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Young hedgehog out during the day. Now indoors with me

Home Forums Carers / rescuing a hedgehog Young hedgehog out during the day. Now indoors with me

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    I found a smallish hedgehog in my garden late afternoon today (around 18.00) that was lying flat to the ground and had a couple of flies buzzing around. There are a lot of flies around anyway, and for all I know it was trying to hide from me, but it didn’t move for ten minutes after I first spotted it so I’ve bought it in, put it in a plastic box with lots of nice fleece to burrow in, a hot water bottle, some water and some meaty kitten food.

    An hour and a half later, it’s become quite active, looks bright, has eaten and drunk (admittedly small amounts) and has ably demonstrated that its bodily functions are working well. I can’t see any signs of ticks or lice.

    The local wildlife vet has gone home for the night. Do you think it’s safe to put it back out in the garden, or should I keep it in for the night? I have feeding stations and lots of hedgehog friendly places, but I wonder if it might benefit from being kept warm for a bit longer.

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    Hi Antique

    I would try to get to the little hog checked over by a hog carer/rehabilitator. You can get contact details from BHPS on 01584 890801. It’s not normal for a healthy hog to have flies around it (also a healthy hog wouldn’t lie flat to the ground to hide) and it may have some injury or underlying condition which is not easily visible. They will at least be able to advise you – you will be able to give fuller details to them. The BHPS phones are still answered out of office hours so you should be able to get contact details of a carer.

    Good luck


    Thank you. I’d tried the BHPS phones with no luck earlier, but your reply prompted me to phone the nearest 24 hour veterinary hospital. They seemed very knowledgeable and think it should be OK to keep it here overnight, given that it’s been moving around, has bright eyes and no sign of injury. I’ll monitor it for signs of deterioration and to see if it becomes more active as night approaches. I can drive to the hospital if necessary.

    Most of the hogs we’ve seen here lately have been enormous, but we spotted this one a couple of nights ago alongside one of the others. It seemed very healthy then, so I hope it picks up.


    I understand that posting this may make me unpopular, but the hog was so active last night and so keen to get out of its nice warm box that I let it back out into the garden, next to the feeding stations. It scoffed some dry kitten food (which it seemed to prefer to the wet food I’d given it earlier), drank some water, and then hared off down the garden. Then it staggered – just a small stagger, but clearly something very worrying. It was impossible to recapture it – it went under the fence into the neighbour’s garden.

    I scouted the garden this morning and found it had made a hollow in exactly the same place I’d found it yesterday, next to the garden path in fairly long grass. When I got back from fetching the box it had moved and hidden itself so well in the grass that I couldn’t find it for a while.

    Eventually I got it into a warm box again. A local wildlife rescue centre kindly offered to take it in and said it was hypothermic and thin.

    So I’m offering this up as a cautionary tale. I should never have let it out last night even if it was climbing out. of the box. I need a box with higher sides, or a pet carrier of some sort. Are there any recommendations for the kind of equipment I might need if I have to keep another one inside overnight?


    You got very lucky. Like all wild animals their behaviour is not always an indicator of the seriousness of their illness
    Nic is extremely accurate with all advice given for future reference
    A cat or small animal carrier is fine for short term holding


    I’ve just had a similar experience with a young small hog. It turned up a month ago and we see it most nights on our wildlife camera. It appeared to be doing fine, eating, drinking and looked okay.
    However yesterday I saw it out in the daytime. Not for long, ate some food and disappeared back into shrubs. Looked okay. But then I saw it again later around 3pm. It ate some more food, had a drink and headed off to the wilder area where the pond is. I followed it at a distance and it mooched about, think it caught a beatle and ate it and seemed active and fine. I did think about leaving it to it and that I was worrying about nothing, but decided to keep monitoring.
    Pleased I did because a few minutes later it came out of the long grass and lay down in the open. Clearly not right. Made the decision to pick it up there and then and got it inside into a box and off to wildlife hospital. They said it was a bit thin, would check it over and worm it.
    Rang today to check up how it was doing. Didn’t get a lot of info on what’s wrong, but they said it was off the heat pad and was eating and drinking. They said I could ring on Saturday and if it was recovered I could collect and release back in the garden. Fingers crossed.
    First time I’ve had to take one to the rescue centre. Although I did need to have a bit of a tussle with one a few months ago that had a plastic bag on it. Was the type you would put vegtables in at the supermarket. The hog had managed to climb through the handle of it and it was tight round it’s middle. Managed to get it off and it was back feeding a short while later.

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