17th June 2011
Cake Bake Thanks!
We have to say a massive thank you to Paul, Jack and Kelly and to the Pathology Staff at the Alexandra Hospital Redditch. Paul and Kelly organized a cake bake and sale in the Pathology department to help raise funds for an incubator for us here at Willows Hedgehog Rescue.
We also later released Elanor into the garden as the family provide the ideal release site. Recently Jake (the latest hog with a back leg issue), was brought into us by by Paul, Jack and Kelly. Jake is still in with us as the leg mends and hopefully will be able to be released back into the wild.
So from all the hogs (past, present and future), and Jayne and me, a massive thank you to all the staff of the Pathology Department at the Alexandra Hospital Redditch and to Paul, Jack and Kelly.
Photo top, middle - cake sale, bottom - Little Spike on release (photos courtesy of Paul)
12th June 2011
This time I talk about Fin, Mr Tiddles, Hope, Dan and the latest hog as well as about Hedgehog Street and our events.
During this Fin makes an appearance, Mr Tiddles adds his huffing and puffing while he is cleaned out, wees over the examination table and then rounds off with crunching away on his mealworm treat, with a few sneezes as well for good measure... hogs they just want the lime light!
Click Play Button below to play / download HogPod No3
11th June 2011
Dotty off into the Wild
Dotty who came into us a while back after being found out during the day in a poor state was released last night. She was treated for lungworm while she was with us and for the last week or so had been waiting for her new hog home to be finished in the garden where she was rescued from. She came in at 400 grams and left weighing in at just under 1kg. She as other hogs do will loose weight in their first few days back out in the world but she can afford to.
Of course she may or may not decide to stay and use the hog home but at least we know that she has the option and even if she doesn't use it another hog may make it their home.
Mind as you can see by the photograph, you spend your time pampering a hog and getting it back to health and on release day it pokes its tongue out at you!
On another note many thanks to those who came to see us today at Poppy in the Park in Sanders Park Bromsgrove. Our next event will be Bromsgrove Court Leet on Bromsgrove Highstreet.
9th June 2011
Fin came in after being found in a terrible state. He came in very dehydrated with open woulds full of maggots. He ate ravenously for about the first hour he was in with us, and received fluids straight away with continued fluid therapy being given. He had open wounds on his underside which were heaving with maggots. It took us nearly two days to finally flush out all of the maggots and now as far as we can tell he is free of them.
He also has a bad case of mite infestation and he is being treated for this.
He is on antibiotics, anti-inflamatories, vitamins, rescue food and mite treatment and he is also receiving medicated baths to help keep the wounds infection free. He is still not a well hog at all and it is going to take some time to see if he will turn the corner to health.
Teasel came in on the same night, she is a female hog only weighing in at just over 300 grams. She has sustained a back leg injury most likely from something like netting as the the leg is cut and swollen rather than broken, She is also on antibiotics and anti-inflamatories and she is also receiving fluid therapy however she is more active than Fin even at her weight as is drinking more for herself.
She is a very tame hedgehog who looks for attention whenever we go into the rescue area.
Today another male hog has arrived here (brought in by the people who rescued and brought Little Spike into us last year). He is a decent sized hedgehog with another back leg injury. At the moment we are assessing the severity of the leg injury.
Sadly we have had reports into us of two dead hedgehogs and a third where we had to liaise with a vet out of our area with regards to a hedgehog with a badly fractured back leg and open wounds. The hedgehog had to be put down.
6th June 2011
Sad, Sad News
It's taken me a couple of days to enter this onto the site as this has been a hard one to deal with. Elanor who came back into us on the 3rd of this month (see last entry) about a month after release didn't make it.
She deteriorated over the night of the 3rd and we took her into the vet for x-rays on the following day. She further deteriorated at the vets and after the x-rays is was decided that she had sustained a spinal injury. The vets really pulled out all the stops taking many x-rays to make sure as they knew she was a hog with a special place in our hearts and were ready to do whatever it took.
However the injury was too severe, she had lost the use of her legs and also lost the use of her bowls having to be hand toileted and the mutual decision was taken to euthanize at 2pm on the afternoon of the 3rd.
This is Elanor as we will remember her....
3rd June 2011
Elanor back in
Sad news this evening that Elanor one of three hedgehogs that came in last year is back in with us after being released this spring.
Elanor whose mother was killed by a dog last year and who was hand reared by another carer before coming to us to put weight on before release and to over winter as the snow came very early is back in with us.
She was released earlier in spring into a garden with hog homes and feeding stations with a family who had overwintered another hog for us. Everything was fine with Elanor visiting the garden and doing well.
Today, some weeks later we received a call and had a hedgehog dropped into us from the same area. The hog was very dehydrated and lifeless. On closer examination we found the faded markings of our own, made when we released so the hedgehog can be identified if seen.
Elanor as we now know it is, was very dehydrated and was not moving at all. She has been on fluid therapy all day and evening and has been taking a high protein 'glop' mixture by syring. She has had vitamins and antibiotics and she is just starting to show improvement in terms of hydration. However she is still very lethargic and it is a concerning time. The main priority at the moment is getting her fluid levels back to normal. Her spines are returning to how they should be and her eyes are not sunk any longer, however we now need to see her start to move around.
Top photograph, Fin hungrily eating on arrival. Photopgrah right, Fins tummy.
27th May 2011
More Releases - Frank & Daphne
Tonight saw Frank and Daphne released.
Frank came in after being caught and played with by a dog. He had no immediately visible injuries but we kept him in for a few days for observation and to gain his trust so we could make sure that there were no issues.
Frank showed no signs of trauma and he consistently put on weight so tonight he was released into a large garden bordering onto a country park with all the habitat a hedgehog could wish for.
She again showed no obvious injuries or illness and was kept in for further observation. She like Frank did well presenting no issues and consistently put on weight.
She has gone to the same release site as Frank and will hopefully thrive with the natural resources around and with the attention of the gardens owners who have built two excellent hog homes and who have also installed a feeding station.
Top photograph, Frank with his nose wrinkled, bottom photograph Daphne being camera shy.
22nd May 2011
Hooray for Henry
Henry has finally been released tonight. Henry and Henrietta overwintered with us and at one point seemed as though they wouldn't make it in the early days giving us some fraught nights. Once on their feet they proved to be right little characters and as the snow was well and truly set in they stayed with us for the winter. They went into hibernation rather late and were the last of the overwintered hogs to deem to come out of hibernation.
They stayed with us while we found and vetted suitable release sites with Henrietta leaving us a couple of weeks ago and now at last Henry has gone on his way. He has been released from a garden where grandparents and granddaughter have worked on putting together a hog home and feeding station. This gives Henry the opportunity if he wants to make his home there while having the freedom to roam the surrounding gardens and area. It means that we know that there is a family looking out for him and that there will be at least one garden around with food and water left out for him (and any hogs in the area). We know that adjacent gardens have hedgehogs visiting so the area is good for Henry.
If you would like to be considered to be a release site and are in the area (Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Redditch, Worcester etc) please contact us as we always need suitable sites. We look for natural gardens that ideally already have hedgehogs visiting. We ask that you would be willing to put in a hog home and feeding station and are prepared to put out food and water. We then check the surround area for busy roads or any possible dangers and make a visit to talk you and to have a look at the garden. Then when we have hogs we need to release that cannot go back to where they were rescued from we would look to release from your garden. There is of course no guarantee that the hog will make your garden its home but at least we know that it has the best possible start and a safe place to come back to if it chooses.
20th May 2011
Bruno, one of the two hogs that came in after a dog attack and now fully back to fitness went off to start a new life in a new area tonight. He is going into an area where we know hogs are present and a hog home has been put in place for him by the owner of the garden he is being release from. Matilda who came in with him will be off soon as well to a new home as she will be released at the same time and into the same area as Damon.
He should be released in the next week, once we have had time to build a hog home which he can use if he wants to.
Little Dotty who came in a while back and didn't really make any improvement has now come on in leaps and bounds and is just over the 700 gram mark. This is a good result as she stayed at 400 grams for a very long period neither deteriorating but also not making any improvement. She was becoming something of a real concern.
Hope is now putting on weight steadily although the nose injury still has some way to go to fully heal and she will be with us for some time. She will eventually join Dan in the secure garden with Dan now being a permanent resident. Hope will stay until we can ascertain if the nose injury will cause her long term issues in the wild. If it will then she will become a permanent resident with Dan.
A new female hog came in last night after being found out in the road in daylight. She was observed not moving for some considerable time. She is at present under observation but there are no immediately obvious issues, however she will stay under observation.
I am off into a school on Monday to talk to a class about hedgehogs in general and how sometimes they need our help which is always nice to do. Finally some new dates are being added in to the hog road show for this year and I will post these shortly.
Top photograph Bruno, Bottom photograph Mr Tiggles in the pre-release pen.
9th May 2011
A sad but good day
Tonight saw the release of two of our last overwintered hedgehogs. We had been struggling for good release sites and with thanks to many of the people who came to see us on our hoggy roadshow we made a list of and vetted a number of release sites.
Tonight Henrietta and Stephan were released into a great garden release site with plenty of hog homes and with a lady who spares no effort to help feed the birds and our prickly friends. The garden is surrounded by accessible adjacent gardens and countryside, everything a hog could hope for.
Stephan was one of three orphaned hand reared hedgehogs from last year. Stephan attached himself to me, coming to me at the sound of my voice, pulling my shoe laces and riding around the garden on the top of my shoes. He and his bother and sister overwintered in our garden and tonight Stephan went along with Henrietta to start a new chapter in his life. It is great that Stephan has gone to live his life doing what hedgehogs should do, but it was a sad moment for me leaving him behind.
Dan, the blind hedgehog we have had in with breathing difficulties has now taken up residence in our secure garden where he will stay for the foreseeable future as he would struggle in the wild. He does come out in daylight as he can't tell the difference between day and night but that said he does seem to be settling down into a routine of only being out in the early evening in daylight.
He was getting restless in the rescue area and as he is off medication we made the decision to transfer him into the garden where he seems happy. On first release he spent a few hours travelling around bumping into things but he now seems to have a mental map of the garden and is getting on fine.
In other news: Bruno and Matilda the hogs brought in after a dog attack are now fully recovered and awaiting release. Mr Tiggles is now off medication the lumps on his underside proving to be abscesses rather than tumours. Hope is holding her own with the nose slowly improving. The last arrival Dotty has a heavy worm burden and at the moment is in a situation of stasis, no real improvement but no drastic declines either. She is only just over 400 grams so the weight is concerning and she is under constant observation. Sadly we also had a hog dead on arrival this week.
Photographs: Top - Stephan and me (Charlie), Middle Right - Henrietta, Middle Left - Dan, Bottom - Stephan and Henrietta and Stephan.
3rd May 2011
Willows Hogpod no2
No hog pictures on this diary entry but rather the second audio 'hogpod' where rather than read an update you can listen to an update on some of the hedgehogs in with us at the moment.
Click above to download the mp3 for the Willows HogPod
Many thanks to everyone who visited us over this last weekend when we were out and about in Bromsgrove and at Burcot Garden Centre for hedgehog week. Sadly I wasn't able to be there on the Saturday due to work but Jayne tells me that it was a good day. It was nice to meet everyone and we had a really good response to our quest to find potential release site and foster carers.
Also many thanks to all those who bought raffle tickets or made donations without which we would struggle to keep going. (Thanks to those businesses and individuals who donated the raffle prizes in the first place). Many thanks to Burcot Garden Centre, managers and staff for allowing to us to be there on the Sunday, (including the cat who tried to eat the food samples we had brought along to show people!). We have got more venues booked over the summer so please check back with the website for details on these.
26th April 2011
Terry and Tim
Two releases today - Terry and Tim. Terry came in a couple of weeks ago after being found when a garden shed was being dismantled. As he was disturbed he came into us and we subsequently removed over sixty tics from him, a large tic burden for a hedgehog. He stayed with us for a while to make sure that he was fit and well and today he is off with tim back into the wild.
Tim who came in a couple of days ago after becoming entangled in a badminton net has been doing well after we cut the netting away from his head, neck and front paws. He hasn't suffered any lacerations or breaks and is healthy and ready to go so he is being released tonight to stop any distress of being in captivity.
He was however very lucky that he was found quickly and that the family brought him in straight away as netting often results in either slow death, amputations and hogs having to be euthanized.
Please if you do have netting make sure that it is at least 12" off the ground and that it is taught as gardens should be a haven for our hedgehogs but they are often a death trap obstacle course with netting, pesticides and strimmers to name only a few.
Two new arrivals came in last night after they had been attacked by a families pet dog.
The dogs owner brought the hogs into us straight away and we were able to asses the damage and take the appropriate action. The female seems to be unharmed, the male has a small puncture wound and although on first inspection there seemed to be a lot of blood on him on further investigation the blood proved to be mainly the dogs.
He has had the wound flushed out to ensure that it is clean and he is now on antibiotics to help ensure a speedy recovery.
In other news Hope seems to be continuing to be stable although the nose doesn't look to pretty, but it will take time to heal. Elanor may be on her way to release tonight, if we can find her in the enclosed garden tonight! Henry, Henrietta, Damon and Stefan are awaiting release sites. Another hedgehog is coming in tonight after being found trapped in a drain.
Also check out the front page to see the dates of where we will be this year with our hog 'road show'
Top photograph Terry, photograph above Tim, both on release day today.
24th April 2011
Wade and friends
The realeases are continuing and the latest release and one of the last arrivals is Wade. Wade came in suffering from lung worm which has been successfully treated and he has been released back into the garden he came from with the existing hog home cleaned out and refreshed with new hay in case he wants to use it. Wade can be seen below on the night of his relase back into the wild.
Terry who came in with a very heavy tic burden is also now ready for release. Hope who came in with her nose cut in two had her procedure to stitch the nose back together. Sadly this didn't work and she went in again to have the lower half of her nose removed. She seems to be doing well and putting on weight. The healing will take some time and she will then spend a while here in the secure garden to ensure that she is able to cope.
Two new hogs have come in over the last week. Dan who was rescued by West Mercia Police and who has been suffering from breathing difficulties. He has responded to treatment and has put on weight. However there may be some other issues which are being investigated. Last night a new hog came in having become entangled in a badminton net with the fine net wrapped around his head, neck and paws. The family normally bring the net in but in this instance it had been forgotten and as unlucky chance would have it this hog became entangled. It took a while but the net has been cut away and he has put weight on overnight. Hopefully he will be ready to go in a couple of days.
Little Spike (now big Spike) the hog from last year that overwintered here and subsequently was looked after by the family that found him until spring arrived has been released and had been coming back to the families garden regularly along with a number of other hedgehogs. The family has also agreed for us to release one of our female hogs into their garden as we know the area has a good hedgehog population which means that the environment is good giving her the best chance on release.
Finally, Hanna the hog that we were hand feeding after suffering head trauma sadly died on Friday. She was up and down with her response to treatment one day seeing to be on the mend the next reverting back. Although there were no visible external symptoms the internal issues were obviously more than could be overcome.
Photographs - top Wade on his release night. Bottom left Little (Big) Spike photograph courtesy of the family who brought him into us.
8th April 2011
I guess that so far pretty much every photograph of the hogs that come into us here at Willows has been very cutesy and rather sweet. However this isn't always the reality, of course yes hedgehogs are very sweet but they come to us because they are ill or have been injured and sad to say a lot of them as a result of human actions - direct or indirectly.
This is Hope the latest arrival.
There is nothing cute about this picture (and this is probably the least gruesome angle) and it may be hard to look at but it is the reality of what happens to our native hedgehogs. Her nose has been totally split in two, it looks horrific and is, and even more so when you are directly involved in looking after her when you see what she is having to deal with. We don't know how it happened, she was found out in daylight in a road and rescued by a kind member of the public.
The nose is a very sensitive area and the vets will either try to close the two halves with a stitch or they may have to remove the bottom half and let it heal over.
This is an injury that hedgehogs can successfully recover from given time, medical attention and courses of antibiotics, analgesics and anti inflammatory medicines.
It is hard to think that she made it all the way through such a bitter winter to only end up like this.
Hope has been seen by the vet and they have managed to stitch the two halves of the nose back together, she is now back in the rescue area nice and quiet recovering from the procedure and the gas. We will have to see how she responds now and how things proceed with the healing.
Hope is here on the left after the stitches.
7th April 2011
Naming, Updates and Arrivals
The latest hogs have now all been named, although they get patient IDs its is hard to refer to them by these. So we now have Wade and Terry who are now both showing signs of lung worm and are being treated for this. It is hard to listen to their hacking coughs in the rescue area and as we know that the treatment can knock them around quite a bit it is concerning. We have now also removed around fifty tics from Terry. It is a good job that he was found by accident when the shed was being dismantled in the garden he came from as the tic burden would have been taking a lot out of him.
Hanna (above and right), as she is now called, the female hog that came in with head trauma is holding her own and she has been to the vets for a good checking over. She is still under close observation with us and in truth it is still in the balance as to whether this will be a good news or bad news story. She is pictured here being hand fed as she has been loosing some weight and we want her to have the best chance. Some hogs fight against hand feeding turning it into a battle of whits but Hanna has been gladly lapping up the food from the syringe.
We have had another new hog into today. A female hog that was taken into the vets who support us in our rescuing.They called to say that they had had a hedgehog dropped off and had checked her over and could we pick her up. Sadly this is yet another head trauma injury taking us to three in just under two weeks, the first having to be euthanized as the injuries sustained were too great. The new admission now called Hope is on a course of medication and again time will tell, however we are concerned by a very nasty gash to her nose.
So the hedgehogs are certainly up and about now (although we still have two hibernating!). If you are able to please leave some water and dry kitten or puppy food out for them, (they also like peanut nibs, sunflower hearts and raisins) as this will be a good boost for them in the first weeks.
Also in May Hedgehog Street kicks off which is an initiative between the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and People's Trust for Endangered Species. The idea is to get streets to sign up to make their gardens more hedgehog friendly and to provide access for hedgehogs between gardens. You can find out more information here at HedgehogStreet.
Please do take part if you can.
5th April 2011
Releases and New Admissions
It has been a busy time with Spring now sprung. The hedgehogs out in the wild are waking up as well as the ones that have overwintered with us which has meant starting to release the hogs here and new hogs coming into us.
Sally came in last year along with her sibling Harry, Harry sadly didn't get over the lung worm so we released Sally with Hector in the same area.
The vampire hogs (Stefan, Damon and Elana) have finally come out of hibernation and are putting a little weight back on before being released. Elena was becoming somewhat of a concern as she went into hibernation early in October and didn't emerge until a few days ago. So a happy ending and a sigh of relief from us.
Henry and Henrietta who came into us weighing under 200 grams last October and who were both borderline for survival for quite a time are still hibernating but hopefully will be up and about soon. Winston the three legged hedgehog will soon be going to his new secure garden.
Spring has started the phone ringing again with five new hogs in over the last two weeks.
Scamp as we named him came in looking very sorry for himself, underweight, wobbly and very disorientated but after a couple of weeks had improved a lot and put on a good amount of weight and was released last week.
One has a heavy worm burden and is being treated for this, another a female hog has suffered head trauma (possibly due to construction work on a housing estate) and she is on medication and under observation to see how she responds.
The newest arrival was found when a shed was being dismantled to be replaced. The owners found a nest in the foundations with a hedgehog tucked away in it. We went to see what could be done and found the little fella had over forty tics on him so he has been brought back to have the tics removed and to be fed up while the new shed goes in place and then he will hopefully go back. The majority of tics have been removed, some vitamins administered and last night he managed to put away quite a few bowls of food, so he seems to be making the most of the waiter service here.
Finally, Little Spike who came in last year and once well and at a good weight was overwintered by the kind family that initially found him, is awake and well and will also shortly be released back into their garden. Hopefully we will have some photographs of his big day to pop onto here.
Top right picture Sally on the day of release. Middle left, Sally walking away, meaning a success but also a little sad as they become part of the family. Bottom photograph Scamp on the day of his release after two weeks with us.
15th March 2011
Spring in the air
Spring is in the air and the hogs are beginning to come out of hibernation both in the wild and here at Willows Hedgehog Rescue.
Some of our hogs are now going out into the pre-release pen outside getting them ready to go back into the wild after what has been a long and cold winter. A few are still hibernating but we are expecting them to start stiring before long and while some slumber a little longer it allow us time to get the ones that are awake ready to go.
With hogs now starting to wake up it is important to leave some food and water out if you can as they need a boost when first coming out of hibernation. They will have lost body weight and will be a little disorientated for a while.
We are putting together a list of dates for events we will be attending this year and these will be up on the web site before long so please keep an eye out for these. Also if you would like us to come and give a talk to a group or school class then please contact us.
3rd January 2011
Nearly a month without an update but with Christmas and New Year and with some of the hogs coming in needing a lot of attention time has flown by.
The sad news first, we lost Harry and one other autumn juvenile that came in just before Christmas, both to Lung worm. With all our best efforts and while others with the same issue and on the same medications made it these two didn't.
Sally who came in with Harry and who also had lung worm responded well to the treatment and is now 700 grams in weight and is still very active. Sally had an awful 'smokers' cough with her lung worm and it is great to see her looking well, 400 grams heavier than she was and ready for hibernation. Some of the others have now started to go into hibernation after being moved into rabbit hutches.
Henry and Henrietta both now in the 900 gram region have this last week gone into hibernation, Henrietta first a few days ago and Henry yesterday. Considering how poorly these two were at one point dropping to around 170 grams in weight and having to be hand fed its great to see them as happy tubby round balls!
Leo and Hector both of whom also had large worm burdens are now also in the 700 / 800 gram region and both are showing signs of getting ready to hibernate and have been moved into hutches. Little Spike again who initially had a large worm burden is now over 800 grams and hopefully will soon be going back to the family that rescued him to overwinter in a rabbit hutch there before release.
Winston has decided to wake up for a while after going into hibernation and is now fattening himself up again and also has a possible secure garden available for him for release (Winston is the three legged hog so he will need to live in a large secure garden). The rest are all now in hibernation either in rabbit hutches or in the hog homes in the garden.
So after what has been a very busy and at times a fraught time over Christmas, things now seem to be quietening down in the rescue area with the hogs reaching good weights and deciding to have their winter naps.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone who either helped the hogs by bringing them to us in 2010 or who supported us with donations to aid us to help the hogs we have here under our care.
Happy New Year.
14th December 2010
Latest Autumn Juvenile.
Spotted wandering along the road last night and out in a garden this morning he was picked up by a kindly lady with a soft spot for hedgehogs and I collected him this afternoon.
He has weighed in at just over 300 grams and at the moment is having some issues adjusting to being in the rescue unit, which is the best place for him but of course it's hard to tell a hedgehog that. He is calm and quiet in the hand and in fact curled up and started to sleep in the crook of my elbow but once in his hogpod he is very restless. He has eaten and drank quite a lot and hopefully will calm down and accept his temporary home until he is large enough and the weather mild enough to release him.
Sally and Harry both have lungworm and are being treated for this, both go into little hacking coughing fits which isn't the nicest thing to hear in something so small. They are on wormers, antibiotics and medication to help them cough any mucus and worms up. Sally has become very inquisitive and while quite happily settled in now regularly comes to the front of her hogpod for a nose while the daily routines are performed in the rescue area.
10th December 2010
When Harry met Sally
I mentioned on the previous entry the little girl hog that came in found in the same garden as Harry. Well here she is and with Harry found in the same garden it only seemed fitting that she became Sally.
We thought that there might be the possibility of them being siblings and as hogs sometimes do better in captivity with another hog to keep them company, we introduced them. Harry and Sally didn't really respond well to one another, so Harry still has his own hogpod and Sally her own.
Both are doing well and gaining weight and it has to be said that Sally is as cute as a button.
I haven't mentioned some of the other hogs for a while so an update on a couple of them. The brother and sister, Henry and Henrietta who went through a bit of a bad patch a while back are now weighing in at just over 800 grams and just under 800 grams respectively. They still run us round the houses and are mischievous to say the least, but we are so pleased that after their poorly spells they have both risen to the challenge and will be ready for release once we get a good period of mild weather.
For previous news and stories click > here <