save time; the hedgehog, as you’ll discover, can take care of itself) and get down to business.
Let’s talk hedgehog penis.
What are we looking for?
The first thing to know about the hedgehog penis is that it probably isn’t where you think it is.
If you manage to turn a hedgehog onto its back without it freaking out massively and curling up to conceal itself, you’ll see what looks like an ‘outie’ belly button in the middle of its belly.
However, if male human belly buttons did what the male hedgehog’s belly button does… well, let’s just say prom night would be a whole lot more distressing than it usually is.
The ‘outy’ is the hedgehog’s penile sheath.
OK, how bad can that be, right? Tiny little sheath, looks like an outie, we can cope with that.
Yyyyeah – have you ever seen those nature programs about chameleons, where what looks like a normal tongue whips out from nowhere, grabs an insect off a leaf half a foot away, and darts back into the mouth?
Mm-hmm. Prom night, we’re just saying.
Inside that sheath, big things are happening, and when the glans penis emerges, you’re going to inadvertently think “Is that a huge, disturbing, flower-tipped penis in your outy, or are you just pleased to see me?”
Relax. They’re not that pleased to see you.
But yes, that is a proportionally colossal penis that seems to erupt into erectness out of nowhere.
And yes, it does seem to have a vaguely floral tip – people usually describe it as looking like a calla-lily, which is enough to put you off flower-arranging for life.
In 2000, scientists, being what it is in all senses fair to call ‘curious creatures,’ measured the sperm counts of three African pygmy hedgehogs.
The three hedgehogs, weighing between 291 and 403 grams, had sperm counts of between 115.7 million sperm and 163.3 million at any given moment.
Why are we telling you that?
Because there’s every chance you’ve come into contact with at least some of those millions.
We need you to be strong for this bit.
And the underside of a hedgehog is more furry than spiky.
Hedgehog semen is a nightmare to get out of fur. It acts like glue.
Want to know how to get hedgehog semen out of fur?
If you have any experience with hedgehogs, you’ll know that they are anti-bath all the way. So, scrubbing their semen out of their fur? Tricky.
You need to soften it up first, which means getting a little… creative.
Try taking a squeeze of baby wash. Add the oil from one vitamin E capsule, one capful of fractionated coconut oil, and around half a cup of warm water.
What you have then is an oil and water situation. You’re going to need to force them to emulsify with an immersion blender. Just think of it as like making mayo, while simultaneously not connecting mayo with hedgehog semen in your head, or you’ll never eat salad in this town again.
Pour the mixture into your hedgehog’s bath, up to the depth of his belly.
Do nothing for at least 15 minutes. This is the “pre-soak” section of your evening’s entertainment. The emulsion will be working to separate the strands of fur.
Then, in a maneuver otherwise known as the Screaming Ball Of Prickly Fury, turn over your hedgehog and hold it belly-up under warm running water. Then, use an eyebrow comb or something similar to scrape the semen out of the fur and down the drain.
Something similar to this process has been known to work on pubescent boys up until the age of about 13, after which, there are laws and such.
No one knows for certain when the hedgehog penis matures. Hedgehogs seemingly reach their sexual maturity at (usually) anything from 2-6 months to a year. Ethical hedgehog breeders could contribute to scientific knowledge on this point by watching for signs of sexual maturity in separated males, because while there may be no single right answer, the greater the concentration of data, the more likely we are to learn something.
Not for nothing, it has also been known for male hedgehogs to mature at just 6 weeks old, and (ahem) accidentally impregnate their sisters or mother. So, any data you could add would be most appreciated. By female hedgehogs, if no one else.
When good hedgehog penises go wrong
Hedgehogs can have any number of potential issues with their penises. Be on the lookout for:
· Irritation or swelling of the penile sheath (Red belly button)
- An engorged, but not erect, penis outside the sheath
- An unswollen penis outside the sheath (A prolapsed penis)
- Obsessive licking or biting at his genital area (Don’t say it!)
- A tumor protruding from the sheath
- Blood in the area
Other Potential Issues
· It’s possible that your hedgehog may masturbate to excess, in which case the penis can become irritated. They are, to say the least, very unlikely to stop. Cases have been known of hedgehogs biting off their own penis, and still attempting to self-stimulate afterward. If they’re not going to stop after biting their own penis off, you stand no chance.
· Your hedgehog could get grit or dirt between the penile sheath and the penis. Be especially careful with small shreds of paper in their bedding and litter tray.
· It’s also possible for a hair to get wound around your hedgehog’s penis. That will keep it engorged and stop it from retracting into the sheath. A warm bath will stop the penis from drying out, and may also loosen the binding. If not, call your veterinarian. How you explain is entirely up to you.
If you see blood in your hedgehog’s urine, it’s often a symptom of a UTI. Often, but not always. It could also be the hedgehog equivalent of a kidney stone lodged in the penis. Possibly, this is the result of too much protein or calcium in their diet. Usually, the stones will move down the penis and be eventually, if painfully, expelled.