We do not offer a rescue / rehabilitation service for hedgehogs at present. To find details of local rescues, please call the British Hedgehog Preservation Society on 01584 890801.
Most rescued hedgehogs need to be provided with warmth before other interventions, with the exception of pain relief. Hedgehogs who are small, unwell or injured often struggle to stay warm and a heat pad can help with this.
The hedgehog will need to be checked for the following:
- Injuries (visual and by smell)
- Fly eggs and maggots
- Dehydration (tented spines, sunken eyes, wobbly walking, lethargic movements)
- Missing patches of spines/fur, crusting to the skin (suggestive of ringworm or mange)
Hedgehogs should be warm before administering subcutaneous fluids.
Doses of drugs and fluid volumes are calculated by weight using the charts provided by Vale Wildlife Hospital http://www.valewildlife.org.uk/rehabbers-area/
Those who are underweight, injured or struggling with breathing/chest issues will need a course of antibiotics to help them recover (Synulox is a good option). The majority of hedgehogs also suffer with internal parasite burdens that make them unwell. Treatment is needed once the hedgehog has been stabilised. Faecal parasitology is offered by hedgehog rehabilitation/ rescue centres and should be performed before and after treatment.
Hedgehogs are surprisingly resilient and can recover from a variety of different complaints with the right care and medication. Sadly, there are some situations when euthanasia may be the most appropriate option, for example if the hedgehog is seriously injured.
Many rescues take hedgehogs in from local vets for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation. Initial resuscitation with warmth, fluids and a thorough health check soon after rescue can save lives.