Registered Charity 326885
We are a UK Charity dedicated to helping & protecting Hedgehogs (BHPS). Helpline with advice on caring & encouraging Hedgehogs in the wild & garden
The aims of the Society are:-
a) To encourage and give advice to the pulbic concerning the care of
Hedgehogs particularly when injured, sick, treated
cruelly, orphaned or in any other danger
b) To encourage children to respect our natural wild-life-by supplying information and giving lectures, and thus fostering an interest in Hedgehogs
c) to fund serious research into behavioural habits of Hedgehogs and to ascertain the best methods of assisting their survival
HEDGEHOGS SHOULD ONLY BE KEPT IN ENCLOSED GARDENS IF THEY CANNOT COPE IN THE WILD BECAUSE OF AN INJURY (eg AMPUTATED FRONT LEG). FULLY FUNCTIONING HEDGEHOGS CAN TRAVEL UP TO TWO MILES A NIGHT IN THEIR FORAGING AND WOULD NOT SETTLE IN A CONFINED ENVIRONMENT. IF YOU HAVE AN ENCLOSED GARDEN AND WISH TO OFFER IT AS A SAFE RELEASE SITE FOR A RECUPERATED HEDGEHOG THAT CANNOT BE RETURNED TO THE WILD CONTACT YOUR LOCAL ANIMAL SANCTUARY OR HEDGEHOG CARER (THE BHPS SHOULD BE ABLE TO GIVE YOU AN APPROPRIATE ADDRESS AND PHONE NUMBER).
HOUSING YOUR HEDGEHOG
Line box with thick newspaper on base and fill with dry hay. Sprinkle a little "Head to Tail" flea powder, made by Coopers, for cats and dogs, onto newspaper (and on Hedgehog if possible), or any flea powder that contains Pyrethrum and is suitable for cage birds, to deter fleas and ticks. See BHPS leaflet 'HEDGEHOG HOMES' for further ideas on making a suitable house, or the BHPS Hogalogue for collapsible hibernacula.
Emergency house - short term. Bag of hay, knot open end, punch hole at ground level and poke 3-4 holes with finger on top. Place on ground.
YOUR GARDEN should be 'Hedgehog friendly', i.e. no pesticides or slug pellets used, escape ramps of chicken wire or rocks placed in ponds and no netting to trap delicate legs.
NB: NEVER SPRAY HEDGEHOGS FOR FLEAS. NEVER USE ANY ORGANO PHOSPHATES IN GARDEN AS THESE ARE LETHAL TO HEDGEHOGS.
CAPTIVE HEDGEHOGS MUST BE FED EVERY NIGHT, EVEN WHEN YOU ARE ON HOLIDAY. THEY WILL EAT GARDEN PESTS BUT WILL ALSO NEED A SUPPLEMENTARY FEED. THE FOOD SHOULD BE GIVEN AT DUSK - AFTER ALL FLIES HAVE GONE, AND ANY LEFTOVER FOOD REMOVED EARLY IN THE MORNING BEFORE FLIES ARRIVE.
Feeding your Hedgehog
1) lams Cat Biscuits
2) Tinned dog/cat food (Chicken/Turkey - not in gravy/jelly)
3) Raw shelled peanuts chopped* or peanut butter (crunchy)
4) Pet shop brawn for dog/cat - liver flavour
5) Denes dog/cat food
6) Raw mince
7) Any raw or cooked meat leftovers - as a treat
8) Chicken - raw or cooked, including carcase - as a treat
9) A little museli or chopped digestive biscuits
*Do not give whole or halved peanuts to your Hedgehog. They can get wedged against the upper palate preventing the animal from eating.
The daily meal should consist of meat, either 2), 4) or 5 above, and fibre, either 1) 3)or 9).
Water must always be available from dish sunk in ground.
The dish of food should be placed on newspaper well into a tunnel (74cms (29") long by l6cms (6") diameter piece of drain pipe, bricked each side) to deter other animals (e.g. cats) from eating it.
During hibernation lams biscuits should always be left in the tunnel. When these are eaten give fresh food for 1-2 days and then return to biscuits. Hibernation is not continuous and Hedgehogs do sometimes wake up - this uses up energy which will need to be replaced, so they look for food.
Caring for the health of your Hedgehog
Do not allow them to get too fat. The maximum weight for a female Hedgehog is 1.361 kg (31b) and 1.588kg (3½1b) for a male. The minimum weight for hibernation is 0.7kg - 1.0kg (1½1b - 21b). Try to ensure that the Hedgehog is near or over this. If your Hedgehog appears portly check ears for septic infection and/or maggot infestation. Go to the vet at once. S/he will remove maggots and eggs. Treat infection in ear with PANALOGUE ointment, available only from your vet. DO NOT use any treatment from pet shop.
· Eyes - sometimes white, fatty tissue appears from under eyelids when
Hedgehog opens eyes wide. This is fat deposit and will go if Hedgehog dieted for
1-2 weeks, i.e. cut food by up to ½ for 1-2 weeks. These fat deposits can obscure
vision so must be got rid of by dieting.
· Dust around the ears and eyes is probably mange mite. Inject IVOMEC for
pigs 0.03m1 per 1.0 - 1.5kg (2-31b) Hog weekly for 4 weeks. See vet.
· Baldness is usually ringworm. Bath in IMAVEROL (obtained from your vet) twice weekly and give GRISEOVAN tablets for 6-12 weeks (from vet ¼ of 100g tablet daily) powdered on food or powder ½ teaspoon on food (powder strength 7.5 w/w griseofulvin ph.eur) can do both together and is very effective. Continue for three months or will recur.
· Worming - Hedgehogs will pick up worms from slugs and snails so they must be wormed regularly. During March/April and again in September/October sprinkle 1 good (¼tsp) pinch per Hedgehog of PANACUR granules, (again obtained from your V~, on food 3 times a day, a fortnight apart (eg Sunday, 2 weeks later on Sunday, 2 weeks later on Sunday and stop) or WOMEC as above but only one injection needed.
· FOR VET: to examine a Hedgehog - Anaesthetise with Halothane Gas. Ketamine will give hallucinations and the Hedgehog will be unhandleable for 7-10 days.
· Pneumonia - See vet. 0.5ml CEPOREX two times daily for 14 days or longer If very snuffly 0.1ml BETASOLAN 2 x daily for up to six days.
· Wounds - Most infections and wounds respond to CLAMOXYL 0.5m1 2 x daily for 3 weeks or longer. Long acting CLAMOXYL only lasts for 24 hours in Hedgehogs as they have a very fast metabolism. See vet.
· Traces of blood in faeces - coccidiosis, KAOBIOTIC tablets from vet. Powdered and sprinkled on food. ½-i tablet per Hog daily for 7 days.
· Bone infrctions - ~g torn out claws) - ½-i 25mg ANTIROBE daily sprinkled on food for 6-8 weeks or longer in severe infection. See vet. Or 0.4m1 SYNULOX 2 x daily for 3-4 weeks or longer. See vet.
Fleas - can be controlled by sprinkling Hog on back with 'Head to Tail'. Hedgehogs do not need their fleas. Hedgehogs fleas will live on no other animal. Any powder containing pyrethrum and piperonyl butoxide only. Remember - Hedgehogs are nocturnal, they are active at dusk and through the night. They are not pets, but can become quite unafraid and very grateful for the care you give.
Lifespan - In the wild with no human help their lifespan is much shorter than when kept in enclosed garden and well cared for. The longest living known Hedgehog to date was fourteen years old when he died and was very much missed by his 'owners'.
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All pictures and text are taken from the literature of the BHPS and all copyrights are acknowledged
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