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Broken-legged hedgehog

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Broken-legged hedgehog

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
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    I’ve been monitoring hedgehogs in my garden for some time and have released six now for the local rescue centre where I volunteer. I recently went away on holiday and had a friend come in to feed the hogs in my absence. When I got back and looked at the footage from the night cam, I saw that there was a hedgehog with what looked to be a broken/paralysed back leg visiting. Dismayed, as it was near the beginning of our two-week holiday (why do they wait til you go away?!!!) I thought it looked unlikely I’d see it again, but sure enough, it turned up every night. It was limping, its back left leg was swollen, and as it tried to scratch its fleas, its leg only moved a little bit. It didn’t look like there was an open wound or bite. I determined I would try to catch the hedgehog and get it to the vet, so I began a nightly stakeout to try to rescue it. It must have known, because it came later and later every night. If I gave up at 11.30, it’d come at 11.48. If I gave up at 1.15 it would come at 1.45! Then last night, on a late vigil, I saw it. I picked it up but it curled into a tight ball, which I didn’t think it would do with a bad leg. Once curled up, I couldn’t tell if it was the right one! I put in in the middle of the lawn and waited for it to unfurl, at which point it ran off, so I assumed i’d got the wrong one. Then when I checked my footage, it showed that yes indeed, that was the injured hog. AAghhh!! Which just shows that it is still perfectly able to get about and has been doing so since 6th August. What is the best thing to do? I don’t know if it is a female – could it be popping out to eat but still have a nest of babies? I don’t want to remove it to get its leg seen to if it would mean losing the babies – but I can’t see if it’s a nursing mother…. Should I persevere and try to catch it or leave it to get around on its bad leg – will it get worse if it’s not looked at? Any advice?


    I didn’t manage to catch the injured hog last night – on the camera it didn’t come til 2am. It was looking worse, wincing when it put weight on its leg. I’m just going to have to do an all-nighter to catch it. Even more worrying, the camera showed one of my recent releases (recognised the markings) was ALSO limping – this time looked like a broken right foot. What’s going on? Two back leg injuries in as many weeks…. fox? trap? coincidence?


    Hi JollyP

    Sorry to hear of your dilemma and that you may have a second hog with an injured foot. I know what you mean about the late night stakeouts, you watch out for them all night and then the camera records them ten minutes after you’ve decided to go to bed! All I can tell you is, that last year our camera recorded a young hog that couldn’t bear any weight on his right front leg; it was very upsetting to watch. I knew that he couldn’t have got very far, but when I searched the garden first thing in the morning there was no sign. I searched again when I returned home at lunchtime and spotted a swarm of flies; there just below them about to disappear under a bush was the injured hog. I took him to our local hedgehog friendly vets and he was treated with antibiotics, but the infection had spread to the bone and he could not be saved. The vet said that it was probably just a thorn in his foot that had triggered the infection. I went back through the video footage and just like your hog, he had been showing subtle signs of a limp for at least the previous two weeks, but I hadn’t picked up on it.

    Sorry I can’t be of more help, good luck with tonight’s stakeout.


    Hi Penny, thank for your support. I stayed up til 3am last night! The good news is that I managed to capture the recently released hog – as her markings made her easy to identify and she came at a reasonable hour. The bad news is that the badly injured hog still evaded me. I think it has got wise and at the first sign of movement it scarpers – which on the positive side, at least it is still able to do! I gave up at 3 and, as you predicted, the camera showed it was there at 3.06!! Typical. I took the one I had to the vet. She has a broken femur – looks like a bite. She’s got antibiotics and pain killers and leg in a splint. Luckily I don’t think she has had the injury for that long. My fear for the other hog is that after three weeks the bone is likely to be infected. My worry now is what is it that is biting them? They were small puncture wounds – cat? small dog? The foxes I see on the camera appear to ignore the hedgehogs – I’ve seen them feeding alongside each other. Top of my suspect list is the yappy dog at the end of my garden which I hear barking after dark, as if it has spotted something in the garden. Dare I ‘politely’ ask my neighbours if they have had any injured hedgehogs in their garden?!

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    Hi JollyP

    Really pleased you managed to catch, at least one of the poor hogs. I was suspecting a dog when you first mentioned it. A couple of years ago a dog got into my garden and fatally wounded an adult female hog. The bite must have punctured the spinal cord – her leg wasn’t swollen, just totally useless. Very sad. Luckily I noticed something happening down the garden whilst the dog was still there, so I knew who it belonged to. I definitely would ask your neighbours if they have seen an injured hog in their garden. Nothing worse than nearly catching a hog and it disappears next door – and I can’t see why they would mind, but then I am totally biased. It is so distressing having an injured hog, I do feel for you. But sounds as if you have really been going the ‘extra mile’ to help it. Good luck.


    Been feeding hedgehogs for more than three years and over the past few nights have seen two big ones visiting the feeding house. Just after 5pm tonight, saw a small, I think juvenile, limping, staggering around and snuffling. Got hold and have it in a box inside with some juicy meaty dog food (normally feed dried cat biscuits) and water. It has eaten, but not drunk yet. Will keep it safe and warm overnight and try to find a vet or wildlife place to get help in the morning. It’s about 6inches long so not sure if it big enough to survive the winter.


    Sad to report the little hedgehog has died. We now see that he had lost a leg.

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    Hi JoyL

    I have just noticed your post. So sad to hear about the poor hog. I know how upsetting it can be, when they don’t survive despite our efforts, but you did your best and that is all we can do.

    I hope your other hog visitors continue to be ok.

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