Found a Sick or Injured Hedgehog?
If you see a hedgehog with obvious injuries, get help as quickly as possible. Call us at 01344 623106 or contact your local wildlife rescue. For hedgehogs that seem sick, i.e. they are staggering, sluggish etc, call for help and bring them inside in a large box and keep them warm (e.g. with a hot water bottle). Line the box with clean hay, dry leaves or crumpled newspapers, and provide fresh, clean water and some tinned dog food. When handling hedgehogs, especially hoglets, wear gloves so as not to leave your scent on them. If you see a hedgehog that appears to be healthy,
Hedgehogs out in the day
It could be a hungry, thirsty, ill, blind, dehydrated, lost its home or female with babies. Normally a hedgehog out in daylight is in trouble. If it’s on a mission and purposeful or has bedding in its mouth it could be a lactating female. If it is lifeless, listing or stumbling and with a poor demeanour it is ill. Blind hedgehogs are often found out in daylight too. If you are concerned confine the hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue .
Hedgehog are stoic so if its making a sound it is usually ill. If you are concerned confine the hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue .
It is probably dehydrated, which is common problem in hot spells. Much of its water will be from puddles that are dry up in heatwaves. There can be underlying medical conditions too but dehydration prevents all normal functions. The process of dehydration can start body shut down and the change in metabolism attracts flies and other insects that would normally help decompose a body. If you are concerned confine the hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue so the hedgehog can be rehydrated. Giving it water will not work as it needs to begin to absorb the water and needs other vitals salts and minerals. The hedgehog cannot feed until hydrated and feed can shut down the body further at this time.
Lungworm Crenosoma striatum & Capillaria aerophila
Lungworm is an infestation of the lungs with parasitic worms. Two types of parasitic worm, Crenosoma striatum and Capillaria aerophila cause lungworm in hedgehogs These parasites can be found on their own, although mixed infections are also common. This is picked up from snails , slugs and dog faeces so please make sure your worm your pets. It can be fatal so treatment is required, the treatment is complex and needs to be carried out by a rescue by veterinary staff. Confine your hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue for more advice .
Mange Sarcoptic Mange
Sarcoptic Mange is found in hedgehogs caused by a mite Sarcoptes scabei. The female mite burrow into the skin to lay her eggs which will hatch in 3-10 days depending on temperature. The larvae which go into “nymphal” stage and then into adults to complete the whole cycle. The adults move on the surface of the skin where they mate and the cycle begins again. It can cause a white powder on the skin, often accompanied by fur loss, it causes irritation and hedgehogs will scratch a lot . It is very uncomfortable and can change the hedgehogs whole demeanour. It is easy to treat so confine the hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue for more advice . Homeopathic treatment will not work on this mite successfully so medical intervention is needed. Confine the hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue for more advice.
Fleas Archaeopsylla erinacei
Fleas on hedgehogs are actually hedgehog fleas called Archaeopsylla erinacei they are host specific, meaning they will not survive for very long on any other species, be it pets or people.
Fly strike or Myiasis is often caused by the green bottle fly (Lucilia sericata) and related fly species laying eggs on hedgehogs. They lay their tiny eggs on their host that will hatch within 8 hours. They are fast moving in hot weather. These tiny maggots are there to decompose the host and have probably been attracted by an odour that suggest the hedgehog is not well. It is essential to remove the eggs so that the maggots cannot get inside the body through the ears and eyes. In nature this process is essential. Confine the hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue for more advice.
The commonest form of tick to be found on the European hedgehog is Ixodes Hexagonus . A tick is an arachnid and an ectoparasite. It appears light grey in colour, darkening as it fills with blood, and falls off the hedgehog's body when fully engorged. Ticks are found attached all over the body, most commonly behind the ears, round the neck and at points along the underside where the spines are replaced by soft hair. We see more ticks on hedgehogs in the rescue with an underlying condition with the majority of patients admitted being tick free .Confine the hedgehog and contact us or your nearest rescue for more advice.