29th April 2013
Releases, Incoming, Events, Improvements & Volunteers.
Finally we seem to have some sunny days even if the temperatures aren’t quite as warm as the sun might suggest. This has meant that we have been able to start releasing hedgehogs over-wintered here back into the wild.
Over the last couple of weeks the main activity has been around contacting release sites to ensure that they are ready to go, contacting those who have fostered hedgehogs over the winter for us and readying the hedgehogs that have spent the winter months here.
The evening activities apart from the usual rescue duties have revolved around transporting hedgehogs to release sites, receiving hedgehogs back from the fosterers for checkups pre-release and rotating hedgehogs around from the rescue area into the pre-release pens and then finally off into the wild.
With the large numbers of hedgehogs over-wintered this year this has been a pressured time and it is still ongoing, however it is what it is all about – getting them back into the wild, fit and well and with the best possible start.
On the flip side it also means that we now have a lot of pens to deep clean to get them ready for this years influx of hedgehogs needing care.
This year all of the released hedgehogs are also being tagged allowing us to track their progress and identify any that come back to us. The post release information is extremely useful and it is great to have already received some reports of hedgehogs released last year starting to visit their release gardens after coming out of hibernation.
Sadly and inevitably there have already been a number of new cases.
We have had to respond to rescue one hedgehog that had become trapped about 3ft down a circular drain which was just about the circumference of a balled up adult hedgehog. This isn’t a particularly nice task to perform in the dark with your hand down a drain with a hedgehog covered in… – well the less said about that the better. Luckily the hedgehog came out without too many issues and is now after a few days in the rescue area fit and ready to go. It won’t be released back to the same area as on investigation we found a number of uncovered drains. This has been reported and we have assurances that the matter will be dealt with however this hedgehog will be off to pastures new to ensure that it has the best possible start.
Sadly we have had one small hedgehog in with a broken back leg which failed to heal resulting in the leg having to be amputated. After some initial concerns immediately post op the hedgehog has responded well and is gaining weight nicely. This hedgehog once fully rehabilitated will go to a secure garden to live as natural a life as possible as it would face pressures in the wild that would leave it at a severe disadvantage.
The most recent admission is a 500 gram male with severe respiratory distress. It has been receiving treatment now for a number of days and is starting to look a little brighter. Sadly it also has a rather heavy internal parasite burden as well so it is on a quite intensive treatment regime and it will be with us for some time.
This years events have started to kick off. The bad weather earlier in the year causing the cancellation of the first but fingers crossed things have now started to improve. Hedgehog Awareness week is now on the horizon and we have six events booked in over the period of the week which will mean a busy time for us.
At the events we will be available to give advice about hedgehogs and providing food and habitat for them, we will have displays on some of the cases we get at the rescue unit and will be happy to talk about the work we do. We will also be taking details from anyone who is interested being a potential release site, a secure garden, or who might like to get involved in helping us by volunteering. We would also like your hedgehog sightings to add to our records helping to build up a better picture of hedgehog populations and areas. You can also do this via the website by visiting the survey page or contact us by email for a more indepth survey form. We have had a good response so far but we need as many sightings as possible to build the best picture we can of how are native hedgehog is doing in Worcestershire and South Birmingham and where the hot spots and weak spots are for hedgehogs.
We will also be fundraising and there will be items for sale including handmade hedgehog related goodies as well as tombola and raffles. We rely on these funds to be able to run the rescue unit and all of monies donated or from sales go to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of the hedgehogs we rescue.If you have any items suitable for raffles or tombola please contact us. (Event dates are on the events page).
This year we do need some extra help with the activities we carry out. We are looking for help in a number of areas including; help with set-up and manning of road show events and help with the daily routines of cleaning and providing food in the rescue area and with hoglets.
Due to some work pattern changes we desperately need to train up two more hoglet nannies to work alongside our current hedgehog nanny. When we are both at work any hoglets in our care still need to be fed every two hours during the day. Hoglets needing this care would be transported to the hoglet nanny first thing in the morning and collected again after work. This is a responsible task and full training and equipment required will be provided. So if you think you could offer even just one day a week then please contact us. More details are available on the volunteering page.
At this point I have to say a big thank you to our hoglet nanny who also taken on being a fosterer for over-wintering hedgehogs and who has now also taken on the roll of helping vet potential release sites and for some releases. Sue you are a star and we very much appreciate what you do, I'm sure the orphaned hoglets will be arriving soon enough as well!)
Jayne has been on the case in the last month regarding new build houses. There are a number of quite large housing projects underway or planned in some of the areas we cover and Jayne has been campaining to ensure that the builders take hedgehogs into account. Sadly too many gardens now have gravel boards which stop any chance of hedgehogs being able to access gardens. The solution is as simple as a 4" hole at ground level each side of the garden, so she is putting the case for access for hedgehogs. Something we all need to consider in our gardens, it's no good having lots of potential habitat and no access to it.
Finally we have been able through kind donations to improve some of the hospital area facilities.
Last month after an appeal Bromsgrove school donated one of their microscopes providing a vast improvement on the microscope that we had at the time. This helps massively with the identification of internal parasites speeding up identification and then the correct treatment regimes.
This month we also have been able to purchase a second intensive life support unit for the hospital after a kind offer of a reduce price and subsequently those who donated money to enable us to purchase it. The incubators are literally life savers allowing us to raise very small hoglets and provide controlled temperature, humidity and administer appropriate vapor treatment to very ill hedgehogs such as those suffering from respiratory distress such a pneumonia. Thank you to those who have enabled us to add these improvements to the hospital. We have also had three additional outdoor runs donated to us allowing us to place more hedgehogs outside in enclosures pre-release helping to relieve pressure on the hospital pens and allowing us to acclimatise more long term hedgehogs at a time.
Photos: Top - Bramble, Middle - Shirley - two of last winters juveniles. Middle - Parsley, Bottom - Ringo, Trouble & finally, Willowherb.
30th March 2013
A bad start to the year
2013 hasn't proved to be the greatest of starts to a year for hedgehogs. Continual cold weather right through the first three months of the year, minus temperatures a regular occurrence and a lot of snow has meant that any hedgehogs waking from hibernation have done so into a rather hostile environment. With fat reserves pretty much burnt up during hibernation hedgehogs wake wobbly and disorientated and in need of finding food and water urgently. Natural food which sadly isn't there at the moment, and water that is probably frozen.
This has resulted in a number of hedgehogs coming into us at weights of well under 500 grams and more often nearer 400 grams. Sadly hedgehogs on waking from hibernation even when under the best of conditions get into trouble and these admissions have included head traumas, a smashed lower jaw and the most recent suffering from a broken tibia. It is important at the moment to give hedgehogs a helping hand to give them the best chance on waking from hibernation. Leaving some food and water out is a lifesaver. You can leave out some hedgehog food; cat or dog biscuits mixed with some unsalted crushed peanut nibs, sunflower hearts, sultanas and bird suet along with a dish of water and this can simply mean the difference between a hedgehog surving or not. Another way to help emerging hedgehogs is to keep an eye out for any out in daylight or any small wobbly ones out at night.
If you see either of the above pick the hedgehog up and put it into a high sided box with an old towel to hide under, pop it somewhere warm and quiet away from human activity and call your local hedgehog rescue or wildlife rescue centre. Acting promptly also substantially increases the hedgehogs chance of recovery, the longer the animal is left the less chance of treatment being successful.
The little chap at the top of this entry came in after being spotted in the road. He presented with a lot of broken spines and one of his back legs splayed at an angle. On examination and xray he proved to have suffered a broken tibia. He is now on medication and the leg is in a cast. Recovery will take some time and once the cast is off he will spend some time under observation to see how well the leg has set which will determine if he can return to the wild or the less preferable option of being relocated to a secure garden.
Sadly another hedgehog in is suffering from a very bad case of fluke. This is a very nasty internal parasite which can cause severe liver damage. Small improvements are being seen but it is very early days.
An easier case to deal with has been a hedgehog that came in with a mite issue with spine loss and a very flaky skin. He has responded well to treatment and is now awaiting warmer weather for release. Of course due to this prolonged very cold start to the year we still have around 80 hedehogs on top of the new admissions waiting for release and we hope that spring kicks in very soon.
We have to say a big thank you to Bromsgrove School and their Biology department, and specifically Sarah for the donation of one of their old microscopes. It may have been an old one for them but it is far better than the micropscope we were using for identification of internal parasites. The correct identification of which is very important to be able to start correct treatment regimes.
Finally for those who like audio, there are now a number of short audios on the surveys page looking at different subjects related to hedgehogs. Time allowing these will build over the year into a little audio library. There are also some plans in the pipeline to add some new ways of using the website and following the fortunes of some of our patients. More about this will be made public the nearer we get to the launch.
2nd March 2013
There is nothing cute or cuddly about the picture above. However that is the same kind of hedgehog that in a normal post would get an awww reaction. Sadly this hedgehog isn't going to get that reaction as it has been seriously injured by a strimmer. What you can see is the top of its head where the skin has been totally severed, the wound covering 80% of its head. The hog came in this evening, weighing in at only 500 grams. We haven't been able to speak to the finders as it was left on the doorstep of one of our fostercarers.
It is fairly obvious from its weight and the injury that this is (or was as unsuprisingly it is awake now) a hibernating hedgehog where on a sunny weekend day at the beginning of spring it was time to mow the lawn and strim the edges. Please, check your garden before mowing and strimming, if you don't this is the result and it only takes five minutes to check first. This hedgehog is now is settled in, the wound has been cleaned and anti-biotics and analgesics have been administered, it will be going to our vets tomorrow. I cannot stress enough... Check before mowing and strimming
Update 3rd March.
Now this isn't the first strimmer injury we have had to deal with by any means and it won't be the last but I am going to keep this case updated as I think the message needs to get through of what this poor animal is having to go through.
The hedgehog even though very weak made it through the night and the wounds were cleaned and flushed again this morning. It has been seen by the vet and they are happy that the treatment and medication routine is right for the injury. It may have to go under to have some of the dead area of skin removed however it is remaining on treatment and observation and it will have another visit to the vet early in the week to see if it does need any skin cutting away and if it is strong enough by then to be able to survive going under.
The hog has been receiving fluids by injection throughout the day (and I was in there at 1.30am this morning), it does not have the strength to drink or eat for itself. It is on two types of antibiotic, pain killers and had the wound flushed again this evening (as well as at 8am) with a weak iodine solution. The extent of the wound looks worse now than the picture at the top of this entry now that it has been flushed a few times and now that some dead flesh has come away. The hedgehog is not comfortable to say the least and this is something that we have to monitor, if the stress is beyond a reasonable limit then we will euthanise rather than have an animal in extreme discomfort for an extended period. At present after the discomfort of more injections and the wound flush it is curled into a tight ball on blankets in the back of a heated pen.
Another round of fluids and they now seem to be doing the trick with the hedgehog showing more signs of movement. However with movement comes the possibility of stress on the injury, still this is a positive sign. We are also starting to try to hand feed some weak prescription food glop to build up the hedgehogs strength to help it fight infection and to help if it does have to go under anesthesia in a couple of days.
Update 4th March
Sadly when going in to administer medication and fluids and to change bedding etc before heading off to work I found that this little hedgehog had lost the fight for life some time during the night. A mixture of post hibernation weakness and an awful injury was too much. We and our vets try the best we can (and we wouldn't do it if there wasn't a reasonable chance of recovery), but this time we lost.
7th January 2013
Another year has come and gone and we find ourselves making plans for the coming year. 2012 proved to be a very busy year with the number of casualties increasing by a significant amount resulting in a total revamp of the hospital area expanding the size, allowing easier access to pens, additional capacity and a redesign of the examination and food prep areas. Sue our hoglet nanny came on board to help us with the many litters of hoglets that come into us and our foster network has grown allowing us to care for many more hedgehogs at a time with well ones needing to gain weight or to be overwintered going out to foster. At the moment we have around thirty hedgehogs out at foster for the winter with another fifty or so in the hospital here. Spring is going to be a very busy time with releases once we get there.
We had to increase our fund raising efforts to cover the costs of running the unit and most of the year it has been a case of there being no time for anything other than our own jobs, our working in rescue and rehabilitation and fundraising. Of course education is a very important factor to us and again we gave a number of talks to schools and groups as well as talking to many hundreds of people on our roadshows. The upshot of this is that there are many more people now aware of the plight of our native European Hedgehog and a good many more people keeping an eye out for them and a lot of hedgehog homes now put in place with people leaving food and water out for them. It is gratifying when we get calls and emails, as we do, from people we have met on roadshows who then contact us to tell us they have hogs in the garden or have put a hog home in. A number of hogs in trouble have also come in during the year spotted by children who have been in the classes I have talked to in various schools, the children remembering that a hog out in daylight needs help.
This year we are expecting the numbers of incoming patients to increase and again we are planning more updates to the hospital area. New fundraising initiatives are being worked on including a big event towards the end of the year. Schools (including repeat visits) and groups are being booked in and hopefully some projects with schools will get off the drawing board this year. We are also working on projects to improve and provide habitat for wildlife including our spiny friend more details of which will be given as the projects progress.
We would both like to thank our volunteers and supporters for all their help in 2012, we would also like to thank all those that took the time to bring casualties in to us. Without the support we would not be able to operate,.So thank you once again to all who work with us and support us is so many ways, including our vets Townsend in Bromsgrove, our hoglet nanny, our foster carers, those looking after disabled hogs in secure gardens, those who have donated both money and gifts for tombolas etc and our suppliers who have often given generous discounts.
Finally to end this update I would like to introduce our 2013 Jam Jars for Hedgehogs fundraising initiative. A simple idea, once you have finished your jar of favourite jam, wash it out and pop those loose coins in there that normally get left on the shelf and when the jar is full contact us with all money raised going to help rescue and treat the hedgehogs that find their way to us. You can also support us during the months of January and February by voting for us as one of the nominated charitable causes in ASDA Bromsgrove by popping the green token available at the checkouts in our charitable cause slot. We really need all the help we can get to continue to help our only native spiny mamal.
OK, finally, finally for this update the pictures included in the post are top Snowflake and middle Oscar two of this autumns recues that are now out at foster for the winter.
13th November 2012
A very busy time
Finally an update. These last few weeks have proved to be the busiest we have seen so far, with at times several hogs being admitted a day, which puts a lot of pressure on a small rescue unit such as ourselves. This autumn has proved to be a terrible one for our native hedgehogs with many juveniles being found dehydrated, hungry and ill as well as a number suffering from injuries. No sooner have we been able to free pens with large healthy hogs released or via those going out to foster to put on weight or be overwintered, the pens have been filled again within hours and sometimes minutes.
We have to say at this point a massive thank you to our small band of foster carers that have taken in a considerable number of hedgehogs once treated here to overwinter them. Some of the foster carers have now found themselves with five or more hedgehogs to overwinter and they have been building hutches to support us by providing more accomodation to free our own precious space up in the hospital.
Normally on an update such as this I would put up some photographs of some of the current patients, however with things as they are this is just not on the list of things practical to do. So I have taken a couple of photographs showing some of the pens in the rescue area many of which have pairs of siblings and some of the largest pens have upto four small siblings in them.
The majority of hedgehogs being admitted are in the 200 gram region with some well under this. Most of the hogs this year are requiring medication, far more than is usual and we are seeing far more cases that needed critical care. The incubator again seems to be powered down only to need switching back on for another juvenile on the edge of loosing the battle for life. All juveniles come in cold and dehydrated needing time in the pens that have heat under them before moving over to non heated pens when stronger and well.
Please this autumn keep a diligent eye out for small juveniles, the numbers coming in here (and at rescue units all over the country) attest to the hugh numbers of underweight juveniles out in the wild and in our towns and gardens that will die over the next weeks if they are not spotted and rescued. Any hedgehogs out in daylight or looking wobbly or obviously injured need to be rescued without delay. Any hedgehog that is under 550 grams please call a rescue centre for advice and any small juveniles will have to be rescued as they cannot put on the weight needed for hibernation.
Please also make sure that there is always clean water out at ground level and if you can leave some dry cat or dog food out (meaty flavours), this can be supplemented with things such as bird suet, unsalted crushed peanut nibs, sunflower hearts, sultanas and a few mealworms.
Once again our heartfelt thanks to those that support us, we couldn't carry out our work without your support given in so many ways and our thanks also to those who take the time to spot wildlife in trouble and act to save their lives by bringing them into us.
Finally, we do need help to continue with our work. We are getting through massive amounts of food, medicines, disposable medical items such as hyperdermic needles and syringes, examination gloves, newspapers, hand towels the list goes on. Any help no matter how small it may seem to you helps us to continue saving lives. Please see the helping page for more information.
10th October 2012
I may as well start this update with one of the latest admissions here at Willows. Well admission may be the wrong term as this little hoglet was born here prematurely about a week ago.
His mum in the incubator at the time gave birth to a litter of four premature hoglets. Sadly three did not survive, however this little guy the largest of the four has
battled on and now is being hand raised. He weighs in at a tiny 40 grams at the moment and there is a while of intensive hand feeding to go. Sadly his mum who was poorly herself didn’t make it and we are routing for this little guy to make it as without her providing the initial feeding for him he would not have made it to even this stage, especially being premature. She got Tiny (as he is called for now) to a weight that we could take over the feeding with a good chance of success and as sad as we are at her not pulling through herself, we are indebted to her for living long enough to give us a chance with her precious surviving hoglet.
Barley below came in after being observed outside during daylight on school grounds. We missed the initial call and one of the children’s parents took him home to look after him. Barley subsequently came into us and on examination we discovered that one of his back feet was missing and he had been managing by walking around on the protruding bone. Luckily for Barley the wound had semi healed without any infection and from the colour of the bone and look of the soft tissue he had been managing like this for some time.
Barley has received an operation to remove the bone and tidy up the wound and since then has been progressing well receiving meds for pain and to stop any infection.
The litter of four hoglets below came into us with mum when their nest was accidentally destroyed. Work was being carried out to remove a tree and sadly only after the tree came down was it discovered that mum had made her nest in amongst the roots and she was in there with four small hoglets. With disturbance such as this she could have easily abandoned the hoglets leaving them to inevitable death. So mum and hoglets came into us andall are doing well.
There have been many hedgehogs in and out of the unit since the last update and I have updated the photo album of hedgehogs (link on the front page) with pictures of around twenty of the present patients.
The hospital area redesign and improvements couldn’t have come at a more relevant time as the numbers of hedgehogs coming in are increasing all the time. Three years ago we set an aim of taking in up to ten hedgehogs at any one time. Well, three years on forty hedgehogs being treated at the same time in the hospital has become the norm, and this is still increasing. With the new design and extension of the rescue area we can now work more efficiently and the housing for hedgehogs has been increased allowing us to be able to cope with the demands put on us at present. We also now have more foster carers who are able to take over the feeding up of hedgehogs awaiting release and this is going to be more and more important I am sure as time goes on. I can easily see us with fifty hedgehogs in at any one time in the near future and that is going to mean needing all the support we can get. The way things are going this year with already well over one hundred hedgehogs in this year I can easily see us nearing a hundred and fifty or so treated in 2012.
On a final note, now that our big September Fundraiser is over, finishing with a animal rescue event at Sanders Park, I have to say a massive thank you to everyone who supported us. The months events and big raffle raised £1121, 100% of which will go towards caring for the many hedgehogs that come in to us.
To end this update, some more juveniles. Aster and Thorn (below) two hoglets born here in September .Their mum was attacked by a dog and came in for treatement and gave birth shortly afterwards in the hospital area.
27th August 2012
Please don't Delay or DIY
A strange title for an entry but one with a serious message behind it. This year has been in the main an awful year for hedgehogs and indeed other wildlife and we are very grateful to anyone who takes the time to be aware and interested enough to intervene and call us when hedgehogs get into trouble. However there have been a significant number of cases where we have been contacted only after the hog has been observed in trouble for two or three days or after the hog has been attempted to be looked after by a well meaning member of the public.
By the time a hedgehog is observed in trouble or acting in an un-natural way for example out in daylight it is already in urgent need of care and attention. Any delay means that the likelihood of treatment being successful is diminished and a delay of a couple of days means that we struggle to help a now very poorly animal and in most cases it is too far gone and sadly results in the death of that creature.
Sometimes the temptation, well meaning as I am sure it is, is to bring the animal in and have a go at looking after it yourself. This may seem like a natural, caring and good thing to do but once again it often results in the death of that animal. So if you find an animal and in this case a hedgehog then please make sure that it goes straight away to somewhere like ourselves that has the knowledge, facilities and medical back up to be able to give the animal the best chance of receiving the right treatment and as a result best chance of survival.
Time is very important the sooner it gets the right help, the more happy endings there are.
This month has once again proved to be very busy with hedgehogs coming in pretty much every day. We have had a number of cases of hogs with severe pneumonia and sadly we lost one of these this morning after a hard battle to get the pneumonia under control. We have had a number of female hogs in for various reasons and a couple of them have ended up giving birth here, the last a mum who gave birth to a litter of five hoglets about a week ago. Mum and hoglets are doing well.
We are now starting to pass some of the hedgehogs that just need to gain weight on to some of our foster carers as we have had so many patients in with us reaching nearly forty hogs in at the same time in the hospital area.
More details will be posted soon including a number of event dates over September and news of a month long raffle with some fantastic prizes to be won including hotel stays, spa treatments and photography sessions.
The months fundraising push will end on the 30th with an event at Sanders Park in Bromsgrove organised by ourselves where a number of local animal rescue units and charities will be present for a day of fundraising, awareness and fun. The raffle winners will also be drawn at the event by a local dignitory (to be announced). So please do check the website or facebook page to find out more as we move to the end of August.
Finally to round off this entry the photographs of a small number of the hedgehogs to be released back into the wild this month. (top Bracken, top left Comfrey, middle right Mandrake, (all siblings who were a disturbed litter) bottom left Flo who suffered injuries from a dog attack, bottom Holly who was accidentally locked in a garage.
9th August 2012
Another Hoglet Feeding time
Well I thought after the drought of entries on here that I would add another short video of hoglet feeding time this time along with some commentary. Orphaned hoglets when they come in first start on a colostrum and milk replacement feeding regime. As time progresses and the hoglets gain weight they start to have blended puppy food, prescription food and a high calorie paste added to the milk until it replaces the milk entirely.
8th August 2012
It has been very busy here over the last month with large numbers of hoglets, juveniles and adult hedgehogs coming into us. At just over half way through the year we have
already nearly admitted as many patients as we did in the whole of last year.
Much of this is down to the unseasonably wet weather we have been experiencing
with its associated issues as well as some rescue units now having stopped
operating as well as I am sure that we are becoming more widely known. We have
found ourselves this year receiving many calls from all over the country and we
are spending a lot of time giving advice and referring casualties to other
rescue centres. One consequence of this has been that updates on the website
have suffered and have become less frequent, so here is a long overdue although
We have a large number of hoglets and juveniles in and they are still coming in. Many are now nearly at or have reached release weight and will be on their way back into the wild soon, however we still have enough juveniles and hoglets in to keep ourselves and our hoglet nanny Sue busy for the time being. We have due to the wet weather raised the release weight of juveniles this year to give the hogs the best possible
chance when we release them.
There have been large numbers of adult hedgehogs in as well suffering from a wide range of issues including; parasitic burdens, dog attacks, fox attacks, hogs stuck in ponds, one hog that was accidentally locked in a garage for a number of days, as well
as many just collapsed from starvation. One issue this year has been the
increase or rather explosion of hedgehogs suffering from thorny headed worm.
The hogs present with no identifiable issues but die very suddenly. We so far
have not had any confirmed cases but we do have a hedgehog in for autopsy as I
type to look for this issue. We have had a number of calls over the last month
where hogs have been observed and then popped under a hedge after some food.
Luckily we have recieved calls and we have been able to advise that the
hedgehog needs to be caught and brought into us. Please if a hedgehog is out in
daylight or seems to be in trouble call for help, don't just pop it under a
hedge with the best intentions as this is almost certain death for the creature.
Finally for this overdue update, a short video at the top of the entry of two of a litter of four hoglets at feeding time. These little guys are now at the 100 gram region and
are still being hand fed with some way to go before they are ready to go on
15th July 2012
Hoglets in Hats
There have been a number of hedgehogs coming and going here and hopefully I will update on some of those stories soon, however as always time is precious. These admissions have included a number of hoglets and today has seen another four hoglets come in from two separate litters. Two from the first litter were found in a garden, one was discovered in the middle of a path and later a second was found under some nearby bushes. The nest had been disturbed and there was no sign of mum or any other siblings. The next door neighbours dog had been pawing at one of the hoglets through the fence, however the owners of the garden where the nest was acted quickly and brought the hoglets in, gave them some warmth and called for help.
The second litter was found in a tarp that was being used to cover a motorbike in a garage. When the tarp was moved the owners found a mum and three hoglets hidden under it. They replaced the tarp and left the nest alone. On checking again this afternoon to make sure that everying was OK they discovered that the mum had abandoned the nest taking one of the litter with her and leaving two behind. The two abandoned hoglets came into us after a search for mum was made.
The four hoglets from the two litters are now in the incubator snuggled into separate woolly hats for comfort and have all now had a couple of feeds after warming up. All of them are only in the region of a week or so old, the lightest at 60 grams and the heaviest at 80 grams.
Hoglets should not be out and about on their own so if you see one please call for help. If you hear a prolonged mewing or squealing please check and see if it is an abandoned hoglet. Litters can have upto six hoglets so if you find a single hoglet always check the surrounding area for more displaced hoglets or the nest.
Mums will not leave their hoglets alone in the nest for long so if the squealing goes on for some time it is probable that the mum has either abandoned the nest or has been injured or killed and has not returned. Time is very important, bring the hoglets in and place them in a high sided box with something like a bobble hat or towel to hide in, place the box somewhere warm and quiet. If you have something like a microwaveable heat pad then warm this up, wrap it in a towel and put it in the box. Call for help straight away, time is critical in ensuring the best possible chance of survival. Do not try to feed a cold hoglet and never give them cows milk. Never intentionally disturb a nest (unless there is constant mewing or squealing), a mum can abandon or even kill her litter if disturbed.
If you accidentally disturb a nest with a mum and litter then immediately replace whatever was covering it. Watch the nest and listen out for prolonged mewing or squealing as mum may abandon. If you suspect she has then call for help immediately.
4th July 2012
Its hoglet time here at Willows Hedgehog Rescue, so a quick update on some of the latest admissions.
Billy from the previous entry is now over 300 grams and feeding for himself, sadly however Fitz didn't make it, his injuries and time exposed in the cold rain at his stage in life proved to be too much and he died on the first night.
Since then a litter of four hoglets have come in to us. Their nest was disturbed when a shed was being dismantled and mum and hoglets came into us. Mum carried on feeding them here for a few days but their progress was very slow and we had to intervene. Mum has been released and the hoglets hand raised. They have progressed quickly over the last few days and now all weigh over 200 grams. Mithras, Louis and Luna are pictured below, Eos was too interested in scamping around to be photographed.
Finally for this update the latest admission is little Norris. He was found on a path by a girl making her way home. Norris came in at only 120 grams, he was very malnourished and cold having been out in the rain. He was also covered in fly eggs and small tics. He has only been here for a day but is starting to put weight on and is a different little hoglet to when I collected him.
18th June 2012
Billy and Fitz
The last two days have seen two hoglets come into us here at Willows.
Billy came in after being found on a busy carpark. This lucky little hoglet was found on a hotel car park where 200 guests had being coming and going for fathers day. Unbelievably he had survived all this coming and going without sustaining any injury or even death. There was no signs of any other siblings or mum, so he will now be hand reared here hopefully growing up to be able to be released later on in the year.
Billy has gained weight overnight and is happily taking his feeds with a 5ml syringe as can be seen above. He is an inquisitive and huffy little fella so so far so good.
Fitz came in today after being found on the pavement by a school girl. Again no signs of where he may have come from and we can only presume due to his having sustained an injury to the nose that he had rolled down a 15ft bank adjacent to the path.
Fitz has suffered a split to the nose and he is having some breathing difficulties. He is now in our intensive life support unit receiving meds and a lot of tlc. Hand feeding with this little guy weiging in at just 100 grams is a slow process and the next 24 hours will see intensive support while we hope he will start to feed easier. Due to his injury to his nose feeding is slow with a 1ml syringe and tube to ensure that he does not choke.
At the moment he is not as responsive or alert as we might hope however he has taken oral medication and two feeds so far showing some signs of more activity after his second feed.
12th June 2012
As someone involved with the natural world and with rescuing wildlife you are not supposed to anthropomorphise animals or to talk to them but rather to be scientific and slightly removed. Some would say that we shouldn't intervene, let nature take it's course.
Well sadly we intervened a long time ago, thousands of years ago in fact by simply changing the nature of the landscape, clearing the 'wildwood' to create space for dwellings, farmland and for fear of what lived in the woods. Within living memory we have affected the habitats we created and the eco systems that rely on them by changing the way we manage the countryside or by simply not managing it at all as we no longer require the product. We developed as a mammal to have a large brain bringing with it emotions such as compassion, we also became technologically advanced allowing us to treat illnesses and injuries.
So it isn't surprising or to my mind unnatural that we use these attributes to try to conserve and rescue our native wildlife. We also need to, unless we want to loose what is left of our natural world. We created the situation and unless mankind is wiped off the face of the earth allowing nature to adapt and recover by itself we need to get involved.
Now of course our aim is not to make pets of wild animals. The least intervention and handling is at the core of what we do allowing the animal to behave as naturally as it can while it is being treated and rehabilitated. This minimises stress on the animal and allows it to be returned to the wild with it's natural distrust of us intact, just how it should be to have the best chance of survival. However that doesn't mean that animals don't seem to have characters, some grumpy, some mischievous, some inquisitive, some shy and it doesn't mean that you don't form attachments to them.
Dan pictured at the top of this post is our resident aged blind hedgehog. He has been with us for a year now in the secure garden, he can't be released into the wild as he mainly comes out in daylight and would very soon get into trouble. He lives a seemingly happy life, yes the area he roams now is less that he would in the wild, but he shows no signs of stress and forages in the secure garden able to get around easily following the routes he has made. We don't interfere with him allowing him to remain wild, he does come in now and then for a check up and a weigh to make sure he is healthy but that is all. I do talk to Dan when I venture into the garden, just to make sure he knows that I am there and he will head off to another part of the garden. We do worry about him at times such as; waiting for him to come out of hibernation, when the weather is really bad and he doesn't venture out for a while, and sometimes just because he is old.
To get involved or not, well look at Dans photo and you decide.
27th May 2012
A lot of hedgehogs have been coming in over the last few weeks, too many to update on everyone. A lot have gone back into the wild and a couple into secure gardens, again more than I can update on, but here are a few for all the hedgehog fans out there.
The first story has to be Meemo. Below is Meemo as he came into us. He was found on his back in a garden back earlier in the year. When I got there he was writhing around unable to right himself in the middle of a lawn. On examination back here he proved to be very unwell indeed, he was dehydrated and had no motor control at all. If put onto his tummy he would try to walk but his legs flailed in all directions and he would flip over onto his back. Xray proved that he had not suffered a spinal injury and he was subsequently treated for neurological issues. He started to gain weight however motor control was a serious issue. We thought long and hard about his chances of recovery and after a long conversation with St Tiggywinkles decided to try a different course of medication. Slowy, slowly things improved and we had to slowly teach Meemo to walk again, with at first short excursions outside these becoming longer as he gained strength and control. Now after some time Meemo can get around fine, and although a little quirky at times he is a healthy and mobile hedgehog. Meemo is a little miracle, below is Meemo not long after admission and below that is Meemo now.
Next we have Elrond. Elrond came in in a right state as many hedgehogs have over the last few weeks. Like some others he showed no signs of specific illnesses or injury and we can only put some of these cases down to the long heavy spell of rain after a bright early start to the year.
Elrond is an old hedgehog and he came in near to starving and totally dehydrated. His skin was hanging off him and he came in at only 600 grams. Elrond left us today at 1.1kg and a totally different hedgehog.
Apollo below came in after being found out during daylight, he was dehydrated and covered in fly eggs a sign that he had been immobile and in trouble for some time. He proved to be suffering from lungworm, a particularly nasty parasite which easily and quickly if not treated turns into pneumonia. He has been on medication and has now just come off after becoming quite ill. He is now on the up and hopefully should be leaving us to go back into the wild soon.
Oak below came into us in similar circumstances to Elrond, he was found out in daylight very dehydrated and hungry during the very long period of poor weather we have recently experienced. If left in the wild he would have died, however after fluid therapy, time on a heat pad and good square meals he slowly improved and left us recently as a healthy and happy hedgehog.
Sadly it isn't possible to write about everyone and the above is just a taster of some of the cases in over the last few weeks. Below are a small selection of photographs of other hogs that have been in with us over April and May. In order: Tom, Alex, Cinnamon, Lucky, Ginger and Oscar.
Finally above another Higgy does a job picture, this time Higgy our roving hedgehog gets to be a Paramedic!
Please note hedgehogs should not be out in daylight, the hedgehogs above have had their photos quickly taken for our records during the day once well and ready for release. If you find a hedgehog out during daylight please call for help and advice. Higgy our roving hedgehog is a special case of course!
14th May 2012
Hogs, Roadshows, Schools and Higgy.
It has been a busy time since the last update on here. We have been redesigning the hospital area to cope with the increase in numbers of hedgehogs coming into us as well as to allow us to be able to operate more efficiently. There is more to do but the new racking systems to house the hedgehog accommodation have already made the space more efficient along with some new hedgehog housing.
The numbers of hedgehogs coming into us in the early part of this year has already increased on previous years with many struggling hedgehogs coming in over the last few weeks. Many of the hogs have not presented with injury or any recognisable illness and we can only put many of these cases of hypothermia and starving hedgehogs down to the very wet and unsettled weather we have been experiencing.
The years roadshows have started with us out and about at events promoting our work and the plight of our native hedgehog. The last week has been very busy with six events over eight days to coincide with Hedgehog Week. This has been a great opportunity to meet and talk to a lot of people as well as bringing in some much needed funding from donations. Many thanks to all that came over to see us at the roadshows, we appreciate your support and would not be able to continue our work without your kindness.
Education is an important part of our work and the last two weeks have seen myself go into schools to deliver talks and education to classes on our natural world and hedgehogs in particular, A big thank you to the schools involved and to the children who all proved to be knowledgeable and interested. There are more school visits booked in during the year and we are working on plans to work with schools on some larger projects. More information on that to come later on in the year.
Finally a new little feature. Willow of course is our mascot and appears on the site, on our uniform, stationary etc. However we now also have Higgy our roadshow mascot who is travelling around with us and has proved to be popular with children and adults alike. Higgy will over the year be seeing how many jobs and things he can do. So far over hedgehog week he has managed to drive an ambulance, drive a train and drive various classic cars. Photos of Higgies adventures will pop up on here from time to time and who knows he may even get his own page!
Pictures: Top - Higgy, beep beep, mover over Mr Toad, Higgy is here, Middle Higgy the train driver, bottom Higgy leads the marching band.
13th March 2012
Bella, Piggy, Clover, Freda & Releases
Bella who has settled in and has had all of the tics removed has now been followed today by Piggy the latest admission. Bella should be back on her way in the wild by the weekend at the latest as she has no other issues and is a good weight.
Piggy (pictured above) as named by the lady that found him was heard squealing in her garden last night. He was found with one of his back legs trapped in a log and wire role type garden border. He was freed and as it was very late last night she took him in and kept him safe until she could ring around this morning to find help. After calling the British Hedgehog Preservation Society she was referred to us and brought him over.
He doesn't seem to have suffered any tissue damage and he can move the leg without any issues including walking on it. So he is at present after some anti-inflammatory medicine settling into the rescue area and he will be observed over the next few days.
Clover has now started to make her journey back to the wild acclimatising in a secure garden for a few days before release and this weekend a number of the hedgehogs that have been acclimatising in our pre-release pens will be on their way ready for Spring.
Finally a report and photograph of one of the hoglets from last summer who was released this autumn.
Freda was one of three hoglets hand raised here after a dog attack on their nest which frightened off the mum and resulted in the death of the fourth sibling. Freda was released into the wild with the people whose garden we released her from putting in a hedgehog home for us so she had a home if she wanted to keep frequenting the garden.
Well she did and she decided to hibernate in the hedgehog home and was caught on camera on the 12th of this month after waking up from hibernation. It is great to have reports of hedgehogs we have rescued doing well and even better when we get to see a photo like this. Many thanks to Don and Sue for letting us know and sending us the picture above.
10th March 2012
Releases and Arrivals.
She will spend a couple of days with us while we make sure we have got rid of all of the tics and then she should be back on her way as otherwise she seems perfectly fine.
Bella is pictured below.
Some have been moved into the pre-release pens acclimatising ready for release and we have been ringing around people who have brought hedgehogs in to make sure that everything is ready for release in a couple of weeks. Reports are coming in of more hedgehog activity in the wild and the forecast is mild so the signs are there that it is now time to get these guys back out into the wild.
We have started to get some school bookings in for this year and some repeat bookings and at the moment I am starting to prepare the educational material for these educational visits. We are also preparing some proposals for some quite exciting longer term educational projects at the moment.
Our first event of the year is at the end of this month where we will be at Webbs of Wychbold over the weekend of the 31st of March and the 1st of April. We do hope that many of the visitors to the web site will be able to come along and say hello.
Finally for today, a slightly more camera willing Barney who will soon be moving out into the pre-release pens to acclimatise before release.
The photograph at the top of this entry is of Tinker one of last years autumn juveniles who is now showing definite signs of wanting to be on her way.
5th March 2012
I've now added link buttons on the left to all of the areas on the site as well as adding some new sections and revamping others. New are the About Us and Support Us pages along with a new photo album with photos that haven't appeared in the main content showing some of the hedgehogs that have been treated here. All of the pages now have new header banners and there are even some pics of hogs on the left column.
There are also now on the new Support Us page ways you can help us including EasyFunding and a Donation button, of course money is always a difficult subject but the reality is that we need to fund raise to continue in what are difficult times with larger numbers of hedgehogs comming in.
We are also looking for someone to voluntarily help us at our awareness and fund-raising events. If you think you may be able to help with setting up and manning the stall then please do get in contact with us.
There can't be an entry without a photograph, so today's is Dan our resident blind hedgehog, out in daylight because he doesn't know what time of day it is, but safe, healthy and secure.
3rd March 2012
Albert & Clover
Updates today on Albert & Clover, Albert coming in this year and Clover one of last years autumn juveniles.
Albert (photo right as he looks now) came in after being found wandering down a road during daylight. On examination I found that Albert was a quite aged hedgehog who had lost a lot of weight and was rather down on his luck.
He showed no signs of any illness but he looked awful with very dull spines and very saggy skin. After a couple of days of extra fluids, vitamins and plenty of food he settled in and started to look a little better.
He weighed 700 grams when he came in but it was obvious that he had been a hog well over 1000 grams and he proved this in piling on the weight and eating voraciously.
He is now in the region of 1150 grams and is sprightly if old. He looks a totally different hedgehog even though he has some bald patches where his spines are sparse and other signs that tell of his age.
Finally for this entry is Clover. Clover is one of four autumn juveniles that have all overwintered with us. Clovers siblings; Nutmeg, Ginger & Cinnamon are all in adjacent pens in the rescue area with Ginger and Cinnamon deciding to hibernate through the winter leaving Clover & Nutmeg well awake and up for mischief.
Their mum Holly who came in to us covered in chemicals raised them all here at the rescue unit in the pre-release pen, we simply kept an eye on things to make sure all was well, and she was released in late autumn / early winter before the cold nights arrived. Her brood were all too light for release this late in the year and in fact Clover struggled after she was weaned to put on weight. In the wild she would probably have been the runt of the litter and have died being half the weight of her siblings, however here she had the chance to survive. She is now a healthy hedgehog and she will be released this spring.
A couple of quick thank-yous today.
Thanks to Mr & Mrs Lewis for sending us a 6kg bag of ArkWildlife Pro Hedgehog food, last year we rescued and successfully released two hedgehogs from their garden.
Thanks also to Mr Mike Nichols. Mike made a generous donation of 20kg of ArkWildlife Pro Hedgehog food along with paper towels and hay. Mike's late mother Mrs Vera Nichols loved wildlife and Mike helps wildlife and wildlife charities in memory of his mother.
Thank you all for your generous donations, it is much appreciated and helps us to keep doing what we do.
Finally, please check out the Events Page as we are now starting to book in and pop up events and locations we will be attending this year.
1st March 2012
Finally some updates!
We are finally starting to see spring on its way and at the present we are starting to move to the outdoor pens and acclimatise some of the hedgehogs that have overwintered with us. There has been a lack of updates on here but that hasn't meant a lack of hedgehogs. Some thirty hedgehogs have overwintered with us it being too late in the year by the time they were physically well enough to go back into the wild.
We also saw hedgehogs coming in in December which isn't unusual, but this year we have also had some new casualties come in in January. Normally this is a quiet time however the mild weather has seen some hedgehogs active and struggling very early this year.
The first hedgehog for this update is Scrappy. Scrappy (above) came in a couple of weeks ago just before the snow and weighed in at only 400 grams. He was very dehydrated and hungry and manifested lungworm after a few days. He is being treated and has after a very slow start finally started to make some good weight gains, he is now around 580 grams a good hundred of those grams being gained in the last three days.
Next we have Jangles, he was found out during daylight and when he came in he was very dehydrated and wobbly on his feet. It was no wonder as he only weight 350 grams. He was initially found and taken to our vets by a member of the public. The vets subsequently contacted us and initially it was thought he had been attacked however on thorough examination there were no signs of any attack or injuries. Jangles was also suffering from lung worm and has been treated and is now a healthy hog awaiting release in a few weeks.
We due to unfortunate circumstances missed a call early in January, we followed up on the call the next day and found out that the people had found a small hedgehog. As they were unable to contact us they took the hedgehog to a local animal sanctuary, however they had now found a second small hedgehog in the same location. This second hedgehog was the hog now known as Dixi above and they brought him straight to us. We subsequently contacted the animal sanctuary and arranged to pick up what was undoubtedly Dixis sibling who we named Pixi.
Pixi when we collected him was in an awful state and as the animal sanctuary doesn't normally deal with hedgehogs they were not aware of just how bad he was. He was massively dehydrated, full of lungowrm and in a state of near total collapse. Dixi was very dehydrated and also had lungworm but he was fairing better than Pixi. Both hedgehogs were given immediate intensive fluid replacement on arriving here and started on worming treatments. Sadly Pixi was just too far gone and he didn't last very long, fluids a few hours earlier and he may have made it but we will never know.
Dixi however has made a full recovery and is a very healthy hedgehog ready for release.
Finally for this update a very shy Barney. Barney was also at the animal sanctuary along with Pixi, however he was nowhere near as poorly as Pixi or Dixi although he was still struggling to survive and was also suffering from some dehydration and worms. Barney is quite a vocal hedgehog letting me know just how much he doesn't want to be disturbed at cleaning and feeding times, having a right old chunter and scampering off to the back of the pen pronto.
He is now a very good weight and I think will be glad to be back in the wild in a couple of weeks time as long as the weather remains good and hedgehogs are active in the wild.
We are well into February now and we are starting to look forward to the release back into the wild of the hedgehogs that have over wintered with us. We will shortly start acclimatising them in the out door pre-release pens for release around the beginning of April once we see signs of wild hedgehogs being up and about.
There are stories to catch up on and over the next couple of weeks I will update on some the hedgehogs that came in after the last update. This includes some that have come in this year already due to mild spells and hedgehogs coming out of hibernation only to be faced with lack of food and then snow.
We are already booking in this years events and I will also post a list of the events booked so far just in case you can come along and see us.
21st November 2011
Long overdue Update
It is nearly a month since the last update so I will make up for it with an update on several of the hedgehogs in with us at the moment. The rescue area has been very busy so unfortunately I can't update on all the hogs but I'll concentrate on some of the smaller hogs and a couple of good recoveries.
First an update on Charlie and Alex two of four hoglets that came in after being found without their mum who had either abandoned them or had got into trouble. They have been hand raised coming in at around 100 grams and are now just over the 400 gram mark. They have reached the inquisitive stage and while their accommodation is cleaned spend their time having a good nose around everything they can see or reach. They are too light for release now we are into November and they will over winter with us until April next year.
BamBam is an autumn juvenile that came in to us weighing in at around 80 grams. He was found in a retired couples garden who love their wildlife and they contacted us for help. He was out in the early afternoon and was obviously far too small to be able to survive on his own. There was no sign of a nest, other siblings or mum.
He has been with us for a little while now and was initially hand fed however after a few days he started to refuse hand feeding and was left to feed for himself. BamBam has turned out to be one of those fussy hedgehogs and he wont eat the dry food that all of the other hogs eat, or indeed the wet food. Bam will only eat Royal Canin Persian 32 biscuits at the moment which is quite an expensive cat food but if it means he will eat then that's what he is getting. He is now over the 250 gram mark and a bright little hedgehog.
Next Drew (above) from the previous entry. Drew as you can see on the entry below this post and on the photo (right) came in in a state of total collapse. He had suffered a severe head trauma, he was dehydrated, had air under his skin indicating a puncture wound, his jaw was immobile and his tongue was swollen.
Hand feeding and medication was given and air drawn off daily with small but significant improvements made over the next few days but as can be seen on his photograph on the right he was still a very poorly hog.
The great news is that he continued to make improvements coming off hand feeding and medication and with the air under the skin diminishing to nothing and finally fully recovering. He is now a healthy hedgehog weighing in at just over 500 grams. This is a totally unexpected turn around, he was one case that I thought would probably not pull through to full recovery but it just goes to show what can be achieved even with hedgehogs presenting with issues such as his.
Next up are Nutmeg, Johnny and Tinker.
Nutmeg is one of the five hoglets that came in with mum Holly when she was found smelling of chemicals. She proved to be a great mum putting up with baths to remove the chemicals and still raising her hoglets herself, initially in the rescue area then in the pre-release pen. As Holly continued to look after her litter we did nothing more that provide a home for them and we made a conscious decision not to intervene. Holly was released some time back now and her young are now overwintering with us. The rest of the hoglets are now in the 600 gram region however Nutmeg has proved to to be the runt of the litter and she is now in the rescue area as she still only weighs about 200 grams.
Tinker was heard squealing all night by a family. On investigation she was found in the next doors garden on her own without any signs of siblings or mum. She has been in for a little while now and she has settled in well slowly gaining weight.
Johnny was found out on his own again without any signs of any other hedgehogs and he has been in with us for a couple of days now. He is taking some time to settle in and we have had to commence some hand feeding with him. At the moment he is under close observation.
Polly is another autumn juvenile however she came in at around 400 grams but at the time she came in the nights had become very cold and we had woken up to some frosts. At 400 grams she was far to light to be able to survive the winter and with reports of snow coming she came in. The snow didn't materialise but she would have still struggled to gain enough weight. She is now a healthy 700 grams and depending on the weather forecasts she may or may not overwinter with us.
Finally Charley, yes another Charley.
This Charley had been rescued by a family along with a couple of other autumn juveniles. The family with advice from ourselves decided that they would be prepared to feed these hogs up and overwinter them if it was necessary. Charley initially did well but she stated loosing weight on a regular basis. She was brought into us and after an initial small weight gain then lost over 100 grams over the next few days. She was put onto wormers and after dropping to 300 grams she suddenly turned around from eating nothing to eating two or more bowls of food a day. She has now doubled her weight and is in the 600 gram region and hopefully she will soon be going back to the family that rescued her so they can continue the good work.
Please do look out for underweight hedgehogs and autumn juveniles at this time of year as they will be struggeling to gain the weight needed to be able to hibernate, they can be around well into December and will die without intervention. Please also continue to leave food and water out for wildlife at this time of year, for hedgehogs along with other wildlife it can be a life saver.
So that is it for this update and hopefully I won't take quite so long to make the next update.
28th October 2011
Drew & Mr Prickles
An update on an couple of the latest hedgehogs to come into us here at Willows Hedgehog Rescue. Both have been quite challenging new admissions and both of them are still under quite intensive care.
Drew came in in a state of collapse. On examination his jaw was immobile and his tongue was very swollen and protruding from his mouth, he had blood around his nose and on his upper back.
My first prognosis was a head trauma in which his jaw had been broken and he was made comfortable with anti-inflamatories and pain killers and was also given fluid treatment before being able to be seen by the vet. Within a few hours he started to move his jaw and I managed to commence some hand feeding with him lapping at the food. This was a massive improvement however he would not feed for himself and he started to present air under his skin normally indicative of a puncture wound. On examination under anaesthesia no fractures could be found and no apparent cause for the air under the skin. So his treatment has continued and I am glad to say that only four or five days down the line he is now feeding for himself and no more air is being presented under the skin. He is still a long way from being totally out of the woods, but he is unrecognisable (in a good way), from the hedgehog that first came in.
The second hedgehog for this update is Mr Prickles as named by the lady that brought him into us. He also came in in a state of total collapse. There were no apparent injuries but he was violently shaking and had no rear leg control. On examination there were no external injuries and he did had movement and strength in his back legs. He was immediately put onto steroids, anti-inflammatories and painkillers as well as receiving fluid treatment for his dehydration. Veterinary examination found no spinal injury and between our own prognosis, the diagnosis of the vet and advice from Tiggywinkles we are treating along the lines of either a neurological issue from trauma or spinal inflammation. His treatment is continuing and his motor control is improving slowly. Today he has also started to feed for himself.
So two rather severe and worrying cases for this update, cases which are still of great concern and have pushed our understanding and have also been of interest as unusual even to the very helpful and supportive nurses I always turn to for advice when I need third opinions at Tiggywinkles.
27th October 2011
The other side.
Now we may think of our native little European Hedgehog as a cute little visitor to our gardens trundling along through the shrubs and borders, hitching up it's skirts and scurrying along the path when we approach
We think of it eating the insects in our gardens; beetles, caterpillars, slugs, worms and we may even leave out some cat or dog food for it. However they are omnivorous and they will eat meat other than insects. Here is one hedgehog that is in with us at the moment proving that it is a true carnivore.
Video does show animal behaviour and may not be suitable for all. Why show this? Well we are not only about rescuing and rehabilitating, but also about educating and in trying to understand a creature you have to appreciate all of it's behaviours.
18th October 2011
Ball of cuteness.
Well after the last update and what was a very sad storey to end the entry with (however it is reality and as important as all the good news stories), for this update it is going to be one of those 'ahhh' photographs.
Tonight this little hog came into us after being seen out and about early in the afternoon in a garden. The owners acted correctly in securing the little hog and in calling for help. We picked the hog up this evening and it has had its first feed and is now snuggled down sleeping it off before its next feed in an hour or so.
In other news Fred has now gone out to foster being of a good weight and in good health. If there is a mild spell it may be possible to release him this year, if not he will over winter in a hutch ready for release in the spring.
15th October 2011
Tonight has been a busy night for new admissions. Within an hour of both of us getting in from work we had admitted four new hedgehogs, three autumn juveniles and one adult.
Firstly the juveniles and the happier cases.
Jim is an autumn juvenile weighing in at just over 300 grams. He seems to be in quite good condition apart from obviously being far too light to be able to survive this late in the year. He may manifest problems after a couple of days such as worms, but the first impressions are good.
Rosey is a little autumn juvenile at just over 200 grams. She was covered with fly eggs which has taken quite some time to remove this evening. However she is now fly egg free and we will have to see how she gets on. As she was covered in fly eggs it does mean that she has been struggling and inactive so other issues may manifest themselves. For now she is on vitamin supplements and she is settling into the rescue area.
The last autumn juvenile from tonight is not so happy a storey. Honk has one of his back legs missing and it looks like his other back leg may be broken. He could live in a secure garden with one leg missing, but if the second is broken and cannot be healed then he will have to be euthanized as he would struggle to get around. So we will know more once he has seen the vet, for now he is on antibiotics, anti inflamatories and painkillers.
Finally the saddest of the new admissions. This adult hedgehog hasn't even been named as it was obvious from first examination that he would have to be euthanized. Luckily our vet was working an emergency this evening and we he was put to sleep within half an hour of coming in to us.
The photo is quite upsetting but it shows the state that some hedgehogs come into us. He had been attacked and as can be seen open wounds on his throat were heaving with maggots. His ears, eyes and mouth were also full of maggots and it was a blessing that he came in to us and could be put to sleep to stop any further suffering. He was very emaciated and it was obvious from his condition and the maggot stage that he has been like this for a few days.
11th October 2011
Natty & Charlie
Yesterday saw Alex and Noah come into us and we did ask the kind people who brought them in to keep an eye out for more juvenile hogs from the same litter as average litters are around five hoglets.
Well twenty four hours later and Alex and Noah have been joined by Natty and Charlie two hogs undoubtedly from the same litter found in the next door neighbours garden and brought in to us by the same family as yesterday.
Again the two new comers had a large amount of fly eggs on them and they have been removed and the hogs settled in to the rescue area. All four have been eating ravenously on a mix of prescription food with a lot of tugging over the food bowl.
10th October 2011
Alex & Noah
Meet Alex and Noah, two little autumn juveniles weighing in at only just over a hundred grams each. They were brought into us after being found out during daylight trying to get at a tomato on a tomato plant in a residential garden.
Both had a large amount of fly eggs on them indicating that they have not been very active and are struggling now we are getting into October and colder weather. These little guys would not have been able to get enough food in the wild to reach the weight needed for hibernation. So they will now be observed in case they have a worm infestation which is most likely with autumn juveniles. They will stay with us until we are sure that they are OK and that they are making regular weight gains. Once we are happy with this the family that brought them in have offered to get a rabbit hutch to overwinter these little fellas making sure that they get enough to eat and drink to reach a good weight and then hopefully hibernate the winter in the hutch ready for release in the Spring.
Now that October is upon us many autumn juvenile hedgehogs will be struggling to find food to put on enough weight to be able to hibernate through the winter. Please if you can leave some food and water out for them. Dry kitten or puppy biscuits are best along with things such as unsalted crushed peanut nibs, sultanas, sunflower hearts and mealworms for treats. This supplementary food is a life saver and soon it will cease to be supplementary and become the only food available, making it a real life line for these late brood hedgehogs. Also please keep an eye out for any small hedgeghogs out in daylight, or any at any time that seem very small or elongated or are behaving in an uncharacteristic way such as staying still for long periods in the open or wobbling on their feet.
If you do find one like this please pick it up and place it in a high sided box with a towel for it to hide under and some water and place this somewhere quiet, then call your local rescue centre or animal hospital for assistance.
9th October 2011
Long overdue updates
It has been a little while since an update and we now find ourselves in October wondering where September went to. There have been a number of new admissions so I will take the opportunity to update you all on three of the new cases.
Firstly Lucky. Lucky came in to us after being found by the owner of one of the gardens we have made a few releases into. Lucky was found in the middle of the road and was lucky to have not been ran over, hence the name. She was found in Leicester and then travelled down to Bristol with the gentleman who found her and then into us.
She was dehydrated and hungry and had a lot of fleas on her but apart from that has not manifested any other issues. She has been with us for a little while now and is doing well.
Horace came into us from being looked after in a secured garden. He has one eye missing and had an infection in the eye socket. He unbelievably had lost his leg we think to a strimmer accident and had not received any medical attention for this injury as far as well can tell. The injury was a number of weeks old. Happily and very surprisingly on examination by the vet we found to our relief that the loss of the leg injury had cleanly healed over and there was no infection and no need for an operation. He has been treated for his eye socket infection and he has been fed up as he was very hungry and underweight as well as somewhat dehydrated. He was also suffering from a quite severe mite infestation for which he is still receiving attention.
Horace will be released into a suitable secure garden in the future.
Herbie came into us mid September being brought in by a lady who always keeps an eye out on the hogs in her garden. She noticed that Herbie seemed to have a problem with his spines with the spines from mid way down his back not raising. We found that there was a definite line where spine control was lost and normally this would indicate a spinal injury. However he had the use of all his legs which in the case of spinal injury would not be the case. Herbie went in to see the vet and it was confirmed that he has not got a spinal injury leaving a muscular injury as the most likely cause.
He has been treated with anti-inflamatories in case there is a muscular strain that could be healed. However a couple of weeks later on he still has not improved with his spine control but apart from that he is fine. He will be released into a secure garden as the lack of ability to raise the spines on his lower back and sides puts him at a disadvantage from being able to protect himself.
Spiky Girl, the hedgehog above came into us a few weeks ago. She was found out in daylight as previously posted on here and proved to have been attacked suffering a back leg loss. She was operated on and this proved a tense time as she was only a small juvenile hog in the mid 200 gram mark making the chances of her getting through the operation slim compared to an adult hedgehog.
She made it through the operation and through recuperation and is now a very healthy if disabled hedgehog weighing in at 555 grams. She needs to put on more weight yet before she will also be released into a secure garden.
Finally a hedgehog without a name or a photograph as she didn't survive long enough for either. She came in seriously dehydrated and in a state of collapse. She received treatment, fluid therapy and supportive hand feeding for just over three days. She seemed to be holding her own, not loosing weight and in fact making very small gains but physically not really improving. Sadly she died in my hands a couple of days ago, a sad end for one of this autumns juveniles.
28th September 2011
Thor came into us back in mid August after he was found outside in daylight in a families garden. When he first came in one first examination he seemed to have an issue with one of his bones. After examination by the vet it was decided that there wasn't a break however we did need to keep an eye on him to see if further problems developed.
He settled in having to be wormed but without any other issues and after a while in the rescue area went out into the secure garden to put on weight and to acclimatise. His release was a little delayed as the family who have a hog home in their garden were on holiday for a couple of weeks and then we had to catch him in the garden to release. However tonight Thor went back into the wild at a good weight to take him into the autumn.
19th September 2011
Hedgehog Street Champions release
We have been very keen to get involved with the Hedgehog Street initiative ran jointly by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society and The Peoples Trust for Endangered Species.
We have been actively promoting the initiative on our roadshows and have been helping interested people to sign up to join in. The initiative is based around the idea of people agreeing to be hedgehog champions and then going on to get their neighbours to make their gardens hedgehog friendly and to join their gardens by ensuring that there are gaps between the gardens to allow hedgehogs to freely travel between them.
We were contacted by a Hedgehog Street Champion in our area who asked us for advice and we went out and gave a talk to the group about hedgehogs, how they could make a difference and about what we as rescuers do.
We were very please recently to be able to reward the efforts of the group by releasing two of our rehabilitated hedgehogs into their gardens. The champions have made sure that their gardens are hog friendly and have put in place hedgehog homes and feeding stations.
So Lavender and Hugo are now back in the wild with all that a hog could ask for due to the efforts of this group. Lavender came in to us as a juvenile with a very bad case of mange. She lost all of her fur and she spent a long time on medication and in rehabilitation with us. She left us a health and furry hog.
Hugo was another juvenile hedgehog who came in after being found out in daylight struggling to survive. He spent some time in with us putting on weight for release and he has joined Lavender in the Champions gardens. They may stay, they may move on as they can roam where they will but at least we know that they have a great start with a whole street of gardens having been made hedgehog friendly and with homes and food if they wish to take advantage.
You can find out more about the initiative at Hedgehog Street.
Photo Top - Hugo, Photo Bottom - Lavender
19th September 2011
Freda, Jake, Rowan and Matilda.
Today is one of those days that you really look forward to. Freda has taken the last step before release back into the wild. She will be spending a week or so just putting a final bit of weight on in the care of one of our fosterers and then she will be off to hopefully live a long life doing what hogs should.
Freda came in with Higgy and Cara after their nest was found by a farm dog, the mother having abandoned the nest. The initially four, two or three day old hoglets came into us with sadly the fourth unnamed hoglet dying very quickly from a bite wound from the dog. Freda, Higgy and Cara were hand raised and today Freda hit the mid 600 gram mark. We are delighted that she has now gone to be a wild hedgehog.
Jake came into us with a back leg injury and has been with us some time while we treated him for the injury. The leg has improved and is probably now as good as it can be. He can get around fine although in a little ungainly fashion and he has been acclimatising back to life outdoors in our secure garden for some time. Due to his leg injury he hasn't been released back into the wild where it could put him at a disadvantage, he has rather now been released into a permanent secure garden with a couple that have a very hog friendly large garden with a large number of tortoises in it. Jake will be able to live a prefectly happy life in his new surroundings with great people to look out for him.
Rowan another disable hedgehog has also made his way finally into a permanent secure garden. In fact the same secure garden as Jake. Rowan came in with a very infected eye socket. He went under to have the socket cleaned out and spent some time on medication to clear the infection. He has lost the one eye and is blind in the other so he would not be able to survive long term in the wild. Blind hedgehogs will roam during the day bringing them into contact with all sorts of dangers. He has spent some time here in the secure garden with Jake and they seem get along fine. So he has gone off to spend his life with Jake in the permanent secure garden. We always try to put sighted and non sighted diabled hogs together as the sighted disabled ones seem to regulate the blind hedgehogs sense of day and night.
Finally for this entry although a lot has been happening is Matilda. Matilda came into us after being taken in to a vets who cared for her for three days before discovering ourselves and bringing her into us for care.
Matilda is an old hedgehog and she came in very dehydrated and with chronic breathing difficulties. She has been in with us for four days now and her weight has stabilised and her breathing while still very laboured has stabilised as well. She is on a lot of medication including; antibiotics, anti-inflamatories, steroids, decongestants and quite intensive fluid therapy and only time will tell if she has the strength to overcome her issues.
Photo Top - Freda, Middle Right - Jake, Middle - Rowan, Bottom - Matilda.
11th September 2011
Mum and hoglets new home
A call today about a hedgehog nest found under a summer house floor when the summer house was dismantled. We went out to investigate and found mum and a number of hoglets under the base of the structure.
The summer house had been sold and is being collected tomorrow so the choice was either to disturb mum and litter with the possibility of her having no more to do with the hogs. As we already have one mum and litter in with us at the moment we decided to take a different course of action.
So the british spirit of make do kicked in and we fashioned a makeshift replacement out of a modified pallet, fashioning sides out of another pallet with felt roofing and slabs to keep it secure and waterproof. It isn't the most picturesque of solutions but it does provide a large area of cover and it meant that we didn't have to move the nest or interfere directly with mum or hoglets. She was thankfully very obliging during the process of removing the summer house base and the installation of the new home.
The owners of the property are now on the listen out for any distressed hoglet calls to ensure that the disturbance hasn't been too much for mum so that we can respond and rescue the hogs to be hand reared if it has.
Thankfully in this situation the owners called for help and waited allowing the right thing to be done. What this does show though is if you can please remove structures such as sheds etc in the winter. It is a lot easier for us to rescue a hibernating hedgehog and re-home it than to deal with the possible consequences of disturbance to a mum and hoglets. Mums can either totally abandon their litter or in some cases kill them if disturbed. Also if you do find a nursing hedgehog don't touch the nest or the hoglets, the disturbance and transfer of human scent is very likely to cause abandonment or worse.
Please note that the photograph of the nest was taken during unavoidable disturbance and by myself as an experienced rescuer. It was taken for our records and to help us to educate the wider public. Please do not disturb any nesting animal for photographic or any other reasons.
10th September 2011
Lots going on.
We are getting ready for a good number of releases and here is Rose on her release day. Rose came in to us after being abandoned by mum and she was found cuddling into her dead brother who was riddled with maggots.
Rose was hand reared and was certainly special to us (not that all of the hogs aren't) however due to the circumstances in she was found we really felt for her and now she has gone back into the wild a healthy hedgehog.
We have had a single autumn juvenile in after he was observed motionless outside during the day. We made a search for mum and home but without success. The mum had also not been seen for a few days. So the hoglet is now in the rescue area and at the moment it is proving to be hard going with this one.
We have also had to rescue a mum and five hoglets. The hog had made it's home in one of the gardens we have rescued from before. A couple of weeks back we had to attend as one of the litter only a day or so old kept rolling out of the hog home the mum had made her nest in. The replacement of the hoglet went well but we had to go back as a horrible chemical smell was evident around the home. This time we had to totally disturb the nest and the hoglets now a couple of weeks old were doing well, but mum smelt of chemicals.
We brought them all back and mum was treated. The worry always is that the mum will after being disturbed have nothing more to do with the hoglets. Mum had to suffer having her offspring moved and taken away from her while she was bathed. However the mum and hoglets are now settled into a large rabbit hutch and thankfully all seems well.
Photo top: Rose on release day.
2nd September 2011
Kimberly goes home
This evening saw Kimberly go back to be released where she was found earlier in the summer. She came in weighing 90 grams along with her siblings Knuckles and Houdini. The juvenile hogs came in due to their mom having sustained a broken back leg and Kimberly, Knuckles and Houdini came in over the following three days.
Houdini is also now at release weight and will be following Kimberly on the weekend. Knuckles has a little way to go yet before release. So from 90 grams and having to be hand fed to over 600 grams and back off into the wild.
31st August 2011
Jack and Barry.
Two new Hedgehog Stories for the site today. The first is little Jack a small 240 gram juvenile. Jack was found outside in the road being pecked by magpies. He was brought into us and on examination we found that one of his back legs had been bitten off.
He was very hungry and wobbly and after medication to help him through the night settled into the rescue area having a good feed straight away.
Today Jack has been at the vets for an operation to tidy up his injury however with a hog of this weight it is touch and go.
Firstly it was touch and go as to whether he could survive the procedure, which thankfully he has, although there was a moment where he started to decline but the quick actions of the vets got him through. Now it is a matter of whether he has the strength and will to get through recovery.
The second new hedgehog in is Barry. Barry was taken to one of our vets branches and after an examination they contacted us. He has lost most of his spines and has rather raspy breathing. His skin however is clean and has no signs of infection. He has settled into the rescue area and is receiving treatment.
28th August 2011
This poor little juvenile weighing in at only 200 grams came into us last night after being observed outside during daylight not moving for a couple of days. She was seen on the first day and then found on the second after crawling (or should I say dragging herself) into a storm drain.
She has been attacked, had her front paw broken, both of her back legs bitten off and she was crawling with maggots being eaten alive. She was still just hanging in there after at least 48 hours like this with no chance of recovery.
Thankfully she doesn't have to suffer any longer. It is the kind of case that just leaves you feeling numb. Thankfully the people who found her brought her to us and she died without any more prolonged suffering and pain.
26th August 2011
Hunting Hogs: HogPod No6
A certain lack of updates over the last few days and I just noticed that on the last HogPod - the Willows Hedgehog Rescue audio update, that I said that the juveniles wouldn't be here for the next one in September.
Well that has turned out not to be true as here is an extra interim HogPod this time all about some of the juveniles getting used to being outdoors before release. So this time it is late in the evening and outside in the dark hunting hedgehogs.
Click Play Button below to play / download HogPod No5
This Saturday, Sunday and Monday 27th - 29th of August we will be at the Avoncroft Museum just South of Bromsgrove for their Nature Week.
Please do come along and join in and come and see us while you are there. We will have displays about what we do and about many of the hedgehogs that have been in with us. We will also have hints and tips on wildlife friendly gardening and how to make your garden an attractive place for hedgehogs as well as information on Hedgehog Street and how you could become a hedgehog champion.
Details for the Avoncroft Museum can be found here Avoncroft Museum
16th August 2011
The fifth Willows Hedgehog Rescue HogPod. This one is rather long at 40 minutes however it is only once a month and if you can stick it out then I talk about the juveniles in with us at the moment many of whom were pictured in the previous entry below this one.
By next month they will have left us to go out into the wild and we will be into autumn juvenile season before winter sets in. So this is the last time on the hogpod that these present juveniles will be here.
Click Play Button below to play / download HogPod No5
15th August 2011
More of a pictorial entry this time but it's catch up time on the website with some of the hedgehogs that I may not have put pictures up for.
We have had four more juveniles in over the last week all of them out and about during the day and in trouble. Sadly a couple of these went downhill very quickly without any apparent issues that could be treated. We are not the only rescuers to be presented with this kind of problem at the moment.
However happily there are many more that we can and do treat and that respond and here are a few, some are new faces on here and maybe a couple that have been on here before.
Firstly Rose who has been with us for a while and who went in to a period of not gaining but not loosing weight either. We separated her from the other juveniles she was with and now she is slowly putting on weight I am happy to say.
Next (and yes it seems as though the latest Harry Potter film has had an influence) are Fred, George, Hermione and Ron (in order of appearance). All juveniles and all gaining weight ready for release. I don't think we would get away with calling the rescue area Hogwarts, but with Harry in there (who is an adult) we seem to have the set.
Next we have Lavender, the juvenile that came in a little while back suffering from Mange. She has finished her course of treatment and has been putting weight on nicely. She has also started to grow her fur back which is great news. She will be with us until she has all of her fur and then she can go back into the wild a healthy little hog.
Finally, Thor who came in this week after being found out and about during daylight as were many of the above.
In other updates for the juveniles here: Higgy, Cara and Freda are still putting on weight nicely. Kimberley, Knuckles and Houdini have now got the secure garden to roam while they put on that final bit of weight before release.
Finally many thanks to everyone who supported us on Bromsgrove High Street on Saturday. Thank you for coming over to see us and we are very grateful for the £150 raised on the day which all goes to help us help these little guys and girls as well as the adult hog who are in with us at the moment.
8th August 2011
Only one new admission has come into us over the last couple of weeks the hog in question being a juvenile with a back leg missing. There was some abrasive wounds to his underside but no wound where he had lost a leg. On examination by our vets it is now apparent that he was born without his left hand side back leg. He is being treated for his gazed tummy and we will have to see how he gets on as he grows. (update 9th August - his injuries are more serious than first presented with swelling and some blood loss. He is now on fluids as well as meds and he sadly isn't looking too well. He will be back into the vets tomorrow for further examination.)
Cara, Freda and Higgy are all now in a large hutch with lots more room to explore. Cara and Freda are just around the 300gram mark and Higgy is consistantly putting on weight but lagging behind at around 250 grams.
Knuckles, Houdini and Kimberly are all in the outside pre-release pen and are putting on weight nicely. They are now getting to be wary of us as they grow up which is how they should be to humans.
Rowan, an adult that came in with a very infected eye socket is still on medication but the infection is clearing up more and more each day. He has lost the one eye and is sadly blind in the other which means that he will once the infection has cleared be released into a secure garden.
Harriet; Knuckles, Houdini and Kimberlys mom, has had her cast off for a few days now and she is slowly getting used to and moving about better on her leg. She is still in the rescue area but is having periods outside in the secure garden to get her moving about on the leg.
George and Ron have just come off wormers and are in with us putting on the required weight for release. Harry (see a theme here? I think J.K.Rowling may have something to do with the inspiration for these hogs names) is on antibiotics as he had an abscess under his skin which burst a few days ago. He is putting on weight and doing well.
Rose has gone onto wormers and I think I mentioned last time has been separated from Knuckles, Houdini and Kimberly. She has started to gain small amounts of weight since being separated and receiving the wormers so fingers crossed that she starts to gain weight more rapidly.
Lavender, the juvenile that came in with Mange has responded well. She initially lost all of her fur but now she has been on treatment for a couple of weeks has started to re-grow fur in patches. So hopefully she is on the way to health and future release.
Jake is still in the secure garden but he has been observed managing very well on his previously injured back leg, well enough possibly to be released back into the wild rather than a secure garden.
Finally, this entries photos are:
Top Freda hunting down my hand to try to lick me to death! Middle Freda and Bottom, Cara and Higgy hunting down mealworms. Very different looking little juveniles to the 40 grams hoglets that came in what seems like a life time ago.
OK finally, finally, a hoglet time line for Freda, Cara and Higgy.
20th June 2011 28th June 2011 7th July 2011 8th August 2011
(Click individual photographs for larger images)
26th July 2011
Releases: Fin and Stripey
He was in a very poor state and absolutely ravenous when he came in eating for quite some considerable time before we could get to have a look at his problems. He had bite wounds and a lot of torn skin on his tummy and in the end it took two days to flush out all of the maggots, but flush them we did and he then embarked on a long recuperation.
Fin can be seen here on the right on the day he came into us.
He had to have regular medicated baths along with two different anti-biotics to try to beat the infection and to get the open wounds and raw flesh on his tummy to heal. He also proved to have a mite infestation to add insult to injury and for a long while he stayed the same weight, making no visible improvement. We really did start for fear for Fin with his lack of weight gain over a considerable time.
However with perseverance and the will to live on Fins part we finally won the battle and he has now left us a very healthy and active hog.
Stripey came in a couple of weeks ago with the tell tale cough and signs of lungworm. However she responded very quickly to treatment and after a two week course of antibiotics, anti-inflamatories and wormers has left 180 grams heavier at just under 1kg with no signs worms.
Photo Top: Fin on release day. Photo Middle: Fin on the day he came in to us. Photo Bottom: Stripey on release day.
25th July 2011
The top x-ray is of the mum we had to have euthanized after being hit by a car. She then gave birth in the road to five hoglets. Her shoulder was badly broken as well as the front paw as can be seen on the top right of the x-ray. An injury such as this was not repairable sadly. The hoglets also did not survive the night as was previously posted on here.
17th July 2011
Lavender, George and Ron
There have been a lot of updates this month, however I still haven't mentioned a good number of the hogs in with us at the moment. With the large number of hedgehogs in I can only attempt to give a flavour of what is happening here at Willows Hedgehog Rescue.
Today I will introduce Lavender, George and Ron.
(photo top of this entry) Lavender is a hoglet that came into us after being found out in daylight in trouble.
When she came in a couple of days ago she didn't look like this, she had all of her fur but she was obviously not a happy hog.
This is how she now looks and as you can see from the photograph above she is a poorly hoglet suffering from mange.
We are treating her for mange and her skin has become very sore with open wounds appearing. The worry apart from the mange is the wounds becoming infected so she is on antibiotics as well and is having cream rubbed into her skin to keep it moist and hopefully infection free.
George (photo middle) came in after also being found out in daylight and he luckily does not seem to be suffering from anything other than being a bit run down and hungry so we are simply giving him food, vitamins and a warm safe place to stay while he puts on weight.
Ron, (above) the last of the three that I will introduce today came in with over eighty tics on him. The poor little hoglet was plastered with tics everywhere; around his bottom, his legs, his tummy, his face and eyes and along his skirt. Here he is after having the tics removed over a period of three days. When he came in you couldn't see his face or eyes for the tics. Now we can see the handsome hog beneath.
We have removed all bar a couple of tics now and he has had vitamin supplements and antibiotics to help him get back to full strength. Hopefully with the tics removed he will feed himself up and be ready for release in a few weeks time.
I would like to take the opportunity today to give out a couple of thankyous.
Thanks to: Village Pets, Catshill, Bromsgrove for assisting us with discounts and also with placing a donations box in their store.
Thanks to Val and Maureen for kindly cutting and sewing the blankets and towels that are donated to us to make hoggy sized bedding for our poorly hogs and for our hoglets.
Thanks to Pat and others who kindly sourced and donated a large number of pet carriers allowing us to cover this very busy period.
Finally, I have sadly to announce that the two new born hoglets that came in on the 14th died during the night of the 15th.
14th July 2011
The hoglets keep coming in.
Two new hoglets came in yesterday bringing our total to fourteen. One of them arrived with over seventy ticks on him and there are still more to be removed, the other came in with a wound to his tail and sadly he is not doing to well at the moment.
Today however we have had another two new hoglets in. They were found in the middle of the road with their mum who had just been hit by a car. There were other hoglets but unfortunately they had been ran over and there was nothing we could do. The surviving hoglets and mum were taken into our vets Rubery branch who then called us in and we took them over to our Bromsgrove branch for the mum to be looked at. The sow sadly had to be euthanized as she was deteriorating very quickly and was having extreme difficulty breathing.
The hoglets that survived, two of them, are now here and on colostrum. They are both under twenty grams, one at 15 and the other at 17 grams, and when we picked them up did not even have their first spines.
They are feeding, but this is going to be a tense time as these hoglets are not days but hours old, however they have both taken some colostrum.
As a result of these two arriving added to last nights arrivals this brings us up to sixteen hoglets in with us at the moment.
Postscript: Sadly Tails one of the hoglets that came in last night with a tail injury died around 8pm this evening. He had had his meds and on a check around an hour or so later was curled into a ball with rigor mortis already set in.
12th July 2011
A Very Busy Time
The public has rallied magnificently with one lady obtaining 9 carriers for us, another two carriers and others helping as well. This means that we can now take up to 30 hedgehogs with spare carriers for pickups and for moving hogs from small accommodation to larger accommodation.
The hoglets have continued to come in and George and an un-named hoglet have joined; Hugo, Kimberley, Knuckles, Houdini, Rose, Cara, Freda and Higgy. Cara, Freda and Higgy the 40 gram hoglets are now at the 100 gram mark and are changing every day.
The latest adult admissions have seen a bad animal attack, a number of head traumas, a hog with an infected eye socket and the loss of one eye and one with lung worm. The latest hoglet has come in with a bad mite infestation.
Back to the hoglets and Hugo. Hugo came in after being out in daylight, not moving and who did not put on any weight for some considerable time. He has made the turn for the better. Tonight he is off to stay with a fosterer who will continue to build him up ready for release freeing us up to concentrate on the poorliest hogs.
Finally, many thanks to those who came to see us at the Townsend Veterinary Practice open day on Sunday. It was a good day with lots of interest in what we do, Hedgehog Street and especially the three hoglets who came with us and who came out for their 3 hourly feeds.
Photo Top: Hugo this evening.
7th July 2011
The larger hoglets are doing well. Rose has settled in and has been accepted as part of the extended family of Houdini, Knuckles and Kimberly. They all happily snuggle up together after feeding time and there have been no issues introducing a hoglet from a different sow.
Hugo who is on his own and the largest juvenile in at just over 200 grams is doing well and quite happy in the rescue area.
The three that came in at under 40 grams after being disturbed under a pallet in a farm building are gaining weight well heading now to the 100 gram mark. Higgy, Cara and Freda as they have been named are lively little hogs and even though the three hourly feeds do take it out of us they are so sweet that we can't complain at all.
We will be at Townsend Veterinary Practise Bromsgrove on Sunday 10th July at their Open Day. We would like to thank Townsend for their continued support for Willows Hedgehog Rescue providing much needed and appreciated veterinary care and advice. We really couldn't operate without them.
If you are in Bromsgrove on Sunday do pop along and see us.
4th July 2011
Back in the rescue area which is getting rather full with quite a number of new patients including our eight hoglets from three different sows.
In this longer (around 30 minute) audio, we meet new patients Harriot, Twitch, Sneezy and Hugo as well as catching up on Fin and Jake. I also talk about the hoglets and Jake does his usual escape artist attempts while I record the HogPod.
Click Play Button below to play / download HogPod No4
30th June 2011
Harriet, Houdini and Kimberly
Yesterday saw a good sized female hedgehog come into us. She had been seen on the previous night walking with a limp and the people who saw her called us for advice. They didn't find her again on that night but on the following night kept an eye out, saw her and brought her into us.
We suspected a broken leg, she spent the night in the rescue area and today went into the vet to be examined. She proved to have a broken back leg, but the vet spent some considerable time re-aligning the bone and has secured the leg in a splint. She is now back in the rescue area to recover from the operation and to hopefully recover over time.
We immediately checked the female hog from the night before (now called Harriet) and found that she was expressing milk. The two hoglets after a search for any more hoglets were brought into us and have fed and are now settling into the rescue area.
The female is the lighter of the two at around 90 grams and is now called Kimberly and the male somewhat heavier at 135 grams is now called Houdini due to his escape attempts while the family were bringing them into us.
Due to the mothers injury and the antibiotics she is on we are keeping the hoglets and mum separate.
Top Picture: Kimberly (left), Houdini (right) - Picture Right, Harriet.
28th June 2011
Rose & Hugo
A new hoglet in tonight. Rose as she is now named came in after a family had been keeping an eye out on a nest and hadn't seen the mother for a couple of days. They called us to go over to have a look to see if all was well. Sadly all wasn't well the mother had abandoned the nest for whatever reason and Rose was in there cuddled into the half eaten remains of her sibling who was riddled with maggots.
Rose weighed in at 97 grams on arrival and has had a good feed since coming in. She hasn't got any injuries and there isn't a single maggot on her. At present she is taking a well earned nap after her ordeals.
What a difference a few hours seems to make. Hugo the 180 gram juvenile that came in a couple of days ago, very lethargic and limp has in the last few hours come alive.
He has been fed with a high concentrate glop mixture with added vitamins and also has received a supplementary vitamin B injection last night.
This evening he is inquisitive and walking around. He is a totally different little hog to when he came in and for the first day or so.
When preparing the glop tonight rather than wait for the syringe Hugo stuffed his head into the bowl and started lapping away.
Finally, the three little hoglets are slowly putting on weight and are now nosily sucking and lapping at feeding time.
26th June 2011
A big old update!
The hoglets are keeping us nice and busy at the moment and as I type this they are on the third feed of the day. Today has seen two new arrivals, a juvenile found out on its own during the day and an adult suffering from open wounds from an animal attack. Yesterday saw another adult with most likely a head trauma come into us.
First of all Fin. Fin has been with us for some time and came in with maggot infested puncture wounds. He has been on medication for quite some time now and also has had a small operation. After the operation he went into somewhat of a downward slide in terms of weight and it became a concerning time. However I am pleased to report that Fin is now the heaviest he has been with us and is almost back to full fitness.
It has been quite a long battle with him to get rid of the ringworm. Finger crossed though we finally seem to have the ring worm beaten and his spines and fur have grown back and his ears are back to normal. Mr Tiddles is now in the pre-prelease pen awaiting release back into the wild.
Jake came in around a week or so ago with a back leg injury. He has been doing well and there is some improvement on the leg however he is still under observation. He is walking better on the leg however it isn't quite right and we need to see if it will further improve, if not there may be the possibility of release into a secure garden.
Twitch as he is now named came in yesterday evening and is possibly suffering from head trauma. He is a good weight but is restless. He is on medication to make him comfortable and he has been given a good check over for any immediate issues. He will be observed over the next 24 hours and then further descisions made.
Finally for this update a new juvenile came in today (Hugo) weighing in at around 170 grams. He was found out during daylight. There were no signs of any other juveniles and he was brought into us. He is settling into the rescue area at the moment and hopefully it will just be a case of feeding him up ready for release in the not too distant future.
So that is all of the updates for today and probably a cuteness overload above of hoggy photographs!
Photographs: Top left - Fin, Top right - Mr Tiddles, Middle - Jake, Bottom right - Twitch, Bottom - Hugo.
20th June 2011
This afternoon has seen four new arrivals here at Willows Hedgehog Rescue. Four 40 gram hoglets who were found after their nest was disturbed under a pallet in an out building on a farm. Sadly the nest was pulled apart before it was realised that they were in there and one of the family dogs went in to investigate as well.
The one hoglet has a small puncture wound, the other three seem to be OK apart from being very cold and hungry. There has been no sign of the mother and the hogs have come into us.
Luckily Jane and I are on off days from our regular jobs today and were able to go over straight away. Tomorrow Jayne is at home and will be able to do the 2 hourly feeds, on Wednesday the Ranger service I work for may be being introduced to hoglets, feeding and toileting!
They are settling down getting warm and have had their first feed.