1) Is the veterinarian experienced with hedgehogs? Not all veterinarians have extensive experience or training with exotic pets like hedgehogs. If the veterinarian does not have extensive experience, are they willing to consult and learn? A veterinarian who is not extensively experienced but is willing to learn can be a good resource for your basic care, as longas they have a resource they can consult with or refer you to if a problem comes up that is beyond their expertise.
2) What services does the veterinarian offer for hedgehogs? Hedgehogs have a lot of similarities to dogs and cats, but they also have unique needs. Ask the veterinarian what services they offer, and what they can do to help you find more resources if your hedgehog should have need for a service that they don't offer.
3) How does the veterinarian handle hedgehogs during examinations? Hegehogs respond best when handled in a calm, confident, respectful manner. Is the veterinarian patient and gentle? Ask about what they do if the hedgie is not cooperative. You should feel comfortable that the veterinarian will handle your hedgie in a manner that will provide comfort and not unnecessary stress.
4) Does the veterinarian provide science based nutritional guidance for hedgehogs? Proper nutrition is crucial for the overall health and wellbeing of your pet hedgehog. It makes the difference between a 1 to 2 year lifespan, and 4+ years. Don't assume that your favorite Internet hedgehog group is right and the veterinarian is wrong, or vice versa. Is the veterinarian able to provide you with research based nutritional guidance? If yes, please listen to the vet! If no, keep looking.
5) How does the veterinarian handle emergencies and after-hours care? Problems can go wrong any day of the week or time of the day, so you will need to know how to contact your veterinarian, or an after-hours/crisis care veterinarian that they endorse. Having emergency services contact information before you need it will bring you peace of mind.
6) What is the cost of hedgehog veterinary care? The cost of veterinary care can vary widely. Factors that impact cost can include location, specialization, and regional differences. You will want to know the cost of a checkup and of emergency service access before you need it, so that there are no shocked surprises. Be sure to ask questions about payment options, such as if they require payment in full or set up payment plans. If you have pet health insurance, you will want to make sure that the veterinarian you plan to use accepts that healthcare plan, and what is and is not covered.
In conclusion, finding a veterinarian who you are comfortable with, who is experienced and has resources appropriate for hedgehog care, who provides routine and emergency coverage, and is affordable, is essential to your peace of mind and your hedgehog's wellbeing.