Capturing a hog (humanely, for treatment!)
4th April 2021 at 9:08 am #30169
Any suggestions welcome, even if it’s “leave it alone”!
Our wildlife camera shows we’ve got a hog; however, it also shows that the hogs is keeping the left hind leg off the ground and getting around on three. From the footage, it’s not even entirely clear if it has a foot, although there’s footage of the hog “scratching” using that leg and you can see muscle movement, so obviously SOMETHING is there.
Aside from the fact it’s only got three legs, the hog seems healthy and to be honest you can’t really tell it’s only got three functioning legs.
However, I wonder if we should get it checked out/treated by the local animal welfare group.
My intention was to catch it last night but it never came close enough.
Tonight, my plan is to put down food and water as normal, and set up the laundry basket, supported by a stick, then pull the stick away and thus capture the hog. For the remainder of the evening/night, we have a large rabbit enclosure…with the bunnies in their hutch and locked in, the hog could roam this enclosure, where obviously we’d put food any water, and there’s also a small rabbit house, about the size of a hoghouse, where we could put straw, hay and shredded cardboard.
Then we’d take the hog to be given the once-over and (hopefully) return it after treatment.
So my question is…what is wrong with this plan?
All thoughts by this evening please, because then it’s hog-hunting time…6th April 2021 at 8:35 am #30198
Hello everyone, just an update.
Two nights ago the hedgehog didn’t go into the laundry-basket trap.
Last night I didn’t set it, but when I went out to put the rabbits away I found a motionless, non-curled-up hog near the unset trap. I managed to capture it by simply picking it up and putting it in the box. Either it’s the one with a lame leg or it’s not, but whichever way, it could clearly use some help. It’s about to go to the local wildlife rescue centre for a once-over!6th April 2021 at 8:34 pm #30218
Sorry no-one replied sooner. I hope you got on o.k. with the hog.
Re. your suggested catching method in case one ever needs help again – hogs can be quite wary of new objects suddenly appearing and can actually be quite speedy when they want to be, so I wouldn’t expect the laundry basket method to work terribly well. Another time, it’s probably better to put the food out as normal and maybe sit out with the hogs with a box full of torn up paper or a towel ready. If you put your feet on a footstool, they don’t always even notice you are there, if you stay very quiet/still. But then you are in a good position to just scoop the hog up and into the box – causing it minimal stress.
re. the rabbit run – if it is just sitting on the grass, the hog could potentially dig a way out of it, so if a hog needs a visit to be checked out, it’s safer to keep it indoors until the next morning (making sure they are provided with food and water, of course). They are excellent at escaping. But never easy to know exactly what is meant with short explanations on the forum, so apologies if I have misunderstood what you meant.
I hope the hog is o.k. Let us know how it got on.8th April 2021 at 3:08 pm #30267
Hello again everyone, and thanks Nic.
The hog got to the wildlife hospital yesterday but we heard today that it “didn’t have the fourth leg” (no indication on whether this was due to a birth abnormality or an injury) and as it was three-legged and underweight, they’d put it to sleep.
Obviously we’re very upset because it’s one fewer hog 🙁 … we also feel that at this point of the year, most newly-emerging hogs are likely to be underweight, and with suitable care we could probably have got this one back to full health…no idea if that would have been practical but overnight whilst we had it in the rabbit house the hog had organised it’s bedding and generally seemed happier.
Footage from a year ago clearly shows that whatever female hog we had then had four legs, and walked almost on tiptoes…this one had three and walked very low to the ground…it also seems like the colouration between the now-put-down hog and last year’s hog is different, but I don’t know the extent to which we’re imaging this. So the first question is, do hedgehogs have different colouration?
Either way, we now have a hedgehog-ready garden but no hogs…so now the second question is, any idea how long after a territory loses a hog another one may move in?8th April 2021 at 3:20 pm #30268
I’m sorry to hear they put the hog to sleep.
Advice from the BHPS/Vale now suggest hogs can survive well without a hind leg as long as no stump is left. However, this isn’t everyone’s opinion as obviously they are unable to remove parasites on that side.
You are correct that most hogs come out of hibernation underweight and this one may well have been okay with some help.
However all health professionals have to make their own call on these issues.
As to colouration, yes they have different colours and markings. Nic is likely to give you very good advice on how to identify hogs.
As they get older they often become more ginger in colour
Hogs don’t have territories as such. I suggest you continue to put food out. There are obviously hogs in your area and it won’t take long before they turn up
Good luck9th April 2021 at 1:34 pm #30288
So sorry to hear about the poor hog. You did your best for it and that’s all we can ever do.
I agree with Stef. There are likely to be other hogs around and hopefully one will soon find your garden. Fingers crossed.
I wrote some notes a while back with tips for identifying hogs from their natural markings – at the beginning of this: https://www.hedgehogstreet.org/forums/topic/identifying-hedgehogs-from-their-natural-markings/ You might find something useful in that.
Good luck. I hope some more hogs visit soon.9th April 2021 at 7:32 pm #30289
Thanks Nic, I’ll definitely check this out.
We’ve had some more detailed news from the hospital – there was no hind left leg, they said, and the right hind leg showed signs of an old fracture too.
What was perhaps the best news was that the hedgehog was sexed as male; this is great because last summer we had a female hog and four baby hoglets! The gender of our more recent hog rules out the fertile female and the old fracture presumably also rules out any of the four hoglets…so there’s still the chance we’ve got a resident family somewhere around!11th April 2021 at 4:49 pm #30317
It makes you wonder sometimes though I had a hog out during the day so took it to the wildlife centre, but even after care it lasted just one week. They are wild animals and you feel you can’t ignore their predicament, but how much stress does it all cause and does that add to the non survival.12th April 2021 at 6:37 pm #30327
I hear what you’re saying, but what we need to think about is whether the hog could potentially die a long slow death without help. i.e. the poor hog in this thread would have had a pretty horrible time with its one remaining hind leg not working. Inevitably the hogs are stressed, but many hogs are saved, despite the sad losses which happen at times. Sometimes, sadly, hogs are just too ill by the time they come our attention to be helped – sorry to hear the hog there didn’t make it – but don’t let that put you off helping any others which might need it. Just bear in mind that time is often very important. Being wild animals, hogs don’t let on that there is a problem, until they really can’t help it.
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