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Three legged hog

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Three legged hog

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    We have recently found a hedgehog with a missing back foot, took her to a rescue and all infection is now cleared up. We were advise to keep her in for a week before releasing back to the wild which is what we’ll do.

    Our only worry is she’s scratching a lot with the footless leg – presumably without a foot it’s a fairly ineffective scratch.

    We don’t want to intervene as we are aware any kind of imprinting is bad, but once she’s back in the wild then we won’t be able to anyway. We were just wondering if this is just the way it will be for here and something she will have to just get used to.

    Or maybe we just stop worrying and once she’s back out there she will find some vegetation to rub against. Has anyone else come across this.

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    Hi Mr. Lucky

    Your best bet is to ask the people who treated her. They may have experience of other hogs with similar injuries. Although you might be lucky and someone else on here might know.

    Good luck with the hog. I hope she’s o.k. and does well back in the wild.


    Hi Mr Lucky
    My most recent experience with an injured hedgehog involved him having a back leg amputated at the vet. They kept him until all wounds had healed. Ideally he would have gone to a rescue centre for rehab but due to autumn hoglets there was no room for him. We did a soft release here and put him back into the hedgehog house he used. Within a couple of days he hibernated. He weighed in at over a kilo and happy to say he survived hibernation. He has been eating food we leave but has also ventured out as we have gaps of hours when he goes off. He disappeared for a few days and I must admit I thought the worst but he is back and sharing the HH house with another male HH (who moved in). He doesn’t have the best walk in the world but seems to be getting around well and even have some footage of him giving another HH a bit of a biff.
    I am no expert but I would like to think this little fellow is happier in the wild than being enclosed and sometimes we just have to let nature take it’s course.
    Let us know how you go with your HH.
    All the best


    Vets may believe they are doing the right thing by amputating broken and damaged limbs because hedgehogs are hardy enough to survive such procedures, but once the animal is back in the wild it needs to be able to dig for food, and scratch and groom effectively.

    Hedgehogs pick up a lot if ticks and lice, and over the years we have seen many cases where hedgehogs with missing and injured limbs get completely infested. The bites become infected and they die very slow and painful deaths.

    As hedgehogs released back into the wild after amputation or losing a foot or leg are likely to suffer and unlikely to survive, the kindest course of action, if a limb cannot be saved, is to euthanise.”


    Any other views on this subject?
    I would hate to think I am doing more harm than good.
    Hotchiwichi- Are you from a rescue?


    Glad to hear that your three legged hog is doing well Simbo65, I certainly wouldn’t worry that you may be doing more harm than good, especially if he can still biff the other males around. Seemingly well hedgehogs with all four limbs can succumb to infestations of ticks and lice.


    Just noticed a new hog on the webcam last night who has lost the back right foot. Seems to scratch ok, moves about allright, a bit of a surpise as we’ve been watching on most nights one with 4 good legs. Assume we just keep putting out more food for them both!

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