Our Care At Howey
All hedgehogs are weighed on arrival. Details of their weight, where they were found and the finders details are recorded. They are then placed on hotwater bottles or heat mats wrapped in a white towel to check for blood and colour of their droppings. Once they are warm they are rehydrated with rehydration liquid fed through a syringe and later, if small, they are syringe fed every few hours until they are able to lap or eat by themselves. If they are coughing or sneezing they are given antibiotics and wormer.

Older hedgehogs will have any ticks removed and if any of them show signs of fleas Johnsons Small Animal Insecticide powder will eradicate them.

NB. Hedgehog fleas are host specific. They will not live on humans or your pets.

Ticks can suck the life blood out of a hedgehog and make it extremely ill. Willow our resident hedgehog arrived with pneumonia and eighteen ticks. She needed syringe feeding for eighteen days before she was well enough to eat.

Ticks can be soaked in cooking oil or olive oil and will eventually fall off, but we have special tweezers which we use as the quicker they are gone the better for the hedgehog.

The hedgehog's poo is a very important check of health. Little ones' are loose, and as more solid food is eaten they begin to get more pellet like. Green droppings (especially with blood in it) are a sign of ill health. It is usually Coccidiosis and requires antibiotics twice daily.

Small or very ill hedgehogs need to be medicated through a syringe; larger ones who readily gobble down their food will take theirs on their meal.

All hedgehogs are given vitamin supplements SF50 but they can be given Abidec vitamin drops aquired from a chemist.

Coughing, sneezing, wheezing and a bubbly nose is a sign of lungworm or pneumonia.

Hedgehogs obtain worms by eating infected prey such as slugs, snails and worms.

Creriosoma Striatum (lungworm) and Capillaria Aerophilia (lung thread worm) cause respiritory distress and loss of appetite and weight, frequently linked to secondary bacterial infection and profuse mucus secretion in airways. Dead worms, eggs and larvae must be coughed up or they will block the airways and may cause death.

Breathing difficulties can also be caused by injury or rhinitis.

As a general rule a noise on inspiration (breathing in) will be related to disease of the upper airway nose and expiration (breathing out) is more likely to be problems in lungs and lower airways.

Young hoglets are kept in plastic boxes until they are reasonable weight, then they are transferred into wooden cages.

Some hedgehogs become tame (imprinted) or are not well enough to be able to go into the wild. We either keep these or find a good home with an enclosed garden. They cannot be released anywhere near badgers as, apart from the motor car, they are the hedgehogs main predator.

Our hedgehogs are slow released as we feel a young hedgehog would be totally disorientated just taken from its cage life and 'plonked' into the wild. Their cages are put down and they are fed until they are ready to go, or they are put in our hedgehog boxes scattered around the garden and food is put out to help them on their way.

Our main problem is keeping the cats from eating their food.

Items Needed For Our
Hedgehog Care
Thick gloves – Hedgehogs may look cute but when stressed become extremely prickly if in pain they can bite and some will carry ringworm.
High sided plastic boxes with lids.
Cooking racks – to put over one side of the box to let in air.
Books – to hold it all down to prevent escape!
Newspapers and plenty of them to line the boxes, cages and tearing up for bedding.
Basin or bowl – to use as a bath.
Tweezers – to remove maggots, fleas eggs.
Scissors – to cut spines.
Cotton buds – for application of creams, disinfectant etc. and for toileting baby hedgehogs.
Kitchen roll – for cleaning out boxes and cages and to make beds for small hoglets.
Cotton wool – toileting or wiping eyes or feet.
Scales – checking weight is very important.
Disposable gloves – Hygiene is vital. Avoid cross contamination.
Artists paintbrush – applying oil to ticks etc.
Small animal brush – to apply baby oil to aid dry skin.
Hot water bottle- for keeping hypothermic or ill hogs warm.
Electric heat pad or reptile mat
Clean towels – we put white on to start with to check for signs of bleeding or ill health.
Bobble hats – for putting hoglets in.
Syringes – for feeding hoglets or administering medication or rehydration fluid to ill hedgehogs.
Rehydration powder – eg. Glutalite, Lectade, Rehydrat or in an emergency the following can be made:
1 tablespoon glucose or sugar
½ teaspoon salt mix with 1 litre of water.
Antibiotics – from vets. Primarily used for lungworm and respiritary infections and some injuries.
Wormer – Panacure granules. Obtained from vets.
Multivitamins – SF51 intervet vitamin powder or or Abidec vitamin drops. (SA37 has been discontinued).
Sterilizing fluid – Milton – to keep hoglets feeding equipment infection free.
Plastic box – to use as sterilizer.
Food – tinned cat or dog food – white meat flavours such as chicken, turkey or rabbit, minced beef. Older hogs enjoy beef flavour. (AVOID GRAVY, FISH AND PORK IT CAN UPSET THEIR STOMACH) Dried food and biscuits
Blender/liquidiser – to mix up food suitable for hoglets to lap and those hedgehogs too ill to eat.
Cooking oil – applying to ticks
Arnica – Homeopathic shock remedy – powerful internal antiseptic and analgesic.
Rescue Remedy – used for calming stressed hedgehogs.
Feeding and water dishes – shallow heavy plates for adults (they can pick them up and tip them). Jar lids for tiny hoglets.
Salt – for cleaning wounds – dilute 1 teaspoon in 1 pint of water.
Disinfectant – washing out cages.
Cages, fly netting, outside boxes, soft bedding, cushion flooring / lino to line cages out for easier cleaning.