FOUND A HOG?
If you have found a hedgehog you believe needs attention, please pick it up wearing thick gardening gloves, bring indoors and place inside a high-sided cardboard box, containing the following items:
An old towel, so that the hedgehog has something to hide under
A shallow dish of water
A shallow dish of meaty cat food, wet or dry
Place a hot water bottle beneath the towel – ensure it is not too hot as this will scold the hedgehog. Ensure also that there is sufficient room for the hedgehog to get off the bottle should it become too hot
Once all these items are in place, put the box somewhere quiet and indoors, and call your local rescue immediately
Please do not include a hot water bottle in the box if the hedgehog is bleeding or has a noticeable amount of maggots or fly eggs on its body, as this will worsen the hedgehog's condition. If a hot water bottle is included, always keep it warm. Allowing the bottle to go cold will chill the hedgehog and cause more problems for it.
If the hedgehog appears to be in a significant amount of pain or has a substantial injury, please take it to your local vets as soon as possible. Most veterinary surgeries will not charge to euthanise a wild animal if this is the only option.
Whatever state the hedgehog is in, however minor it seems, if you believe it needs help please call your local wildlife rescue, the British Hedgehog Preservation Society or your local vets immediately. Failure to take the hedgehog straight to a source of aid may result in a worsening of the hedgehogs’ condition and can also be fatal.
British Hedgehog Preservation Society: 01584890801
Hedgehog Rescue Chipping Sodbury: 07476216158
HOW CAN I IDENTIFY A HEDGEHOG IN TROUBLE?
There are several symptoms that mean a hedgehog is in need of attention from a wildlife rescue:
Visible blood or wounds
Active during daylight hours
Visible tick burdens
Visible skin conditions such as mange or ringworm
Out in hibernation season weighing less than 400g
Any hogs that have been caught in netting, traps or drains
SHOULD I ATTEMPT TO LOOK AFTER THE HEDGEHOG MYSELF?
Hedgehogs are wonderful creatures and they may seem easy to look after, but when it comes to successfully rehabilitating them, caring for them yourself is never the best thing for the hedgehog.
Throughout its active years (but particularly in 2020), the rescue has received a lot of patients that have received inadequate care from finders, and unfortunately passed away; a fate which could have prevented had the hedgehog been brought straight to a rescue or a veterinary practice.
There are many ailments and signs thereof that hedgehogs can have. These include:
External parasite burdens such as flystrike / ticks / maggots
Hidden injuries in hard-to-see places
Internal parasite burdens
While we completely understand the desire to care for animals-in-need, we can never advise or recommend caring for injured or unwell wildlife yourself. Even if the animal seems healthy, there are many problems which can be easily missed by the untrained eye, and many life-saving treatments which are unavailable to members of the general public.
Many hedgehogs this year have lost their lives unnecessarily from being brought to the appropriate treatment center / rescue too late.
With the UK's population of hedgehogs still dramatically declining, we must take all necessary steps to ensure the survival of this species, and to put the welfare of each individual hedgehog before anything else.
Please, if you find a hedgehog in need, immediately find a rescue center or veterinary practice to take it too.
Flystrike is the term used to describe fly eggs when they are laid on the skin of an animal. If untreated, the eggs hatch into maggots, which feed directly on the host. This is commonly seen on animals that are already very unwell and therefore unable to remove the flystrike themselves. It is essential any animals with flystrike are seen by a vet or rescue professional immediately, to help prevent suffering and mortality.
Fly strike can be seen beneath back legs in this picture.