Please let me have any tips, comments, ideas, problems or information that I can pass on to other hedgehog rehabilitators by way of this newsletter. If you are anywhere other than in the UK please remember this newsletter is about the European Hedgehog and that drugs and legal implications may be different in other countries

I am sorry this newsletter is so short but if there are so few contributions from carers it is difficult to make it any longer.

Fund Raising – printer cartridges

One carer wrote: “Collecting cartridges is a great way to raise funds. If you are able to find a local company that recycles cartridges they could give several pounds per cartridge. I have been doing this since January and average £25.00 per month on someone else's rubbish! I have a friend who works for a large company and even the cleaner is in on the act collecting cartridges out of bins!”

Another alternative is to collect the cartridges on behalf of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. They have envelopes specially prepared and there is no charge for postage – contact the BHPS on 01584 890801 or e-mail: to get a free envelope (replacement envelopes are then issued by the company that uses the cartridges).

Notes from Jersey

It is interesting to hear about problems that other hedgehog rehabilitators are having so we know that it does not just happen to us. The following is from Dru Burden of the Jersey Hedgehog Preservation Group. Dru ear tags her hedgehogs so she knows when they return or are seen alive and well in gardens.

The hogs we have had in have been complicated, you think you are treating for one thing and it turns out to have other things wrong with it..... A head injury healed perfectly I took the stitches out but the hog itself would not do and ended up being put to sleep as it had shrunk to 380g and nothing worked, I tried all the usual stuff....

Another was found in a pool of blood in the road and it was found by the vet to have a pneumothorax, which was drained and she ate at once and put on weight and all was hunky dorey.... I kept her in for 17 days and the advice was that as it had been caused by an accident, if it didn’t recur in 24 hours , everything would be OK...... but one week after release she was found again, dying and taken to the vets who found that the lung had collapsed again and the other one was also starting to go, so there must have been an underlying medical cause for it. But the evidence of the pool of blood and being found in the kerb, all pointed to an RTA..... what do you do?

A couple other bad head injuries have healed really well, its the noses we don’t do well with, has anyone got any tips or advice on how to treat nose wounds and injuries? Surgery doesn’t always seem to work well as the nose swells up and the hog is in even more distress, the nose is so delicate that an apparently minor wound can mean curtains for the hog, and its hard to explain to the finders when it doesn’t look that bad at first glance but the damage is extensive under the skin.

Uist Hedgehog Rescue

Many rehabilitators have asked for news about the Uist Hedgehog Rescue so the following is a brief update.

On the 1st April Uist Hedgehog Rescue which is composed of Advocates for Animals, BHPS, Hessilhead Wildlife Rescue Trust and International Animal Rescue arrived on the Outer Hebrides. Gay and Andy Christie and myself arrived together in the Hessilhead Van which was loaded with the equipment we needed to house and transport the hedgehogs. Gay and Andy were to stay until the Monday and then the first of the volunteer catchers were to arrive on the Tuesday. We also had the help of a local lass called Bella who had helped us a great deal in last years rescue.

The locals had been told we would be accepting hedgehogs from the Sunday – indeed some arrived and were transported back with ay and Andy on the Monday. Just after Gay and Andy had left a local arrived with 7 more hedgehogs – he was to go on and catch around 50 hedgehogs. We had decided to change the arrangements this year and would use less volunteers and up the reward from £5 to £20. We had hoped that we would be able to transport the hedgehogs to the mainland more frequently this year and indeed were able to catch sufficient in a week to make weekly trips to Hessilhead a viable proposition.

As with last year we caught mainly males in the first 7-10 days and then the females were caught. However overall far more males were caught than females. When I left after 6 and a half weeks we had caught 176 hedgehogs. In the last 2 weeks we got up to 192 (136 males and 56 females). In the last 2 weeks we only collected males (or small females) as we were concerned that females might be heavily pregnant or even have dependent young by then. We were surprised at how small some of the rescued hedgehogs were – some being under 300gms.

Sadly we learned that SNH caught 253 hedgehogs (although a few of these might have been road kills).

European Hedgehog Research Group

The European Hedgehog Research Group now have available copies of the published proceedings of the 5th Workshop held in Italy in April 2002 and the 6th Workshop held in Munster in April 2004. These are available from Janet Peto, EHRG, PO Box 6513, Caunton, Newark, NG23 6TX at £2.50 each including P & P.

British Hedgehog Preservation Society

The Society has a booklet called “Care and Treatment of Sick and Injured Hedgehogs”. All hedgehog rehabilitators on the BHPS’s contacts list should have a copy of this leaflet already but if you are not on their contacts list they are still available free of charge. Many rehabilitators pass copies on to their veterinary surgeons as there is a formulary with drugs and dosages that are often used on hedgehogs. Call the BHPS on 01584 890801 or e-mail to get a free copy.

Mothers with hoglets

As I mentioned above it is good to know that others can have problems as well as yourself.

I try whenever possible to encourage people who disturb nests with hoglets in them to recover the nest and let mum move the babies to a new nest. Mum will often sleep away from the hoglets once disturbed but will often suckle them at night and make a new nest for them. This may take several days and I suggest food is put out for mum so she can make the new nest and suckle the young in the old nest and not have to bother looking for food. In some circumstances this is not possible eg on a building site or a dog repeatedly disturbs the nest and I bring the whole family into care.

Sometimes I can have an enclosed garden available where they can be moved or otherwise I have some “nursery” pens where the nest is separate from the feeding quarters and mum is not disturbed when the food and mess are cleaned away. However several times over the years I have had what I considered to be perfectly healthy females, with no case history of injury at the time of disturbance, die. They have not shown any symptoms, they eat up to the time of death and the young seem to be OK. The food not being eaten alerts us to the problem (not to be confused with the lack of eating the mothers with newborn show). I wonder whether this is stress related. I have heard of stress being suggested as the reason why some “healthy” males die in spring. They become agitated in spring, about the time wild ones would come out of hibernation, and die almost overnight. Again these males are big, seemingly healthy animals that are just found dead in their cages with no apparent problem being noticed beforehand other than the desire to escape.

This year I have heard of 2 other hedgehog rehabilitators who have lost “healthy” females that are suckling their young. Who else has had similar problems? Are they the caged ones or also those placed in escape proof gardens temporarily. Are there any suggestions for a cause of death?

Courses etc

27 November 2004 Lowermoss Wood Wildlife Hospital Annual Symposium – This year will be Rays 10th Symposium and he has promised to make it extra special. It will be covering all wildlife not just Hedgehogs and will be held at Reaseheath College, Nantwich, Cheshire, UK

March 2005 Hedgehog Welfare and Weirfield Wildlife Hospital are joining together to put on a Hedgehog Course. It will be much the same as the old Hedgehog Welfare Basic Care Course but the information will be up dated to bring in the latest methods. Certificate of attendance will be given. A vet and or vet nurses will be on hand to teach you how to give basic injections and a separate certificate will be given for this if you require it. This course will be held in the Lincoln Area, UK

For more information, on both the above, as it becomes available please write to Janet Peto the EHRG Membership Secretary at or write to Janet Peto, EHRG, PO Box 6513, Caunton, Newark, NG23 6TX

. If you are organising a course or know of one please let me know and I can include it in the next newsletter, the next issue will be out towards the end of October 2004.

Please send any comments or contributions for the next newsletter to:
Kay Bullen, 5 Foreland Road, Whitchurch, Cardiff CF14 7AR tel 029 20623985.
web site at:
July 2004

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