Hedgehogs are nocturnal so if you see them out in the day, it is almost certain that there is something wrong with them.
If they are sunbathing or wobbling as they walk, they are in severe trouble.
Any obvious injuries require treatment.
Baby hedgehogs found alone need to be picked up, Mother does not come back for them. She is more likely to have thrown them out.
In September, hedgehogs need to be 1 1/2 lbs or 650g to survive the winter. Anything weighing less than that needs help.
If you suspect that a hedgehog is in trouble, pick it up right away, don't put it somewhere safe for 24 hours or so before going back as it will be too late. Speed of treatment is important, just like it is for us.
BASIC FIRST AID
Always use a towel or gloves to pick the hedgehog up and never put your fingers around its belly because, if it rolls up, you will be trapped. It will be painful and the hedgehog can stay tight for as long as it wants.
Put it in a high sided box with lots of scrunched up newspaper.
Give it a hot water bottle (you can fill a plastic drinks bottle and wrap a towel round it)
Put some meaty dog or cat food in and some water.
ASSESSING THE HOG
Are there fly eggs on it?
Are there maggots? (Often there are clumps of what looks like sand deep in the prickles and this usually means maggots are present)
Lots of little white stringy bits are the remains of hatched fly eggs.
Is the hedgehog on its side, unrolled?
Is it breathing through its mouth?
FOR ALL THE ABOVE, CALL THE RSPCA AND GET A REFERENCE NUMBER THEN TAKE THE HEDGEHOG STRAIGHT TO THE VET AS THERE IS LITTLE TO BE DONE TO SAVE IT.
With the RSPCA reference number, your Vet can treat it or put it down with no charge to you.
Can it roll up or is there a limb sticking out? - Possibly broken bone - Usually cage rest.
Is it extremely cold? - Water bottle and keep in warm place.
Take a note of its poo - colour, texture.
Ring a centre and have it taken in.
THE BRITISH HEDGEHOG PRESERVATION SOCIETY has a list of carers all over the country. If you cannot see anyone on their web-site, call them as they have more names of carers who do not wish their details to be shown. (I think the list is no longer on their web site but is on an answerphone or their office will help)
Click the button below to be taken to their web-site.
Here in Wales I can set up a rescue chain if it is impossible for the finder of a hedgehog and myself to manage to meet.
This is done by a group called CARA - Coordinators of Animal Rescue Associations. Christine has volunteers who are willing to drop everything and drive one hour to collect and deliver rescued animals. They will also follow instructions for the care of that animal if the collector cannot deliver it the same day. Christine can also put you in touch with your nearest centre - or she will do the best she can. She deals primarily with dogs but will help where she can with anything. Do look at her web-site as it explains the wonderful work she does.
I have joined another couple of web sites that list carers and rescue centres for all types of animals all over the country. It can be a big problem when you find an animal in distress, pick it up and then don't know what to do with it or how to care for it.
Another link for anyone wanting or rehoming rodents (not quite descriptive of hedgehogs) could try
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