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Another underweight hedgehog – 247g

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Another underweight hedgehog – 247g

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    I’ve been monitoring hedgehogs in my garden via CCTV and noticed that there is still 1 or 2 roaming around. Out of curiosity I decided to catch one and weight it. Turned out to be only 247g.

    There was no mom hedgehog around and he has been eating dry cat food.

    I saw no injuries, ticks, of fleas.

    He spent the night in a big plastic box I’ve got for him. Seems to be eating and drinking.

    I’ve called numerous numbers including British Hedgehog preservation society but the line is always busy. My local hedgehog carer is also full –

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Avatar photo

    Hi dnars

    Well done for weighing the little hog. It does sound very small. Glad to hear it has been eating and drinking. If you haven’t alreay, I usually use a load of torn up strips of paper in the box, so that they can burrow into it. Alternatively they seem to like small towels to burrow under. It’s likely, as the hoglet is eating that Mum has gone off to hibernate herself, or at least to prepare for it, and left the hoglets to their own devices.

    You really need to keep trying to contact BHPS to get the number of a list of other rescue places near you. I know it can be frustrating, but it’s that time of year with hogs when everyone is really busy. You can also contact BHPS by going to their website and clicking on ‘contact’ and leave a message. But be aware that may not be dealt with for quite a while, so in this circumstance should only really be used as a backup to you continuing trying to ring them.

    Meanwhile keep providing the little one with food and water. It should be kept somewhere which isn’t too hot. But another thing to bear in mind is that they are often very good at escaping from boxes.

    Good luck. I hope you get through soon and manage to find somewhere with a space. Otherwise, hopefully they will be able to give you some more specific advice about how to proceed. Ideally you would have the opportunity to at least get the little hog checked out.


    Try contacting your local vet or the RSPCA also as they may have details of other carers not on the BHPS list


    I had the same issue dnars, NHRT in Longframlington are the nearest to me. The next nearest place is in Berwick.


    I’ve rescued two small hedgehogs (one 356g and the other 385g), my local hedgehog hospital was also full, had double the amount of hedgehogs she should have, but she took the first one in, did a poo sample, and it had internal parasites, the second one, I’m still looking after her – she is now close to 450g, and might be already there (will weigh her tonight), eating very well and settled down, so hospital said to release her if her poo sample comes back clean – turns out she’s got lungworm.

    So the advice from the hospital was to weigh them each night at same time, to check if weight goes down, and also it’s important to do a poo sample, if they can’t do this, a vet might do it.

    So just in case it has got parasites, make sure you look after your own health first – surgical gloves are a God send, I’ve got a big box of 100, a packet of just 10 is useless. And also, even with gloves on, I try not to touch the poo, I use puppy mats, cut them in half so you can slide one half out without disturbing the hedgehog, the hedgehog I’ve got now (with lungworm) (named Sweetpea), she poos on one side, so when she’s at the other side of the cage, I can remove the puppy mat, and then if there is mess on the other side, again wait til she moves to the side that’s clean and move it out and replace. She seems to appreciate when I do give her fresh puppy mats, I have a little box within the cage with straw, where she sleeps and she never soils in there – so even though hedgehogs aren’t that clean, they don’t like to have poo everywhere.

    So as soon as they have pooed, clean it up, sometimes, if there isn’t much and she’s fast asleep, I’ll leave it until evening when she’s up and about – but I set my alarm clock for sunrise, and clean the cage out, that’s what the hospital’s do as well. They clean out in the mornings, probably at sunrise or close to.

    With the puppy mats, it’s easier to avoid touching the poo, because you can just roll them up and put them in a poop bag and put them straight in the wheeley bin, then bin gloves and wash hands thoroughly.

    Seperate dish cloth (of course) but also seperate tea towel, and keep their tea towel well away from your tea towel, and disinfect kitchen surfaces, every time you wash their bowls out.

    Treat it is if you worked in the NHS basically.

    You’re probably doing this already, but just letting you know, that unless you do a poo sample, you don’t know what they are riddled with, and first priority is ourselves, making sure we don’t get infected. After all, if we get ill, who would look after the hedgehogs?


    And another thing I’ve learnt – is that – because she’s inside, she’s going to bed late, after sunrise, so as soon as my alarm goes off – I open the blinds, to let her know, it’s bedtime. So yes, I followed the advice of the hospital to keep them in a dark room, but I realised myself, that’s it’s also good, during the day to let the light in, because at the moment, I think Sweetpea is a bit confused and going to bed a bit late – but she does have a lot of naps throughout the evening, and I guess throughout the night – so I’m not too concerned about it – when she’s settled in hospital (she goes on Sunday) she’ll get a better routine I think.
    She is waking up at the normal time though, about 7.30pm – which is same time the first hedgehog visits the feeding station, so it’s not a huge issue – she’s finally got to bed now.

    I mentioned earlier about keeping your tea towels separate, but I just occurred to mind, that I could just use kitchen roll instead, so I’m gonna put her tea towel in a hot wash, and then start drying her bowls with kitchen towel instead.

    Rescuing hedgehogs, I’ve realised a few items are God send,

    – puppy mats
    – kitchen roll
    – toilet roll
    – surgical gloves
    – small animal disinfect to clean your kitchen scales and your kitchen surfaces, and then clean the cage, along with boiling water after they’ve gone. And to wipe down gardening gloves after you’ve picked them up to weigh them.
    – dog poop bags to put the puppy mats in.

    Also, with your door handles – I’m disenfecting mine with the small animal disinfectant regularly, because after I’ve cleaned her cage out, I have to open doors to get to the wheely bin outside.

    Beleive it or not I am no where near OCD, probably on the other end of that spectrum, but lungworm, internal parasites? A bit of OCD in this situ is ok.

    At the hospital, she looks after them in her own house, but she has a room dedicated to the hedgehogs, and keep everything sterilised, so things can’t infect the rest of the house, I haven’t got that luxury.

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