A hog out in the day is NEVER ok, this mantra is ideal to remember and the team at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary live by it! Hedgehogs are nocturnal mammals and as such should NOT be out during the day. There is an exception to this – and we are coming to the time of year when this may happen. Female hedgehogs, with babies’ may be out during the day looking for food for their young. If this is the case, the hog you see will be moving purposefully around, and you would always be advised to leave them well alone and NOT to disturb them in any way, as this could cause them to abandon their babies.
A hog who is out in the day that is not ok, will more than likely be moving slowly, appear wobbly, could be lying down and not curling up, even when you approach. However, it is also important to remember, that a hog may still curl up when it is out during the day; but this DOES NOT mean that it is healthy.
Other signs to look for include obvious wounds or injuries. This could mean that there is blood visable, or a limb may not look normal or could be at an odd angle. A hog with numerous ticks and or fly eggs is also a very poorly hog & in cases like this, the best course of action would be to pick the hog up with a towel or blanket and place it in a box on a source of heat. This could be a hot water bottle, or an old plastic drinks bottle filled with hot water, wrapped in a towel. Then take the hog to your nearest veterinary practice. As a hedgehog is classed as wildlife – there will be no charge to you for taking the hog to the vets. The hog can then be treated swiftly and accurately by the veterinary surgeon which greatly increases the chances of survival, and ultimately a successful release. Another sign to look for is if you notice an unpleasant smell coming from the hog – this generally means infection and again this would require veterinary attention.
The staff at Woodlands Animal Sanctuary are qualified animal carers and extremely knowledgeable, however, they are not vets. This means their medical resources are much less than those of a vets and so they are unable to treat the injuries and ailments mentioned above. When hogs, in a condition like those mentioned above is brought to Woodlands, they are unable to best assist the hog and so, if the person bringing the hog is not able to take it to a vet themselves, then it falls to Woodlands to take it to their vets at their cost.
Woodlands work very closely with Rufford Veterinary Group, who have practices in Rufford, Southport. This means that when a hog has been sufficiently and successfully treated by the vets, the practice will contact Woodlands, who will then take the hog to continue rehabilitation and then release from one of their approved soft release sites. This has also been the case from other veterinary practices within the area.
So please remember; a hog out in the day is never ok unless it’s a mummy hog, scavenging for her babies! So if you can see injuries, abnormal limbs/eye etc, numerous ticks, fly eggs, an abundance of flies around the hog or notice an unpleasant smell, the best course of action for the hog will be to take it directly to a vet. If, however, the hog appears fine, but is out during the day, then do, carefully place it in a box, or a source of heat and contact Woodlands Animal Sanctuary who will advise you on the best course of action.
Please also remember; if you take a hedgehog to Woodlands Animal Sanctuary, please endeavour to give a donation, of whatever you can easily afford, for that will go directly towards the care of the hogs, and will be greatly appreciated by the independent charity. To contact Woodlands if you have found a needy hog phone 01704 823293.