What to do if you find a hedgehog

If you are out at dusk you may well see a hedgehog and it is important to remember that not all hedgehogs need rescuing!  Capturing a healthy hedgehog will cause it stress and could leave young alone and unfed.  So please look carefully and do ring for advice - 01584 878701 or 07399 345 786.

But there are injured hehgehogs that do need our help and need to be taken for specialist care.  So carry on reading for more information.

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When to Rescue

You can offer a shallow bowl of water but please do not give ANY food - offering food to a dehydrated animal may well kill it. You don't offer an ill person a large dinner - the same applies to animals.

If you live outside our area (Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire) then please contact your local rescue centre (you can oftern find by just Googling) or if there isn't one contact your local vet.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures - they sleep during the day and come out for food from dusk through to early morning.  This is normal behaviour - some unusual behaviour is listed below and this is when you will need to take action to help hedgehogs.

Hedgehog out during the day

If the hedgehog looks as though it is going somewhere with a purpose of has nesting material such as leaves then it is is probably fine. Otherwise a hedgehog out during the day - perhaps underneath a bird feeder and/or not going anywhere should be picked up carefully and put in a box  with a towel and kept somewhere warm indoors.  Call Pricklebums for advice and do be prepared to take it to the hspital promptly.

Hedgehog asleep in the open

Assume that a hedgehog asleep on a lawn or path is ill.  Pick up carefully, put in a box and call Pricklebums for advice

Babies are seen

Baby hedgehogs and juveniles should be in their nest with their mother. They will only leave if something is wrong - they may well make a very shrill and loud call if in distress.
Baby hedgehogs are hard to care for - please do not think of trying to do this yourself as they need speciaist feeds.  Contact Pricklebums immediately if you find a baby hedhgehog or hedgehogs.
DO NOT GIVE THEM MILK.

Hit by a car or attacked by a dog

Even if they appear to survive they are likely to have sustained very serious injuries and need immediate medical attaention.  Contact Pricklebums but if there isno immedaite reply contact your local nearest vet.

Leg injuries

Fractured legs are treatable so please lift the hedgehog carefully in to a box and contact Pricklebums to arrange to take it there.
If both hind legs are dragging then this can indicate a spinal injury so handle the animal VERY carefully - maybe sliding it onto cardboard or wood rather than lifting directly.  Contact Prickelbums and arrange to take the hedgehog there as soon as possible.

Hedgehog is injured

If the hedgehog looks in pain or injured then it needs help. Perhaps you can see open wounds - these will very soon become infected and will not heal by themselves.  Wheezing and coughing noises also indicate the  hedgehog is ill.   Please put in a box and contact Pricklebums immediately.

Hedgehog caught in netting or similar

Do not attempt to remove the netting - take the hedgehog with the netting to Pricklebums for them to remove.

Anything else that doesn't look right

Contact Pricklebums for advice.  Please do not try to look after the animal yourself - you are not helping it and it will make it harder - if not impossible - for Pricklebums to save it. RING FOR ADVICE AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY

 

When to leave alone

There's a hedgehog asleep in a nest

Hedgehogs sleep all day in their nest and if you accidentally disturb one you should cover it over again immediately.

I've found a good sized  hedgehog in the autumn or winter

If it's out in daylight or sunbathing then it does need care but otherwise, as long as it weighs over 600g,  it is fine and will hibernate when it's ready. You can help it by putting out food and water each night. If it weights less that 600g then it is very unlikely to survive so do call for advice

There's a hedgehog nest in my shed

If you find a nest in a shed or garage ensure that the hedgehog there are holes for it to get in and out of the building.  If it has been trapped then offer it some water (but NO food) and call Pricklebums for advice. If there are babies there be VERY cautious as hedgehogs will eat their young if disturbed.  If the nest is in no danger and it is not a problem for you then leave well alone. Perhaps you can just avoid going near it until the hedgehog moves on.  Do contact Pricklebums for advice if you have any concerns.

Hedgehog appears to be dead

Hedgehogs that are in hibernation are very cold, hardly breathing and there will be no movement. So don't mistake it for being dead. Only if there is a smell of decomposition can you be sure it is dead - otherwise it could be hibernating so leave well alone.  But if in any doubt contact Pricklebums.