Ticks on hedgehogs
13th May 2018 at 7:56 pm #9590
I spotted a large hedgehog a few minutes ago. It might be a female carrying babies. I noticed she had a big tick behind her left front leg. It will probably release itself any day now. My question is would you pick up a hedgehog and remove ticks if you saw them or would that just be enormously stressful for the hedgehog and it might not come back to your garden ?
Another question is: When do hedgehogs usually give birth to their young ? June ( here in Sweden maybe ? )
All the best
Paul14th May 2018 at 9:41 am #9598
General consensus is that a tick or two wont cause harm to a healthy hog – and as you say – they take their fill and drop off. usually replaced by another tick or two as the hog travels the undergrowth.
Too many ticks can cause a hog to become unwell – due to anaemia and or infection etc. unwell hogs will typically be more affected than healthy ones by ticks as they are less able to physically cope with the burden.
I wouldn’t recommend you pick up a hog for this purpose alone, you also need to know how to remove ticks without risking causing infection in the removal (ticks can regurgitate the blood they have taken back into the hogs bloodstream if not removed properly) – especially if she otherwise looks ok and appears to be carrying young. The stress could cause her to lose her babies or an infection could be detrimental to her and them.
probably worth keeping an eye out for her – although if she does give birth, she will disappear for a while – and you definitely shouldn’t interfere at that point either with her or any babies she may have.
Hogs usually breed in May / June time for a first litter, and the female gestation is between 30-40 days. So you could well be seeing a pregnant female at this time of year. she will be hungry and thirsty – so useful to support feed her, and she may bring her babies to any safe food source once they are mobile.
best wishes14th May 2018 at 11:13 am #9599
I agree with Jan-Marie. A few ticks is quite normal for hedgehogs, as long as the hedgehog is otherwise well. If there are a lot it is different.
I imagine the hogs in Sweden would probably give birth a bit later than the ones here, if they come out of hibernation later. Here males often come out of hibernation in early March and the females approximately a month later, with first litters born from roughly May/June. You can probably work it out roughly from when the hogs there return from hibernation. It does all depend a bit on what sort of weather there has been.14th May 2018 at 10:34 pm #9613
Thank you so much for the replies. Much appreciated !
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