First Aid for Hedgehogs

  • Place the hedgehog gently into a high sided box using gloves or a towel if you are deterred by the prickles.
  • A hot water bottle wrapped in a towel will provide life saving warmth whether he is suffering from hypothermia or shock – but leave room for him to move off the hot water bottle if he feels too warm.  He must have direct heat, a radiator just isn’t sufficient.
  • Check very carefully that flies (blue bottles) haven’t already laid their deadly eggs in his ears, eyes, mouth, bottom, armpits or anywhere amongst the fur on his face or tummy.  These eggs will quickly develop into maggots that will eat the hedgehog alive.  Artists’ paint brush, tweezers, cotton buds, nit comb and magnifying glass are all useful aids for the meticulous removal of eggs or maggots.
  • Never use dog flea spray on hedgehogs – it is lethal.  Johnson’s Rid Mite or Johnson’s Cat Flea Powder (from pet shops) is best.
  • Offer cat/dog food, see What to Feed a Hedgehog page.  DO NOT feed pork and DO NOT feed bread and milk.  Lectade (from the vet) can be dripped from a dropper or syringe if the patient is too young or weak to eat meat.  Further persuasion to swallow can be given by tickling his pallet with a soft paintbrush dipped in Abidec (from the chemist).
  • The hedgehog must be kept warm at all times
  • Cover him with something woolly, protect him from flies, stress, noise, light children and pets.
  • Inspections may also reveal bean-like nodules, which are ticks.  Careless removal can leave the head in the skin to cause an abscess so paint the parasite with vegetable/cooking oil to suffocate and release its grip.
  • Constant warmth is essential for his survival.

hedgehog-care-casualtyFurther information and advice is available on request.

If in doubt please phone Elaine or a local vet.

If you have a hedgehog emergency please telephone 01507 450221 day or night