One Saturday a few months ago, a kind member of the public (Helen J) brought an injured hedgehog to the practice. He was a juvenile male, found wandering out in the daytime up at Pen y Bryn with a severe wound to the back of his head and neck area. The wound was quite extensive, he almost looked as if he had been scalped by something. It was also quite a dirty wound so vet Laura admitted the hedgehog to hospital for treatment.
Under general anaesthetic, his wound was flushed out and debrided, removing all unhealthy or infected tissue so that clean skin edges could be sutured back together for faster wound healing. His surgery went well and he was up and about and eating well by the next day. He was also started on antibiotics to help clear any remaining infection. “Juan Julien” (as the nurses named him) stayed with us for 10 days whilst his surgical wound healed. Because he weighed only 460g on admission, he was not able to be released for the winter straight away, as hedgehogs need to weigh 650g minimum to hibernate over the winter and survive.
Jules after surgical debridement of his wound
Back in recovery after wound repair
“Jules” was sent to Hedgehog Help Prestatyn, a charity which takes in ill, injured or underweight hedgehogs and rehabilitates them for return to the wild. He stayed with Tracy at Hedgehog Help for a month, until he had gained a whopping 420g to reach a release weight of 860g. He was released onto a smallholding in the local area which already had a small number of resident hedgehogs.
Jules on admit to Hedgehog Help, weighing 500g
On release day, weighing 860g!
Hedgehog Help is a small charity run by Tracy Pierce. She rehabilitates up to 30 hedgehogs at any one time and is dedicated to helping nurse them back to health so that they can be returned safely to the wild. As our native hedgehog population has declined over the last few years, it is even more important to have places like this to look after them and to offer help and advice to people who have found an ill or injured hedgehog.
If you would like more information on what to do if you find an ill, injured or daytime roaming hedgehog, please check out Hedgehog Help Prestatyn on Facebook:
or ring Tracy on 01745 856181 or 07591576765 (Not in the night please)
Donations of cat food (tinned or pouches, ideally not fish flavoured), cat biscuits or tinned dog food are always gratefully received at Hedgehog Help as this is what the hedgehogs are fed whilst recovering. You are welcome to drop donations at the practice, just let us know who it’s for and we will make sure they get to Tracy!