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rescued 2 hedgehogs within the week

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog rescued 2 hedgehogs within the week

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    The first one weighed 356g – so I rang my local hedgehog centre, and the answer phone came on to say they are temporarily closed, but she rang me back saying that she is full, but can’t bear not to answer the phone and not rescue an injured or sick hedgehog (bless her, I would be exactly the same)

    So she asked me to keep it in a warm and dark room, and told me to give it mushed up dog meat and water – thankfully the day before I bought I nice canvas pet travel bag from Pets at Home, and it’s the perfect size for a hedgehog, so I put a fleece throw in there – the throw was a bit too large, but the hedgehog snuggled underneath it and seemed to relax and slept well.

    Then my mum took me to the centre on late Saturday afternoon (as the hedgehog centre owner was out all day).

    She was really nice, she let me go into her room where she keeps the hedgehogs – and many were small, and one, I suspect had lungworm (coughing).

    She sent me a text later to tell me she has named him Calvin (which made me laugh, not really a hedgehog name).

    She then tested his poo a few days later, and it turns out he has internal parasites and is now on medication. She said she thinks he will be okay now that he’s on meds.

    Then on Tuesday evening I rescued another one, 385g. I rang the woman at the centre again, and she text back (even though she’s full and closed). She told me to look after it for the time being, and when he/she does a fully formed poo, to bring in a sample for her and she’ll decide on what to do. If she/he has also got internal parasites, she’ll need medication too – so she will take him/her in, and it might be this weekend, if not I might end up looking after him/him myself. (I’ve called the hedgehog Sweetpea)

    So she told me to weigh Sweetpea every day and let her know if the weight goes down.

    But she’s putting on a lot of weight since – she was 390g on Wednesday evening, and then I weighed her again this evening as she is now a whopping 420g.

    Are my digital scales wrong, or is it possible a hedgehog can put on that much weight within a day?

    I weighed her about 5 times tonight, but the problem is, I plop her onto the scales and then she moves off, and the scales keep changing the reading – the highest weight tonight was 440g, and the lowest 420g. When it showed 420g she was fully on the scale, and not moving about. But Instead of going by the highest reading, I’ll go by the lowest, to stick to the safe side. Because even at nearly 450g, she is still a small hedgehog.

    So her weight, given that she’s eating all her food, and piling it on, isn’t the issue, the issue now is her poo.

    She hasn’t yet done a solid poo, it’s all mushy – so does this mean it’s likely she has internal parasites, is mushy poo a sign of this?

    Although Calvin seemed ok and settled down in the travel bag, Sweetpea hated it and was scratching to get out all night, and was still awake in the morning still scratching, I don’t think she got any sleep. So, seen as I’m looking after her until the weekend I bought a medium sized hamster cage – which only cost £22.

    I like it as it hasn’t got metal bars like most cages, just the entrance, but that’s at the top of the cage, so there is no way she can get out. It has a turquoise base and then a clear plastic lid. It has a ledge which she likes to climb on top of and smear poo on (I never see her do this, but she leaves behind the evidence).

    I also put a small cardboard box and put some straw in it, which she loves, she sleeps in there, and made a nest out of the straw. and then there is enough room to put 2 bowls of water and a bowl of food there.

    I put down puppy training pads, cut them in half, and put both the two halves in, then when I remove them, I can just slide them out without having to move stuff around too much so as not to disturb her, but obviously I have to disturb her when I have to weigh her which she doesn’t like – spikes go up.

    I’m going through tons of toilet roll and kitchen roll, But can only pick up the poo in the evenings,.

    This morning I woke up and it was a right mess, poo all over the place, and because it’s mushy, it goes everywhere, but had to leave it until this evening, as she looked so peaceful and relaxed sleeping in her box – she stayed asleep all day.

    So I’m glad she’s got some much needed sleep.

    I keep her in my bedroom (I now sleep in the living room), keep the light off all the time – unless I’m weighing and removing puppy mats, removing poo and putting food and water down).

    Her cage sits beside the radiator, which isn’t on all the time, but my bedroom is the warmest in the house, so I keep the door closed to keep the heat in.

    She will probably go to the hedghog hospital this weekend, but if not, I’ll have to keep her until April, but on warmer nights, I think I’ll put some puppy mats on my bathroom floor before I go to bed and let her have a run about, and then pop her back in the cage in the morning. My bathroom has got a radiator in there, and can get fairly warm, but it’s not as warm as the other rooms in my flat so it will only be okay in the spring when the weather picks up.

    Then I’ll realise her on the guidance from the hedgehog hospital. But it’s really good that she’s on the other end of the phone guiding me through it.

    Gonna ask her if I can help her out some way, but it’s a little bit far out of my way, so could only help her out one day a week.

    But I’d like to learn more about how to take of hedgehogs, so that I can be more confident when I need to rescue the ones that visit my garden, and look after them properly until a hedgehog centre can take over.

    Can someone tell me more about mushy poo please? Is it a sign of internal parasites?


    I make her a nice bowl of meaty pie, with mushed up chicken with jelly dog food, mixed with spikes semi moist and Go Cat chicken and duck cat biscuits – it goes down a treat, so no wonder she’s putting on weight rapidly

    Is it possible that a hedgehog can put on 35 grams within 2 nights? or are my scales dodgy? Or unless the are showing the correct weight now, and the wrong weight when I initially weighed her.

    Gonna weigh out 35g of sugar and see how much it is.

    I’ve just witnessed her climb on the ledge – I think she’s doing it to look out of her cage, and probably try see if she can escape no doubt.

    I did buy her a sleeping pouch, the only one Pets at Home had was for a hamster and was a santa claus hat – turns out it’s too small for her.

    The hedgehog rescue uses sleeping bags/pouches for the hedgehogs, but at the moment all she would do is poo on it, so I think you’d have to buy a few and wash it on a hot wash every day, until they are pooping solid poos. But for now, a cardboard box, lined with puppy mat, and some straw in is doing okay for a sleeping area, she seems to like it in there.


    can someone also tell me the difference between soft mushy poo and diarrhoea in hedgehogs – I’m starting to think it’s now diarrhoea. In any case, first thing in the morning, I will text the hedgehog centre – tell them I’m unable to give a poo sample (no firm poos) and tell her I’m worried she has diarrhoea.

    I hope she takes her in this weekend and give her some meds, as I’m sure this is not normal – and convinced she has internal parasites.

    I’ve now changed the puppy mat 3 times this evening, as she has left soft poo on it – and then she tramples on it, and that’s why it gets everywhere – thankfully, she only does the poo on one side of the hutch – so I can easily just slide one half of the puppy mat out and replace it without disturbing her.


    35g is only the amount of what’s in a spice jar – so it’s not that much.


    Hi Hedgielover-
    What an amazing job you are doing.
    As you know I am not an expert but the poo situation doesn’t sound right.
    If the carer can’t take Sweetpea I would ask what vet she uses and get the little one to the vet- She should know of one that doesn’t charge. (Check)
    Keep us posted


    Hi, if you are feeding wet food then the odds are your hog will have messy poo. Dried food tends to give firmer poo
    35g per night is perfectly normal with a large amount of food and no exercise as such – apart from trying to escape
    If the hog is unwell it’s likely to be slimy poo not just mushy and may be green
    The hedgehog lady should be able to do a faecal sample on this anyway – you just need to make sure you have some of the edge included
    If your hog is putting on weight at this rate it is probably fine and once you’ve had the poo tested it should be released.
    Stress of captivity can cause the internal parasites to get worse
    It should also not be in your bedroom but outside
    Guidance for wild hogs likely to survive hibernation is 450g
    When you release please keep feeding


    Thanks Simbo and Stef – Ideally Sweetpea would be outside, but the hedgehog hospital said to keep her in a warm dark room to avoid her going into hibernation as she is under 450g –

    Looks like she might reach 450g by next week – but now that she’s been inside in the warmth, she might not be able to be released back as the weather is still quite cold,

    but I’ll just follow the guidance from the hedgehog hospital. Even though the hedgehog hospital closest to me is full up and has no more boxes or space, she is still on the other end of the phone, guiding me through.

    She’s also tell me when to release her back into the wild as well – so I don’t risk doing that too early or too late.

    But anyway, she’ll probably take her in this weekend- even though she’s officially closed, because it’s possible she has internal parasites and probably needs medication, which she gets from her own vet.

    It’s comforting to know, that I’ve got the hedgehog hospital to help me through – because I wouldn’t have had a clue.

    So I’ve come to realise it’s important to weigh underweight hedgehogs each day at the same time, to check if their weight goes down – and also to get their poo sampled by a vet – even if it looks healthy and normal – as quite often they have internal parasites, and it can be fatal if they are young.


    she’s just done 2 little poos that are in form – but mushy – so what I’ve done is I’ve taken the puppy mat out – and replaced with another clean half –

    and I’m keeping it and waiting for the poo to dry out – so hopefully I will be able to give her a poo sample this evening or tmrw –

    the problem is – she tramples on them, so i can’t give her a poo sample – but hopefully these will dry out, then she can get tested for internal parasites and go on meds sooner rather than later if she needs them.

    Does soft poo dry out eventually and how long does it take?

    I’ll guess I’ll find out myself later on today and will let you know.

    This obsession with hedgehogs has turned into a poop obsession.


    I think when she’s gone to the hospital, or released back into the wild – I think I’ll throw away the little box she sleeps in and replace it with those sticks that bend into a curve that you can get from pet shops – to make a little hideaway for the cage – because then, when they depart – you can just wash the logs – with a cardboard box – you have to get rid of it.

    And my mum is buying me a pouch/sleeping bag for Christmas – the hedgehog hospital uses them, I did buy a pouch, a santa claus hat but it was way too small – then I replaced it with a fleecy hot water bottle cover, but she didn’t like it, she turfed it out of her box and trampled poo on it.

    She likes the straw though, I did line the box with a puppy mat, but she’s turfed that out and also trampled poo on it – I gave her some leaves but she didn’t approve of them, so tonight I might give her some newspaper to shred up. But she loves the box, and she likes the straw – it’s her little nest and hideaway.

    She doesn’t poo inside her box, or near her food, she poos in the same place – which is handy for me to pull out the puppy mat half without disturbing her – but the problem is when she tramples on it, then it gets everywhere. It won’t be an issue when the poo firms up.


    The hedgehog hospital has just got back to me, and is taking her in this weekend. So I don’t have to worry about her anymore – phew.


    The email is from Imogen titled ‘Winter is coming’ dated 12th nov 19.

    she attached a Hedgehog Street flyer – and on the bottom left, there is a drawing of a hedgehog sniffing a bowl of food – and it says above it:

    ‘Help hedgehogs by putting out food so they can fatten up for winter. Meaty dog or cat food is best.’


    looks like Sweetpea’s poo is starting to firm up a little bit – she’s just done a fairly long sausage shaped poo – but then she trod on it and got it on her foot, she managed to get it off her foot by the time she went back into her nest though,.

    Took the two tiny poo samples to the hedgehog hospital earlier – so she will probably put it under the microscope later today –

    She said, as she is full, and because Sweetpea is nearing 450g – if the poo comes back as ok – I can release her back, but she will tell me when best to do it, it will be before winter sets in, rather than wait to spring. So if that’s the case – gonna buy another hedgehog home I’ve seen and plonk her in or near that when the time comes, as I’m worried that she will have to quickly find a nest in the cold – as someone else might have found her nest, or her nest might not be very warm.

    The house I’ve seen doesn’t have a wooden base like the one I’ve already got – so I’ll think I’ll put some dry soil, (I have a bag of soil from the garden centre, then put straw on top of that, then sit the hedgehog house on top.

    What’s good about it is that it has a divider so it will keep out the wind.


    She’s got lungworm!!!!

    So even though a hedgehog puts on weight and appears normal – eating well and drinking well – when the poo gets sampled – different story.

    I’m worried now that I might catch it off her – thankfully I got some surgical gloves – but been using gardening gloves – they are going in the hottest wash tonight – and I’ll just use surgical gloves now –

    Gonna throughly wash out the feeding station tmrw – and my kitchen scales? Well they will have to throughly disinfected –

    I’m gonna have to disenfect everything now, especially in my kitchen –

    I’ve been careful but not as thorough as I could have been – now I’m worried about my own health now –

    But I guess you learn these things as you go on.

    So most important lesson I’ve learnt here – is to get the poo sampled! regardless whether you think they are healthy or not


    Hospital is taking her in for definite on Sunday and she will then start treatment.

    The Hamster cage is easy to clean – so will disinfect, with small animal disinfectant, then wash it with boiling hot water and leave to dry.

    This is actually stressful looking after hedgehogs – It’s much better when a hospital can take them in.


    The good thing is, that she now seems to be very relaxed now, she’s warm, she gets nice food and water, I keep her cage clean (with the help of using puppy mats – they are amazing!) she’s made a cosy nest in her box – and although going to the hospital is another traumatic thing, I reckon she’ll settle in quite quickly, as she’ll be kept even warmer, wet dog food which she loves, a sleeping bag, and a heat pad if she needs one (but I don’t think she will), so reckon it’ll only take a day or two before she chills out, and enjoys the comfort.

    I’m glad I don’t have to release her now, back to the cold and a fight for survival, instead she’ll got released in the spring when everyone wants to explore, and lots of bugs about.

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