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Hedgehog Hints-February 2013

Winky was found trapped in some garden Winkynetting by some kind teenagers.They didn’t know how long she had been there but they carefully cut her free, contacted BHPS (The British Hedgehog Preservation Society) and brought her to me. I raced Winky to my vet who plied her with antibiotics, painkiller and vitamins.

It was three hours before Winky moved, then firmly stroking down her back wearing marigolds I patiently waited for her to uncurl. I held a mirror underneath her and gently used a flat spatula to lift her tummy. I could see a thread of netting by a leg and around her face. It took two hours to remove since it had embedded into her right thigh and across her face. Her wounds were so deep and swollen I could see no eyes and wasn’t sure if her leg was broken. Tweezers and much saline washing solution later, Winky was clean and fly egg free. Its important to bathe any wounds daily using saline and check for fly eggs /maggots.

To aid healing, hedgehogs with acute injuries require highly nutritious food and antibiotics so  I syringe fed Winky a soft paté bought from the vet for several days before she was able to eat it independently.  Over the course of six months Winky had three general anaesthetic operations repairing her injuries. It took over 18 months to rehabilitate her, and thankfully she did eventually have one functioning eye.

Please help hedgehogs live in your garden: never use slug pellets and regularly check your garden for hedgehog hazards like netting.

www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk 

or contact Rachel Begley 07810 004 371 if you find a poorly hedgehog.