7th December 2010
Say 'Hi' to Harry and pals
Two new little hogs in over the last two days and both from the same garden. Harry who is pictured right and another little hog in tonight were both out early in the afternoons over the last few days eating the food kindly put out for them.
Harry came in yesterday and weighed in at just over 400 grams. Tonight we got a call from the same lady who had discovered that the one little hog she had keen keeping an eye out for was actually two as Harry was already here. The second little hog has weighed in again at just over the 400 gram mark is now settling in on a heat-pad, out of the cold and hopefully glad to have some warmth.
A big thank you to the kindly owners of the garden for keeping an eye our for them and for their help with our cause.
4th December 2010
Frosty Night Arrivals
The latest of the new arrivals are Leo and Little Spike. Both are autumn juveniles which were brought into us by different families after being spotted out in gardens at feeding stations.
Leo was trying to survive on the fallen seed at a bird feeding station until he was spotted. Both when they came in were at around the 300 gram mark and are now gaining weight. Little Spike is being treated for worms at the moment and Leo came in with 16 tics which needed removing. (Little Spike is pictured above)
A good number of the hogs here have now reached release weight but the recent cold snap has meant that it is far too cold for release at the moment, so for now even though they are rearing to go, they will have to stay a while longer.
25th November 2010
Hector came to us after being caught and picked up by a dog. The family feed the hedgehogs and the family dog caught Hector unawares at the food bowl. Luckily the owners were on hand and acted quickly and within seconds had got the dog to release this chap.
They then called us as he only weighs 460 grams and also even though he looked fine they wanted to be on the safe side and get him checked out. He has got a couple of broken spines but due to the prompt actions of the family he suffered no injuries worse than that.
Hector has settled in and is putting on weight and will be released as soon as he gets to around 700 grams. He will be released in a different area though as the family have warned us that sadly there are an awful lot of hedgehogs killed on the roads by them.
21st November 2010
She had been found wandering down to a main road and was rescued and passed onto the RSPCA. From there she came to us and after settling down a little proved to be a very hungry little hedgehog indeed. After eating her fill she curled up for a well deserved nap before we started to have a really good look at her condition.
She has lost most of the fur on her nose and a large proportion on her tummy. She has also lost a lot of spines on the one side of her body (opposite side to pictured here).
12th November 2010
The hedgehog from Wythall Animal Sanctuary is now settled in and seems to be quite happy with his new surroundings. He has always balled as far as we know around people which sometimes makes life a little difficult. Obviously this is preferable behaviour out in the wild and around people but when they are in to be looked after we need to gain the hogs trust. The good news is that he is starting to be more comfortable around us and is putting on weight.
We had another new arrival a couple of days ago who is also settling in. A little lad hedgehog called Humphrey who had previously been looked after by a kind member of the public for a week or so but who was loosing a worrying amount of weight. Sensibly and in the hedgehogs best interest Humphrey is now with us and he is settling in to his new surroundings initially having a little bit of a restless first night. Today after a check up at the vets he has been eating and nosing about. He is still however loosing weight and has a worm burden so he is now on medication. We are in for a critical few days with this little hog.
This chap came in this afternoon with some severe bites and wounds on his back and tummy and a with very mangled leg. He had been looked after overnight by a kind member of the public who called us this afternoon.
Sadly with the infected injuries and damaged front leg that he had sustained he was beyond saving. This is one of the instances where we will euthanize to save any further distress and pain. He was put to sleep this evening at just gone 5pm.
9th November 2010
Sunday saw the arrival of the hedgehog from Wythall Animal Sanctuary. He was found with his back leg crushed under a breeze block. This resulted in the leg having to be amputated. He spent some weeks with the animal sanctuary on the mend before coming to us.
As a back leg amputee he can still get around but he wouldn't be able to manage in the wild. So he has come to us until we can find him a permanent secure garden to make his home. He is still getting used to us but he is starting to trust us and is settling in ok.
Not all stories are good stories with happy endings, it's just a fact of life however hard it is to swallow sometimes. This little fella 'Justin' came into us this week weighing under 150 grams. He was pretty much unresponsive from the moment he arrived and had what looked like chemical burn marks on his underside and back legs. He also had over 20 tics on him which we removed, a massive burden for such a small hedgehog.
Very shortly after arriving he started to show what becomes so recognisable as the signs of immanent death.
At this point all we could do was hold him as he gave up the fight for life.
As another rescuer says 'you can't save them all', but it doesn't make it any easier when they go like this. But once again at least it was here with someone trying to help rather than out there I guess.
5th November 2010
A quick update
A quick update with no photographs I am afraid. The brother and sister seem to have come out of their downward slide since being on their medications and over the last few days have been putting on weight very quickly. Henry is leading the way having put on around a 100 grams with his sister not far behind.
Archie has continued to be a worry and had his antibiotics extended and started to have medicated baths. The issue started to worsen and yesterday he went into the vet under anaesthetic and had a good cleaning of his tummy. He now has another type of medicated bath solution and after a checkup at the vets today we changed his antibiotics in case the previous antibiotics were not tackling the issue. He is eating and drinking well and his weight is still up and down from day to day, but lets hope that this is the road to improvement now.
Finally we may this weekend be having a new visitor. An amputee that eventually needs a permanent secure garden to live in but that for now could be coming to stay in our secure garden until we can find and vet a suitable permanent home.
We would like to take the opportunity to say a big thank you to the staff at Handicare in Kingswinford for their kind donation of; disposable gloves, pet food, kitchen towels and hand sanitisers and to Steve for arranging the collection.
28th October 2010
There have been a lot of those here over the last week or so.
Archie has been taking his antibiotics and his anti-inflammatory medicines and is getting a lot steadier on his back legs and I am glad to say has been eating ok. However on giving him a mite bath we found a large swelling on his underside by his back leg which proved to be a puncture wound which had filled with puss and had become an abscess. So he is now also having to endure baths with more prescription drugs to hopefully help the wound heal. I am really routing for Archie as he has been enduring oral medication twice daily from me by syringe and now has this added on top.
The brother and sister who initially seemed to be fine have proved otherwise. After a couple of days they started loosing weight and signs started to appear that they were both suffering from the effects of a nasty intestinal bug. A bug which is present in hedgehogs anyway but which under certain circumstances becomes a real issue. Both Henry and his sister Henrietta are now on two types of medicines and being as they have lost their appetites and have been loosing weight are both also getting a high protein, high vitamin mashed up supplement also by syringe to firstly stop them loosing so much weight and secondly to stimulate their appetite.
So it has been worrying times here at Willows, but we are keeping all our fingers and toes crossed for happy outcomes although at the same time you have to accept that the worst could happen.
(Top picture the two tykes, Henry and Henrietta looking cheeky. Picture to the left - Archie at bedding change time having a snack and a drink after his meds while I clean his home out.)
20th October 2010
Archie seems to be taking to the antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicines ok but we need to get him back to the vet to have an X-ray of his back leg and depending on what the outcome is there will be some choices to be made. He is settling in though and is a lot less nervous than when he first came in.
The brother and sister Henry and Henrietta have settled in and are both quite happy now to be handled although we are having to keep an eye out as she seems at times to be bullying her sibling but at other times he snuggles into her for comfort it seems. So we have to look at either keeping them both in the same pen or maybe look at putting them in separate ones.
Stefan, Damon and Elanor have gone into hibernation as far as we can tell. The food in the outside feeding hutch isn't being touched and there is no sign of them being out in the evenings for the past two nights. I don't blame them it is getting very cold out there on the nights and I can hear the frost on the grass crunching under my feet when I walk the garden looking for signs of them.
Brilliant news today we had a very kind and generous donation enough for us to buy two electric heat pads for the hogs and another offer of funds to buy another heat pad and an additional cat carrier. All in one day. These additions will help us enormously and I can't thank the people involved enough.
19th October 2010
Archie went to see the vet today and we got a good look at him. It seems that he may have a broken back leg which he is managing to get around on and is still able to pull in when he balls (but not all the time). He also along with the broken spines has some scratches on his back legs which now all points at an animal pawing and biting at him. He is now on a course of antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicine and we will need to see how he responds to these. He has put a little weight on overnight however which is good to see.
The brother and sister (Henry and Henrietta) that also came in yesterday are proving to be a right pair of mischievous tykes giving me the right run around at food and bedding change times. Overnight they have both gained around 40 grams each which is brilliant.
18th October 2010
Three Autumn Juveniles
Three new hogs in tonight from two different calls. The first a little lad hog, again in the 200 gram region. He has got a couple of ticks on him that we need to remove but at the moment we are settling him in to what if all things go well will be his new home over the winter as he is far too small to hibernate. He is a little nervous at the moment and we are letting him settle down in the dark and warmth of his new home.
This little hog now called Archie was found wandering in the grounds of Ipsley Middle School and was rescued by the caretaker Graham who called us and on our advice caught him and kept him in a safe and cosy box in the school until we could get there. He has looked for any other little hogs but as far as we know it is just this little fella.
(Update) Archie is very wobbly on his legs at the moment, so warmth, food and fluids are the priority. We have now also removed the tics on him and checked him out as he has a number of spines broken off on his back. This can be down to some kind of animal attack e.g. a dog biting or clawing or a strimmer incident. There is no evident injury to the skin however, just the spines. This injury could be older and not the cause of his being out.
The second call today brought us a lad and a girl hog, a brother and sister who are very lively but once again in the mid 200 grams region. Named Henry and Henrietta they have been living in socks for the past few days after being rescued by a lady call Patricia who from a farming background is very used to animals. (Baby hogs also love inside out bobble hats as they are warm and they often cuddle into the bobble!).
She brought them inside, researched about hogs on the internet so she knew what to do to give them the best chance. She then searched for a nest or a mother hog but without any luck. Today she contacted us and they are now with us to over winter and put on weight for the spring.Unlike the first hog today these two have no problem with human contact which long term isn't good but for now helps as hopefully they will be less stressed with human smells around them and the contact with them when we clean out their home and when we weigh them etc. Henry and Henrietta are both together in their new home are are happily cuddled into one another at the moment.
So tonight will be another night of being awake as their hot water bottles will need changing every few hours and we need to keep an eye on them as they settle in.
We desperately need some electric pet heat pads (the type you plug in and put under pet carriers or blankets) as we could leave them on and not have to keep disturbing the hogs to re-fill hot water bottles which is less stressful for the hogs and lets face it allow us to get some sleep! So if anyone can help with an old one they don't need any longer or with donations to help us purchase some please contact us, we would be extremely grateful.
13th October 2010
Meet Malcolm. This little chap weighing in at just over 200 grams came in tonight after being observed out during the day for a couple of days in a row in the same spot without moving. He was rather cold when he came in tonight but he is now on a cosy hot water bottle and has hungrily taken some food and a little liquid which seems to have worn him out and he is having a sleep. The area where he was found is being checked for any others but with him out in one place and motionless for at least two days the chances are at this weight that he will be over-wintering with us ready for release in the spring.
Malcolm has now woken up a bit and is moving around. Now he is walking around we have noticed that he seems to have a deformed back leg which doesn't stop him from walking but does slow him down a lot. This will mean a visit to the vets to have the leg checked out to see if it is an injury or a deformity and if anything can be done about it. Good news is that he is active, alert and inquisitive and drinking without our prompting.
12th October 2010
At first we feared that he was dead but although he won't fully unball he is alive but very cold and dehydrated and suffering from fly strike. So the best part of this evening has been spent removing fly eggs, keeping him warm (which normally with fly strike isn't the best thing as it speeds up the maggots hatching but in this case that is the least concern), and with trying to get fluids into him a little at a time. He is warming up and the fluids are going down, so hopefully tomorrow it will be off to the vet for a check up and we will go from there.
(Update 13th October) Unfortunately during the night Prickles became less and less responsive and finally slipped away in the early hours of the morning.
Sadly the lady from earlier in the week that emailed us about a disorientated and wobbly hedgehog but without a contact number for us to be able to speak to her straight away has emailed to say that the hedgehog died. So please I have to re-iterate - if you find a hedgehog in distress please ring us straight away.
10th October 2010
After getting him to settle down we had a good look at him and it turned out that his front left paw was broken and badly gashed. The wound was also full of maggots. We spent quite some time trying to clean out the maggots but we knew that with an injury such as this he would not be able to go back into the wild and wouldn't be able to get about or forage even in a secure garden. So this morning we took him into the vets who agreed that the injury was not repairable and unfortunately Button was put to sleep.
A sad end to what was otherwise a healthy hedgehog.
11th September 2010
Hog House Swapping & Elanor in for observation
The Vampire Hogs very early on got into a settled routine of Elanor sleeping in the second hog house we built and Stefan and Damon in the first larger hog house. The third since it's installation into the garden has been explored but remains unused as far as we know. However last night which was a pretty miserable night with the hogs looking for shelter from the rain most of the time found Elanor in the lads hog house with Stefan and today while I was at work Jayne noticed a hog bum poking out of the hog house Elanor normally uses. On closer inspection a second hog rear appeared at the entrance. I'm not really sure what this rather sudden change means and I am not too sure why the hogs were sleeping so close to the entrance today - unless all three are in there and it would be a pretty tight fit to be sure as they are all double the size they were when they originally arrived.
I have mentioned before that Stefan has become rather imprinted even though he has not had any more attention then the other two who now mainly avoid any human contact, tolerating us to weigh them but apart from that keeping away from us going about their foraging. A couple of nights back while just checking that all three hogs were out and about Elanor unusually came up to me as I was crouched down and I let her sniff my fingers. Stefan immediately charged down the garden and barged Elanor out of the way huffing at her and climbed onto my hand. This is the first aggressive show I have seen in the three siblings and I was surprised at Stephan barging Elanor away from me. She tried to sniff my hand again and straight away Stefan Barged her and huffed at her. It just seemed very strange that a hog would show aggression to another hog in this situation.
Yesterday I noticed that Elanor was coughing, we brought her in for a while and she seemed fine. Tonight however she was coughing so loudly we could hear her from the house and she is suffering from quite a drippy nose. So we have brought her in and settled her down in one of the hutches so we can check her out. The outdoor hog homes are nice and dry and warm so the damp weather shouldn't be affecting her when she is in the hog home. She was wormed as a little one but we need to rule out lung worm and as she has been hand reared and didn't get much of the mothers natural milk she may have a lowered immune response.
7th September 2010
Elanor Weighs In
So attempts were abandoned to try and find her for the weekly weigh in, the hogs didn't want to get soaked and we got far too soaked! The boys were out for a quick visit to the feeding hutch and both got their weekly weigh. It's strange I know nothing should really be able to happen to the hogs in the secure area but I still like to see all of them even if only for a moment so I know that they are all OK.
Tonight the weather and I fared better and Elanor was out and about and weighed in at a healthy 643 grammes.
6th September 2010
Stephan the smallest of the 'Vampire Hedgehogs' has put on 61 grammes this week and weighed in tonight at just over 500 grammes. Stephan has been lagging behind his brother and sister and last week only put on around 30 grammes. This week however Stefan is starting to play catchup but is still around 80 grammes lighter than the other two 'Vampire Hogs'.
Stefan is proving to be the most imprinted of the hogs. His brother and sister although happy to be handled at weigh in at all other times come up for a quick sniff and then scamper off. Stefan however as soon as he hears me comes running down the garden for a fuss and to climb onto my hand.
Weigh in tonight - Stefan at 512 grammes, Damon at 640 grammes and Elanor at 602 grammes.
5th September 2010
With three hogs potentially overwintering in our secure garden we have decided to install a third hog home. At the moment Elanor sleeps in one of the hog homes and Stefan and Damon share the second larger hog home and the first to be put into the garden. With winter and hibernation approaching fast we have now built and installed the third hog home so if the lads want to split up they can to overwinter.
Unlike the first two hog homes which need to be altered this one has a lift off top so we can easily access the inside if we need to to check on the hogs.
2nd September 2010
Ginger goes back home
Ginger a female hedgehog that we rescued around a week ago when she was found wandering around in daylight has now been released. When she came in she was disorientated and was not eating or drinking. She was also suffering from a large number of ticks which in amounts over 10 or so can make hedgehogs anaemic. After a couple of days of removing ticks and spending time with her she started to pick up and started eating and drinking. By the end of the week she was fully active and weighing in a around 1100 grammes so on the 2nd we took her back to the area she was found and released her back into the wild.
Luckily the families garden that Ginger had been around in during daylight have agreed to keep an eye out for her in case she comes out in daylight again and are also prepared to leave some food out for her to supplement her diet if she wants. For the time being we have loaned them a feeding station that the hog can get into but that cats can't get into. Hopefully we won't be seeing Ginger in daylight again.
Photos- left Ginger rearing to go after the final visit to the vets, Above ginger later on the night on her release.
28th August 2010
Big Ginger comes in
Two days ago we had a new visitor, now named Big Ginger. Big Ginger a female hedgehog weighing in at around 1100 grammes was found wandering along the road in broad daylight. After checking that she was not lactating and possibly with pups we brought her in for a weeks observation. She has a large number of ticks on her which need to be systematically removed and seems very lethargic and not interested in food or water. After a quick checkup from the vet we now have her on an enriched food diet and are gaining her confidence so we can remove all of the tics and get her eating and drinking.
20th August 2010
The Vampire Hedgehogs Settled In
Stefan, Damon and Elanor have well and truly settled into the secure garden. Elanor has taken up residence in one of the hog homes and after a couple of nights when all three slept in the same hog home Damon ans Stefan moved out together into the second hog home and this is how the sleeping arrangements have stayed. They have a definite routine with Damon coming out first in the evening, Stefan ten minutes later and Elanor coming out a good half an hour after Stefan. They are foraging food and the nighttime sounds in our garden now are of beetle crunching and the crunching of the supplementary food we place into the feeding hutch.
Elanor is the most elusive of the hogs and spends most of the time on her own, Damon and Stefan tend to stay together or not far away from one another around the garden. Stefan has also developed a liking for biting shoes and shoe laces and when out checking on the hogs you have to be very careful moving as he can be pretty much guaranteed to be somewhere around your feed hanging onto a boot lace.
Weigh in tonight put Stefan at 426 grammes, Damon at 489 grammes and Elanor at 488 grammes.
12th August 2010
The Vampire Hedgehogs Arrive
Stefan, Damon and Elanor arrived Today! These three little hogs were rescued by Helen of Wyre Forest Hedgehog Rescue and now we are taking over their care as they are of a size where they can be released into a secure area to gain weight and get used to being outside before finally getting out into the big wide world.
It seems like a big responsibility after all the time Helen has put into these little hogs hand feeding them every four hours to make sure that they survive. But they are now in the garden and exploring their new environment with two purpose built hog homes for them to choose from and a converted rabbit hutch as their feeding station. I have to admit that I was backwards and forwards into the garden until the early hours making sure that they were OK and that there was nothing that we had overlook that might cause any issue and ensuring that the barrier under the gate was sufficient to keep the garden secure.
All hogs were weighed in with Stefan coming in at 392 grammes, Damon at 446 grammes and Elanor at 450 grammes.