The Hedgehog Found Hanging In A Crevice

One morning a lady phoned me saying that her four children were very upset as they had found a hedgehog hanging upside down in a crevice in their garden. She was caught by a back leg which was very swollen.

Luckily the lady lived in Warwick within walking distance of our vet so they were able to take her there, I told the lady that I would pick up the hedgehog once it was discovered what the treatment would be. The hedgehog was X rayed and I was told that the leg wasn’t broken but four toes were, she would need pain relief antibiotics and a small hutch so that she couldn’t walk much.

I put her on a heat pad and put her food and water close by, her poor leg was stuck right out to the side of her, it was very swollen and her foot was twice the size it should be. Over the next few days the swelling gradually went down, she was eating very well and it did cross my mind that there was a possibility that she could be pregnant. I asked the vet whether she had noticed anything when they X rayed her but she said they were so busy they just looked at the leg to see if it was broken. To be on the safe side I decided to put her into a larger hutch with a divided  bedroom section so that I wouldn`t have to disturb her when I cleaned out each day.

She was still having antibiotics each day, we had reached day nine and I went out to the shed to give her some treatment at 9pm in the evening. To my utter surprise as I took her carefully out of her nest I could see that she had a tiny hoglet attached to her side! Quickly I put her back down again as I think she was in the middle of giving birth. I was very concerned that I had disturbed her as I know that hedgehogs can kill their hoglets or reject them if they become stressed.

The next morning all seemed to be well, I was very quiet, carefully removing paper and replacing food and drink. I did not look in the nest box for three weeks but I had caught a glimpse of a hoglet and I began putting out supplementary food for them. I peeped in and could see three good sized hoglets. It wasn’t until I was moving them to a bigger hutch to give them all a bit more space that I found that she actually had four hoglets. I am still amazed that after all the stress of being caught hanging by her leg that she was able to successfully deliver four healthy babies.

By Linda Clements

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