An adult female hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus) developed hemorrhagic diarrhea and was euthanized after failure to respond to treatment. At postmortem examination, the gastrointestinal tract was distended with clear fluid. Histopathologic examination of the jejunum and ileum revealed numerous small, round, pale basophilic organisms typical of cryptosporidia on the luminal surface of the enterocytes and free in the crypts. In addition, there was severe villus atrophy in the ileum. It was thought that an underlying chronic systemic disease had predisposed the hedgehog to cryptosporidiosis by immunosuppression. This report appears to be the first detailed description of cryptosporidiosis in this species.
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Vol. 40 • No. 4