The Pathology of Wobbly Hedgehog Syndrome. Academic Article uri icon


  • Wobbly hedgehog syndrome (WHS) is a leading cause of neurologic disease in African pygmy hedgehogs (APHs; Atelerix albiventris). This study describes the signalment, clinical signs, gross, microscopic, and ultrastructural lesions of WHS in a cohort of 12 pet APHs. Microscopically, lesions consisted of status spongiosus of the white matter, typically bilateral and symmetrical, with myelin degeneration and loss that was accompanied by neuronal/axonal degeneration plus reactive microgliosis and mild, focal astrocytosis and astrogliosis. Lesions were most severe in the cerebellum and medulla oblongata, as well as cervical and thoracic spinal cord. Less affected areas were the corona radiata, corpus callosum, corpus striatum, internal capsule, and the mesencephalon. Ultrastructurally, the lesions consisted of splitting of the myelin sheath at the intraperiod line with subsequent focal expansion, resulting in status spongiosus, disruption, dilatation, rhexis, and phagocytosis. Based on these results, WHS is best described as a "spongy myelinopathy" with widespread central nervous system involvement.

published proceedings

  • Vet Pathol

altmetric score

  • 5

author list (cited authors)

  • Daz-Delgado, J., Whitley, D. B., Storts, R. W., Heatley, J. J., Hoppes, S., & Porter, B. F.

citation count

  • 15

complete list of authors

  • Díaz-Delgado, Josué||Whitley, Derick B||Storts, Ralph W||Heatley, Jill J||Hoppes, Sharman||Porter, Brian F

publication date

  • September 2018