View Full Version : we have an adult hedgehog living under the house

03-05-2013, 03:49 PM
now why i am posting this is,because he does appear to be sick, i thought maybe he had mange, as he has a few prickles missing and this grey caked looking mud, i emailed my vet for advice, and he rang me, he also said it can be a zinc deficiency which is common in hedgehogs or it could be mange, so cat biscuits and food are great for him, he is drinking lots of water, and he is so cute when he cannot get to the bottom of the water he puts his foot on the edge holds it down so he can drink it.

He was so thirsty the other day he drank 3/4 of a margerine container in size all at one go, i do think he is better as yesterday i had not seen him/her all day long and then when he/her came out they saw me and scuttled away under the house, so i am leaving some food daily for it.

The house is insulated underneath with a black plastic type material,so it should be quite warm and very sheltered for the hedgehog.

My vet did say we can inject the hedgehog with imovac for the mange if it is that, and only a donation required, of course getting him is the hard bit, however i was told just to keep an eye on him/her and see if there is improvement and if not to bring him/her in.

These are the big brown hedgehogs we have in NZ, so wish me luck,any experience with looking after them and advice always taken on board, thanks.

03-05-2013, 04:24 PM
Awww, any pictures? No advice, as we have no native hedgehogs here in New England, the closest we have are porcupines, which are NOT good pets, and are generally shy anyway, and so big they'd not fit well under a house!

03-05-2013, 05:07 PM
i will try and get a pic, but he is looking a tad worse for wear, no sign of him today, we are calling it a him and benson, hubby chose his name lol, we had a baby one a while back, but it disappeared, not sure if he will come out until later on in the day or evening, i will try get a pic as would like to send it to the vet, the first day i could get right up to him and even put food in front of him and he would not even curl up, so i think he is much better as he is running away now, i noticed the water bowl was tipped over later this morning, so it might have been him or rascal nikkita, but have re filled it, i need to get something a bit heavier,so it does not tip as he is very thirsty, at least he is not de-hyrdrated now, there are not that many slugs or snails around as i dont have much garden, mostly a rockery in the courtyard, but we do have some compost and i have seen a few snails, so hopefully he is getting other food as well. no idea how much a hedgehog eats??:)

03-14-2013, 09:19 PM
ok an update on the hedgehog, i have been feeding him on a regular basis and making sure he had fresh water daily, as was very thirsty and it is very hot here in NZ at the moment, we are having a late summer, supposed to be autumn now and a drought upon us, not good.anyhow to cut a long story short, i had not seen him out during the day much, but he was eating all his biscuits, until two days ago, he was not looking good so i decided to capture him, a very easy task and whisk him off to the vets.

Anyhow it seems he has infected dermatitis and so he was given ivomac and an antibiotic injection i also have to give him daily antibiotics in his water daily, so he is now in a pen, that i borrowed from my friend and living in the laundry, which is not ideal for us, as it is our front door and very small, so i have to move him out to use the washing machine as that would really scare him.

He is still very wobbly and after the treatment did not seem at all well, this morning i found him lying on his back feet in the air and i thought the worst, but no he was ok, but worried about him being like that and not being able to turn over,i have a heat pad in there for him, but he insists on sitting on the bit that is not heated, i have been in touch with the rescue lady and she has given me advice, say's i am doing everything right and you can only hope for the best.
There is no improvement as such on his skin, so i am not sure if our BENSON will live, but we are doing our best, any advice or experience with wild hedgehogs is appreciated.

I probably have to take him back for two further injections of imovac for the mange, however i read on the internet it can kill them sometimes, so confused and the vet never said anything like that, not that they are very experienced with dealing with hedgehogs.

And benson may well be a girl, so bessy if so, lol.

03-14-2013, 10:30 PM
Aww, bless you for helping, anyway! We'll be saying a prayer for Benson!

03-14-2013, 10:31 PM
Thanks I think benson is gonna need those prayers.

here is a couple of pics of Benson, not very good ones, but you can see close up around his face does not look too healthy, and also you can see the grey caked mud looking type stuff on is back in the second pic, which is the dermatitis.

He only seems to be eating once a day at the moment, and he did drink quite a bit today, which is great as he is getting his meds, his antibiotics through his water, so fingers crossed, he is still very wobbly,and is determined not to sleep on the heating pad, so i just have to hope for the best, i am not sure he will make it, but we can only but try.

03-15-2013, 06:05 AM
Awwwww, Carole, aren't you good! Prayers and healing energies for dear Benson.


03-15-2013, 06:11 AM
well Pat i just could not leave him to suffer, i could see he was sick, everything deserves to live, and if we can help it to survive then i will do the best i possibly can, the lady from the hedgehog rescue rang me and really helped my confidence in taking care of him, as i know nothing about them really,i did my research on line too, but that can also be a bit confusing, she said i was doing everything right, just had to make sure he was warmer as they can get hypothermia so easily especially when sick, and that is one of the reasons he is wobbly, so i had the cats heating pad i have never used, so putting it to good use ,if only benson would sit on it, still it does tend to give the whole cage warmth and he was surviving outside, and the nights here are getting cooler, and the mornings, but plenty of heat during the day,so he has to be better than when he was outside, he has meds now and warmth, he did have water and food though as i has started caring for him a week ago.

Yes just have to keep those fingers crossed he will get well and we can release him back in to the wild.

Must be so stressful for him really, hearing all the noises he is not used to, i try to not bother him and keep noise levels around him down, but it is not easy in a small house, and tomorrow i need to get hubby to shift him in to the hallway so i can do the washing, as it will be very scarey for him when the washing machine goes on spin.

yep gonna need a lot of luck i think for him to survive, but we shall try our hardest.

03-15-2013, 09:02 AM
Carole, God bless you and your husband, and God bless Benson.


03-15-2013, 01:11 PM
Thank you pat well another night gone and still with us ate all his biscuits and was worried as had not done a poop,but yep done that too lol,so maybe just maybe things are looking better,here's hoping ,cage is lovely and warm and he won't sleep on the side where the heating pad is,so he must be warm enough,those prayers must be working.

03-15-2013, 03:32 PM
More prayers coming!

03-15-2013, 04:01 PM
Thanks seems to be holding his own,cleaned out the cage,I transfer him to a cat cage while I change the newspaper,water etc,he felt nice and warm,he is so cute,he started sniffing my gloves,he is in the hallway now so I can do the washing but think we shall leave him there as I cannot lift the cage every time with my injured shoulder,and with all the doors closed lovely and dark,took the shredded paper out as was getting in the water,he has a polar fleece blanket,and he is snuggled under the newspaper and on the heat pad at long last.
Have to take him back to vets for two more shots of imovac.

He has a good chance,he now has warmth,and meds and can't get fly blown,so way better odds than before

03-15-2013, 04:09 PM
My goodness! One never knows what kind of critter someone is helping; how very good of you to help the hedgehog. I do hope s/he makes it. At least you are trying to get him better. Good Luck!

Lilith Cherry
03-15-2013, 07:24 PM
Lots of love and prayers for the Hedgehogb and you too Carole. I used to have one in my garden when I lived in England.... I miss him !

03-15-2013, 08:52 PM
He is SOOO cute! I wonder if he is an abandoned pet? Does he seem quite tame?

More get well prayers for Benson/Bessie!:love:

03-16-2013, 12:33 PM
He is SOOO cute! I wonder if he is an abandoned pet? Does he seem quite tame?

More get well prayers for Benson/Bessie!:love:

I doubt it, Candace - he is a wild hedgehog, the ones kept as pets look quite different, and are originally from Africa, not New Zealand!

Lilith Cherry
03-16-2013, 04:01 PM
Benson is considerably bigger t han the pet pygmy hedgehogs you see in here in Canada. The NZ ones are the same as the wild ones in the UK. They are great to have in your garden as they love eating insects , slugs and snails:)

03-17-2013, 02:51 AM
Yes same as uk,think the British settlers brought them here,yes we don't have pet hedgehogs in nz,he did not eat much at all yesterday so bit worried,but tempting him with roast chicken tonight so here's hoping,he just sleeps all day and night,I know they are nocturnal ,but he hardly moves,I don't like having him in captivity,but he needs help,I hope he gets better soon so I can release him.,feel mean really, but he needs to stay with us until we get his third injection and is well again.

Guess who ate almost all of his roast chicken tonight, yep all gone, YAY success.

here is another pic of him.

03-17-2013, 09:30 AM
Maybe he's filled himself up and is getting lots of sleep to heal. Get well, Benson!:love:

03-17-2013, 03:13 PM
Yes maybe u are right candace,he ate all his chicken last night and some biscuits so made up for it,he is so cute when I take him out to clean his cage all curled up and sleepy but he uncurls and starts sniffing my gloves ,I am getting quite attached as you do,will be hard to let him go,but would be cruel not to,hate having him caged,but necessary to get those jabs and give him the best chance,worried he will feel the cold when I release him as so warm in the cage even heats the hallway,still he needs the warmth while sick.
He still looks pretty crusty but that awful smell has gone ,he just smells like caged mice or rats do,and I clean the cage daily.,so that must be a good sign,hoping the bacterial infection is clearing up.

03-17-2013, 03:53 PM
Oh, what good news! Bless you, Carole, for all you are doing to bring this beloved creature of God back to good health.

Get well soon, Benson/Bessie! :love::love::love::love::love::love::love::love:

03-17-2013, 04:03 PM
Yes pat he seems to be doing ok so far,so good,booked in for second injection on Thursday,seeing my vet this time,much happier with that,as I trust his opinions 109 per cent,just worried when we do release him he will be cold as now used to such a warm environment,might get vet to check and see if benson is a Bessie,I looked online and had a quick look but was hard to see,I think he is a she myself.

03-17-2013, 10:45 PM
Yes pat he seems to be doing ok so far,so good,booked in for second injection on Thursday,seeing my vet this time,much happier with that,as I trust his opinions 109 per cent,just worried when we do release him he will be cold as now used to such a warm environment,might get vet to check and see if benson is a Bessie,I looked online and had a quick look but was hard to see,I think he is a she myself.

Bless you Carole

03-19-2013, 03:22 PM
Well off to vet tomorrow night with benson,eating drinking ok,but he is not looking great,has lost a few spines this morning I found on the bottom of the cage when cleaning,I am no expert but I don't see improvement,will have to see what my vet says,maybe I will have to make the hard call and let him go to the rainbow bridge,be gutted if I have to,so fingers crossed he has good news,I'm concerned about the stress he is under being in captivity and also having such a warm cage then having to release him to the cold,but he is wild and I will not or cannot keep him as a pet that would be cruel,I do worry so

03-19-2013, 03:55 PM
Aww poor Benson/Bessie!

Bless you for taking care of him, Carole, how nice! I hope the little cutie improves :love:

Does he try to bite you or anything?

03-19-2013, 04:21 PM
no never bites or anything ,in fact is a very good lil thing, considering what is happening to him,he always goes in to a tight ball when i take him out for cleaning his cage, and put him in the cat cage,but then he uncurls and starts sniffing my gloves, so cute.

He is a very easy lil thing to take care of, apart from making his cage an absolute mess,he just sleeps all the time. He dined on roast chicken, banana, avocado and cat biscuits again last night, all gone, except for some biscuits and some that ended up outside the cage,but yes the hedgehog rescue lady, said they thrive on avocado, which are rather expensive to buy, but hubby loves them, so treat for them both, besides benson eats only such a little bit.

03-19-2013, 04:29 PM
How cute that Benson and your hubby both like the same treat - avocado! They can have all mine, as I am allergic to them. I hope he's doing better, maybe he lost a few quills because new ones are coming in?

03-19-2013, 04:31 PM
yes i hope you are right, i tend to worry too much , i could be well off with my findings, and benson may well be on the mend for all i know, mind you vets don't know that much about hedgehogs to be frank, but still they can tell if there is an infection and if it is getting better , and mange etc, so just have to wait and see, will update when i have seen my vet . Yes well i don't enjoy avocados, they are horrible tasting to my taste buds, but i know they are really good for you.

03-19-2013, 05:28 PM
Sending along all our good wishes and prayers that Benson's vet visit goes well. And again, God bless you, Carole.


P.S., I love avocados too!

03-21-2013, 02:38 AM
It is with much sadness i tell you Benson was put to sleep at the vets tonight, it was the best thing to do, my vet said it would not be kind to keep him going, he was loosing all his spines, and would soon not be able to move around, and would be completely bald, even with all the best care in the world, his chances were not good,it was very hard to do, but i knew in my heart it was going to happen, i had seen how bad he looked, and it would have been cruel to let him go on this way, at least he was loved and cared for in his last week and did not suffer like he would have in the wild, he would have been blown by the flies and that would have been a terrible death for him.

And yes he was a boy, i actually got a good look today before i took him and thought he was, vet verified he was a BENSON, RIP little boy, you shall have a place in my pet cemetory along with my ash,ellie-mae,sooti and zara.I could not bare to leave him there, he deserved to be buried in style along with my other beautiful animals.

Yes i am very sad, crying and gutted, but i know it was the right thing to do.

03-21-2013, 05:28 AM
Oh Carole, I am so sorry. You did so much and worked so hard to give Benson all the love and care he needed so much. I hope all your memories of this sweet boy and the bond you and he formed will help to comfort you.

Rest in peace, darling Benson, a shining Angel now bristling with all your spines again. You are whole and healthy again and have so many animal friends to play with by the Bridge. And you and your beloved Carole are together always and you will welcome her Home.. One Fine Day..


03-21-2013, 10:47 AM
Carole - HUGS. Because of you he had a much kinder end - and had a full tummy and a clean warm home with you. I am so sorry.:love::love: