I've found a hedgehog



Not all hedgehogs need to be helped. Sometimes it is very easy to know when to intervene or not, but if you are in any doubt, hopefully the information on this page will help you to decide.

Does it need help?

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Is the hedgehog moving?

Hedgehogs who are out in the daytime and are moving around at a fair pace, are quite likely soon to be mothers who are looking for nesting materials ready to give birth, or looking for a snack while their babies are sleeping. 

These hedgehogs can be given some wet meaty cat food and water and left alone.

This handy guide is a great way to remember what to look out for

The hedgehog isn't moving, but its still breathing (part 1)

Was the hedgehog moving before you approached it?


If it was moving actively then it may be your presence that has caused it to sit still. 

Hedgehogs have never developed the concept of flight, that is running away from something that scares them, instead they will sit or curl in a ball, and hope you leave them alone.

The hedgehog isn't moving, but its still breathing (part 2)

Was the hedgehog moving before you approached it?

If not and there are flies landing on it, then it may be ill or injured. 

Follow these instructions to gather the hedgehog up and find help for it.

Is the Hedgehog walking in circles or staggering?

These hedgehogs may be suffering from inner ear conditions or an impact injury, such as a car or other large object hitting them.

Hedgehogs doing this need to be helped

My hedgehogs have fleas and/or ticks what do I do?

Not all hedgehogs will have fleas or ticks, but some will, lets look at them separately.

FLEAS:

Fleas and hedgehogs have a symbiotic existence.


Fleas will not kill a hedgehog, but they might be an inconvenience.

Hedgehogs fleas are also species specific, so while they may jump off and land on a dog or cat or even you, after a bite of two, they will realise that you don't have the right blood for them, and they will leave again.

TICKS:

Ticks are different.


A few ticks won't cause too much trouble to a hedgehog, and after they have drunk their fill, they will often drop off until they need to feed again.

A large number of ticks though can signal a more serious underlying condition, and can signify that the hedgehog needs help.

Unless you have experience of removing ticks, please do not attempt to do it yourself.


They must be correctly removed with a tick hook or lasso, please do not oil them or coat them with anything. If you stress the tick it will spit its stomach contents back into the host causing blood poisoning.

There are hoglets out in the daytime

Not all hoglet(s) need to be helped.


Observe the hoglet(s) for a period of time, a couple of hours. Mum may be nearby, and they may have wandered out of the nest to look for her.

If mum doesn't come back then please do collect the hoglet(s) up and take them to a rescue

I've found a little hedgehog in Nov/Dec/Jan/Feb/Mar What do I do?

Pick it up and weigh it. If it is under 450g coming in to winter and you leave it outside IT WILL DIE. No arguments.

Research has shown that any youngster under 450g will not make it through, it will either die in hibernation or from starvation in freezing weather.

 

If it's borderline or slightly above that and you put out food and water right through the winter they should survive unless they are out in daylight looking like they are sunbathing. Those will need immediate help.

However, many rescues at this time of year are completely full and getting dozens of calls a day. 

Can I have a hedgehog for my garden?

If you haven't got hedgehogs visiting your garden, but you know they are in your area, the first question to ask is why aren't they coming to my garden?

It is possible that there are hogs and you don't see them. Ask your neighbours if they see them.


  • Check your boundaries, can hedgehogs get in and out? They need gaps at least 10cm round on each boundary.

  • Check your neighbour's boundaries. Do they have brick walls or concrete footings to fences?

  • What is around your garden? Do you back on to farmland or parks with no hedgerows? Are they using pesticides and weedkillers?

  • Is there a building site, new housing, new roads, very little greenery?

  • Do you have a large badger population? Badgers will only kill hogs if there is nothing else to eat but hogs are not daft and won't hang around.

  • Do you or any of your neighbours have dogs that attack other animals?

  • Have you or your neighbours been putting out rat poison? Hedgehogs will eat poisoned rats and get poisoned themselves.

  • Have you or your neighbours been putting out slug pellets? Hedgehogs will eat poisoned slugs and get poisoned themselves.


Otherwise follow the instructions further down this page to make a feeding station and see if you can attract them in.

How do I make a feeding station?

All you need is a plastic storage box with or without a lid (you won't be using it). You can pick these up cheaply at poundstores, or on Facebook marketplace, Ebay, Gumtree (you get the idea).

Remove the lid and then with a sharp Stanley knife, score a 4" (10cm) square in one end, on the open side do not press too hard or you'll crack the plastic.

Keep scoring until you can cut right through. Remove the square, rub down any sharp edges with sandpaper or use gaffer tape to cover them.

If you put food and fresh water out daily, including right through the winter, hogs will get to know it's a reliable source and will come in each night.

More information is available on this BHPS poster

I've got hedgehogs in my garden and I don't want them, can you remove it?

The short answer is no. Hedgehogs are wild animals, and they have been here long before us. 

If you don't want hedgehogs in your garden, its a shame because they are lovely, and cause little problems.

Unless you are prepared to hedgehog-proof your entire garden, there is no point in moving the resident hedgehogs as others from the local population will very likely move into the vacated area.

If you are prepared to do this work, the best thing is to do is complete the work first and then contact a local carer to see if they can safely relocate the hedgehog (avoiding baby season).

I'm worried my dog is going to hurt the hedgehogs in my garden, what can I do?

If you know there are hedgehogs in your garden, training the dog to leave hedgehogs alone is the ideal solution. 


Taking the dog out for its 'after dark' run in the garden on a lead, using a soft cloth muzzle and making lots of noise before the dog goes out to warn the hedgehogs something is happening can help.

Hedgehogs often have a routine so if you see a hedgehog about at a certain time it is likely to be around near that time the next night - avoid letting the dog out at those times.

Can we visit you?

HEDGEPIGS is a hospital and is not open to the public. There are a number of reasons for this.

Firstly we would need a zoo licence with all the facilities that would involve.


Second, the animals, they are with us because they are sick, once well they are released back to the wild and they need to be frightened of humans so they run away.

Wild animals get extremely stressed in human presence and it does not do a lot for their recovery. We also have animals here that have transmissable diseases and some of those can be passed to humans.

We do sometimes have open days, so keep an eye out on our facebook page for when these are happening

I've looked at the details above and the hedgehog needs help.

What should I do?

1.    Use gardening gloves or a folded towel to gently pick the hedgehog up and pop it into a high sided cardboard or plastic box.


2.    Bring the box indoors away from flies.


3.    Keep the hedgehog in a quiet room away from pets and children and don't be tempted to look at it any more often then you must to carry out first aid.


4.    Wrap a warm hot water bottle in a towel and place the hedgehog on it, with another towel gently draped over the hedgehog to keep the warmth in, make sure it has room to get off the bottle and that it stays warm (but not hot) at all times.

5.    Offer a small amount of meaty cat,
dog or hedgehog food and some water, don't force feed.


6.    If it is a small hedgehog or hoglet do check nearby for others from the same litter that might also be in trouble.

Contact your nearest rescue with space to arrange to have the hedgehog admitted.