Helping an Injured or Sick Hedgehog

Helping Injured and Sick Hedgehogs

Hedgehogs need our help

When you find an injured hedgehog, watch it first to see how badly hurt it is. Then seek immediate emergency treatment from a wildlife rehabilitator or local vet.

If you ever find a sick, injured or a hedgehog you are concerned about it needs to be protected and kept safe because  *every minute matters.

If possible, try to wear suitable gloves to pick up the animal, then put them in a secure cardboard box with ventilation holes, lines with newspaper or a towel, if you can try to wrap them in a soft blanket (ideally use suitable gloves). Then ring for help by contacting a hedgehog or wildlife rescue centre or carer immediately. If you cannot get through take them to a local vet as soon as possible so they can give them emergency treatment.

Hedgehogs will often try crawling away, so keeping them protected in a well-ventilated box, even wrapped in a blanket will help. Try to take them indoors while you call for emergency help.

A good way to help them keep warm is to fill a hot water bottle up and cover it up completely with a towel, so it’s not hot and its gentle warmth for the box. Never allow the bottle to go cold, remove before it gets cold.

Put the box somewhere quiet to help keep their environment calm and stress-free.

Give some wet dog or cat food to them as well as some fresh water.

Contact a hedgehog or wildlife rescue centre immediately but if you cannot get through to anyone, it may be quicker to take the animal to a vet yourself for emergency treatment.

When hedgehogs need our help:

  • Seeing a hedgehog out in daylight, especially an orphaned hoglet found out of their nest.
  • Injured hedgehog – an open would, maggots, a cut, fracture or trapped. They might be limping, wobbly, unsteady, they need urgent help.
  • Look sick – they look thin, have breathing problems, spines missing or bald patches on them

Some hedgehogs may be fine and healthy, some can be nursing females out foraging or simply aroused in winter from hibernation, always seek immediate advice if you have any concerns.

Young hedgehogs left outside on their own will not be able to survive and need urgent help.

You can help them by leaving food and water out in your garden, each night you could place a small plate with dog or cat food on and a bowl of water, this could become a feeding station for hedgehogs.

Be cautious

Be aware that wild animals can become scared and start scratching or biting. Be safe when you handle them, try wearing gloves, keep them away from your face, be careful outside especially near busy roads, always keep safe. Call for help immediately if you cannot reach the animal safely and you will need to know your location when calling for help.

Useful links

British Hedgehog Preservation Society telephone: 01584 890 801 Click here for their website.

East Sussex Wildlife Rescue & Ambulance Service: 24hr rescue hotline 07815 078 234  Click here for their website.

RSPCA help to find a wildlife rehabilitator, click here for their website.

RSPCA Emergency number is: 0300 1234 999

Helpwildlife.co.uk provides advice on what to do if you find a sick, injured or abandoned wild bird or animal. Click here for their website.

*This is general advice to help during the first couple of hours, please always seek emergency help and advice immediately.

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