Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Just Call me Doctor Dolittle!

This was not the post I had planned to write this week but I have been having hedgehog dramas and adventures so I am somewhat preoccupied with them it has to be said.

We had a wee chap who overwintered in our compost bin and I knew he was out and active, or we had had another little visitor lately by the 'deposits' on the lawn!

 I had seen a hedgehog out there in the evening a couple of times but more than that I had heard him. Quite frankly it sounded like an asthmatic with a 60 a day cigarette habit was hiding in the hedge!

Not knowing whether this was normal or not I posted a question on a hedgehog forum and received some horrifying responses. It seemed my little hedgepig friend was very sick with something called lungworm and needed urgent treatment. Without it his lungs would fill with fluid and basically he would drown. I was ridiculously upset by this news. I mean I know this is natures way, animals die but I really do hate the thought of a poor animal suffering.

 I rang a local animal centre and had a long and thankfully reassuring conversation with someone there. It seemed that due to the fact the hedgehog was otherwise healthy, eating well and was off like Usain Bolt if you went anywhere near him the outlook was quite good.
She gave me exact details of the medication I should get from the vet and how to feed it to him, so I hotfooted it up the road to the vet where thankfully they were prepared to let me buy the stuff even though I wasn't signed up there and don't have any pets!
(I am signed up now with hedgehog treatment on my record!)

Last night as I put the food out under our greengage tree by the hedge and as I straightened up I looked direct into the bright black eyes of the wee man himself, I'm not sure who was surprised the most the hedgehog or me!
Anyway I retreated rapidly to watch and finally he trundled over to the plate and scoffed the lot, I was doing a happy dance I can tell you. Sorry for the blurry pic I didn't want to get too close and scare him off completely.

So tonight I mixed up the next lot of food plus meds and put it out. The hedgehog arrived foraged neatly all around where the plate was, and then bumbled off across the lawn without having had so much of a bite....damn.

                                                         It's behind you!!!

I had just moved the dish to what I hoped was a better spot when I heard more rustling and all of a sudden another hedgehog appeared!

This hedgehog also snuffled and foraged mostly where I had just moved the dish from, double damn, and then he too buggered off without eating a mouthful either! By this time I was cold and wet so I came in.
Fingers crossed they will be back to forage again later and will eat it up then, please oh hedgepigs please.

The weird thing is neither of these two was making the terrible wheezy noises so now I don't know if there is perhaps a third prickly friend?


  1. what's going on with them? fussy little blighters aren't they? Have you got a surplus of slugs cos they like them and might be scoffing them instead. I hope they do eat it soon, poor little things!

    I attempted to "rescue" a hedgehog whilst drunk once

  2. Hedgehog numbers are declining massively, so you're really lucky to have so many. I hope the poorly one eats his medicine and gets better soon.

  3. Oh I love hedgehogs, so much so that my birthday plans were cancelled one year just to rush a hedgehog to the wildlife hospital. I was also in charge of the Hedgehog room at another wildlife hospital. They are such noisy feeders!
    Well done to you for helping, too many people just won't as they think someone else will xxx

  4. Awwah maybe you have a hedgehog family in your garden! I must confess I don't think I've ever seen a live one, I was promised when we got our allotment that there were lot of hedgehogs about the site, so I made a hedgehog box for them to hibernate in but so far I've only managed to attract mice! One day :) xx

  5. Oh you are lovely - I hope they take their medicine and you get lots of repeat visits. They'll be telling their friends! xxx

  6. As a fellow animal lover, I can't begin to tell you how sweet, thoughtful, and responsible I think it is that you've been tending to this poor, ill hedgie's problems. You're such a wonderful soul, and I'm very optimistic that he shall regain proper health once more thanks to your efforts.

    ♥ Jessica

  7. Good on ya! I love hedgehogs...I am hugely sentimental when it comes to them for some reason. It's not good times for them is it.
    Whe I was little my gran looked ater a little one after it's mother had been run over and he lived in the garden for ages. We had a family of them outside our door when my boys were wee and they were such noisy eaters. You could hear them before you saw them. Could do with them now to eat all the slugs..